Cracow is a gold mining town in Queensland, Australia, in the Banana Shire Local Government Area. The town is located on the Theodore – Eidsvold road, 485 kilometres north west of the state capital, Brisbane. The town was named for a pastoral run, named in 1851 by pastoralist, John Ross, presumably for the Polish city of Kraków.
Gold was first discovered in Cracow in 1875 by itinerant fossickers and a further discovery of a nugget was made by an Aboriginal man in 1916. In 1931, the Golden Plateau mine was established and it operated continuously until 1976.
At its gold mining peak, the town included five cafes, barber shop, billiard saloon, two butchers, a picture theatre and a soft drink factory. The closure of the mine led to Crocow becoming a ghost town with many deserted houses and shops. The local hotel is the only remaining retail business, owned by Fred Brophy, the famous bush boxing troupe manager. In 2004, Newcrest Mining NL reestablished gold mining in the town, leading to hopes the town may recover.
Much of Cracow can be enjoyed on foot, by taking a ‘walking tour’ of the deserted buildings in the main street, the cemetery and the abandoned grand hospital. Envisage how life was in this once vibrant and prosperous town. A visit to Cracow Hotel is an experience and tour in its own right. Enjoy country hospitality, a meal, a yarn and hotel’s display of memorabilia dedicated to the pioneering stockmen and country ‘larrikins’. Take a short drive to ‘Cracow Beach’ and marvel at the rare Livistonia Palms prevalent to the Dawson River area.