The name Moranbah was introduced to the northern Peak Downs by a pioneer settler who set up his station homestead near a riverbed camp site left by explorer Ludwig Leichhardt on his 1845 push through the inland. The town itself did not begin to take shape until the early 1970s when the first houses were built for miners and other workers developing the Peak Downs and Goonyella coal mines. More workers flooded into the town when a third mine, Riverside, was opened and at the peak of the coal boom the town population soared to beyond 6500. Even more stability to the town and district was achieved in the twilight of the 20th century with the opening of the large, North Shell underground mine. Moranbah lies just off the Peak Downs Highway, 205km due west of Mackay, and coal is railed directly to the Hay Point export terminal to the south of Mackay Travellers can get some inkling of the original eucalypt, brigalow and gidgee scrub landscape which once dominated this part of Queensland in the Mazeppa National Park to the west of Moranbah..