Herberton Mining Museum is located on the historic Great Northern Mine site where a tin-rush took place in 1880. Within a year over 150 mines were being worked and Herberton became the first town on the Tablelands. The site is recognised for the rarity and intactness of the surviving steam haulage machinery, which surpasses any other mining place in Queensland.
The Great Northern Mine has a significant place in Queensland’s mining history for its central role in the development of the mining industry on the Atherton Tableland and the development of Cairns as a major port in far north Queensland.
The Museum explains how tin mining developed in Herberton via an interpretive mine walk through the adjacent bush and a diverse collection of mining objects in its displays. The Museum’s collections illustrate Herberton’s mining history from the 1880s when tin ore was discovered and the ‘tin rush’ started, until commercial operations ceased in the 1960s. Both alluvial and hard rock tin mining are displayed and interpreted for visitors. The Minerals room houses several collections of minerals, rocks, precious metals and gemstones. A unique rock collection of tin ore specimens has recently been installed. This is a geologist’s collection which contains cassiterite samples in many forms from all over the world.
Although its primary focus is tin mining, the Museum also includes displays on supporting industries, such as timber and transport, as well as Herberton social history - which reflects the continued support and interest in heritage values in the local community and their desire to see their heritage preserved for the benefit of future generations. A local archives area is available for more in-depth research.