In the second half of the nineteenth century, hundreds of escaped prisoners from the French territory of New Caledonia made their way to Australia in search of freedom, with the majority arriving in Queensland. Their aim was to escape the brutal conditions of life in a penal colony. In December 1889, two escapees calling themselves Basil Cocher and Jules Belles landed on Hinchinbrook Island, off the coast of Cardwell in North Queensland.
Read their story on ArcadiaNQ.
It is believed this is the first time their story has been told since contemporary newspaper reports.