Laura, Cook Area
Famous for its rock art, Quinkan Country contains a large and dramatic body of prehistoric rock paintings. Often referred to as the Quinkan Reserves, the region is among the top 10 rock art areas in the world and are also considered worthy of World Heritage listing. The paintings and engravings contained in the numerous Galleries are a pictorial record of ancestral spirits and through them represent the laws, socialization, spirituality and cultural practices that are at the core of Aboriginal life and identity and their connection to the land. Rock Art from the region provides an amazing pictorial record of Aboriginal integration with the Australian landscape for a period of at least 27,000 years.
People from many countries visit these magnificent rock art sites to develop an understanding of the Aboriginal stories associated with the sandstone landscape of the region. This landscape features many areas of weathered and eroded rock that has shaped and sculptured this wondrous landscape into the escarpments, rocky outcrops hills, and the river valleys that are seen today.
Quinkan Country also boasts a colourful history of exploration and history. Some of the region’s many highlights include: The Palmer River Gold Rush, establishment and legacy of Maytown, Cobb & Co together with the outback mail service, construction of the Cooktown-Laura railway and Cape York telegraph line. Not to mention the establishment and development of the pastoral industry on Cape York Peninsula.
The history of settlement in this remote and beautiful outback environment is a story of Queensland’s pioneering heritage. Laura and the surrounding region represents a rich and diverse cross-section of this important period of the establishment and development of one of the most remote parts of Australia. Visit the Quinkan and Regional Cultural Centre to learn more about this fascinating region and its diverse European heritage.