First settled in the 1850's the area was originally
discovered by Ludwig Leichardt in 1845 who amazingly found coal lying on the
ground in certain areas. The region developed slowly over the next 120 years or
so until 1971,
when the town of Moranbah was established in the northern part of what is known
as Belyando Shire to service several
of the large coal mines being established in the area.
This modern town
currently has a population between 6,500 - 7,000 people and services the coals mines of Peak Downs,
Riverside, and Goonyella. These sites feature huge open cut
pits with huge machinery to transport the coal to the
waiting trains which then carry the coal all the way to
Mackay. The trucks alone weigh 170 tonnes. The Peak Downs
mine produces over 11 million tonnes of coal annually worth
over $1.6 billion AUD.