Photographs and Adventures

Cape York building project

The track to Billy Boil winds through the bush and includes several water crossings and rough patches.

We were lucky to be involved in a building project on Aboriginal property in Cape York, west of Hope Vale settlement. We went there as part of a Rotary project to help with the building of a house, consisting of a very large verandah area with three under-cover bedrooms, an amenities block with two toilets and a shower which was connected to the main house via a walkway, and a separate kitchen area; open sided under a corrugated iron roof, with an open fire at the end for cooking.

Most of our meals and drinks were prepared using the open fire; there was always hot water for coffee or washing.

We had a huge lump of beef, way too much for a single meal, even for 13 people. Since it was frozen, the only way to divide it was to saw it in half.

This lump of meat is the half we put back in the freezer for another day.

The kitchen facilities were basic, and all cooking is done under an open shelter with rough shelves along the side.

Everyone washes their own clothes, using a bucket and water from the creek that we heated on the fire. Clothes hang to dry between two trees.

This guy visited us every day around lunchtime, appearing out of the bush. When approached, he would run up a tree.

Working on the support for the front steps into the house.

Almost all the timber in the building was sourced on the property and cut on-site using a portable Lucas Mill timber mill.

Rough planks were put through this machine to smooth the surfaces for interior walls.

The weatherboards for the walls were from such fresh timber that water literally ran from the ends while they were being nailed up. It is good though, because the timber doesn’t split easily when it is wet.


In this photo, the plumber is bending the copper pipes, using heat from the cooking fire to soften the metal.

Making fried scones for morning tea. This was a bit of an experiment, but they turned out well.

These didn’t last long. The men thought they were a nice change from bought biscuits.

I am not sure where this came from, but I think the advice for the indigenous youngsters is good advice for everyone!

This is the almost finished house and bathroom, built with the help of Rotary volunteers, in the bush outside of Hope Vale aboriginal community in Cape York. The kitchen will remain in the open shelter.

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