Moranbah was created in 1971 by the Utah Development Company Ltd, who owned Goonyella Mine and later the Peak Downs Mine. The township we now know as Moranbah was created for miners and their families involved in mining the abundant coal resources in the region. The largest community in the Isaac region, Moranbah now offers an abundance of modern facilities.
The shaded town centre with free public wi-fi creates a relaxing atmosphere to enjoy a coffee break, bite to eat and a place to recharge the batteries. Visit the Coalface Art Gallery near the local library and Council administration building in the Town Square. While you are there discover the local cultural stories and traditional art display around the main stage. Or take a dip at the Greg Cruickshank Aquatic Centre and entertain the kids at the water park and toddlers’ wading pool.
The first European explorer to visit the Peak Downs region was Ludwig Leichhardt and his fellow journeymen in 1845 on their way to the Northern Territory. Leichhardt missed the current site of Moranbah by only a few kilometres and was the only explorer to come that close. In February of that year, he camped by the banks of a dry riverbed he later named the Isaac River. Its name was given in honour of a local Darling Downs man, Mr Frank Isaac, who supported Leichhardt and his party by offering him some bullocks for his expedition.
Moranbah Town Square
The Grosvenor Complex and Town Square house the library, Coalface Art Gallery, and Council office. For insight into local history, the library displays the short history of Moranbah and the longer history of the region. Situated in Town Square Park, the Australia Remembers Mural is a tribute to the brave men and women who served in WWII. The mural was a community program generously painted in 1995 by Moranbah State High School students. Financially assisted by Queensland Government Centenary of Federation Grant, and in-kind support from the local community, this sculpture was commissioned by sculptor Adriaan Vanderlugt. The wallaby, known locally as the Flashjack, was thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered in 1973. Since then, an extensive breeding program has seen small numbers released back into the area and the re-establishment of wild populations.
Moranbah Miners’ Memorial
As the yellow flowers fall on the Moranbah Miners’ Memorial, families, friends, and workmates gather just before sunset, on the first Friday of November, and pause to remember coal miners who left for work and never came home. The memorial features a bronze casting of a miner in contemplation over his lost mates. The miner looks towards a central sandstone plinth that casts an eternal light over the plaques naming those who have lost their lives while working in the Moranbah coalfields. View this memorial in the Moranbah Town Square Park.
Federation Walk and Grosvenor Creek rest area
Follow Federation Walk at Moranbah’s entrance to the town’s infamous Big Red Rhino Bucket. The walk, just over 1km in length, was a four-year community beautification project. The project began in 1997 and was initially a product of the Moranbah Beautification Group. Over the years, significant contributions have been made by local community groups and organisations including BMA and Peak Downs Mine, Lions, Scouts, Guides, Apex and Rotary clubs, and the community’s three schools. The Big Red Bucket was purchased from Peak Downs Mine for $1 in 1999 and is the highlight of the walk. Other interesting attributes include Grosvenor Creek and the local wildlife. Why not pack a picnic lunch and check it out for yourself? Toilet facilities are available.