Monday, July 7, 2014

July 4th DAY 18

We had to leave the tropical paradise where we have spent the last 2 nights. Today is much warmer after a hot night.
The Thornborough cemetery is clean and easy to walk through. It is cared for by members of the Cairns 4WD Club. It has been burnt from time to time and this, no doubt, has contributed to the destruction of graves. From here we headed off to find Mt Mulligan and the cattle station.
Firstly Mt Mulligan appeared, over 30 km long with quite a flat top and sheer sand stone cliff faces. Gold Mines are in evidence everywhere we drive. There were about 10,000 people in the Hodgskinson area around 1880 when the young Desailly brothers arrived. They were in their early 20s and surely enjoyed the fun and games of a mining settlement despite the fact they were cattle men. I imagine the station owner supplied meat to the miners.
We inspected the historic ruins of Mt Mulligan which is an area known for coal mining in the early 1900s

There are lovely campsites on the station. The owner does not live there but care-taker, Stan, alots camp sites and keeps the 'donkey' burning for hot showers. He knew very little of the history of the station. John
asked about the lower end of Mt Mulligan where Charles was tailing cattle. Stan suggested that we go in along a station track and camp at the southern end of Mt Mulligan which he thought was the lower end. What an opportunity!
The track was very rough and after 4 kms we camped on Branch Creek which does actually run into the Hodgkinson River. We are camped right under Mt Mulligan and surely must be close to the area where Charles was working with cattle on that fateful day March 8th 1883. The bush is extremely rough with under growth, trees and rocks. It would not have been an easy job to 'keep an eye' on a mob of cattle.

Thornborough Cemetery where Charles Desailly is buried

Southern end of Mt Mulligan

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