Turn off the Peak Downs Highway to visit Glenden, a modern mining town built in 1981 by the Mount Isa Mining Company. At first sight the town looks much like its sister coal towns; however, there are unique differences. There are no cross intersections, and all utilities such as water, power and telephone cables are 100% underground. Glenden is also the first Queensland mining town to be designed to cater for people with disabilities. Glenden offers groceries, fuel and supplies and is a wonderful place to stop, grab a coffee and a bite to eat, or stock up. As some of the nearby sites do not have potable water, make use of the potable water and dump point for convenience before you head out.
Homevale National Park
Homevale National Park featuring cliffs, peaks and spires is located 90km from Glenden. Thirty million years ago a series of eruptions covered older basalt rocks with lava, creating hard granite formations. Over time the basalt eroded leaving the spectacular Diamond Cliffs, Marling Spikes, and Sydney Heads formations that you can see today. Forming along the Bowen Basin, these volcanoes also produced gold deposits and fertile basalt soils that now support a diverse range of plant life. Plant communities growing in Homevale include open grassy woodlands, Notophyll vine forests, dry softwood scrub, open Eucalypt forests and Brigalow-Belah communities. Important fossil localities are also present with fossils dating from the Permian Period (280–225 million years ago).
Relive the gold rush era and walk in the footsteps of pioneers at Mount Britton, a once thriving gold mining town established in 1880. While the buildings are long gone, the old grid of streets is dotted with interpretive signage that retains a sense of what once existed. A 95km drive east of Glenden, it is an easily accessible area offering the opportunity for day trippers or self- sufficient campers to pull up, relax and explore more of the area. Mount Britton is a relaxing retreat where you can immerse yourself in the rich history, stoke a campfire, and awaken to unbelievable scenes of cliffs, peaks, and spires.
A short drive from Glenden is one of the region’s best natural highlights, Lake Elphinstone. As one of the region’s only natural permanent water bodies, Lake Elphinstone would have been an important source of food and water for Aboriginal Peoples. European maps suggest Lake Elphinstone was a traditional meeting point for the Jangga, Barada Barna and Widi Peoples and rock art paintings are known to exist at nearby Burton Downs. Following European settlement, the lake supported the township of Elphinstone which has long since disbanded. Lake Elphinstone is a popular spot among locals and visitors.Set up camp for the night then relax while the setting sun turns the lake gold. In the morning try bushwalking or kayaking. Listed on the National Register of Important Wetlands in recognition of its environmental value, the lake also offers bird watching and wildlife encounters. A boat ramp and basic toilet and shower amenities are available.