Photos of Gordonvale - A sugar town south of Cairns, Australia

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Around Gordonvale - A sugar town south of Cairns

24 kilometres south of Cairns, in north Queensland, is the town of Gordonvale, a sugar milling town since 1896 and still dominated by its sugar mill, servicing the farms around it. It is a quiet town, with a population of around 6,000 people. Its big event is "The Great Pyramid Race", held every year in August, in which enthusiasts run (or attempt to run) to the top of Walsh's Pyramid, the landmark conical hill, 922 metres high, and back. The distance of 12 kilometres, including the almost 1 kilometre climb, has been completed in 80 minutes! The traditional Aboriginal owners of the Pyramid are the Yidinyji-Malanbarra clan who refer to it as "Djarrugan": the mound of Djarruga, the scrub hen. This gave its name to Djarragun College, an indigenous school with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students situated just north of the town.

Gordonvale Pub
From Heale's Lookout
Gordonvale Post Office
Riverstone Hotel
War Memorial
Norman Street
Dempsey Street
Sugar pioneer
Pyramid Estate
Central Hotel
Gordonvale view
View of the cane fields
Gordonvale from the Pyramid
Gordonvale panorama
Sikh temple
Old railway station
Mulgrave River
Gordonvale Rail station
The sugar mill
Gordon Street
Sugar cane
Little Mulgrave River
In Behana Gorge
Behana Creek
Behana Falls
Behana Creek Falls
Swimming in Behana Creek
Athletics day
Pyramid Estate
Gordonvale view
Along the Gillies Highway
From the Gillies Highway
Mushrooms growing
Across the Mulgrave River
Mulgrave sugar mill
Sugar cane train
View to Walsh's Pyramid
View with low clouds
Painted frog on rock
Rapids below Pete's Falls
Lower Pete's Falls
Picnic at the Falls
Gnarled tree
Below Pete's Falls
Hotel veranda
Waiting on the street

The area of Gordonvale was first settled in 1877 by white families on the tribal lands of the Yidinyji-Malanbarra; it was previously called Mulgrave and then Nelson and finally Gordonvale, named after the local pioneer John Gordon. The Mulgrave Central sugar mill near the centre of town started as far back as 1896 and operates six months of the year. Sugar production is declining: in recent years large stretches of sugar fields have been converted to new suburbs. Gordonvale presently has a population of around 4,500.

There are many scenic spots around the town, like Behana Gorge near Aloomba, and, along the Gillies Highway leading up to the Atherton Tablelands, great views to Walsh's Pyramid; there are waterholes along the Mulgrave River, the Goldsborough and Wooroonooran National Park, stretching all the way south to the Palmerston Highway