Ravenshoe Hotel Tully Falls
Australian Army Officers’ Quarters
- Military accommodation
- Atherton Tablelands
Griggs Street, Ravenshoe 4888
During the occupation of the Atherton Tableland by the Australian Army from 1943 to 1945 the hotel was requisitioned and served as an officers’ quarters and mess.
After World War II, along with the nearby Club Hotel, the building resumed use as a community hub and local tourism attraction, and was renamed the Hotel Tully Falls.
The hotel is a typical north Queensland single skinned timber building with exposed stud framework of milled timber and weatherboard, roofed with corrugated iron. Though slightly damaged in 2006 during Cyclone Larry the hotel remains an imposing two-story building with partly enclosed upper-floor verandahs, decorative projecting gables, casement windows and a hipped iron roof.
This establishment was built in 1927 by John and Connie Ross and originally known as the Millstream Hotel. By the mid-1930s it had been renamed the Ravenshoe Hotel and it has always been famous as Queensland’s highest pub.
At over 900 metres above sea-level Ravenshoe is Queensland’s highest town. Substantial stands of cedar, walnut, mahogany and pine were discovered in the area in the early 1880s. The first sawmill was built about 1899, but the town was not settled to any extent until about 1910. With the opening of the last section of the Tablelands line in 1916, the town of Cedar Creek-renamed Ravenshoe-was connected by rail with Herberton, Mareeba and Cairns.
The Cairns railway, together with the Gillies Highway to Gordonvale in 1926, and the Palmerston Highway to Innisfail in 1936, ended Ravenshoe’s isolation. The Pacific war brought more changes as up to 18,000 troops occupied encampments in and around Ravenshoe at various periods from 1943 to 1945.
The town has always relied upon the logging and milling of rainforest timbers for its survival. In 1987 900,000 hectares of rainforest around Ravenshoe were declared a World Heritage Area and logging was phased out. Today the town still has one timber mill operating, using mainly plantation pinewood.
Pearce, Howard (contributing author).
Personal communication: Graham Hepple, Ravenshoe.
Peter Nielsen. Diary of WWII North Queensland, Nielsen Publishing, Gordonvale, 1993
Howard Pearce. WWII: NQ: A cultural heritage overview of significant places in the defence of north Queensland during World War II. Environmental Protection Agency, Brisbane, 2009.