After a quiet day hanging around the camp ground and relaxing we decided to go and explore some of the features of the park. There are a few marked historical sites from early white settlement and we were surprised to note at the Incineration Site that the remains of the policeman murdered are actually held at the church where Megan & I were married.
A little information about the incident is from National Parks website here.
Mystery and murder
Patrick and James Kenniff were legendary outlaws — the last of Australia’s ‘wild colonial boys’. Expert horsemen, they worked on cattle runs after arriving in the area in the late 1890s. At this time cattle-stealing, also known as ‘cattle-duffing’ or ‘moon-lighting’, was rife in the country to the north of Roma and Charleville.
The Kenniff brothers clashed constantly with police over their horse and cattle theft, and in 1901 the lease to their cattle run was revoked, forcing them to live like nomads with a mob of horses.
By Easter 1902 things reached a dramatic climax when a police party sent out to arrest the Kenniff brothers confronted them at Lethbridge’s Pocket, in the northern part of today’s park. Although mystery still surrounds the exact events of the day, we do know that after a dramatic horseback chase James Kenniff was captured by Constable George Doyle and Christian Dahlke, the manager of Carnarvon Station. As Aboriginal tracker Sam Johnson fetched handcuffs he heard five shots, and suddenly found himself being pursued by the Kenniffs. Johnson escaped, alerting police at Mitchell, who travelled to the area and made a grim discovery—the charred remains of Doyle and Dahlke in police-horse packsaddles. Their bodies had apparently been cremated on a large, flat rock in a creek bed.
One of Queensland’s largest manhunts ended three months later when the brothers were arrested without a fight near Mitchell. Put on trial in 1903, James was sentenced to life imprisonment and Patrick, proclaiming his innocence to the end, was hanged. James was released from jail in 1918 and died at Charters Towers in 1940.
From there we drove up to the Rotary Shed camp ground and then on to the Top Shelter Shed for lunch. Awesome views!
We went on through the mahogany forest to the Head of Carnarvon Creek which whilst not visually impressive is the start of Carnarvon Gorge.
After a little bit of emu spotting it was back to camp to get ready for another cold night.