We often see pictures of old deserted towns in the US described as a ghost towns. Cracow in Queensland is the closest we have to a ghost town in Australia.
According to good old Wikipedia, Cracow was a gold mining town in the Banana Shire local government area. The town is located on the Theodore – Eidsvold road, 485 kilometres north west of Brisbane.
The town was named in 1851 by pastoralist, John Ross. Rumour has it, Cracow got its name from the sound a whip makes (‘cracko’).
At the 2006 census, Cracow and the surrounding area had a population of 123.
Gold was first discovered in Cracow in 1875 with the Golden Plateau mine operated continuously until 1976.
At its gold mining peak, the town included five cafes, barber shop, billiard saloon, two butchers, a picture theatre and a soft drink factory. The closure of the mine led to Cracow becoming a ghost town with many deserted houses and shops. The local hotel is one of the only remaining retail business, as it attracts a lot of tourists due to its unusual array of strange artifacts adorning the ceilings and walls. The other business was the General Store, which doubled as a post office and video store.
In 2004, Newcrest Mining reestablished gold mining in the town, leading to hopes the town may recover.
One of our regular contributors John has sent us a number of photos of Cracow (below).
If you look at Google Street View of Cracow, you can see that the town remains a ghost town