Chimney is the remains of the Mount Clara Smelter built in 1873, one of the earliest to be built in Queensland, and is thought to be the oldest surviving chimney in the mining industry, being built after Peak Downs Smelter, Mount Perry Smelter , and Flanagans Smelter.
The smelter was used for copper mined in the area until 1875 when the holdings were bought out and the ore was sent to the Mount Coora smelter instead. The smelter was 2 miles from the mine, having to be carted, which may have been a consideration to close the smelter, in addition to the high cost of fuel for the smelter.
During the copper mining boom in the area, the population is believed to be around 10,000, with
The smelter remains were renovated by the Kilkivan Shire Council in 1978, the chimney is in good condition. Other parts of the smelter appear to be in poorer condition, but you get the idea of the parts of the smelter surrounding the chimney.
Mount Clara Smelter is heritage listed on the Queensland Heritage Register.
I tried to visit Phophet Mine on the way, but it no longer operates as a tourist destination.
To get there:
Turn into Rossmore Rd off the Wide Bay Hwy, about 2kms east of Kilkivan. Keep following Rossmore Rd for about 14kms to arrive at the chimney. The road turns to gravel and is mostly an easy drive up until the last causeway and the last 200-300 metres to the chimney. The last part of the road is not well maintained, and may not be suitable for 2wd vehicles or vehicles with low clearance.
I parked at the bottom of the hill after the causeway because there was a truck loading a large dozer that I couldn’t get passed and decided to walk the last park instead of waiting.
Wheelchair accessible: No
Pets: Not specified