Brief History Of Bloomfield/Wujal Wujal, Far North Queensland

Bloomfield is on the northern border of the Douglas and Cook Shires. There is no township of Bloomfield, but there is a Bloomfield School. The Bloomfield River Mission has been renamed Wujal Wujal. Degarra settlement on the south side of the Bloomfield River is on the floodplains and has never been settled although plans were drawn up for the township. For more information on Bloomfield, contact the Cooktown Historical Society

1872
Returning from the Palmer, William Hann made the steep descent to the coast near the Bloomfield River. He climbed a hill and could see Cape Tribulation but could see no way of crossing the coastal range, so he turned inland.

7th June. Frederick, Louis George and Anniechen Pearson Bauer and George Hislop selected Portions 191, 192, 194 and 195 near Weary Bay (named by Capt Cook) on the northern side of the Bloomfield River. The cedar getters including Dan Hart had been there before.

1873
George Elphinstone Dalrymple named the low jungle range the Heights of Victory, the Heights of Dagmar and the Heights of Alexandra. Bloomfield was named for a pastoralist in Miriamvale.

1879
Capt Asmundsen, a Dane, was the first settler. He grew and manufactured coffee, cotton and tobacco.

1882
Frederick Bauer and two sons began the Bloomfield River Sugar Company. The plantation was named Vilele

1885
The first full scale crushing at the mill.

1886
There was a steam sawmill and ten miles of tramway including portable track. This was the first railway in the Shire. Ayton had a hotel store and police station.

1887

Louis George Bauer had formed an Aboriginal mission (in 1885) that was transferred to the Lutheran Church. The mission was abandoned in 1902

1888
The crush of 314 acres was only a quarter of the mill’s capacity. 30 Europeans, 110 Chinese and 132 Malays and Javanese were employed

1890
The sugar enterprise closed for economic reasons.

Mr Olufsen acquired land and grew fruit, tobacco, rice, coffee, citrus, potatoes, maize and honey. He also ran cattle and had a slaughtering licence.

WWII

There was a settlement here and radio link to Cairns

1950s
His sons Herbie and Oscar Olufsen stayed in the area and Herbie rowed out from the mouth of the Bloomfield to the Merinda as it passed on its weekly run Cairns to Cooktown to collect mail, freight and passengers

1968/69
Geoff Martin started Bloomfield Lodge

1980

The Aboriginal Council came into being with the region regaining its traditional name Wujal Wujal, meaning Many Falls in the local language.

1990
Mike Gooley of Trailfinders bought the Lodge. He still owns it in 2006.

2003
Peppers became part of the brand name of Bloomfield Lodge