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Category Archives: Cairns Queensland

SEARCHING FOR HELLS GATE – AN FNQ ART DETECTIVE STORY

HG COMIn 1969, a group of far north Queensland artists began a search for Hells Gate – a by then lost location at the heart of the Palmer River gold rush 100 years earlier. Percy Trezise, Dick Roughsey, Ray Crooke and anthropologist  Frank Woolsten went in to tough country in the Kennedy Creek region of Cape York Peninsula, at the start of a lengthy exploration of history, country and story. The story of that long journey is eloquently told in an exhibition about to open at the Cairns Regional Gallery – Searching for Hells Gate.

Hells Gate was a pass in the Great Dividing Range and a significant short cut on the journey from the Palmer goldfields back to Cooktown, the closest town and port. As the name implies, it was a hellish place, very difficult to traverse and the ideal place to ambush a prospector and relieve him of his gold. Hells Gate became part of the mythology of the gold rush, but its precise location was forgotten by the early 1900s.

In 1969, Percy, Dick and Raye set out to find Hells Gate – it was the start of a long creative friendship, an exploration of indigenous and European Cape York history, and the creation of some tremendous art.

LISTEN to Percy Trezise and curator Justin Bishop. :

[audio https://rdontheroad.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/blog-hells-gate.mp3|bg=0x0000ff|righticon=0xff0000]

 

Searching For Hells Gate runs from 29 August – 9 November 2014 at the Cairns Regional Gallery.

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2014 in Cairns Queensland, Cape York Peninsula, EFFINCUE, far north Queensland

 

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FROM TROPICAL FNQ TO FROZEN NORWAY – BY DOG SLED. MEET LARA HUDSON

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LARA HUDSON – AND FRIENDS

We’ve had a few cold nights in far north Queensland recently. That’s what happens when we get these lovely fine dry season days – created by cooler dry air from the south. That sends the night time minimums down to the low teens in Cairns, and single figures on the high country west of us, on the lovely Atherton Tablelands.

Those cool nights won’t be worrying Lara Hudson – if anything, it’s probably helping her prepare for sub zero temperatures she will experience in northern Scandinavia later this year. Lara worked in the fashion industy for 13 years. but found herself wondering about things she had not yet experienced. That led her to a dog sledding trip in Sweden – and now Lara is heading to Norway to work as a sledding guide. Lara will live in a remote wilderness camp a couple of hours from Tromso, with no electricity or running water – but there will be plenty of huskies.

 LISTEN to my interview with Lara Hudson here.

Lara’s blog is at http://mylifesubzero.blogspot.no/

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2014 in Cairns Queensland, EFFINCUE, far north Queensland, rd on the road

 

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THE CAIRNS UKULELE FESTIVAL 2014 – TONY HILLIER’S WORLD OF MUSIC

ukeCairns is the centre of the ukulele universe this weekend – with the 5th Cairns Ukulele Festival well underway. Players of the four-stringed instrument have come to far north Queensland from around Australia and from faraway shores to celebrate an instrument that evokes the tropics more eloquently than any other. Tony Hillier takes a forward and backward look at the Cairns Ukefest.

PLAYLIST

Seisia by Cairns band Kamerunga, as featured on the Putumayo album Australian Playground

Living In Paradise by Hawaiian star Daniel Ho, as recorded at a previous Cairns Ukefest

Take The A Train by Paul Hemmings from the album Introducing Paul Hemmings Uketet

My Girl From The South Sea Isles by the Sweet Hollywaiians, as recorded at a previous Cairns Ukefest

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Posted by on July 4, 2014 in Cairns Queensland, EFFINCUE, music, Tony Hillier's World of Music

 

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SPEAKING IN TONGUES – THE PLAY THAT BECAME LANTANA OPENS AT THE RONDO IN CAIRNS

SPK TONG

One of the best Australian films of recent times was Lantana – Ray Lawrence directing a stellar cast in a complex and compelling tale of mystery, lust and the search for something more. The film was based on a play by Andrew BovellSpeaking In Tongues. That play opens in Cairns this Friday night at the Rondo Theatre

It’s a truly engaging story, weaving together separate but related threads and characters in an unusual series of coincidences – strangers draw close, while loved ones drift apart. Secrets, deceit, intrigue – all combine in a story that’s ultimately about what we yearn for, what we need, and sometimes can’t find. Speaking in Tongues runs at the Rondo till July 12th.

LISTEN to excerpts and my interview with director Kevin West

[audio https://rdontheroad.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/air-speaking-in-tongues-fading-end.mp3|bg=0x0000ff|righticon=0xff0000]

 

LISTEN to my interview with cast members Natalie Crowe and Warren Clements

[audio https://rdontheroad.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/natalie-crowe-warren-clements.mp3|bg=0x0000ff|righticon=0xff0000]

 

LISTEN to my interview with cast member Kane Sarota

[audio https://rdontheroad.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/kane-sarota.mp3|bg=0x0000ff|righticon=0xff0000]

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Posted by on July 2, 2014 in arts & culture, Cairns Queensland, EFFINCUE, rd on the road

 

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CAIRNS TRAIN LOVERS INVITED TO JOIN THE “LOCAL LOOP” & HELP TO RESTORE A STEAM LOCOMOTIVE

STEAM ENGINE 3620 AT THE NORTH CAIRNS YARDS

STEAM ENGINE 3620 AT THE NORTH CAIRNS YARDS

Here’s an opportunity for train lovers to get involved with the restoration of steam engine 3620 – which used to pull the elegant silver carriages of the Cairns Kuranda Steam Railway. It’s a few years since its seen service and has been sitting in the railway yards off Sheridan Street north Cairns, going through an extensive restoration. That’s nearing completion, and the friendly team who volunteer their time and talents on this project have room for some new friends. They’ve set up the Cairns Local Loop club – which you can join here

There’s an assortment of diesel and steam at the north Cairns rail yards, and it’s home to the iconic far north Queensland Savannahlander – that does the run out to Forsayth.

Come an audio tour of the rail yards and meet Rob Rutten and Mike Lee

 

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AUSTRALIAN BASED AFRICAN BANDS FOR WORLD AFRICA DAY – TONY HILLIER’S WORLD OF MUSIC

world africa day logo9World Africa Day will be celebrated around the world this weekend – commemorating the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity in 1963. In Cairns, you’re invited to enjoy African music and food at the Community Hub on Macnamara Street, Manunda, on Saturday 24th May from 4pm to 10pm.

To get you in the mood, Tony Hillier presents a selection of music from Australian-based African bands.

LISTEN

PLAYLIST

N’Tunya by Sydney band Keyim Ba – on their new album Mami Wata

Yeluinta from Melbourne band The Black Jesus Experience on their 2010 album Yeluinta

Do Anything Go Anywhere  – the title track from the 2010 album by Melbourne big band The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra

 

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Posted by on May 23, 2014 in Cairns Queensland, EFFINCUE, music, Tony Hillier's World of Music

 

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THE STORY OF THE BARFLY – THE CAIRNS FREE PAPER THAT TOLD IT LIKE IT WAS

BARFLY ISSUE #1 MARCH 6 1990

BARFLY ISSUE #1 MARCH 6 1990

There’s a fine tradition of free publications in Australia – newspapers and magazines independent of major commercial interests, that devote their columns and pages to lively coverage of music, the arts, local issues. In Cairns, Barfly blazed an entertaining and honourable trail between 1990 and 2005.

It chronicled the local entertainment scene, giving local music and theatre the coverage it deserved and often couldn’t get elsewhere. It championed local performers, it raised local issues, and, to use the Australian vernacular, it stirred the possum and took the piss. This made for lively reading, but it also drew on the remarkable talents of a swag of visual artists to produce a magazine that was uniquely far north Queensland.

The first edition hit the streets in March 1990, and apart from an 18 month hiatus, it continued in one form or another until 2005. One of Barfly’s key contributors is now also the keeper of its distinguished history. Tony Hillier had his work published in all but one of Barfly’s 701 editions, and was it’s longest serving editor. Tony is a fine musician, a newspaperman from way back, and our ABC Far North music specialist heard each Friday afternoon on Tony Hillier’s World of Music.

Tony told the Barfly story at the regular Pecha Kucha night in Cairns at the Tanks Arts Centre this week. It’s an entertaining saga of culture and courage, and Cairns in a fondly remembered era.

LISTEN to my interview with Tony here.

And see Tony’s Pecha Kucha presentation at https://www.dropbox.com/s/76xi1l5j8pjv7lh/Barfly%20Tony%20Hillier.mp4 video by Mal Floyd and Pecha Kucha, Cairns.

 

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Posted by on May 22, 2014 in Cairns Queensland, EFFINCUE, music

 

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