You’re probably wondering where in the world Mt. Mulligan is…great question. The answer is basically on the edge of the outback/Dimbulah. To reach Mt. Mulligan you have to be adventurous, willing to handle some bumpy dirt roads, and comfortable with some dust (or willing to pay for a quick helicopter ride there). Located about 3 hours Northwest of Cairns, Mt Mulligan is unfortunately well known for one of Queensland’s worst mining disasters (75 men were killed when the mine exploded…yeah not great).
When I visited the region, I camped at the Tyrconnell Outback Experience & Historic Goldmine. Since my visit, the family that owned the land has sadly sold it to a developer. While the developer has thankfully promised sustainable building designs and environmental friendliness, it’s still hard to see the natural rugged landscape experience development.
While you might fear being bored in such an isolated setting, there are actually a ton of awesome things about the gold mine:
- You get to see the old gold-sifting machinery (and in working condition still!)
- You can explore the old miners homes and other abandoned tools (within certain boundaries for safety reasons of course)
- The location provides unobstructed views of the night sky that are rare in more urban settings. Sometimes you’ll even see this strange ring appear around the moon. I don’t know the science behind why it appears, but it was one of the coolest sights to see [see my Travel Guide for an image].
- The hike up to Mt. Mulligan is beautiful and so rewarding. I recommend a morning hike as the sunrise is simply gorgeous and you can watch the old mining town come to life. The feature picture of this post is from one of those memorable hikes to the top.
- It gives you a taste of the outback lifestyle without having to go hours into the middle of nowhere.
- You can hike to the cemetery where miners from that fateful explosion are buried. Yes it’s eerie, but also a really cool piece of history.
- There are an endless amount of trails, creek beds, and places to explore. If you’re anything like me, its a bit like being at Disneyland for explorers.
Tyrconnell Outback Experience & Historic Gold Mine .. while I don’t believe you can stay there anymore, it’s a great site for historical context
Info on the creepy cemetery
Neat drone footage of the mine that I found on YouTube…all credit to the original creator