is one of the most historical places in this part of Australia.
It is a
small country town
in southern Cape York, north of Lakeland
Downs, and west of
It's easy to drive through without even knowing where to turn into the
town, if you don't pay attention.
If you are rushing to the Tip - fair enough, but if you are interested in
it is worth to stop for a
First - the town is known for some of the best Aboriginal rock art in
And second - there is
some interesting European history from the days of the old Palmer River
Rock Art Site
you arrive from the south, about 15km before the town entrance is Split
Rock - one of the best and easiest accessible Aboriginal
rock art sites
It is up in the hills near the Laura
Town of Laura
you arrive in the town, it looks like there is nothing but a roadhouse
on your right hand side.
On the other side of the road, soon you will see the Quinkan
- the right hand turnoff to the town is after it.
There is a
information about the area's Aboriginal history and art sites as well
as European history in this Aboriginal art and tourist information
Laura was also an important town during
River gold rush in the late 1800s.
here, in the historical park in the main street. There is also an old
Laura - Cooktown railway bridge from that time.
the street from the historical park is the pub of Laura
actually burned down in 2002, so this is a fairly new building,
but it is still a nice one with shady spots in the front,
under mango trees.
Back on the Peninsula Developmental Road is a camping ground, and there
is another camping ground behind the
pub, which may be nicer, but can at times get crowded. Nowadays there
is even a new motel in the main street.
Camping and Tours
Just north of the town is another Aboriginal art experience -
It is a camping ground run by two sons of the late Percy Trezise, and
they also run tours to show you some local Quinkan country Aboriginal
15km south of Laura is the Split Rock carpark.
In the end of the carpark is a picnic shelter and a track that takes
you up to the escarpment with views.
There are three different spots only a short walk away, the first one
is Split Rock.
The other two are Flying Fox and Tall Spirits.
These are only a very small part of the actual amount of Quinkan art in
Peninsula Dvelopmental Road is the Quinkan Art Centre.
Inside are lots of informative displays about the area's Aboriginal
There is also some local art, and it is also the visitor information
centre of the area.
also has some great European history. The township started as a
connection junction during Palmer River gold rush.
connected the Palmer River
Goldfields with Cooktown, which was established as the port for the
Mary Harris Memorial
Park are the steps of what used to be the Laura Railway Station.
the northern end of
the town is the last railway bridge that was ever made, with gold
starting to run out before the railway reached Maytown.
trains did runbetween Cooktown and Laura for almost 100 years, the rest
of the transport was carried by a coach along what now is the Old
Coach Road between
Laura and Maytown.
the old Laura pub burned down in 2002.
But it has been replaced and is still a popular place to stop.
of the pub
is an old Austin 7 - a replica of the first car that was ever
driven to the tip of
most Aussie pubs, the Quinkan Hotel also has rooms to stay, and behind
the pub is also a camping ground.
It is a popular place to stay and
during events and high season can get crowded.
the pub is too noisy or too crowded, there is also a camping ground on
the Peninsula Developmental Road.
It is larger and nowadays that the
road is sealed until Laura, popular with caravans.
the latest addition is the motel, in the main street across
road from the General Store and Quinkan Hotel. It is the most expensive
but also the most modern, with air conditioned rooms with all comfort.
Camping and Tours
the town, where the racecourse and rodeo grounds are, is the turnoff to
It is an Aboriginal camping ground run by the sons of the late Percy Trezise, famous for
finding a lot of Quinkan art sites.
The sons, particularly Steve Trezise, also run tours to some less
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
to stay (general info), what
will it cost..
and a short insight to what is there to see and do in 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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