Queensland Mining Towns – A Geography lesson and a road trip!

The Great Queensland Mining Towns road trip!

Property Zest - Mining TruckIf high yielding investments is something of interest to you, then no doubt you would have been paying attention to the mining resources sector in Australia and some of the Queensland mining towns that are raising the interest of many investors.  The impact of the mining and resources sector upon property values and rental yields in towns that most of us would never have heard of, has been incredible.   In upcoming articles here on the Property Zest website I’ll be highlighting some of Queensland property investing hotspots as we take to the road this month, literally, for a mining town road trip!  Melbourne based buyer’s agent and property strategist, Lisa Parker, and me, Brisbane Buyers Agent and Queensland Buyers Agent Karen Young from Property Zest, will be taking to the road, Thelma and Louise style, to get down on the ground in these mining town and regional hotspots.

We’re still in the process of finalising the route and destinations for our 4 day event, but let me tell you, it’s tricky!  When it comes to regional towns with great investment prospects in Queensland right now, we’re spoiled for choice.  The driving distances will also make it difficult to get to all of the desired locations, so there’ll be a bit of ‘rationalisation’ that needs to occur.  Hard choices indeed.

First up, it’s good to get an idea of where these locations are and the towns within these regions.  I know that when I first starting seeing and hearing the term ‘Surat Basin’ popping up in the property magazines and investing conversation a while back, the first thing I had to do was get a map out to find where on Earth the Surat Basin was!    So, let’s take a look at the three major Queensland mining areas, the Surat Basin, the Bowen Basin and the Gallilee Basin, so that we understand where these places are the towns within them.

The Surat Basin

The Surat Basin, located in South East Queensland, is experiencing massive growth on the back of construction and expansion of mining and resource projects for Coal Seam Gas, Coal Mining and Liquified Natural Gas.  This area is a major resource rich location and as a result, it is booming.

Toowoomba is the largest regional town in the area and Chinchilla, Miles, Roma and Dalby are smaller, yet growing towns located in the region.

Surat Basin - Queensland - Property Investing

Image sourced from http://raceviewestate.com.au/, accessed 4/10/2012

Location Median Price 12 mth Capital Growth 5 yr Capital Growth 10 yr Capital Growth Median Advertised Rent per week Time on Market Yield
(Toowoomba City)
$257,500 -14% 1% 12% $265 55 5%
Chinchilla $361,250 14% 57% 16% $380 88 5%
Miles $290,000 -6% 56% 25% $380 110 7%
Roma $320,000 8% 36% 15% $500 103 8%
Dalby $287,500 5% 31% 14% $285 133 5%

The Bowen Basin

The Bowen Basin, located further north in Queensland, is the other major mining and resources area that we’ll look at.

There are three major regional towns here, Gladstone, Rockhampton and Mackay that support the mining activities with major infrastructure and services.  There are several mining towns in the region, that have experienced major growth in value and rental yields and are of interest to many investors.  These include Moranbah, Dysart, Emerald and Blackwater.

Bowen Basin - Queensland Mining Towns

Image sourced from http://www.bowenbasin.cqu.edu.au/basin_data/towns.html, accessed 4/10/2012


Location Median Price 12 mth Capital Growth 5 yr Capital Growth 10 yr Capital Growth Median Advertised Rent per week Time on Market Yield
(Gladstone City)
$590,000 -14% 1% 12% $265 55 5%
(Rockhampton City)
$200,000 -5% -1% 14% $270 134 7%
$395,000 -1% 17% 13% $450 73 6%
Moranbah $723,950 48% 101% NA $1800 44 13%
Dysart $540,000 19% 73% NA $1400 53 13%
Emerald $450,000 11% 25% 14% $630 67 7%
Blackwater $414,000 17% 60% 30% $900 65 11%
Clermont $317,500 25% 23% 23% $478 115 8%

The Gallilee Basin

Next up, it’s the Gallilee Basin.  Located geographically very close the Bowen Basin area, to the west is the Gallilee Basin.  The area has a number of projects related to thermal coal production and coal seam gas.  The area also has strong agricultural and cattle industries.

The major regional towns supporting this area are Emerald and Barcladine, whilst smaller towns in the region include Alpha, Jericho, Blackall, Aramac and Muttaburra.

Queensland Mining Towns - Gallilee Basin

Image sourced from http://agk.com.au/galilee/index.php/location/, accessed 4/10/2012


Location Median Price 12 mth Capital Growth 5 yr Capital Growth 10 yr Capital Growth Median Advertised Rent per week Time on Market Yield
Emerald $450,000 11% 25% 14% $630 67 7%
Barcladine $178,500 1% 123% 16% NA NA NA
Blackall $160,000 5% 103% 15% $195 121 6%

What’s Next?

The next step for us is to determine which of these areas we’ll be focusing on for our four day road trip.  Obviously there is a lot of ground to cover, so we’ll be looking choosing one of these areas for the trip (and hopefully planning another trip for the other areas!).  In upcoming articles we’ll take a closer look at each of these regions and the towns to help you understand the opportunity that the current resources climate in Australia and Queensland presents.


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