Aramac serves as the centre point for local industries such as sheep and cattle. It is located 66 kilometres north of Barcaldine and the area was first explored by Europeans and settled in the 1850s.
The town was named after Robert Ramsay MacKenzie who, at the time, was the part-lessee of 52 runs, totalling 1,536 square miles. Mackenzie was Queensland’s first treasurer and future premier.
William Landsborough explored the area in 1859 and called a nearby watercourse Aramac Creek. In a letter he explained: ‘The Aramac, as many wrong reasons for the name have been given, I may say here I named, in honour of the late Sir R.R. Mackenzie, ‘Ar-Ar-Mac, who was so well known in Queensland, and who had acted in a very friendly way to me.’
The area was settled in the 1860s and the town, which seems to have had the alternative name of ‘Marathon’ for a short time, acquired the essential services such as Hotel, grocery and drapery. The town was surveyed in 1875 but by that time the wide streets, uncharacteristically wide for such a small settlement, were established and the surveyor simply confirmed the strangely disproportionate design.
In 1909 Aramac Shire Council, still isolated from the surrounding area, borrowed 66,500 pounds and built a tramway connecting the town to the main railway line at Barcaldine. The tramway operated until 1975 and is now on display in the town.
Henry ‘Harry’ Redford commenced his daring cattle duffing feat on a property called Bowen Downs. You can take part in the recreation of this historically significant cattle stealing case by joining the Harry Redford Cattle Drive held through May/June annually.
Activites and Experiences at Aramac
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ancient rock art.
- Birdwatching Being the only wetlands in the region, Lake Galilee is home to a large waterfowl population that nests on the small islands in the lake when water is plentiful. It is a saltwater lake covering approximately 15,000 hectares, located approximately 100 kilometres north-east of Aramac.
- Banking Facilities Commonwealth Bank at the Post Office.
- Electronic Funds Transfer at Point Of Sale
- National Park
- Supermarket Most essentials available in town.
- Takeaway Food
- Visitor Centres Aramac Post Office and Tourist Information Centre, Gordon Street.
- Places of Worship
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
- Aussie Lifestyle
- Caravan and Camping
- Fishing Seasonal fishing for Yellowbelly available at waterholes throughout the area.
- Historic/Heritage There are historical inscriptions on a boulder known locally as the Gray Rock.
- National Park Forest Den National Park is a small park of about 6,000 hectares located north east of Longreach. Torrens Creek runs through Forest Den and creates a habitat for many of the animals and vegetation within the park. Forest Den is located approximately 110 kilometres north of Aramac. It can be accessed via the Torrens Creek Road. All access roads are unsealed and therefore a four wheel drive vehicle is recommended.
- Rail The Aramac Tramway Museum’s display of rolling stock is located in a large shed on the southern side of town. It is open for inspection from 0900 to 1600 each day and, should it be locked, a key is obtainable from the Shire Council Offices.
- Water based Lake Dunn, located 68 kilometres north of Aramac, is a freshwater lake three kilometres long and 1,600 metres wide and when full is perfect for swimming, waterskiing, windsurfing, sailing and picnicking.
- RTN, QH and National Distributors (TQ)
Nearest Airport: Barcaldine