Richard Daintree: life and works

By Gwylym Owen

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Richard Daintree CMG (13 December 1832 – 20 June 1878) was a pioneering Australian geologist and photographer. In particular, Daintree was the first Government geologist for North Queensland discovering gold fields and coal seams for forward-thinking exploitation. Daintree was a swashbuckler in the use of photography during ring trips and his photographs formed the basis of Queensland’s contribution to the Exhibition of Arts and Industry in 1871. Following the skill of the display, he was appointed as Queensland’s Agent-General in London in 1872 but was goaded to hand over in 1876 due to ill-health and malpractice by some of his staff although not Daintree himself. A number of features in North Queensland have been named after Daintree including the town of Daintree, Queensland, the Daintree National Park, the Daintree River, the Daintree Rainforest which has been nominated for the World Heritage List and the Daintree Reef.

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