Chinese Temple Chinese Temple

Chinese Temple Site Chinese Temple Site

Situated a short distance from the town area and on the road to Lake Belmore, is the site of the original Chinatown area including the location of the 1904 Temple. This Centenary of Federation project focuses on presenting the heritage listed archaeological site to the public.

The Temple site is a significant and fascinating reminder of the rich history of the Gulf Savannah Region and the role that the area played in the development of Queensland as a state and Australia as a Federation of State and later a Commonwealth. Extensive research has been undertaken to provide visitors with an understanding and appreciation of the Chinese settlement and their contribution to the development of the region.

Take a stroll around the Chinese Heritage Trail, see the remains of the original Temple and the remnants of the second largest pig over in the southern hemisphere. Read more about the Chinatown inhabitants of this once thriving site on the beautiful sandstone plinths placed along the heritage walk, which meanders throughout the site.

In 2007 further research took place into the chinese gravestone markers which can be found in some of the local historic cemeteries. With the assistance of a Chinese Student, Wei Liao, lettering on the markers revealed that the majority of Chinese working on the Croydon goldfields came from the Quangdong Province of China.

As links are forged today with other significant past Chinese settlements, heritage sites & descendents there is a fascinating unfolding history that will keep you enthralled and interested in investigating further this golden era of Queensland.

Entry is free and is open all year round.

Chinese Heritage Chinese Heritage

In the gold mining days Croydon, like all gold mining areas, had a large population of Chinese settlers. Today links have been forged with other significant Chinese settlements, heritage sites and descendents and a fascinating history is unfolding.

Towards the end of late nineteenth and early twentieth century, migrants from the rural areas of Guangdong Province of south China constituted twenty to thirty percent of the population of the emerging towns of the region. Every major town - Cairns, Port Douglas, Innisfail, Cooktown, Atherton, Croydon, Georgetown – featured busy Chinese quarters centred around a temple furbished with a wealth of religious objects imported from the home area.

In recent times, archaeologists have rediscovered and interpreted the 1904 Croydon Chinese Temple site, located on the road to Lake Belmore. The Centenary of Federation project focused on presenting the heritage listed archaeological site to the public. Until then all that remained of the once bustling township were a few surface artefacts and tumbled building remains. When archaeologists surveyed the area it became apparent that the foundations of the former Chinese temple, the caretaker’s cottage and a nearly intact pig roasting oven still existed.

The Temple site is a significant and fascinating reminder of the rich history of the Gulf Savannah Region and the role that the area played in the development of Queensland as a State and Australia as a Federation of States and later a Commonwealth. Extensive research has been undertaken to provide visitors with an understanding and appreciation of Chinese settlement and their contribution to the development of the region. The site has interpretive signage, biographies of some of the Chinese families, remains of the Chinese Temple and a classic pig oven. Research is ongoing.

The Chinese Temple site contributes to Chinese history in Northern Australia. Signage and the pedestrian walkway focus on the important role Chinese settlers played in the Croydon mining context.

In 2007 further research took place into the Chinese gravestone markers which can be found in some of the local historic cemeteries. With the assistance of a Chinese student, lettering on the markers revealed that the majority of Chinese working on the Croydon goldfields came from the Quangdong Province of China. Interestingly, most of the Chinese in Australia came from the same province.

The temple site has specially constructed sandstone plinths with metal plaques depicting personal information about several Chinese families

A replica of a Chinese dwelling has been constructed in the gardens of the True Blue Visitor Information Centre. The original is at the Mining Museum just outside town on the road to Normanton. Descendants of the original Chinese settlers still live in Croydon and surrounds today.

If you have information or photos of Chinese settlers in Croydon please contact the Visitor Information Centre Ph: 07 4748 7152 or Email:info@croydon.qld.gov.au.