The township of Laura is located north of Lakeland and 27 kilometres from the southern entrance to Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park.
Known as Quinkan country, Laura is home to the renowned Split Rock Gallery of incredible prehistoric rock art paintings listed by UNESCO as being amongst the top 10 rock art sites in the world. It is also home of the Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival and the Laura Races and Rodeo.
Historically, Laura was a camp for workers during the construction of the old Cooktown to Laura railway. It became a permanent town after the Queensland Government decided not to proceed with the development.
Old Laura Homestead: Battle Camp Road, Lakefield National Park
This historically significant former cattle station provides insight into the life of the early pioneers of Cape York Peninsula. Built in 1879 by the O’Beirne family, the property was running approximately 8,000 head of cattle. The station continued to operate until it was purchased in 1966 by the Lakefield Cattle Company who moved their base of operations to what is now the New Laura Ranger Base.
After the Lakefield National Park was established by the Queensland Government in 1978, volunteers began interpreting and reconstructing the homestead and outbuildings. The homestead is now listed on the Queensland Heritage Register.
Museums and Galleries
Indigenous Rock Art Sites and Galleries: Laura
Found amongst the sandstone escarpments, the significant rock art of the region is identified as being 15,000 to 30,000 years old. It is known as Quinkan Country after the unique representations of the Aboriginal dreamtime spirits.
Access requires moderate walking and it is highly recommended you have adequate water, a hat, sunscreen and sturdy footwear.
Quinkan and Regional Cultural Centre: Lot 2, Peninsula Development Road, Laura
The Quinkan and Regional Cultural Centre was established with the support of Queensland Heritage Trials Network and many North Queensland organisations, businesses and individuals, and is now owned and operated by the town and region. The centre showcases aspects of the Quinkan country and surrounds including aboriginal heritage, culture and rock art, the mining era, local celebrations and early settlement in the area. The centre also offers information on attractions in the area, accommodation and conditions for travelling through Quinkan country and Cape York.
Indigenous Rock Art Tours: Laura
Selected sites, including the Quinkan, Split Rock, Mushroom Rock and Giant Horse galleries are open to the public through guided tours by experienced Indigenous guides.
Laura Heritage Trail: Laura
Discover Laura by foot. The Laura Heritage Trail starts at the centre of the town opposite the pub. See relics of the gold and railway era along the walk, and even experience the confinement of an early police lockup and the historic railway bridge.