• Woolgoolgaoffroad

SOMERSET STATION ... cape york

Near the N/E tip of the cape, Somerset was established as a government outpost in 1864, with John Jardine as Police Magistrate. In 1865, his sons Frank and Alexander, encountered great difficulties in herding cattle and horses from Rockhampton along western Cape York Peninsula to Somerset due to the landscape and unfriendly locals as they established the first cattle station in the cape.

John married Sana Solia, niece of the King of Samoa and raised two sons and two daughters while in the cape. The Jardine family also established Somerset Homestead as a haven for shipwrecked sailors who braved the roaring seas to the north.

Apparently the station was the centre of the cape back in the day as it was also a government outpost and where John was appointed a Police magistrate, and sometimes having his own law in the north.

Little remains of the settlement today after a fire tore through the area in the 1960’s there’s a few ruins, small canons and a flagpole mark where the front entrance once was, some out buildings are slowly weathering away.

Can still find the old windmill, stone walls and fresh water well too. A memorial to the Jardines is that they are buried nearby with fitting plaques and solum words inscribed to the stone. With the Jardine’s there’s other graves that include a pearl diver, Chinese, local indigenous and several unmarked sites.

Overlooking Pioneer bay and Albany Island is a great place to explore and also free camp down beside the water ( altho just be croc wise ). At low tide, head north by scrambling over the volcanic rocks to some amazing Aboriginal art tucked away within a sandstone cave. It has to be seen to be believed.

Want more info ?… well you’ll need to head up there and discover this spot for yourself.


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    I started Woolgoolga offroad back in the early nineties, after moving north of Coffs Harbour. Not only do I love bloody hard Offroad days, there's nothing better than getting out and exploring our wonderful north coast with it's array of rainforest, long stretching beaches and our awesome views.

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