ISBN 978-0-646-58734-9
210 x 148mm, 144pp
RRP $15.00

Cape York Gold

The Traveller from Taree to the Palmer River Goldfields

Helen Koelman-Gaudion

After living most of her life in a populated area on the mid north coast of New South Wales, Helen Koelman-Gaudion found herself living in the bush on the bank of a river in a remote area of Far North Queensland.

A three-week holiday became a blossoming love story and a whole new lifestyle with a bushman – a modern-day gold miner, who taught her the art of extracting gold from the soil.
Helen’s introduction to living in a miner’s camp without the convenience of electricity and running water was something she learned to cope with, but not without incidents and compromises.

She encountered snakes, scorpions, bats, centipedes and large spiders, and was unable to keep them outside where they belonged. Even a huge Brahman bull once made himself at home inside while the camp was empty and that shocked everyone.

Helen has driven over roads and tracks so bad that only mountain goats and madmen should travel on them. This is her remarkable and at times humorous story. Take the journey with Helen as her new life unfolds with twists and turns to keep you entertained to the end.


Great fun! Very enjoyable.

What an interesting and exciting education. Life in the bush can be one of humour.

Fun to read and learn a little about other places in Australia.

A tenacious bull, a thinking animal. And a funny scenario with the snake.

You have taken us with you on your travels – very interesting!

— Comments from the Creative Writers Group, Forster


Helen Koelman is a Taree local who has lived many lives already. She has raised four adult children, has nine grandchildren and even a great grandchild, but is far from the typical retired Nan. She has followed her heart throughout her life, even when it took her to extreme locations that were well outside all our comfort zones. She has experienced so much since leaving her comfortable Mid North Coast home and has taken it all in her stride. Helen’s writings are her frank, honest and often amusing description of her real life trials and travels. She is a real person, with real warmth and character, telling tales of her experiences living and working with modern-day gold miners in Australia’s last frontier, Cape York. Helen’s style is informal and her characters are original, making for many laugh-out-loud moments.