Place:Coen, Queensland, Australia


Coordinates13.9°S 143.217°E
Located inQueensland, Australia
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names

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Coen is a small inland town on the main road on the Cape York Peninsula in far northern Queensland, Australia. It is in the Cook Shire local government area. At the 2006 census, Coen had a population of 253.

Gold was discovered on the Coen River in 1876. Coen came into being first as a small fort built by gold miners and prospectors in May 1877 but this first gold rush quickly came to an end, and the settlement did not recover until 1883. It became a centre for several small goldmines in the region but, in 1893, the rich Great Northern mine boomed and the town became a more substantial place.

The Great Northern mine continued operations until 1916 and produced some 52,000 troy ounces (1,617 kg) of gold before it closed.

Today Coen provides services to the region, and is an important supply point on the long unpaved road leading to Weipa and other northern communities. It is a popular stopping point for tourists driving to the tip of Cape York - the northernmost part of the Australian mainland.

It has an airstrip at Coen Airport (24 km north of the town), public library, hotel/motel, guest house, two general stores and fuel outlets, hospital, post office, police station, camping grounds, primary school kindergarten, ranger base and more. There is a scheduled air service to Lockhart and Cairns four times a week.

Coen is an ideal destination for birdwatchers: there are good accommodations and a large and varied bird fauna with representatives from rain forest, monsoon forest and coastal forests.

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