Towns in Australia

Exploring Australia, town by town

Alpha QLD


Postcode: 4724

The township of Alpha is located in central western Queensland, Australia. The Capricorn Highway passes through the town which lies on Alpha Creek. Alpha is the administrative centre of the Jericho Shire Council. At the 2001 census, Alpha had a population of about 370.

The first European to explore the area was Major Thomas Mitchell who arrived during the winter of 1846, reported that the area was characterised by rich grassy plains, fragrant tropical air, many trees in blossom and flowers to deck the earth. By the 1850s, settlers had moved to the area and Alpha Station was established in 1863.

The railway reached the town in 1884 and for a few years until it reached further west to Jericho and Barcaldine. Alpha was the railhead for the area. A real frontier town it gained a reputation for lawlessness. As one contemporary report declares, it was the scene of wild free-for-all fights on pay nights.

Alpha was initially established as a temporary terminus during construction of the Great Northern Railway. The railway which was being built westwards from Rockhampton was opened to Alpha on September 22, 1884. The construction camp continued moving west, but a township remained at the former terminus. Until the late 1990s, Queensland Rail maintained a locomotive depot in the town.

The town remains a service centre for the surrounding pastoral properties and travellers on the highway.