About Laura


Laura is located in the Cape York peninsula, around 300km by road north of Cairns and about 140km west of Cooktown. The hilly, sandstone bluffs surrounding the town contain some of the largest galleries of Aboriginal rock art to be found in Australia. 


The most prominent language spoken in Laura is Aw Olkolo [or Ook-a-la]. Other languages known to this region are:

  • Kuku Thaypan [Goo- goo Taipan]
  • Kuku Yalanji [Goo-goo Ya- lan-gee]
  • Guugu Yimithirr [Goo-goo Yim-a-tha]
  • Aboriginal English.

The use of an interpreter may be necessary to assist complainants, witnesses, victims and offenders who come before the courts.

History of Laura

Laura facts and figures

For 2011 and 2016 census information on education, employment, income, housing figures and more for Laura, build a statistical profile on Know Your Community.

Native title information

Search for native title information on the National Native Title Tribunal website.

Visiting Laura

Getting to Laura

Laura is generally accessible all year round by road from Cairns via an inland route which passes through Mareeba. The distance is approximately 315km and it is about a 4-hour drive. The road is fully sealed between Cairns and Laura but travellers need to be watchful of wallabies and cattle on the road between Mt Carbine and Lakeland.

Laura can also be accessed from Cairns via Cooktown. Cooktown is about a 150km (2-hour) drive from Laura. The road is fully sealed between Cooktown and Laura, but travellers need to be watchful of wallabies and cattle on the road between Cooktown and Lakeland. Check the Cooktown and Cape York website for Cape York road conditions.

Laura has an airstrip, which is owned and operated by the Cook Shire Council, and is used by the mail plane and by the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Various charter and private aircraft also use the airstrip.

Seasonal considerations

Heavy rains during the wet season (October to April) can affect roads leading to/from Laura.

Alcohol restrictions

There are no alcohol restrictions in place in Laura. However, the Quinkan Tavern in Laura does have restrictions on the sale of alcohol, which includes the following 2 conditions:

  1. The sale or supply of cask wine for off-premises consumption is prohibited.
  2. The sale or supply of heavy strength beer (beer with alcohol content by volume of 4% or more) for off-premises consumption is prohibited. This condition does not apply to a registered overnight guest of the premises. 

Local government

Laura is in the Cook Shire Council. Search the local government directory for information about the Cook Shire Council. 

Who to contact if you have questions about your visit

Sorry business

‘Sorry Business’ is a term used during the time of mourning following the death of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person. Torres Strait Islanders may use the terminology ‘Bad or Sad News’. The term can also refer to the past practice of forcibly removing children from their families. The intensity of mourning is reflective of the importance of the family or person who has died. The mourning process enables healing for the family and community involved.

The death of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person impacts on the whole community. However, essential services such as policing, child safety, health, education and justice still continue throughout this period. 

Community justice group

There is no community justice group operating in Laura.

Community services

Use the Queensland Government's one place service directory to find up-to-date contact information for local support services including:

  • legal advice and support services
  • youth justice and support groups
  • domestic and family violence support
  • drug and alcohol services
  • mens' and women's groups
  • accident, emergency and medical services

More information