Where the hell is Kingsborough?

Submitted: Friday, Apr 10, 2015 at 17:19
ThreadID: 117440 Views:7888 Replies:2 FollowUps:3
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That’s what we said when the daughter said they were going to Kingsborough for Easter, and would we like to join them? A bit of a Google search didn’t find too much, and a plea for help on ExplorOz(Thread: 117087) was only answered by Slow one and Neil & Margie. A website of NQ Miners Den gave some useful info too.
We travelled up along the Hann Highway(Kennedy Developmental Road), via Hughenden, The Lynd(Diesel: $1:39.9), Mt Garnet, Ravenshoe, Atherton, Mareeba and onto the Burke Developmental road, to Dimbulah, where we turned north onto the Mt Mulligan Road.

Less than an hour later, we turned right near the Thornborough Cemetery, past the

remains of Thornborough township, and wound our way through the hills for another 7 kms into Kingsborough. About 4 km in, we past Tyrconnel Mine, which runs tours in the area, and has some accommodation available.

Kingsborough is a bit of an oasis, nestled into a bend on McLeods Ck, with neat lawns and a mix of plants and trees scattered throughout, to keep any keen gardeners truly happy.

We set up the camper next to the Kids camp, close to the creek, and surrounded by Hibiscus, Bamboo, palms, quavas and many other plants. Other campers were scattered about the place, as well as a number on the other side of the creek, up against one of the hills.

On Easter Saturday, we all clambered into a BT-50 dual cab and drove up to Mt Mulligan. The kids were planning to camp here again, as they had last year, but the new owners of Mt Mulligan Station have cancelled any camping, hunting, fossicking etc on the station. We had a good look around there, at the old township, the cemetery, the remains of the Mine buildings and even walked up to the entrance to the mine. Mt Mulligan was the scene of 3rd largest mine disaster in Australia, when the mine exploded on 19/09/1921, and 75 miners lost their lives.

The Bicentennial National Trail comes within a few kilometres of Kingsborough, and we did a couple of runs along it, in both directions on Sunday. It was in quite good condition, though a little overgrown in a few spots. The daughter had bought a couple of gold pans from NQ Miners Den in Cairns, but we didn’t end up trying them out……most of the creeks were full of boulders, rather than gold bearing gravel, that’s easy to shovel.

Packed up Monday and parted company in Dimbulah. Fuelled up here($1:38.8/L-Diesel) at “The One Stop Shop”, just off the highway, you can get food, groceries, fuel, a great little shop.

We planned to return on a different route, so headed up to Almaden, (past Petford, which must surely have the smallest railway station in Australia, if not the world.) where we turned onto the Mt Surprise Road and headed south. This is a gravel road, in far better condition than the dotted line on a Hema map would suggest. A couple of short sections of bitumen were a relief from the corrugations, but overall it was easy travelling.

A bit of “weather” around, and our reluctant, furry travelling companions, made us decide to turn left onto the Mt Garnet road, rather than venture onto Mt Surprise, then down to Einasleigh, and back to The Lynd. This brought us out onto the highway 22 kms south of Mt Garnet by mid afternoon. About an hour down the bitumen, after passing the 40 Mile Scrub N/P, and Undarra Lava Tubes turn off, we found a gravel pad, with plenty of room for us, and perhaps any trucks that might need to pull up.
Bit close to the bitumen, but traffic was light after dark, and big surprise, we had FULL Telstra coverage. Rib Fillet and fried rice for tea, and a bit later on, a visit from a Stimson’s Python, about a metre long, wasn’t appreciated by the Cook. For any Wikicampers, I added this campsite to the site list……

Morning brought a heavy dew, a quick brekkie and down the highway to The Lynd, where we grabbed an iced coffee, and topped up with fuel. A bit different here this morning, as only another bloke and us fuelling up. About same time on Good Friday, there were road trains, sedans, wagons, campers caravans and all manner of vehicles, heading to Einasleigh for the Rodeo, and no doubt other destinations as well. Busy as!

From when I first went up through The Lynd in 2009, there is now heaps more bitumen, so on the way back measured the amount of gravel remaining. Probably just over 100 kms left, in about 8-10 different sections. The only bad corrugations were about 2 kms south of Poison Creek, the rest was pretty easy……..if you like corrugations!!!
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Reply By: Slow one - Saturday, Apr 11, 2015 at 06:50

Saturday, Apr 11, 2015 at 06:50
Bob. Great post and good to see your family enjoyed the break.

There is some great country and history round there.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Apr 11, 2015 at 08:34

Saturday, Apr 11, 2015 at 08:34
Thanks Slow. Was a good couple of days with the kids.

Only drama we had was a Kinchrome alloy water tank I'd fitted prior to departure, split and lost all water only 450 clicks from home. The lady warned me that it might split. Looks like a poly one now.

Thinking about heading back that way again, maybe in June?


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Reply By: Member - OnYaBike - Thursday, Apr 16, 2015 at 12:14

Thursday, Apr 16, 2015 at 12:14
Great story and pics. I love that country, very historical, and like to take visitors there if they're up for camping.
Pity about Mt Mulligan Station camping. They used to have the turnoffs to the river numbered and you'd just tell them which number you were going to camp at. The drive from there through aboriginal lands (pass through but no camping) to Cooktown Crossing and then on to the Cape road is a good one. I had heard there was interest in CSG mining at Mt Mulligan.
I didn't know you could camp at Kingsborough. I thought it was private property and we kept clear. What's the deal, a fee for camping?
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, Apr 16, 2015 at 13:47

Thursday, Apr 16, 2015 at 13:47
Thanks for the comments, OYB.

A large sign at the Mt Mulligan boundary grid leaves no doubt that you can do very little. Even the blue camping signs, erected by the council, have been painted out. We were about to drive up to the abandoned Tennyson Wood mine, about a click or so north of Kingsborough, and were blocked by another resident in the area, who relayed to us that management didn't want anyone going there.Bicentennial National Trail was okay to drive along though. :-(

Yes, camping is available at Kingsborough. Estimate there may have around 100 people camped there, though at the time didn't think to get a more accurate figure. 2 flushing toilets & 2 hot showers, supplied by a donkey, makes it very comfortable. As photo above shows, it's mostly lawns, with plenty of plants, and if you're lucky, a bit of shade in afternoons.

Ike lives there by himself, and is the person to get in touch with. Sorry, don't have his phone number. Daughter paid for us all, but not sure whether Ike has a set fee or not

Have done a bit of googling since we got home, about the Hodgkinson mineral Field. Appears that the Mt Mulligan coal was quite a low grade of coal, and the mine was subsidised to a degree, after the war. Also, the gold wasn't in great abundance either, mainly reef ore, and very little alluvial, to speak of.

Our daughter lives in Cairns also, so very easy drive up there for you all...........about 800 kms for us - one way. :-). Have sms'd the daughter for phone number, if she still has it.


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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, Apr 16, 2015 at 14:08

Thursday, Apr 16, 2015 at 14:08
Ike's phone number @ Kingsborough is: 07 4093-5955


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