Set on the banks of the Flinders River, 500km west of Townsville on the Flinders Highway, Richmond inherited its name from the Richmond Downs cattle station opened up in the district in the 1860s.
Although the town experienced a brief bout of gold fever following a strike at Woolgar, Richmond remains a traditional pastoral centre, but there has been some diversification in recent years.
A spate of local palaeontological discoveries, and the resultant renewed interest in pre-history, has focused visitor attention on Richmond’s Marine Fossil Museum and its displays of dinosaur and marine reptile remains.
The area in which Richmond is now located was once submerged by a huge inland sea which occupied much of the ancient Australian land mass. The articulated skeleton of the 5m Richmond Pliosaur found on nearby Marathon Station by brothers Robert and Ian Travers in 1990 is the remains of an animal which is believed to have resembled a cross between a seal and a snake.
Some of the other species of carniverous reptiles which lived in the sea 100 million years grew to the size of the largest modern whales.
Local sandalwood processors have also opened up an export trade with China where the wood is used for joss sticks.