Palmer River Goldfields


Palmer River Goldfields are worth the side trip if you're into history.

Only an historical site today, in the days of Palmer River gold rush this goldfield was the centre of activity of the whole Cape York peninsula.


Not only that, it was the richest alluvial goldfield in Australia, and the reason why Cooktown was established - it started out as a port town for the gold from Palmer River.


Maytown was the capital of Cape York, and if you are into history and gold rush ghost towns, this is a great place to explore.

palmer river goldfields

It starts with the turnoff from the Whites Creek Road,

palmer river goldfields whites creek road

... and next there is the Dog Leg Crossing.

palmer river goldfields dog leg crossing

Next you come to the Queen of the North Mine.

palmer river goldfields queen mill

The next one north is Ida Mine,

palmer river goldfields ida mine

... and close-by are the Charocal Burners.

palmer river goldfields charcoal burners

Further north are Comet Mine,

palmer river goldfields comet mill

... and the King of the Ranges.

palmer river goldfields king of the ranges

Next one north is Louisa Mine,

palmer river goldfields louisa mine

... and then, after the turnoff to the Old Coach Road,

palmer river goldfields old coach road

... there are the Chinese Alluvial Workings.

palmer river goldfields chinese alluvial workings

Next are a couple of camping grounds,

palmer river goldfields camping palmer river goldfields camping
palmer river goldfields camping palmer river goldfields camping

... and then the loop road takes you to Maytown.

palmer river goldfields maytown

Maytown

Maytown was the capital of Palmer River Goldfields.

maytown

And not only that - it was the capital of Cape York peninsula at the time when the rush was on.

maytown monument

After the drive in you first arrive to the monument in the beginning of the main street.

maytown main street

If you walk down along the street, there are ruins of at least seven stores,

maytown chew lee store maytown ah fun store

... at least four hotels (but there would have been more),

maytown cciiford hotel maytown ahlers hotel
maytown smith hotel maytown seibel hotel

... a butchery, a chemist,
 
maytown butcher maytown chemist

... a saddler shop and even a printing office.

maytown printing office maytown saddler shop

There is also a replica of an old miner's hut,

maytown miners hut

... complete with a toilet and a shower,

maytown dunny maytown shower

... and a little museum inside.

maytown miners hut inside

And, there are the
stumps of a post office, a court house and a police station.

maytown stumps

Behind Maytown


In the end of the main street,

maytown track

... there is a track,

maytown to palmer river

... that takes you to the crossing ...

maytown palmer river

... of Palmer River,

maytown palmer river crossing

... which leads to the road to Palmerville.





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