Lakeland and Laura - History and Culture
Local Aboriginal history spans over 40,000 years with many stories and landmark events recorded in the extensive rock art galleries on outcrops and in caves throughout Cape York Peninsula.
Hailed as Australia's most unusual railway, the creation of the Cooktown to Laura Railway, was a direct result of the discovery of gold in the Palmer River.
This remote reserve is located 280 kilometres north-west of Cairns with access via the Whites Creek turnoff from the Peninsula Developmental Road, to Granite and Cannibal creeks, then north to cross the Palmer River at Dog Leg Creek Junction south-east of Maytown - about three hours drive west of the Palmer River Roadhouse.
Famous for its rock art, Quinkan Country contains a large and dramatic body of prehistoric rock paintings. These galleries have been identified as being at least 15,000 to 30,000years old and have been included on the Australian Heritage Estate and listed by UNESCO as being among the top 10 rock art sites in the world
Little happened after Cooks initial landing until William Hann set out on his overland journey of exploration in 1872. The discovery of payable alluvial gold deposits at the Palmer river in 1873 by James Venture Mulligan, sparked a huge gold rush, drawing prospectors not only from Australia, but also from around the world.