Accessing Nicholson River near the old Kingfisher Resort

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 17, 2021 at 11:51
ThreadID: 140987 Views:6727 Replies:1 FollowUps:3
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I am trying to locate a geocache (treasure hunt with GPS type of game) that was placed on the banks of the Nicholson River near the old Kingfisher Camp in North Queensland. The cache was placed on the southern bank of the Nicholson River. Pleases see the attached picture.Doomadgee is off to the right of the picture. The geocache position is on the left hand side of the picture.

The management of the station that used to be Kingfisher Resort has categorically stated we cannot access the river using the station property. That is fine. From the pictures I have seen of signs on this site, it cannot be accessed from Lawn Hill - as the road from Bowthorn to the old Kingfisher Camp area is closed (according to signs posted up on this site)

Is it possible that this geocache is actually on Bowthorn Station land?

Can someone please let me know if they know of another LEGAL way to access this area? The Nicholson River seems to be perpetually broken according to Google Earth - making access via boat from places like Doomadgee seemingly impossible. Even if there is a way to legally get near the area to put a boat into the water? (I assume it would be legal to go onto the river)

I'd appreciate it if people with local knowledge could provide me any information. If the geocache cannot be legally accessed, then so be it. If I have made any incorrect assumptions, please let me know.

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Reply By: qldcamper - Sunday, Jan 17, 2021 at 12:48

Sunday, Jan 17, 2021 at 12:48
It is my belief that it is public land so many metres from either bank of a natural waterway. However property owners tend to Ignore this with their fences.
Hiking in may be your only option but is it worth it if you have been denied access.
If something goes wrong they are the people you will have to ask for help.
AnswerID: 634825

Follow Up By:- Sunday, Jan 17, 2021 at 13:36

Sunday, Jan 17, 2021 at 13:36
Many thanks.

Geocaches are not supposed to be on private property. Nor should you have to cross private property to get to them. The geocache should be delisted if that is what has to be done to get to it.

Wasn't a problem when it was placed - when Kingfisher Camp was operating.
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Follow Up By: dermie66 - Monday, Jan 18, 2021 at 22:10

Monday, Jan 18, 2021 at 22:10
Hi folks

The notion of “public land” along the edge of watercourses is a widely held misconception. Like most legislation, its complex and never straightforward. Many watercourses and coastlines traditionally have an ‘esplanade’ of varying widths running along each bank or setback from the high-water mark. Under the Qld Land Act 1994, an esplanade is a road and all roads (other than a road declared a State controlled road under the Transport Infrastructure Act) are vested in the State (‘owned by the State) with control of the road devolved to the local government. Having said that anyone can apply under the Land Act for a road license to temporarily or permanently close a road (and thus have a permit to use or occupy that land) or the local govt can manage access as it wishes.

An esplanade or road only exists where it is gazetted and shown on the associated registered plan of survey; it can be a right-line boundary (surveyed) or an ambulatory boundary (in the case of watercourses this means the defining bank of the watercourse wherever it is at any given time due to erosion or accretion).

A non-tidal boundary watercourse, as in this case (where the green dot is), is State land, you can see on the survey plan the boundaries of the adjoining land parcel (Lot 1 on Plan MU1). The land around it is leasehold land with no esplanade and the leaseholder has every right prevent public access via that lease land. You could, if you started where the road crosses the river east of Doomadgee, lawfully access the green dot location if you followed the riverbed all the way up staying within the surveyed river alignment, but I wouldn’t recommend it for a whole host of reasons. Some of those reasons have large teeth, others include it’s a braided channel (discontinuous during low flow) and you won’t get a boat all that way without dragging it from lagoon to lagoon.

It may have been OK to access this location previously via adjacent land while the leaseholder allowed, but now without that consent I’d say your “geocache” is redundant.

For situations where folk are wondering about land tenure (“public land” vs “private”) it might be helpful to learn to use Qld Globe (WAY better than Google Earth). Start up the app, add the layer “Planning cadastre”, scroll down the list and check the box “Land parcels”. This will display all the boundaries of roads, land parcels etc. If you use the query tool, it will tell you the land tenure (road, lease land, State land, freehold land etc) and lots of other attributes, depending on which layers you have turned on. There are a range of tutorial videos showing how to use this app, its actually pretty easy once you get the basic idea and there is an astounding amount of information and imagery over time that can be accessed through it. It works just as well on laptops, iPads and phones. I’d put a screenshot in if EO would allow.

Sorry for the longwinded response I just thought for anyone wanting to find out about property or landscape information in Qld, this is easy and free. Just remember to avoid arguments, like any map with rectified imagery, it is only a representation and is never intended to be millimetre or even metre accurate, just helpful.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2021 at 11:55

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2021 at 11:55
Thank you Dermie. An excellent, informative post.

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