Canoona, the site of the first north Australian gold rush, is now a locality 40 km north-west of Rockhampton. It was named after the Canoona pastoral station.

Gold was discovered at Canoona in July or August 1858, a time when the goldfields of New South Wales and Victoria held little prospect for the independent miner. It provoked a rush, and it was estimated that 15,000 people were at Canoona during September to December 1858. The field was not a 'duffer', but it could not sustain a mining population of anything like that number. Its chief benefit was to bring population to the region, providing labour for the pastoralists and peopling the infant town of Rockhampton. In so doing, Gladstone's prospects of being the capital of the north were put in the discard.

Minor gold mining continued until the turn of the century, but agriculture was the main industry. The post office directory of 1894 recorded 21 selectors, 10 station owners or managers, a school and two hotels. The 1949 directory recorded only graziers, three dairy farmers and a station master. The North coast line had been extended from Rockhampton through Canoona in 1915.

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