LAURA
The tiny Cape York township of Laura is located 320 kilometres north of Cairns and 142 kilometres west of Cooktown. The town and the surrounding region are rich in Aboriginal history and culture, and Laura is an excellent starting place for an adventure into the northern part of Cape York Peninsula.
THE LITTLE TOWN OF LAURA IS FAMOUS FOR ITS SPECTACULAR SITES OF ABORIGINAL ART AND FOR ITS LAURA FESTIVAL, WHEN PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE SHIRE COME TOGETHER TO CELEBRATE ABORIGINAL CULTURE.
Aborigines have lived in the Laura River valley for at least 50,000 years. In fact, this area is recognized as the centre for the largest collection of prehistoric rock art in the world, and this is the biggest drawcard to the tiny town.

Explorer Archibald Macmillan explored the Laura River in 1873, and named it after his wife. Cattlemen soon drove their herds to the area's fine grazing lands, and within a few years, Laura had become a thriving settlement catering for the miners working on the Palmer River Goldfields. During the gold boom, a railway line was planned from Cooktown to the goldfields. By 1888, the line had reached Laura. The railway bridge over the Laura River was, in those days, and engineering marvel, comprising five 25 metre spans of iron lattice girders on concrete piers. It was 180 metres long and 18 metres high. It was opened, to great fanfare, in 1891. But by then, the Palmer River goldfields were already in decline, and the costly railway project was abandoned. Only one train ever crossed the bridge - the train that ran on the day that it opened.

Today, Laura is little more than a pub, a general store, two service stations, a school, a police station, and a few houses. It is an Aboriginal settlement with a population of less than 100.

ATTRACTIONS AND THINGS TO DO - LAURA


ABORIGINAL CULTURE
QUINKAN CULTURAL CENTRE
Lot 2, Peninsula Development Road, Laura, Phone (07) 4060 3457, Fax (07) 4060 3470
Indigenous tourism is becoming very popular among visitors and Cooktown is perfect for it. Near the town of Laura, west of Cooktown, you will find Quinkan Country. Be amazed by the amount of rock paintings featuring all sorts of animals and mythological creatures, including QUINKANS and sorcery figures. There are hundreds of galleries hidden in the cliffs of the Great Dividing Range, some of them go as far as Punsand Bay, the northernmost point of the Australian continent, and the site is thought to have been used for 13,000 years. The most popular of these Aboriginal sites is Split Rock, set up with boardwalks and interpretatrive information, Mushroom Rock and Giant Horse Gallery are another two sites. The best way to visit and understand these sites is through a guided tour. Visit the Quinkan and Regional Cultural Centre for more information.


NATURAL SITES
LAKEFIELD NATIONAL PARK
Lakefield National Park, the second largest National Park in Queensland, is just 27 kilometres from Laura. This huge wetland park is famous for its prolific birdlife. For more information on Lakefield National Park, please visit our NATIONAL PARKS page.


EVENTS
Aboriginal kids performing at Laura Dance and Musical Festival.LAURA FESTIVAL
Laura holds the biggest and longest Aboriginal festival of its kind in Australia. Celebrating Aboriginal culture, still very strong in North Queensland, the Laura Dance and Cultural Festival is a bi-annual event that nowadays attracts heaps of people from all over the country and overseas. Many indigenous communities, mainly from the Cape York region, will participate through songs, dances, music and stories. Also traditional indigenous sporting events and competitions will be held during the festival.

LAURA RACES AND RODEO
Every year in late June or early July, the small outback town of Laura celebrates the Laura Races and Rodeo, a wonderful event which is an example of the Outback life style. Visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy bush racing, a rodeo, cabaret and live music while meeting many of the sociable and peculiar characters that live and work around Laura.

For more details regarding these and other events all around the region, check out our TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND EVENTS CALENDAR.

ACCOMMODATION - LAURA

Your choice of accommodation in Laura is limited, to say the least. This is the beginning of one of the most remote and unpopulated areas of Australia, so you wouldn't necessarily expect 5-star resorts and spas. There is traditional pub style accommodation, and there is also a caravan park. Scroll down to choose your Laura holiday accommodation.

QUINKAN HOTEL
Terminus Street, Laura
Phone (07) 4060 3255

LAURA CARAVAN PARK AND CAMPING

LAKEFIELD NATIONAL PARK
Camping is permitted in Lakefield National Park, but campers must obtain a permit. Some facilities are provided. For more information on camping in Lakefield National Park, please visit our NATIONAL PARKS page.



DINING - LAURA

LAURA ROADHOUSE
Phone (07) 4060 3419

GETTING TO LAURA

Access to Laura is via the Peninsula Development Road. A small section of the road between Lakeland and Laura is still unsealed, but the surface is generally well-maintained and accessible to two wheel drive vehicles most of the year. However, during the wet season, road conditions may deteriorate rapidly. Road closures are not uncommon during periods of heavy rain. Be sure to check the current ROAD CONDITIONS before venturing off the major highways.

At Cairns Unlimited, we strongly recommend experiencing this unique part of Australia by car, as this is the only way you will have the freedom and flexibility to enjoy the countryside at your own pace. If you're interested in hiring a rental car, four wheel drive, or campervan (or four wheel drive campervan!) please fill out the no-obligation rental car enquiry form on our CAR HIRE page. We will get back to you directly with the best deal that is available. It may be much less expensive than you think.

Let Skysafari show you Tropical North Queensland from above, with a scenic flight or air tour to Laura or Cooktown.A scenic flight or air tour with Skysafari will allow you to discover the hidden secrets of Laura and Cooktown in comfort and style.SKYSAFARI


Click here to check availability and book online

Life changing experiences await!

Fly inland to the red raw outback to the historical town of Laura and take a look at the original Australian through the eyes of his artwork. Be led through the Quinkan Rock Art by emotive Aboriginal guides and feel privileged to witness paintings many thousands of years old, provoking the memory of a flourishing people in tune and inspired by their environment
Quinkan roack art, near Laura.
Quinkan roack art, near Laura.


EMERGENCY SERVICES

In case of emergency only, dial 000. In all other cases, phone the local service for Laura:

Hospital (07) 4069 5433
Nursing Clinic (07) 4060 3320
Police (07) 4060 3244
Roadside Assistance - RACQ 131 905 (24 hours)