Looking out from Clermont over sweeping plains studded by 'noble peaks' observed by explorer Ludwig Leichhardt in 1845, the world seems truly at peace.
But things weren’t always that serene around Clermont and the Peak Downs. The rush which followed the discovery of gold in the area in 1861 led to bitter clashes between European and Chinese diggers.
Thirty years on, Clermont was in the headlines again when striking shearers marched behind the Eureka Flag to breast non-union workers. Blood was only spared when police blocked the march.
Long dependent on the fortunes of surrounding beef producers, wool and crop growers, Clermont prospered when the Blair Athol open-cut miners tapped into the world’s largest seam of steaming-coal in the late 1970s.
A two and a half hour bus tour of the mining operation, which is anchored by a 510m dragline, leaves from the town Information Centre. The tour also takes in the museum whose collection focuses largely on the catastrophic flood of 1916 which claimed 65 lives and led to the township being moved to higher ground on the opposite side of Hoods Lagoon.