There’s plenty of life in the old mining community of Coen. Originally the town was created around a repeater station in the Overland Telegraph Line to the Tip of Cape York Peninsula. Camp on the town’s outskirts in a bush camping ground at The Bend on Coen river – you’ll appreciate the beauty of access to a toilet facility if you have been going rough.
Coen lies in the centre of the Cape York Peninsula, part of the large Cook Shire Council. It is a hub of government services with facilities including two shops with fuel outlets, a cafe and takeaway, medical centre, hotel, camping and guesthouse.
Cape York House sits solidly in the main street, a community project where the town’s history is presented within a building made from recycled materials from the now-demolished Mein telegraph repeater station. This original Mein station was situated north of the current Archer River Roadhouse. You will find the historic house easily accessible – just grab the key to the building (and toilet facility) from Mulleys Store next to the hotel. It’s on an honour basis which is a pleasant atmosphere of trust in these globally troubled times.
There are no alcohol restrictions in the community.
You’ll find police and a post office based within Coen. There is also a very active Aboriginal corporation which co-ordinates services for local Indigenous people.
At the southern end of the main street is the Coen Heritage House, with displays about local history,
including information on the Gold Rush, local families, and the building of the Telegraph Line.
A collection of mining equipment, previously part of the Cape York Mining Museum in Weipa, is
also on display.
A visit to the Gold Mine at Coen is very interesting. You will find a working four head stamper along with a personal entertaining descriptive guide. Camping and caravan facilities are available as well.
Just north of Coen, you’ll find a lovely swimming and camping spot; there is a drop toilet here. 20 kilometres north of Coen is the Quarantine Inspection Station where it provides travel information for the Cape.