Corfield railway siding, circa 1900.

Located 80km north of Winton, Corfield is a small town with a pub, camping ground and a post office but a lot of character. The town population of 10 swells to more than 1000 once a year (around September) when the popular Corfield Races are held (yes, it's a pun on the better known Caulfield Races!). The popular horse race is an annual event when punters from near and far come to experience the REAL Corfield races!

History

In the times of the old Cobb & Co coaches a small community sprang up at the changing station located about one kilometre east of the present town of Corfield. This old town was referred to as Manuka (being that it was located on Manuka Station). 


The community/town was part of the regional mail route covering Oondooroo, Manuka, Stock’s Dam (or Sesbania) and Afton Downs from as early as 1881. This mail run was twice a week and took over a day and a half from Hughenden to Winton, covering 161 miles (approximately 258 kilometres).

The present town of Corfield was founded when the railway line from Winton to Hughenden was built in the late 1800's, linking Winton with Townsville. Manuka was relocated to be on the railway line and named in honour of one of the early carriers in Winton, Corfield.

The first train from Hughenden to Winton arrived on May 23rd, 1899. During the hey-days of this railway operation there were two trains a week - one for passengers, the other for freight - and durng the shearing season at least one train a week was loaded to the hilt with wool when it left Corfield (usually bound for Brisbane).

At this time the Corfield population peaked at around forty. The town infrastructure consisted of five railway houses plus the station master’s house, a post office, two petrol depots, a hotel, a school and teacher’s house, a goods shed and the railway building. 

The railway line between Winton and Hughenden ceased operation during the late 1990s but you can still see the remnants of this line as you drive the Winton-Hughenden Road.