Jungle Queen at Russell Heads
Photo by Nan Bailey
She was built by Arthur Shepherd in
1948 to run the tourist trip from Deeral Landing on the Mulgrave
River south of Cairns, to Russell heads, where the Mulgrave and
Russell Rivers join and enter the sea as one river. She was 40
foot long with a beam of about 12ft, but a draft of only 18 inches
so she could travel the tidal rivers and skim over the sand banks.
She had twin Perkins diesels and twin props in tunnel hulls.
She was sunk in a flood when we bought her, so we had her raised
and taken to Cairns where David fixed her up and had her put
back into survey. Then we had to build up the business and lure
the tourists to do our trip. We took her twice a day on the 2
1/2 hr trip to Russell Heads, telling the tourists about the
river life and history. We parked beside the beach so they could
have a walk, have their tea, coffee and Jungle Cake before returning
to the jetty. We didn't make much mobney doing this, but I enjoyed
it. We didn't often see the crocodiles -- that was the problem.
© The photographer and Victoria-Adventure