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. But if you are interested in
it is worth to stop for a
The town is known for some of the best Aboriginal rock art in
Australia, and 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 - Quinkan Hotel, UPDATE 2021 now called the Peninula Hotel. The
original pub burned down in 2002, so this is not the original building,
but it is still the town's only pub, with shady spots in the front,
under mango trees.
Back on the Peninsula Developmental Road is a large camping ground, and there
is another small camping ground behind the
pub, which can get noisy and crowded. Nowadays there
is even a new motel across the street from the General Store, where you can also get fuel.
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
goldfields. In 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 the town's only pub.
the pub you may see an old Austin 7 - owned by Harold and Jenny
at the Grocery Store and Post Office next door. It is the exact model of the first
car that was ever
driven to the tip of
York - quite amazing.
The latest addition is the motel, in the main street across
road from the General Store and Quinkan Hotel. It is the most modern
place to stay in town, with air conditioned rooms with all comfort.
Roadhouse has a camping ground on
the Peninsula Developmental Road. It is large and nowadays that the
road is sealed until Laura, popular with caravans. UPDATE the camping
ground now belongs to AngGnarra across the road, the roadhouse still
makes some great burgers.
most Aussie pubs, the Quinkan Hotel also has a few rooms to stay, and
the pub is a small camping ground. The pub is closed most of the
wet season, but during the dry it is an alternative, although small,
camp ground if the one on the PDR is full.
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
this 50 pages
guide totally for FREE.
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 vehicle-recovery-guy partner).
Not to mention locals'
tips on how to spot that croc and palm cockatoo ;-)
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This site uses British
English, which is the English we use in
best efforts have been made to ensure that all the information on this
website is correct, this site is not to be blamed should there be a
My main project is still to improve every single page on this website with more information and more, better photos. With almost 300 pages and so many photos to go through, it is very time consuming work, but it gradually happens, every day, right now :-)
This is the ORIGINAL Cape York Travel Guide run Locally on the Peninsula.