Hodgkinson Goldfields


Hodgkinson Goldfields were one of the richest in Cape York.

Although not quite as rich as Palmer River Goldfields, Hodgkinson fields were also big and are very interesting to discover.

They are best reached from Dimbulah in the south, although there is another, smaller and slower road from a road junction north of Mt Carbine on the Peninsula Developmental Road.


The road from Dimbulah is easy and at least in the dry season done in two wheel drive.


A short distance north of Dimbulah you come to the road junction where turning right takes you to Tyrconnell and Kingsborough, and turning left takes you to Mount Mulligan.

hodgkinson river goldfields

Tyrconnell Mine

Tyrconnell is a very nice looking place with restored old buildings and relics of old mining equipment. It was one of the richest gold mines in the famous Hodgkinson Goldfields.

hodgkinson goldfields

While Thornborough and Kingsborough (with their remaining cemeteries) were towns were miners lived, Tyrconnell was the mine itself.

tyrconnell goldmine

And it is not a heap of ruins like most historical mining sites.

tyrconnell

This site is beautifully done up and restored so you can see the buildings and equipment the way they actually were. 

tyrconnell mine

They charge a small fee for a tour and a look-aound but it has costed them heaps more money to restore this place.

tyrconnell accommodation

There is accommodation in cottages with views over the valley, and there is also a camping ground. Great place.

Kingsborough and Thornborough

Kingsborough used to be the largest town in the Hodgkinson goldfields with about 1000 inhabitants. But since the gold ended, the towns faded away, many buildings were moved, and today, there is not a lot left except a private residence, and an old cemetery

kingsborough

Back at the road junction, turning left takes you past the old Thornborough Cemetery
to Mount Mulligan. Thornborough used to be a town of 20 pubs and a population of 1500. Today, the ruins of the town are about 1km after the Mount Mulligan -Tyrconnell / Kingsborough road junction. The cemetery is not hard to see on the right hand side of the road to Mount Mulligan. 

thornborough

Mount Mulligan

Mount Mulligan is our favourite of all the old mines in the Cape York area.

mount mulligan

Although it was the site of a sad mining disaster, it is a beautiful place in front of a large rock face, and all the ruins are signed, easy to find and very interesting to discover.


mt mulligan

It is in Cairns outback, just south of the actual Cape York peninsula, more exactly it is part of the old Hodgkinson Goldfields, reached via Dimbulah.

mount mulligan coal mine

And it is an interesting one. It was a coal, not a gold mine; and it is mostly known as the site of Australia's worst mining disaster.

mount mulligan disaster 

If you have been to museums in Mareeba and elsewhere in the area, you have most likely already seen displays on this place, and read the stories of the September day in 1921 when 75 miners were killed in an underground explosion in what became to be called the Mt Mulligan mining disaster. (If not, do it - they are interesting stories!).

mount mulligan mining disatser

So once you get here you are prepared for the monument and more information on the accident - but what I wasn't prepared for was the beauty of the place, and the excellent ruins.

mount mulligan hodgkinson goldfields

It is not a few relics scattered in the bush like in many old mining sites. It's a whole town, AND the whole mine - perfectly signed street by street and building by building.

mount mulligan ruins

Ok, most of the buildings are of course no longer here, and the ones that are, are in ruins.

mount mulligan town

But the ruins are interesting to discover since you know from the signs what building it was; and you get a pretty good picture of the whole town the way it was
.

mount mulligan mine

On top of that, the natural beauty of the place is amazing.

mount mulligan weir

The rock face behind the town is sometimes called "Queensland's Uluru" and it's not altogether that much exaggerated.

mount mulligan cliff face





Plan Your Trip... the FREE Cape York Travel Pocket Guide

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Get this 50 pages guide totally for FREE. It contains information that helps you getting started with planning of your trip. You get to make early-stages desicions such as when to go, how long time you should take, how to get there and get around, where to stay (general info), what will it cost.. and a short insight to what is there to see and do in Cape York.


Bring to the Trip... the full Visit Cape York Destination Guide

visit cape york

This complete 300 pages travel guide is all you need before and during your trip. Besides the background chapters on the peninsula's history and wildlife; and the comprehensive detail about all the places (down to prices, opening hours and full contact detail), it has invaluable information on at least 10 four wheel drive tracks, at least 30 guaranteed FREE camping spots on the Cape (and at least 150 on your way to the Cape), at least 40 best swimming holes, all mapped; as well as practical things - from fuel, roads, wireless internet and mobile phone reception, how to deal with the national parks booking rules; and Aboriginal land entrance and camping permits and alcohol restrictions - to vehicle preparation and accessories and necessary recovery gear by my partner Mark who is the recovery guy on northern Cape York and the Old Telegraph Track). Not to mention locals' tips on how to spot that croc and palm cockatoo ;-)



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cape york mechanics

portland roads

west coast hotel cooktown

cape york businesses

A little off the most beaten track, but you can still get some of these into your annual leave length of a trip (you can get most if you have all the details to plan right):

You find them all in the Site Map, along with all the other pages on the site and many more great gems :-)

Old Coach Road

old coach road

Frenchmans Track

frenchmans track

CREB Track

creb track

Falls Track

falls track

Starcke Wakooka Track

starcke wakooka track

Bathurst Head

bathurst head

Running Creek Track

running creek track

Silver Plains

silver plains

Old Coen Track

old coen road

Pennefather

pennefather

Stones Crossing

stones crossing


Skardon River

skardon river

Jardine River Ford

jardine river ford

Ussher Point

ussher point

Sadd Point

sadd point

Mutee Head and Jardine Mouth


mutee head

Escape River and Newcastle Bay 

escape river

Five Beaches Track


beaches loop road

Roko Island Pearl Farm

roko island

Friday Island Pearl Farm

friday island