Murphys Creek, Queensland

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Murphys Creek
Population664 (2011 census)[1]
LGA(s)Lockyer Valley Region
Federal Division(s)Blair
Suburbs around Murphys Creek:
Cabarlah Cabarlah White Mountain
Spring Bluff Murphys Creek White Mountain
Ballard Withcott Upper Lockyer

Murphys Creek is a town and locality in the Lockyer Valley Region, Queensland, Australia, located at the foot of the Great Dividing Range. The town's name is correctly spelled without an apostrophe.[3]


Murphys Creek developed as a railway town on the line between the regional city of Toowoomba and settlements to the east, including Helidon, Ipswich and Brisbane. The locality was originally known as Murphy's Waterhole and Fingal.[4] A railway station in the town was opened in 1867, as a part of the Ipswich-Toowoomba segment of the Southern and Western Railway. Based at the foot of the Great Dividing Range, the station and water tank were intended to provide water and services for steam locomotives about to embark on the difficult journey up the steep slopes of the Toowoomba range. The station was named for a creek that ran through the area, that was in turn named for a shepherd who had built a hut in the area around 1864.[5] A correspondent for the Brisbane Courier newspaper around this time described the site as a "feeding place for the engines" travelling to and from Toowoomba.

Murphy's Creek Post Office opened on 18 May 1868 and closed in 1987.[6]

A small town, originally named Fingal, quickly sprang up around the station. The township had grown such an extent that by 1877 tenders had been called for the construction of a booking office and passenger platform at the station. These improvements were completed by 1878. However, in 1887 a fire at the station destroyed the lamp room and ladies' waiting room. In 1917 the station ceased to be used as a watering station for trains travelling up the range, with watering stations being provided elsewhere on the line (although a 40,000 litre emergency water tank was constructed at the station in 1921 for emergency purposes).

The township was officially renamed from Fingal to Murphys Creek on 17 January 1924.[7]

The need to maintain the Murphys Creek railway station diminished in the second half of the 20th century with the introduction of the diesel-electric locomotive. These new trains were capable of climbing the steep slopes west of Murphys Creek without the requirement for attached locomotives. Steam operations had ceased completely on the line by the mid 1960s, and the station was finally closed in 1992,[5] with the installation of computerised signalling systems removing the last justification for the continued existence of the station. The station buildings were sold to the local progress association in 1993, and the water tank was reassigned to be used as emergency water storage for the township, as well as for use watering the occasional steam heritage trains that periodically ran from Brisbane to Toowoomba.[8]

A man and a boy died and many buildings in the town were damaged during the 2010–11 Queensland floods when flash flooding affected the area on 10 January 2011.

Heritage listings[edit]

Murphys Creek has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:


In the 2011 census, the town was recorded as having a population of 664 persons, living in 150 occupied dwellings.[1] The median age of the population was 38 years, all of whom reported speaking English primarily at home. 65% of the population of the town were born in Australia, 4.2% in England, 1.3% in Zimbabwe, with the remainder being born in New Zealand, the Philippines or the United States of America.[1]


Murphy's Creek State School caters for students from Prep to Year 6.[11] The school opened on 3 October 1870.[12]


  1. ^ a b c Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Murphys Creek (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 4 July 2013. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ Queensland State Archives (1964). "Town of Murphy's Creek, Parish of Taylor, County of Churchill". Retrieved 5 June 2011.
  3. ^ Grundy, Bruce (2007). So You Want to be a Journalist?. Cambridge University Press. p. 168. ISBN 0-521-69049-8.
  4. ^ "Murphys Creek". Visit the Lockyer Valley. Lockyer Valley Visitor Information Centre. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  5. ^ a b Environmental Protection Agency (Queensland) (2000). Heritage Trails of the Great South East. State of Queensland. p. 60. ISBN 0-7345-1008-X.
  6. ^ Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  7. ^ "Murphys Creek (entry 44237)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Murphys Creek Railway Complex (entry 601532)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  9. ^ "Main Range Railway (entry 601480)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  10. ^ "Lockyer Creek Railway Bridge (Guinn Park) (entry 600515)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  11. ^ "Murphy's Creek State School". Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  12. ^ "Opening and closing dates of Queensland Schools". Queensland Government. Retrieved 18 April 2019.

Coordinates: 27°28′S 152°02′E / 27.467°S 152.033°E / -27.467; 152.033