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The Leap is a coastal rural locality in the Mackay Region, Queensland, Australia.
The area takes its English name from its railway station which took its name from an historical event on top of a local mountain, Mount Mandarana.
The English place name derives from an historical event where a local Aboriginal woman was among a large group of 200 Aboriginal men, women and children from the north side of the Pioneer River, being pursued by a Queensland Native Police Force, led by Sub-Inspector Robert Arthur Johnstone, in April 1867. The group was camping on Balnagowan pastoral lease (just to the south of The Leap), where cattle had been speared in February 1867. The woman and others in the group which had sought refuge in caves at the top of the mountain, were forced to jump off a cliff on Mount Mandarana of several hundred feet, rather than be face the carbines of the Native Police Force. As historian Clive Moore notes The Queensland Native Police “…operated more like a unit of a defence force than a police force, patrolling recently settled areas ‘pacifying’ and ‘dispersing’ Aborigines, euphemisms for exterminating whole tribes. The Leap massacre was one of many.”. Historical records suggest that the Aboriginal woman’s child (she may have been 3 years old) survived the massacre and was baptised Johanna ‘Judy’ Hazeldene on 22 July 1867 and that in later life, she married an English man named George Howes in 1887, by whom she had a boy (Bill) and a daughter (Esme or May). Johanna Hazeldene died on 25 December 1897 and is buried in Mackay Cemetery.
A sculpture of the murdered Aboriginal woman, clutching her swaddled child, stands outside the local hotel at The Leap.
In the 2011 census, The Leap had a population of 673 people.
The Leap has a number of heritage-listed sites, including: