Weipa is a small town (It has two townships) right at the top of Queensland on Peninsula Developmental Rd North West of Cooktown.
The population sits at around the 2800 mark.
Weipa has a long history, a lot more history than some of the other mining towns in Queensland I have written about.
The cost in the Weipa area was the original part of the Australian coastline that was ever explored by Europeans back in the day.
Dutch explorer Willem Jansz was sailing the ships Duyfken when they first sighted the coast near Weipa in 1606, the most northern point of Albatross Bay is named Duyfken Point in honour of this original expedition of discovery.
Missionaries arrived in the Weipa area in 1891 and then 10 years later the geologist C.F.V. Jackson reported the presence of bauxite in the area.
Later on Weipa was established as an Aboriginal mission by the Presbyterian Church in 1898.
The churches mission’s original location was Spring Creek which is 32 km inland, it was moved later to Jessica Point in 1932.
Weipa’s large bauxite reserves were looked into in 1955 by a geologist, Henry Evans who discovered the red cliffs on the Aboriginal reserve were massive deposits of bauxite (Which aluminum is made from) and Consolidated Zinc then successfully applied to mine about 1000 square miles of Aboriginal reserve lands that extended north to Mapoon.
In 1957 the power was given by Comalco to remove the Weipa Aborigines so the mining could be
carried out, the “Comalco Act of 1957” completely revoked the reserve status which then gave the company the right to mine the land.
Weipa town is totally planned, in the early 1960’s it was built by Comalco and the state government and the port of Weipa was then officially opened two years later in 1962.
The commencement of strip mining operations started in the 1960’s and continues on today.
The Weipa town centre has most of the modern township bells and whistles, a shopping centre, hospital, schools, a swimming pool, a picture theatre, art and Information centre and there are plenty of things to do in Weipa and the surrounding areas too with being close to the water there is camping, sporting clubs, fishing, bowling club, golf club and a mining museum and more.
As long as there is mining in this area and town Weipa will continue to be a thriving little community with a lot more history to come.