Week 2 – Cooktown, Mt Mulligan, Emuford, Chillagoe

Tuesday 8th

We woke this morning after another good night’s sleep. We have a new friend camped outside our tent as well, a dirty white dog with a black patch over one eye. He was very friendly & domesticated. It will tear our hearts to leave her tomorrow.


Another rest day today to catch up on our web page before we head back to Cooktown tomorrow.

Wednesday 9th

Our first rain last night and as luck had it, we had to be back at Cooktown by 8am to have the set of Poly Air Springs fitted. Therefore no time to allow the tent to dry. Answer? put the tent up in the main street of Cooktown! We pegged it down and it was fun just watching the faces of people passing by.Cooktown-14

Talked to a local about the dog we had found and he recommended we chat to John Hay @ Cooktown Paradise Real Estate. John was able to contact 2 of the local stations and organise someone to maybe take our dog in. Thank you John! John also offered us a Gold mine (fully operational with equipment) for $180,000. Tempting!

The ANZ was opening (as opposed to its usual activities of closing) a new branch and invited all to a sausage sizzle – instant lunch!

Rain continued all day on & off!

A special page of our Cooktown images <<<< Click Here >>>>

We always find Black Mountain incredible. Bus sized granite boulders covered in dark moss.


After more food shopping we decided to stay locally again tonight. Little Annan River Gorge is a place where I have always wanted to spend some time. When we arrived, there were 3 other couples already here. It was a very pleasant night talking to Aileen & Ray about their bird watching & photography and playing with some of their images in ACDSEE photo editor.

Thursday 10th

A day of rest and drying out was declared today. Nothing to do other than explore, photograph, eat and rest. Unfortunately each time we tried to head out to walk to Black Mountain, it decides to rain again. When we did venture out again we discovered new waterfalls and rapids further downstream, past where the average tourist gets to experience. The largest had about a 20m drop – the water launching itself like it was from a fireman’s’ hose.

Dave and Antonia pulled up in their VW van with a camper trailer this afternoon. Their satellite TV setup this afternoon ha to be seen to be believed!!! Later on we were able to watch the ABC news in the Northern Territory, with many other channels to watch as well.

A special page for Little Annan River Gorge <<<< Click Here >>>>



Friday 11th

After a rest day and another windy wet night we have decided to head inland today. Before we leave the Far North Queensland we wanted to have one last look at Black Mountain. The scale of these boulders has to be seen to be believed.


Maytown Oct 04We have decided to by-pass Maytown this trip and head for Mt Mulligan and the Chillagoe region, on the way to the Gulf. On our last visit to Maytown in October 2004, we found this shed which had been restored in the main street. An incredible area to visit, but we are getting hungry for new adventures.

Called in to Ron Marks 4WD in Mareeba & located a new lens for the rear tail light we broke. A great bunch to deal with!Tyrconnell_Mine_Steve-12

To minimise time in town we usually split up with one taking the 4WD & the other the hand held UHF. Always looks good in the middle of the supermarket checking with each other what else we need to buy. A new slant on calling up on the mobile phone to check on what’s needed in the pantry!!!

The benefits of the new poly springs were obvious today – we don’t feel like we are dragging our tail. Should be better next time we are off road again.

Tonight had trouble getting satellite signal on our phone. I think its because we are behind the mountain a little bit. We are now using it to check text messages and receive calls on Friday & Sunday evenings between 6 and 7pm.

So where did we end up today? Tyrconnell Bush camp, – the site of an historic gold mine. This mine is situated in the Hodgkinson Goldfields, West of Mareeba on the “Wheelbarrow Way”. Showers are hot and the bathrooms are clean.

Saturday 12th

Alison slept badly due to a fire tree she brushed against yesterday. She believes it was still worth it for the photographs she got. Overall it was a good campsite @ Tyrconnell. Mt_Mulligan_Steve-3Today we ventured into the mine crushing shed and the both of us went mad with our cameras. It turns out that Tyrconnell mine has the same ore crushing units (10 head stampers batteries) we saw in Maytown, and they are still working. These batteries date back to 1877.

After a morning’s photography and exploring, we drove onto Mt Mulligan – We only managed about 60kms today. Mt Mulligan is the site of Queensland’s worst mining disaster. On 19 Sept 1921, all 75 men working underground were killed by a coal dust explosion. The explosion was heard 60km’s away. The town is now gone, with the mine having closed in 1957, with the buildings being sold off. All that remains today are rusting water tanks, and the stumps on which buildings stood. The Mt Mulligan cemetery is testament to the tragedy of the disaster.

There was a mustering helicopter over head today as well – Alison’s eyes are alight in hope of a ride. It is one of her life ambitions to ride in one. It wasn’t fulfilled today.

Yes again too many images – therefore another special page – this one dedicated to Tyrconnell Mine and Mt Mulligan. <<<< Click Here >>>>

Sunday 13th

The early bird gets the worm this morning. Rose at 6am or so to catch the sunrise on Mt Mulligan. It was magnificent! Mt Mulligan is a sandstone escarpment some 18km long, 6kms wide and 300 metres high. Truly amazing, and out of character with the rolling hills of the surrounding country side.


Visited the Kennedy Expedition marker – 1848

Tom, John, Alison and Steve, on Emu Creek pictured right

A detour south off the Wheelbarrow Way bought us to Emuford where we had hoped to experience a mine and the John-and-Tompersonalities Steve had read about in one of his 4WD magazines. .Our experience was so wonderful we have dedicated a separate page for it.

Visit our page on the Emuford Battery historic tin mine <<<< Click Here >>>>

After 2 or 3 hours it was time to head for Chillagoe. We arrived and eventually ended up at the Post Office Hotel for a light refreshment. Then we headed back out of town to a campsite we had found earlier at Castle Rock, about 5km before town. There were amazing rampart-like rock structures, which we explored and photographed.

Monday 14th

Will be short today – have internet access for the last time for a while. Will recount our Chillagoe experience in next weeks posting.

More to come as the adventure continues

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