Calliope’s hills are home to old gold – Gladstone Observer

THERE was gold in the hills and gullies of Calliope and many believe there still is.

When librarian Natasha Duke started working in the Calliope library in 1996 she had a lot of queries about the old Calliope gold fields.

“We had some information, but it was scattered around the place,” Ms Duke said.

“So I thought I’d do a bit of digging myself.”

Ms Duke set to work finding all the old maps and documents in the library.

“It was a lot of work collating all the information, but it was a lot of fun as well,” she said.

“I didn’t know anything about the history of the area, so it was a great way for me to learn more about the region.”


Ms Duke placed everything she found into one folder, which the team keeps under the desk.

“It’s helped a lot of people in who have come in since asking for books on the diggings,” she said.

“Some of the fields went underwater when the dam was raised, but there’s still quite a lot of mines in the area.

In Chapman Park there’s an old goldmine crusher that’s been buried, but sometimes bits of it stick out of the ground.

“There’s an old well there too . It was the water that defeated the old gold miners in the end, they couldn’t pump it out fast enough.”

Ms Duke’s folder also contains maps, sites and information about the Norton, Biloela, Mount Larcom and Gladstone gold fields.

“There are still gold shafts under Calliope,” she said.

“And a lot of old claims in Gladstone are under housing estates now or on private property.

“Some of the remote fields are still pretty inaccessible even today because of the hills, creeks and gullies.”


Ms Duke has visited many of the old diggings but she was happy to leave the fossicking to others.

“There’s still gold around here and there are some old people who hint they know where it is,” she said.

“But I think they’ll die with their secrets.”