If you want to know about Gordonvale and the history of a town built around the sugar industry,then stroll around the streets from the Sugar Mill and you will see some terrific mosaics depicting stories of the early traders in the area.
I found it facinating especially the Aboriginal legend of the now named Walsh's Pyramid mountain.There were a lot of meeting places in Gordonvale and they were essential to the way of life in a small town.
The Cane Cutter statue has a drinking fountain in Norman Park and a mosaic surrounding it showing when all the work was done by hand or horse and plough.They were tough times for those not used to tropical heat.
The statue is dedicated to the men and women who worked in the cane fields and those who started family cane farms in the district.
It was known as "Natures Sweet Gift" The walk is easy and free--suitable for wheelchairs and prams. Free parking if you are driving or you can get here via the public Sunbus.
Most visitors miss the opportunity to stop on the bank of the Mulgrave River in Gordonvale because there is no direct turn off from the Bruce Highway.
This is a lovely place called 'Green Patch' where the locals go for a swim and picnic/or bbq.
As you stroll along the bank you will get fantastic views of Walsh's Pyramid and looking back you will see the railway bridge and the sugar mill smoke stack.
There is a car park but the tracks to the river are dirt and have some nasty holes,so be careful you don't damage your car.It is drivable and walkable in the dry season but not in the wet season as this river usually floods.
You will also see burnt logs where people have built camp fires along the bank--it is not safe to venture here on your own or after dark as it is often used for drinking and sometimes intoxicated people get out of control.
But it is worth a look in my opinion.
The Gordonvale sugar mill offers really good tours for those who are interested in how the cane is crushed and the process of sugar .
The cane trains are fast disappearing which in my opinion is sad because they have been a part of the industry from the very beginning. It is pretty special to see them chugging along and blowing the whistle--sometimes just to wave and welcome you to Gordonvale.
The cane harvesting usually happens during June,July,August--
Gordonvale is a place where a lot of Indigenous people from Yarrabah Aboriginal community come to do their shopping,gather in Norman Park to meet with family and friends and generally keep to themselves--sometimes you may see intoxicated people or someone who has fallen asleep in the park or outside the public toilets, please walk buy or if you are concerned about someone's health or safety report it to the local police who are situated at the edge of the park.
They really do not like to be stared at and if you do happen to get in a conversation don't expect them to look you in the eyes--it is culterally rude for them so they lower their eyes when talking.
Just because you may see people in the park,please do not judge them to be homeless or having an alcohol problem--that is not ok and I know a few people who get very hurt because strangers have been cruel.
Indigenous locals love being outdoors and having a yarn. Respect is the keyword.
I have not taken a photo because that is rude to do so without permission.I have a pic of the park.
After dark I suggest you stay away from the banks of the Mulgrave river at the Green Patch,some of the locals use this area as a drinking place and often fights break out,it is not safe to venture here during this time.Camp fire ashes are seen all along the banks.
Best to keep a sharp eye out during the daylight hours too.It is quite isolated and would not recommend anyone to go alone.
The river often floods during the wet season so locals say not to go there then.
You can read up on this place on my Cairns page (off the beaten track.)