The cruise of the Francois 1928 End of the line - Cairns 17th to 19th May 1928 “May 17 1928 3:10am.  Rounded Fitzroy Island distant ¾ mile. 5am.  Took sail off.  Used engine up to mooring. 7:15am.  Tied up at concrete wharf at Cairns. Stood on and off waiting for daylight. 1pm.  Tied up at Cairns. Ordered ice, bread, butter and meat.  Filled water tanks with good Cairns water after pumping out dirty Townsville water.” © Copyright 2011  Julianne Dodds Did You Know? The party had now reached the northernmost tip of their voyage, fourteen days after leaving Brisbane. Their arrival was reported in the Cairns Post newspaper on the following day. Upon disembarking the party strolled through Cairns and had lunch at the Strand Hotel.   The following day, 19th May, was spent in Cairns. The parties took the opportunity to travel by motor car up the new Range Road through Lake Barrine,   Yungaburra and Atherton. Here they boarded a   train for the return trip via Mareeba, Kuranda and   the famous Barron Falls. All agreed that the scenic beauty of the journey both going up and coming down was unforgettable.   Mac was impressed with the quality and variety of timber that he saw during that day. This influenced him to purchase logs for his mill from the Tableland area in later years.  The Strand Hotel on the Esplanade at Cairns - 1929. Map obtained by Mac Williams in 1928 showing Cairns District   railways. Many of the lines are now closed. Williams Collection.  During the party’s absence from Cairns, rain had continued without letup. On their return to the schooner, they moved her higher up the wharf to leave clear berth for the   Ormiston. Owned by the Australasian United Steamship Navi-gation Company, the Ormiston ran a coastal freight and passenger service between Cairns and Melbourne.  Rain squalls set in and they hastily took in the stores and twenty cases of fuel. Barron Falls. Photo taken in 1928.  Williams Collection  Building a railway It was 1882 and the miners of Herberton were on the brink of total starvation, unable to get supplies due to flooding. A route to civilisation was desperately needed and adventure bushman Christie Palmerston was charged with finding a starting point for a railway. Dense jungle and cliffs with sheer drops of up to 327 metres and a slope as steep as 45 degrees were literal death traps for workers. After removing 2.3 million metres of earthworks, creating 15 tunnels, 93 curves, dozens of bridges and 75 kilometres of track, a banquet high up on the bridge with General Sir Henry Wiley Norman, Governer of Queensland marked the completion of Stoney Creek Bridge. Shortly after in June of 1891 the line was opened. Today the Kuranda Scenic Railway gives tourists the opportunity to experience this legendary construction.