In this book, Ion Idriess reflects on his life prospecting in far North Queensland from 1912 to 1914, and coincided with his earliest writing as Gouger for the Bulletin.
In Back of Cairns, Jack gives the reader a picture of what life was like when the peninsula jungle was falling under the settler's axe, his own day-to-day experiences, and the district's historical background. The book is peopled by characters given to polite chiacking and the writing of poetry, and the reading of 'pomes' by the evening campfire... Perhaps the most interesting is the 'Jungle Man' who could scent animals and Aborigines in the scrub before they scented him. He also possessed incredible hearing... who took Jack into the rugged mountains and the dense jungle and showed him a primitive world few men have ever seen. Jack was treading in the paths of his heroes - the explorers. Beverley Eley, Ion Idriess