A Living Museum of North Queensland History

Irvinebank around its peak of development circa 1907
Irvinebank around 1907 at peak of development.

Once the center of an industrial empire that spurred the development of north Queensland, today Irvinebank is a peaceful mountain retreat, and a living museum of pioneer history. The town and environs are teeming with wildlife, and is home of rare flora. There are many heritage-listed buildings in Irvinebank, including Loudoun House, Queensland National Bank, Irvinebank State Treatment Works (Loudoun Mill), the Vulcan Mine, Irvinebank School of Arts, Irvinebank Tramway Station, the Post and Telegraph Office, Irvinebank State School, and the Police Station and Courtroom.

Irvinebank is 27 km from Herberton, 43 km from Atherton, and 140 km by road from Cairns. The last 12 km from Herberton is unsealed road, and the road is unsealed from Irvinebank to Petford.

Accommodation, fuel, meals, drinks, and basic supplies are available at the Irvinebank Tavern, and there are free camping spots close by.

The Irvinebank School of Arts and Progress Association shares the task of maintaining and restoring the School of Arts Town Hall (1900), Loudoun House (1884), and the Old Police Station and Courtroom (1886). There are also many beautifully restored private residences, including Mango Cottage and Freethinker Cottage.

Irvinebank was founded in 1884 as a mining and industrial center due to the abundance of minerals in the area, including tin, and silver-lead. From 1884 to 1907, the town grew in population and prosperity. Although the population declined after that time, a small community persisted, based on an economy of independent miners and 'tin scratchers' supported by the state government owned treatment works.

The John Moffat Festival is an annual event held around 26 May, the birthday of the town's founder.

In recent years, the many old mining tracks around the town have made it a popular area for mountain biking and Irvinebank is usually included in stages of the annual Crocodile Trophy - one of the most grueling mountain bike races in the world. The trails are also popular with offroad motorbikes and 4 wheel drive enthusiasts.

The Irvinebank Dam forms a reservoir in the middle of the town, and nearby are Jumna and Ibis Dams.

Take a self-guided tour around Irvinebank.

map showing location of Irvinebank
for map