The main street of Cue looks much the same today as it did in its heyday of the 1890's. Rows of stores with the classic wide verandah to shelter from summers intolerable sun, traditional Goldfields hotels with upper floor balconies and numerous entrances and Government buildings constructed from stone and brick in the fashion typical of the colony. It's difficult to image that it was home to 10,000 people in 1900. Today Cue boasts a population of around 300 but the architecture is firmly intact and conjures up images of a bustling Western Australian gold rush settlement.
Credit for the maintenance and restoration must go to the Shire Council who had the foresight to acquire many of the buildings in order to promote tourism. They've done it so well that the main street has been classified by the National Trust for its heritage value.
Gold was discovered at Cue in the early 1890's by an aboriginal named 'Governor'. Governor had unearthed a ten ounce nugget and Michael Fitzgerald and Tom Cue were quick to investigate the area. Tom Cue registered the claim after the men retrieved 260 ounces in a week and the gold rush followed immediately.
It's reputed that the Cue region had masses of surface gold that had been missed by previous prospectors and that good colour could be had by simply scratching over the surface.
Like most of the gold rush towns things began to slow down once the surface gold had been picked out. By 1933 with gold prices bottoming out most of the early prospectors had well and truly moved on. There are still large commercial operations around Cue and the place is still thoroughly prospected by eager hopefuls - metal detector and pick in tow.
The ground surrounding Cue is awash with old mining settlements and diggings and well worth investigating. There are some interesting aboriginal rock art sites including Walganna Rock which shows a white, two masted sailing ship. The painting seems at odds with the desert like surrounds of Cue which is over 300km from the coast.
Related Articles -
◄ The Complete
Guide To 4WD
The 4WD ►
To Outback Touring