Ion Idriess, Australia's favourite adventure writer, went to North Queensland prospecting at a time when the fabulous country ack ocairns was being opened up. It was a time when the great jungle scrubs were falling to the settler's axe, new towns were springing up as mineral wealth was discovered and the new railway pushed inland. It was a time when the talk around the campfires was full of the exciting exploits of the great pathfinders - men like Mulligan, Doyle, Atherton and Palmerston - and of the search for a route from the coast to the hinterland. All the colour, excitement and hard, courageous struggle of the era have been captured by Ion Idriess in these pages. Idriess found more than gold; he found the true beauty and fascination of the North, and makes it come alive in his stories of the unforgettable men and women who were its pioneers.