Hodgkinson Goldfields

Hodgkinson Goldfields were one of the richest in Cape York.

Although not quite as rich as Palmer River Goldfields,
Hodgkinson was also big and is very interesting to discover.

It is best reached from BDR in the south, although there is another, slower road from a road junction from Mulligan Highway.

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

hodgkinson river goldfields

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

Tyrconnell Mine

Tyrconnell is a very nice looking place with restored old buildings and relics of old mining equipment.

hodgkinson goldfields

It was one of the richest gold mines in the famous Hodgkinson Goldfields.

tyrconnell goldmine

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


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

tyrconnell mine

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

tyrconnell cottage

Kingsborough and Thornborough

Kingsborough used to be the largest town in the Hodgkinson goldfields with about 1000 inhabitants.

kingsborough road

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 dam

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.

thornborough road

Today, the ruins of the town are about 1km after the Mount Mulligan -Tyrconnell / Kingsborough road junction.

thornborough ruins

The cemetery is not hard to see on the right hand side of the road to Mount Mulligan.


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.

mount mulligan ruins

It's a whole town, AND the whole mine - perfectly signed street by street and building by building

mount mulligan town

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

mount mulligan mine

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

mt mulligan town site

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

UPDATE 2019 - there is now a luxury lodge, which now also owns Tyrconnell, all detail is in the Destination Guide.

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