Taking in areas of central Queensland west of the Great Dividing Range, the district in its original form stretched as far as Mackay in the north and as far south as Taroom. Originally a dual member constituency, it was one of the sixteen districts contested at the first colonial election in 1860. It became a single member constituency in 1873 but reverted to being a dual member electorate in 1878. A single member constituency again in 1888, it remained that way thereafter. One of the district's first members was Robert Herbert, the first Premier of Queensland.