Two ‘tropics’ style dragon boats are coming back to their home territory where they will be displayed at the Historic Village Herberton. The croc boats, named Kath and Kim, were made in 1989 by Atherton Rotary Club.
They were paddled on Atherton Tablelands’ lakes in water sports festivals and other events before being shipped to Townsville and becoming flagships for Dragons Abreast, a cancer survivor dragon boat team.
The boats later reeturned to Cairns and could be seen on the inlet being raced by the local Dragons Abreast team.
Lighter craft saw the croc boats supplanted, and they became the responsibility of the Wooden Boat Association of Cairns who set out to find them a fitting, final berth. On Saturday, December 2 the distinctive wooden boats completed the circle and returned to the Atherton Tablelands, arriving at their new home. Widely admired for their bespoke design and superior construction, the croc boats were built by the Atherton Rotary Club under the supervision of Bill Suter and Rob Leht.
They were described as “far more robust than the traditional dragon boats, and with plenty of bite”. After 17 years of hard use, they were restored in Townsville by Norm Souter-Smith and today their fearsome good looks are intact.
Historic Village Herberton curator Darryl Cooper said it was very fitting the croc boats have a permanent home on the Atherton Tablelands.
“Chinese settlement was an important part of the history of the Atherton Tablelands and these Croc Boats are another ‘rich’ link to the cultural past.
“The boats will make a wonderful – and quirky – addition to the village.”
The new exhibit at the Historic Village Herberton is likely to open early 2018.
For more information, images or interviews contact: Tanya Snelling Strategic PR P 0417 202 663