Lifehacker Maps: Australian Ghost Towns

Lifehacker Maps: Australian Ghost Towns

Ghost towns: once prosperous, now empty save for tourists passing through to check out the decaying evidence of former times. We’ve placed every Australian ghost town we can locate on an interactive map — more than 150 in total.

Picture: Donna Barber

‘Ghost town’ is a rubbery term, and encompasses everything from much-visited tourist spots (such as Silverton in NSW, where the Mad Max series were filmed and Cook, a whistle stop for Indian Pacific train passengers) to isolated gold mining towns that have long been abandoned and consist of nothing more but ignored ruins. For this map, we’ve drawn on all the ghost towns listed on Wikipedia’s Australian ghost town category — which is a much longer list than its basic ghost town roundup might suggest. We touched on the topic of ghost towns last year, but this is a much more detailed listing.

For each town on the map, we’ve linked to the relevant Wikipedia page. Additional suggestions are welcome in the comments. You can search the map; to reset it, enter a blank search term. Click on the zoom control in the bottom left corner to focus on a specific area.


  • Not too sure if you got the right Ballara on the map in QLD, I Know that Bribie Island is more of a retirement island, but I think you would be offending a few local saying that it’s a Ghost Town.

    Oh and the Wiki Page says it’s near Mt Isa and Cloncurry.

  • The town of Buckland, where the 1857 gold riots occurred.

    Just like the racism we see now as we seek to demonise people arriving without visa, “white Australians” drove the foreign invasion from their claims and killed three Asians.

    • It’s not racist to stop people without a visa entering your country, it’s a lot more complex then that.

  • the link for linden NSW leads to the WA linden,
    also denison is not in the center of sydney.

    nice idea and may be worth remembering for any long distance trips

  • Some of the links are wrong, Ballara is definitely wrong as Ricadam has pointed out, as well as Euro and Waverley ( Listed as being in Queensland but actually in WA. I’ve only searched Queensland since I live there).

    • Thanks everyone for the corrections — obscure towns are often a mapping challenge! I’ll fix all the identified ones later today, keep ’em coming . . .

      • Gleaneagle, Tampa, Burbanks, Mulwarrie.

        None of these are located within the northern metro suburbs of Perth.

  • Pearson seems wrong too. Wikipedia says it was located 1.5 miles SW of Walhalla in Gippsland. The map has it in Moonee Ponds.

    • Don’t be silly. After 6pm the Perth CBD is a vibrant bustling hive of drunks, homeless and dole collectors.

    • That article wasn’t even checked after being OCR’d. I couldn’t stand it and ended up fixing it 😛

      • Haha, good work! I didn’t even see that you could fix the OCR text, just zoomed in and read the actual paper. :p

        • Trove is one of the stars of our national library and is *fantastic* for that feature.

          I’ve been using it for my family tree research and your corrections to the poor OCR of newspapers in the 1850s through 1950s as you research not only helps others it improves searching.

          • I hadn’t heard of it before, but I thought it might be something along those lines. That’s partly what made me want to help out, too.

  • Not sure if Acland should be on there anymore. Three years ago it was a ghostown. Now it’s a large active open cut coal mine and the town no longer exists other than on outdated maps.

  • The marker for Princess Royal is off by about 800-1000km. Myself and the other 34,000 inhabitants of Albany WA might object to being labelled a ghost town, though at the rate they’re building old-folks homes around here give it 20-30 years and you might have a case.

  • There are a lot of old gold mines not listed. Eg those around Charters Towers. For decades, Ravenswood has been almost a ghost town, with just a few people living there, similarly to Walhalla in Victoria, which is listed here. Also Dalrymple is a proper ghost town, as it was set on the banks of the Burdekin River which flooded it one too many times and it was abandoned long ago, with, according to the website, a few relics left such as graves.

  • Pearson Victoria is shown as somewhere in the middle of Melbourne – near Pearson St in Brunswick. Same basic mistake as the Denison entry for NSW.

  • A couple of months ago In Edinburgh I visited an exhibition dealing with dying Villages. Dealt mainly with tiny villages throughout Europe with zero people or just older people. link is
    This Ghost Town project is the same story, another place.

  • Great stuff!
    Is it possible to export this map as a .csv file or overlay it on an existing personal Google map?

  • Why ARE There so many ghost towns in Australia anyway? Can’t help but think of the people who originally moved somewhere only to have their dreams dashed. There must be hundreds of stories of broken dreams at these places…

  • Haha Linden NSW is definitely NOT a ghost town! it is a very small town on the side of a mountain in the blue mountains. I live 3 suburbs down from it and my bestfriend lives in Linden.

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