The Herbert River district was settled from about 1870 and a handful of prospective sugar planters began to develop properties such as Gairloch, Bemerside, and Macknade. Gairloch mill first crushed in 1872 and closed in 1886.
I have a little of the corporate history from published sources but there is not much in terms of detailed descriptions of operations apart from this account of 1882, before the ropeway. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3409367
A photo of the manager’s house is here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:StateLibQld_1_159778_Gairloch_Sugar_Mill,_Ingham,_Queensland,_ca._1881.jpg
It would be interested to know what happened to the aerial tramway after the closure of Gairloch when the plant was sold off. I assume the cane on the north side of the river then went to Ripple Creek Mill.