Somerset Ruins

Nanthau Beach Road

Not far from Cape York, Somerset is the long-abandoned settlement of the larger-than-life Australian pioneer Frank Jardine who came here in 1864. His was the first permanent European settlement on the Cape York Peninsula, an attempt to police a then lawless region. The local seat of government later moved to Thursday Island. All that remains of the settlement today are bits of masonry, rusted cannons and a handful of tombstones, including that of Jardine and his wife. To the south of Somerset, the Jardine River National Park allows a glimpse of the untamed wilderness that faced the park’s namesake and other early settlers, and it also includes several scenic waterfalls, ideal for cooling off on hot days.

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