|One of the changes since I was here last is that the road from here to Laura is now bitumen all the way. This was the main road to the Palmer River goldfields in the 1880s & was still a rough 4WD track in 2007.
I had to backtrack on the road to Cairns for 80 km, then west for another 65 km so it was roughly a 300 km round-trip but all good road so a pleasant day’s drive mostly through what they call the dry tropics & plenty of banana plantations around Lakeland.
The reason I went to Laura was that I’d heard there were some good Aboriginal rock art there. It was about 17 km out of town then a strenuous 20 minute walk (climb) up to the 3 galleries which were all quite different.
The first site was amazing with a jumble of animal & human figures overlaying each other, mixed in with spirit figures & designs & stencils. One of the best galleries I’ve seen. The 2nd site, which wasn’t far away was purely Flying Foxes (bats), hanging upside down & the main figures at the 3rd site were called “Tall Spirits”.
Also at Laura, there’s a new Quinkan Regional Cultural centre which covered not only the Aboriginal history but also the Palmer River gold rush when 15,000 mostly Chinese miners poured into this area in the 1880s, the early European explorers, the building of the overland telegraph from Brisbane to Cape York & the development of the cattle industry.
In all, it was a very satisfying day.