Chillagoe is a town and locality in northern Queensland, Australia. It is within the local government area of Shire of Mareeba, it was once a thriving mining town for a range of minerals, but is now reduced to a small zinc mine and some marble quarries. In the 2011 census, Chillagoe had a population of 192 people. Just out of town is the Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park containing limestone caves. There are between 1,000 caves in the Chillagoe-Mungana area; the caves, the spectacular karst landscape and the mining and smelting history are the main tourist attractions to the region. It has been stated by leading geologist Professor Ian Plimer that the Chillagoe region has the most diverse geology in the world. Chillagoe was named by William Atherton in 1888; the name is taken from the refrain of a sea shanty: "Hikey, Psyche, Chillagoe, Walabadorie". James Mulligan had explored the area in 1873 and Atherton backed up his reports of rich copper outcrops in the area. Mining pioneer John Moffat sent prospectors to the field in 1888 and monopolised the field.
A receiving office opened in 1891 but closed in 1893. A post office opened in 1900 with F. Donner as the postmaster; the Chillagoe Railway and Mining Company's line opened from Mareeba in 1901 and a Town Reserve was proclaimed 27 October 1910. Chillagoe is sometimes remembered for its involvement in the Mungana affair, a mining scandal which brought down the government. In 1919, after fluctuating fortunes and closures, ownership of the smelter was transferred to the Queensland Government; this acquisition by the Labor Government brought allegations of political corruption which persisted for many years. Closures plagued the smelter again in the late 1920s; when the Labor Party lost power in 1929, the new government ordered a Royal Commission into the incident. The political careers of two former Queensland Premiers,'Red' Ted Theodore and William McCormack, were ruined by the Commission’s report. Read the famous book by Frank Hardy: "Power without Glory"; the Chillagoe Public Library opened in 2002.
Chillagoe State School opened on 1 April 1902. At the 2006 census, Chillagoe had a population of 227. Chillagoe has a number of heritage-listed sites, including: Chillagoe smelters Mungana Archaeological Area Woothakata is a property on beautiful Chillagoe creek named after the early Tableland shire which Chillagoe was a part of. Woothakata is an Aboriginal word which describes the way Aborigines traveled to Ngarrabullgan/Mount Mulligan, an important meeting place; the heritage-listed Chillagoe smelters, the cemetery and the many old mines attract history buffs to the area. The Mareeba Shire Council operates a public library in Chillagoe at 21-23 Queen Street. University of Queensland: Queensland Places: Chillagoe and Chillagoe Shire
Mission Beach, Queensland
Mission Beach is a small town and locality in the Cassowary Coast Region, Australia. In the 2016 census Mission Beach and surrounding villages had a total population of 3,597 people. Mission Beach is bounded on the east by the Coral Sea; the popular tourist destination of Dunk Island lies 4 kilometres offshore. Today, what were once separate villages have now grown such that they are considered one town, Mission Beach; the villages are, from south to north, South Mission Beach, Wongaling Beach, Mission Beach, Bingil Bay, Brooks Beach and Carmoo. Development is continuing at Garners Beach to the north. Clump Point is the northern end of a sandy beach 13 kilometres long facing the Coral Sea which runs south to Tam O'Shanter Point in South Mission Beach at the southern end. Clump Point was descriptively named by Captain Owen Stanley of the Royal Navy survey ship HMS Rattlesnake. In 1872 it was alleged by two sailors, that the captain and some of the crew of the ill-fated Maria, wrecked in a "typhoon", were killed and eaten by natives north of Tam O'Shanter Point.
Survivor Thomas Ingham attests that the aborigines were friendly with his party until joined by another group of unfriendly natives. A group of vigilantes raided the area now called South Mission Beach and attacked a local aboriginal camp. In 1916 Ingham wrote: "Sub-Inspector Johnstone gave short-shrift to the cannibals, who had eaten the captains party, the brutes who had speared me and taken my belt was seen to be wearing it around his head like a crown; that sealed his fate. This belt saved my life, it made him a king when he bought about his demise. Sub-Inspector Johnstone gave it back to me, I have kept it since." The river Louisa was renamed Maria Creek after the wreck. Johnstone River was named after Sub Inspector Johnstone. In the early 20th century Chinese banana farmers used Aborigines as labourers in the Tully River region. Opium addiction and conflict with European settlers resulted in the Queensland government creating an Aboriginal internment centre at the present Mission Beach. Superintendent John Martin Kenny started the necessary work on 1 September 1914.
There was no mission in the religious sense. The settlement had characteristics of a penal settlement; the Hull River detention centre and superintendent's residence were destroyed in the cyclone of 10 March 1918 and were not rebuilt. Superintendent Kenny and his daughter were killed by debris; the surviving Aborigines were forcefully moved to Queensland. The first white settlers, the Cutten brothers, came to Mission Beach area in 1882 and settled at Bingil Bay, where they farmed mangoes, pineapples, citrus fruit and coconuts, they manufactured their own coffee. Produce was shipped south on cargo-boats. Before this the only white people to enter this area were the timber-getters who sometimes camped on the beach and retrieved timber from the adjacent rain forests, they employed local Aborigines for their assistance in their timber hauling, paying the Aboriginal labourers with tobacco and tools. After the Cutten brothers, the Unsworths settled at Narragon Beach, the Garners came and settled at Garners Beach, the Porter brothers settled at what the locals refer to as Porter's Creek at the south end of North Mission Beach.
Mission Beach Post Office opened on 15 December 1949. In the 2006 census Mission Beach had a population of 515. Mission Beach State School is located at Webb Road Wongaling Beach, it is a Prep to Year 6 school and details of the curriculum and resources can be found on the Mission Beach State School Website. In early October there is the evolve music festival than shows local musicians and a few bands from around Australia. There is a market there that has food, clothes and other festival stuff. Rugby League plays a big part in the town, with Tully Tigers the main club. Mission Beach is now a thriving tourist town, able to maintain its small town feel. One reason for this is that the town is spread out along a thin strip of land between the ocean and the hills and farmland behind; this has spread out a large tourism market, the village doesn't feel as busy as one might expect. The beach is flanked by green mountains rising just a short distance inland, provides views out to the Family Islands. Close to shore at Mission Beach lies a shallow reef.
The reef runs from the mouth of Porter's Creek at the south end of North Mission Beach to Clump Point, a popular fishing spot, the main departure and arrival point for the Dunk Island Ferry. Surrounded by World Heritage rainforest on one side and the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef on the other, Mission Beach is home to many wildlife species, most notable is the cassowary; this large flightless bird can be found in the rainforest surrounding the area but appears to be thriving in spite of land clearing and predators such as wild dogs and feral pigs. Much of the area is part of the Coastal Wet Tropics Important Bird Area, identified as such by BirdLife International because of its importance for the conservation of lowland tropical rainforest birds. Mission Beach is the mainland gateway to Dunk Island, with water taxis and ferries shuttling guests and day-trippers out to the island and its resort
Thursday Island, colloquially known as TI, or in the native language, Waiben, is an island of the Torres Strait Islands archipelago located 39 kilometres north of Cape York Peninsula in the Torres Strait, Australia. It has an area of about 3.5 square kilometres. The Muralag peoples are the traditional owners of the land and seas surrounding Thursday Island; the highest point on Thursday Island, standing at 104 metres above sea level, is Milman Hill, a World War II defence facility. At the 2011 census, Thursday Island had a population of 2,610. Thursday Island is within the Shire of Torres, but is the administrative and commercial centre of the Torres Strait Island Region despite not being part of that local government area; the island has been populated for thousands of years by the Torres Strait Islanders, though archeological evidence on Badu, further north in Torres Strait, suggests that the area has been inhabited from before the end of the last Ice Age. The archeology from Badhu, Pulu and Mer shows that Melanesian occupation started around 2,600 years ago.
The original place of permanent European settlement in Torres Strait was Somerset, south-east of the tip of Cape York Peninsula, established in 1864. However, the channel between Albany Island and Somerset proved to be hazardous for a port and in 1875 it was jointly decided by the Queensland and British governments to transfer the port to the deep anchorage on the south side of Thursday Island; the new port was called Port Kennedy, after Edmund Kennedy, the explorer of Cape York Peninsula, was established in 1867. In 1877, an administrative centre for the Torres Strait Islands was set up on the island by the Queensland Government and by 1883 over 200 pearling vessels were based on the island. A lucrative pearling industry was founded on the island in 1884, attracting workers from around Asia, including Japan and India, seeking their fortune; the Japanese community was in part indentured divers and boat hands who returned to Japan after a period of service and some longer term residents who were active in boat building and in the ownership of luggers for hire -, illegal but bypassed by leases through third parties back to other Japanese, a practice called "dummying."
Additionally, many south Pacific Islanders worked in the industry, some imported against their will. While the pearling industry has declined in importance, the mix of cultures is evident to this day; the pearling industry centred on the harvesting of pearl shell, used to make shirt buttons. The local pearl oyster is Pinctada maxima. Trochus shell was gathered by boats that specialised in this. Most shell was exported as the raw material - to a London-based market. Pearls themselves were rare and a bonus for the crew; the boats used were graceful two-masted luggers. In shallow water free diving was used while in deeper water diver's dress, or an abbreviated form of it, with a surface air supply was used. In good times there were three divers to a lugger, a stern diver, one midships, one diver off the bow. A manual air compressor was used, it looked. For part of the fleet that operated further from Thursday Island, larger vessels schooners were used as mother ships to the luggers. Shell was opened on the mother vessels rather than on the luggers, in order to secure any pearls found.
The waters of the Straits are murky and visibility was very poor. Though dive depths were not great, except at the Darnley Deep, 40 fathoms, attacks of the bends were common and deaths frequent. On 25 August 1887, The Paterson Telegraph Station on the West Coast of Cape York was opened, it connected the Cape York Telegraph Line with Thursday Island, via an undersea cable. In the late-19th and early-20th centuries Thursday Island was a regular stop for vessels trading between the east coast of Australia and Southeast Asia. A shipping disaster to a vessel in this service occurred in 1890 when RMS Quetta struck an uncharted reef in the Strait and sank in five minutes with the loss of over 130 lives; the Anglican Church on Thursday Island built shortly afterwards was named the Quetta All Souls Memorial Cathedral in memory of the event. Today the church is called All St Bartholomew Church. Cyclone Mahina, which hit Bathurst Bay, southeast of Thursday Island in 1899, wrecked the pearling fleet sheltering there, with huge losses of vessels and lives.
The fear of Russian invasion as a result of the deterioration of relations between the Russian Empire and the British Empire led to a fort on Battery Point being built in 1892 to protect the island. The fort is today a heritage feature of the island. Local pearling declined up to the Second World War through competition from a Japanese-based fleet which did not use local resources or personnel. In the 1950s plastic buttons imitating pearl supplanted much of the demand for shell. Before the decline, pearl fishing was taken by the island-based fleet to the Aru Islands in what was the Dutch East Indies. During World War II, Thursday Island became the military headquarters for the Torres Strait and was a base for Australian and United States forces. January 1942 saw the evacuation of civilians from the island. Residents of Japanese origin or descent were interned; the residents did not return until after the end of the war and many ethnic Japanese were forcibly repatriated. The island was spared from bombing in World War II, due, it was thought, to it being the burial place of many Japanese pearl shell divers, or the
Cooktown is a town and locality in the Shire of Cook, Australia. Cooktown is located about 2,000 kilometres north of Brisbane and 328 kilometres north of Cairns, by road. Cooktown is about 857 kilometres south of Cape York by road. At the time of the 2016 census, Cooktown had a population of 2,631. Cooktown is at the mouth of the Endeavour River, on Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland where James Cook beached his ship, the Endeavour, for repairs in 1770. Both the town and Mount Cook which rises up behind the town were named after James Cook. Cooktown is one of the few large towns in the Cape York Peninsula and was founded on 25 October 1873 as a supply port for the goldfields along the Palmer River, it was called "Cook's Town" until 1 June 1874. In the local Guugu Yimithirr language the name for the region is Gangaar Aboriginal pronunciation:, which means " Rock Crystals." Quartz crystals were used in various Aboriginal ceremonies across the continent and are found in the vicinity. The site of modern Cooktown was the meeting place of two vastly different cultures when, in June 1770, the local Aboriginal Guugu Yimithirr tribe cautiously watched the crippled sailing ship – His Majesty's Bark Endeavour – limp up the coast seeking a safe harbour after sustaining serious damage to its wooden hull on the Endeavour Reef, south of Cooktown.
The Guugu Yimithirr people saw the Endeavour beach in the calm waters near the mouth of their river, which they called "Wahalumbaal". The captain of the Endeavour, Lieutenant James Cook, wrote: "... it was happy for us that a place of refuge was at hand. The British crew spent seven weeks on the site of present-day Cooktown, repairing their ship, replenishing food and water supplies, caring for their sick; the extraordinary scientist, Joseph Banks, Swedish naturalist Daniel Solander, who accompanied Cook on the expedition, collected and documented over 200 new species of plants. The young artist Sydney Parkinson illustrated the specimens and he was the first British artist to portray Aboriginal people from direct observation. After some weeks, Joseph Banks met and spoke with the local people, recording about 50 Guugu Yimithirr words, including the name of the intriguing animal the natives called gangurru. Cook recorded the local name as "Kangooroo, or Kanguru"; the first recorded sighting of kangaroos by Europeans was on Grassy Hill, which rises above the place where the ship was beached.
Cook climbed this hill to work out a safe passage for the Endeavour to sail through the surrounding reefs, after it was repaired. "The visit on the 19th of July 1770 ended in a skirmish after Cook refused to share the turtles he kept on the Endeavour with the local inhabitants. They set fire to the grass around Cook's camp twice, killing a suckling pig. After Cook wounded one of the men with a musket, they ran away. Cook and some others followed them and caught up with them on a rocky bar near Furneaux Street, now known as Reconciliation Rocks. A “little old man” appeared from the group of Indigenous Australians and they were reconciled; this was an important historic event as it is believed that this is the first recorded reconciliation between Europeans and Indigenous Australians ever."Cook named the river the "Endeavour" after his ship, and, as they sailed north, he hoisted the flag known as the "Queen Anne Jack" and claimed possession of the whole eastern coast of Australia for Britain. He named Cape York Peninsula after the then-Duke of Albany.
"In 1886 the people of Cooktown were anxious to recover the brass guns of the Endeavour which were thrown overboard, in order to place them as a memento in their town. The next recorded European expedition to the area was nearly 50 years when another botanist, Allan Cunningham, accompanying Captain Phillip Parker King, visited the remarkable region in 1819-20, he collected numerous botanical specimens for the British Museum and Kew Gardens. In 1872, William Hann discovered gold in southwest of Cooktown, his findings were reported to James Venture Mulligan who led an expedition to the Palmer River in 1873. Mulligan's expedition found quantities of alluvial gold and thus began the gold rush, to bring prospectors to the Endeavour River from all over the world; the Queensland government responded to Mulligan's reports, soon a party was dispatched to advise whether the Endeavour River would be a suitable site for a port. Shortly after, a new township was established at the site of the present town, on the southern bank of the river and Cooktown Post Office opened on 1 January 1874.
The Palmer goldfields and its centre, were growing quickly. The recorded output of gold from 1873 to 1890 was over half a million ounces. Cooktown was the port through which this gold was exported and supplies for the goldfields brought in. Word of the gold spread, Cooktown was soon thriving, as prospectors arrived from around the world. Population estimates vary but there were around 7,000 people in the area and about 4,000 permanent residents in the town by 1880. At that time, Cooktown boasted a large number of hotels and guest houses. There were 47 licensed pubs within the town boundaries in 1874 although this nu
Herberton is a town and locality on the Atherton Tableland in Far North Queensland, Australia. In the 2016 census, Herberton had a population of 855 people; the first European exploration of this area, part of the traditional land of the Dyirbal, was undertaken in 1875 by James Venture Mulligan. Mulligan instead found tin; the town of Herberton was established on 19 April 1880 by John Newell to exploit the tin find, mining began on 9 May. By the September of that year, Herberton had a population of 27 women. Herberton Post Office opened on 22 November 1880. In December 1881 a State School was established; the Herberton Public Library opened in 1995 with a major refurbishment in 2016. In the late 19th century the Mulligan Highway was carved through the hills from Herberton and passed through what is now Main Street, before continuing down to Port Douglas; this road was used by the coaches of Co to access Western Queensland. At its apogee, Herberton was the richest tin mining field in Australia, was home to 17 pubs, 2 local newspapers and a brewery.
Tin mining ceased in Herberton in 1985. At the 2006 census, Herberton had a population of 974. In the 2011 census, Herberton had a population of 934 people. Herberton has a number of heritage-listed sites, including: 38 Broadway Street: Holy Trinity Anglican Church Grace Street: Jack & Newell General Store 61 Grace Street: Herberton School of Arts off Jacks Road: Great Northern Mine 2-4 Lillian Street: Herberton Uniting Church Myers Street: Herberton War Memorial Herberton is situated 918 m high on the Great Dividing Range south-west of Atherton. Vegetation ranges from tropical rainforest to the east, wet schlerophyl forests to the north and east and open schleorphyl forests and woodlands to the north and west. Herberton is notably drier than the area around Atherton with average rainfall for Herberton of 1,155 mm. Herberton is the most northerly location in Australia to have recorded a temperature at or below −5 °C, the only location in Tropical North Queensland to have done so; the average minimum temperature ranges from 10 °C in winter to 18 °C in summer, while maximums range from 21 to 29 °C.
Several crops are grown around Herberton, it is the location of Queensland's only tropical vineyard. Herberton is a mini salad bowl with crops including avocados, tomatoes and pumpkins. Poultry and beef industries are present. Herberton's public hospital and the private school, Mt Saint Bernard residential college, are other major employers in the town; the Herberton Mining Museum and Visitor Information Centre opened in 2005, houses mining and social history of the Herberton Mining field, archives for the local area and maintains a genealogy project recording the families of the district and their histories. A Heritage Walk for tourists that takes in some of the old buildings and historical features of the town is a popular attraction. Historic Village Herberton is a 16-acre representation of a mining town filled with streets of buildings of the time, each one a museum in its own right with exhibits such as vintage machinery and Australian antiques, it has more than 50 restored period buildings.
The Herberton Spy & Camera Museum houses antique spy cameras, a photographic gallery and photographic memorabilia with guided tours through the museum and a working photographer and photographic studio. Most a Railway Museum has been established by volunteers in the former Herberton Railway Station building; this is operated by volunteers and only open part-time. The Tepon Equestrian Grounds just out of Herberton have been upgraded with a large undercover pavilion for equestrian and other sporting events such as cycling and mountain biking. Local markets are held on the 3rd Sunday of every month at the Wondecla Oval. There are several caravan parks, motels and B&Bs located in the town; the Tablelands Regional Council operates a Herberton Public Library and Customer Service Centre at 61 Grace Street. The Herberton branch of the Queensland Country Women's Association meets at the QCWA Hall at 14 William Street. Herberton State School opened on 12 December 1881. In 1912 the school had a secondary top added to the school.
Notable people associated with Herberton include: Bunny Adair, Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly for Cook who attended Herberton State School. Alice Bonar. Founder of the Australian Red Cross in Herberton, now the oldest continuously operating branch in Australia. In 1914 reconvened the branch as a member of the Australian Red Cross. Eldest son David Welbourn Bonar a tunneller at Hill 60 and daughter May was a nurse in World War 1. Nancy Francis and poet known as'Black Bonnet'. Wrote extensively on life in the Daintree area including recording indigenous culture. Wrote poetry published in North queensland The Bulletin. James Douglas Henry Mining Engineer, served in 4th Queensland Imperial Bushmen contingent. Member of the Mining Corps Commanding Officer of 1st Australian Tunnellers involved in Hill 60. Retired to Tepon near Herberton and A. R. P. Warden for Wondecla area in World War 2. John Ledlie, one of the founders of North Queensland firm Armstrong and Stillman. Brought the first electric street lights outside his Herberton store.
Shire Chairman of Herberton Shire Council, member of Cairns Harbour Board and Cairns Regional Electricity Board. Teamed with Robert Ringrose to establish Herberton State High School in 1912. John Newell, Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly for Woothakata, Chairman of Herberton Shire Council, Mayor of Herberton Municipality. One of the discoverers of payable tin and the establishment of Herberton Gold and Mineral Field. Founding member of the Tinaroo Division Board
Aurukun is a town and locality in the Shire of Aurukun in Far North Queensland, Australia. It is an Indigenous community. In 2019, Aurukun had part of Northern Territory’s Cyclone Trevor, no thanks to it being on the gulf. Aurukun situated 100 kilometres south of Weipa; the town faces west to the Gulf of Carpentaria, during the wet season, roads are impassable. The area is rich in bauxite. At the 2016 census, Aurukun had a population of 1,269, including 1,147 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, up from a total population of 1,043 in 2006. 95.8% of people were born in Australia. 10.6% of people only spoke English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Cape York Peninsula Languages 61.6% and Wik Mungkan 14.7%. The most common responses for religion were Uniting Church 44.3%, No Religion 29.3% and Presbyterian and Reformed 11.0%. Aurukun has a plethora of tribal names. There are some 50 to 60 families from five major clan groups, which are split into two factions — the "top end" and "bottom end".
Violent conflict between the two groups creates problems in the community on a regular basis. The first recorded contact between Europeans and Aboriginals was near Aurukun on the Janszoon voyage of 1605–06; the Aurukun Mission was established on 4 August 1904 for the Presbyterian Church of Australia by the Reverend Arthur and Mrs Mary Richter, two Moravian missionaries and managed under the provisions of the Queensland Aborigines Act. Aboriginal people were relocated from a large surrounding area, many against their will, to the mission settlement. Aurukun was "ruled" for 40 years by Reverend William Mackenzie - as the missions Chief Protector for the Aboriginal Protection Board; the town had a sawmill and bakery. Today there is only a general store. Aurukun Post Office opened on 1 July 1972. In 1978, the Queensland government decided to take over control of both the Aurukun and Mornington Island Reserves. Both communities protested seeking the help of the Federal government. After lengthy negotiations, legislation for self-management of the two reserves was introduced into federal parliament and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Act was passed on 7 April 1978.
Further negotiations took place between State and Federal Ministers and on 22 May 1978, the Local Government Act came into force giving a 50-year lease to the Shire of Aurukun to be trustee for the land within the boundaries. Aurukun and Mornington Shire remain the only Aboriginal communities in Queensland constituted as local authorities. With the coming of the missionaries, children were confined to dormitories to isolate them from the influence of their people. However, many people remained outside the mission up until the 1950s, ensuring the culture remained strong. In 1975, the community was placed under direct State government control. In 1978, the Aurukun people were given a 50-year lease on their land under the administration of the shire clerk and an elected Aboriginal Council. Following the Wik case the land has reverted to Native Title held by the Wik people; the focal area of the Wik lies between the Archer and Edward Rivers of Western Cape York Peninsula and inland to Coen. Most Wik people still live in this triangle.
In 2007, nine Aurukun males received probation and other light sentences after being found guilty of raping a ten-year-old girl. The mild sentences received international condemnation and were the catalyst for a review of sexual abuse sentencing in Queensland Indigenous communities. In March 2008, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that standards of justice and child safety had collapsed in Aurukun, that the local community justice group had called for children to be removed from the town for their own safety and wellbeing. Aurukun has a primary school, operated by Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy in a unique partnership with Education Queensland; the school opened on 29 January 1974 and caters for students from pre-prep to year 7. The school remains the only school in Aurukun. Classroom instruction is dedicated to teaching mainstream curriculum in English literacy and numeracy using Direct Instruction; the Direct Instruction method focuses on individual student outcomes and weekly tests with the aim to ensure students are mastering literacy and numeracy basics.
Students are taught a comprehensive Indigenous culture and language program which aims to give children fluency in their own cultures and enjoy the best of both worlds. The school provides an extended school day which involves artistic and sports programs which aims to give children increased confidence and prepare them for moving between homelands and study in the wider world. In 2008, one in three children were not enrolled for primary school. Following welfare reform trials introduced in July 2008, school attendance had risen from an average of 37 per cent to 63 per cent in September 2009. Following incidents where teachers and the principal were threatened, rocks were thrown at their housing, children as young as six tried to steal a car, all teachers were evacuated from the school in May 2016; as a result, the school was closed for six weeks with only distance education programs being continued. The incidents have drawn the effectiveness of the Direct Instruction method into question, as of July 2016 the Queensland Government is implementing an Australian curriculum into the school alongside Direct Instruction.
The Aurukun Primary Health Care Centre is run by Apunipima Cape York Health Council, a community controlled A
Coen is a town and locality in the Shire of Cook, Australia. The town of Coen is inland on the Peninsula Developmental Road, the main road on the Cape York Peninsula in far northern Queensland. In the 2011 census, Coen had a population of 416 people; the locality of Coen is on the eastern side of Cape York Peninsula with the Coral Sea forming its eastern boundary. Part of the northern boundary follows the Archer River, while the Coen River forms part of its western boundary; the Peninsula Developmental Road runs north to south through the locality. In 1623, Jan Carstensz, the navigator of the ship Pera of the Dutch East India Company named a river on Cape York Peninsula after Jan Pieterszoon Coen, the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies. Today that river is known as the Archer River and the name Coen River is given to one of its tributaries. Gold was discovered on the Coen River in 1876. Coen came into being first as a small fort built by gold miners and prospectors in May 1877 but this first gold rush came to an end, the settlement did not recover until 1883.
It became a centre for several small goldmines in the region but, in 1893, the rich Great Northern mine boomed and the town became a more substantial place. Coen Post Office opened on 20 June 1893; the Great Northern mine continued operations until 1916 and produced some 52,000 troy ounces of gold before it closed. On 3 July 2014, Barry Port retired from the Queensland Police, he was Australia's last Aboriginal police tracker. In his 36 years working for the police, he has tracked criminals, missing stowaways. Today Coen provides services to the region, is an important supply point on the long unpaved road leading to Weipa and other northern communities, it is a popular stopping point for tourists driving to the tip of Cape York - the northernmost part of the Australian mainland. It has an airstrip at Coen Airport, public library, hotel/motel, guest house, two general stores and fuel outlets, post office, police station, camping grounds, primary school kindergarten, ranger base and more. There is a scheduled air service to Cairns four times a week.
Coen is an ideal destination for birdwatchers: there are good accommodations and a large and varied bird fauna with representatives from rain forest, monsoon forest and coastal forests. Coen has a number of heritage-listed sites, including: Coleman Close: Coen Carrier Station Moon, Ron & Viv. 2003. Cape York: An Adventurer's Guide. 9th edition. Moon Adventure Publications, Victoria. ISBN 0-9578766-4-5 Roberts, Jan. 1981. Massacres to Mining: The Colonization of Aboriginal Australia. Dove Communications, Victoria. Rev. Australian ed. Previous ed.: CIMRA and War on Want, 1978, London. ISBN 0-85924-171-8. Premier's Department. 1989. Cape York Peninsula Resource Analysis. Cairns.. ISBN 0-7242-7008-6 Ryan and Burwell, eds. 2000. Wildlife of Tropical North Queensland: Cooktown to Mackay. Queensland Museum, Brisbane. ISBN 0-85905-045-9. Scarth-Johnson, Vera. 2000. National Treasures: Flowering plants of Cooktown and Northern Australia. Vera Scarth-Johnson Gallery Association, Cooktown. ISBN 0-646-39726-5. Sutton, Peter.
Languages of Cape York: Papers presented to a Symposium organised by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies. Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, Canberra.. ISBN 0-85575-046-4 Wallace, Lennie. 2003. Cape York Peninsula: A History of Unlauded Heroes 1845-2003. Central Queensland University Press, Rockhampton. ISBN 1-876780-43-6 Wynter, Jo and Hill, John. 1991. Cape York Peninsula: Pathways to Community Economic Development; the Final Report of The Community Economic Development Projects Cook Shire. Cook Shire Council. McIvor, Roy. Cockatoo: My Life in Cape York. Stories and Art. Roy McIvor. Magabala Books. Broome, Western Australia. ISBN 978-1-921248-22-1