Kuranda District Photographs
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, one of the most popular tourism images in Queensland was that of the Barron River cascading over the edge of the gorge at Barron Falls. The opening of the Kuranda Railway in 1891, complete with a convenient lookout stop overlooking the falls, meant that such images of Barron Gorge occupied a place in many early scenic souvenirs of Queensland. Views of the falls, along with dramatic depictions of steam trains winding their way up the gorge and picturesque scenes of Stoney Creek Falls, have become iconic images of early Queensland tourism.
Such photographs continue to come to light. A small collection, recently digitised at State Library of Queensland, holds some fine examples of early Barron Gorge photographs. These pictures, taken in the 1890s by an unidentified photographer, include a couple of spectacular images of the train line passing Stoney Creek Falls as well as a view from one of the numerous tunnels along the climb.
The collection also includes a powerful depiction of an Aboriginal group standing in front of their dome shaped shelters, taken in the region around the gorge. The group is likely to be from the Djabugay language group which lived in the area of the Kuranda Range. Due to access restrictions this specific image is only available to view on site at State Library of Queensland.
You can view the Kuranda District photographs via our One Search Catalogue.
R. Hillier – Original Materials Librarian, State Library of Queensland