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Mareeba

Mareeba, Shire of Diversity, is the second largest Shire in Queensland. It is rich in agriculture, mining, cattle as well as horticulture and offers visitors to the shire, friendly country hospitality and a wealth of options for exploring this beautiful rugged land.

Expert tourist information can be found at the Mareeba Heritage Museum and Tourist Information Centre in Centenary Park, Mareeba, enhancing an opportunity to explore Mareeba’s history and heritage.

Visitors’ experiences can range from the delight of a cableway ride over the top of the Kuranda Rainforest to the bustle of the famous Kuranda Markets. Hot Air Ballooning at sunrise to camping in the outback, watching a western sunset outline the horizon of this vast country. The Annual Rodeo in July draws cowboys from all over Australia, a truly unique experience.

Distance From Brisbane (State Capital): 1,871 kilometres north.

Activites and Experiences at Mareeba

  • Off Road Driving The region offers a variety of off road experiences. Davies Creek National Park is located to the east, the Hann Tableland and Mt Molloy to the north, Chillagoe to the west and the Lamb Range State Forest to the south all offer visitors an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the forest and it’s many creeks and streams. Permits will be required for some areas to ensure a quiet nature based experience free of crowds. Some areas have basic camping facilities. If you don’t have your own 4WD consider hiring one. Tours are also available. For more information contact the Parks and Wildlife, the Department of Natural Resources and the visitors centre in Mareeba.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mareeba is an Aboriginal word for ‘Meeting of the waters’. Prior to European settlement, it was a meeting place for the Aboriginal tribes of the area to meet. The KuKu Muluridji, Yindinji, KuKu Imidji, KuKu Yananji, KuKu Jungun and KuKu Kulunggurr. Today it is a meeting place of many cultures. In Mareeba and near by towns such as Kuranda, you’ll have lots of opportunities to meet and chat with local aboriginal people about their culture. Learn to play a didgeridoo and see artworks being created.
  • Ballooning Experience the joy and total freedom of hot air ballooning. As the sun’s first rays lighten the clear skies, the balloon swells, slowly taking its form and gracefully rising. The views of the Tableland below are breathtaking – this is where the rainforest meets the Australian outback. This is a photographer’s paradise so bring your camera and plenty of film. To celebrate the sunrise ballooning adventure, a sumptuous breakfast awaits you on your return. Enjoy a traditional Aussie breakfast of bacon, sausages and eggs or a smorgasbord of local fruits and pastries with a glass of fruit juice or a chilled glass of champagne.
  • Birdwatching The Tropical and Savannah regions with Eucalypt woodlands, wetlands and farmlands offer an excellent range of birds in a relatively small geographical area. More than 300 species live in the region. Every walk and drive is an opportunity to see local bird life. The Mareeba Wetland Foundation is a particularly spectacular attraction. This valuable wildlife reserve of some 5,000 acres is home to Brolgas, Sarus Cranes, Red tailed Black Cockatoos and Australia’s only Stork, the Jabiru to name just a few. Hire a canoe and explore the lily lagoons and waterways or experience the 50 minute interpretive walk with a Savannah guide.
  • Bushwalking There’s great bushwalking in the surrounding areas of Mareeba. Granite Gorge, Lake Morris, Emerald Creek State Forest, Mt Baldy, Wangabel State Forest and Kahlpahlim Rock. See the magnificent Clohesy Fig-tree in the Lamb range and the famous Cathederal Fig and Curtain Fig trees on the Dunbulla State Forest drive. Many walks range from a short 400 metres up to 6kilometres with some more lengthy walks that will take all day. Ideal to enjoy a picnic lunch and in some cases have a refreshing swim. Keep your eyes open and take your camera as well because you never know when you might see native animals and birds. Contact the visitors centre and National Parks and Wildlife for more information.
  • Camping Modern Camping grounds with cabins, caravans, powered sites and comfortable amenities are available in the Mareeba township. Basic bush camping is available at Davies Creek to the east and at a number of spots along the Danbulla Forest Drive. At these locations are toilets, fire rings and barbecues, but you must bring your own firewood. This is an inexpensive alternative for budget travellers and for those who enjoy the delights of the camping experience. Contact the visitors centre and National Parks and Wildlife for more information.
  • Driving Davies creek national park to the east, the Hann Tableland and Mt Molloy to the North, Chillagoe to the west and the Lamb Range State Forest to the south all offer visitors an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the forest and it’s many creeks and streams. Permits are required for some areas to ensure a quiet nature-based experience free of crowds. Some areas have camping facilities whilst others do not. If you don’t have your own 4WD consider hiring one. Tours are also available. For more information contact the Parks and Wildlife, the Department of Natural Resources and the visitors centre in Mareeba.
  • Farm/Station activity Children and adults will delight in staying a few days on a working farm with the opportunity to experience a stay with a difference. From milking a cow and feeding chickens, geese, sheep and turkeys to horse riding, making billy tea and damper by the campfire – everyone will have fun. Looking for native possums, wallabies, platypus and owls during a night spotlighting expedition is always exciting. Farmstay in the Mareeba area will also allow you be centrally based with the advantage of being close to town.
  • Flora The Tropical and Savannah regions with wet sclerophyll forests, eucalypt woodlands, wetlands and farmlands offer an excellent range of flora in a relatively small geographical area. Rare plant species from the Proteaceae, Myrtaceae and Euphorbiaceae families grow well in this region and can be readily seen. Take a short drive to the north, east and south where accessible World Heritage rainforest areas offer another perspective of this amazing region. Don’t miss the chance to catch the majestic Kari Pines or the gigantic fig trees. Contact the visitors centre, the Mareeba Wetlands reserve and National Parks and Wildlife for more information.
  • Fossicking From Mareeba, Travellers can head out west into the Gulf Savannah where historic mining settlements of Dimbulah, Chillagoe, Mt Surprise and Forsayth are located. Gold, marble, copper, topaz and garnet brought miners to these areas in the 1870’s and the region boomed right through to the 1920’s . Try the former tin mining towns of Herberton and Irvinebank for a taste of the diggings in the late 1800’s. Locally, the Tyrconnel Gold mine is a great place to try your luck.
  • Golfing If you fancy a game of golf, visit the local golf course in Mareeba. You may have an audience of grey kangaroos watching your every shot though. Drop into the club after the game for a delicious meal and refreshments to discuss the finer points of your game.
  • Sightseeing So many things to see and do in and around Mareeba. During your visit, experience the delight of a cableway ride over the top of the Kuranda rainforest and the bustle of the famous Kuranda Markets to Hot Air Ballooning at sunrise or camping in the Outback, watching a western sunset to a guided tour through the famous Chillagoe Limestone Caves. Fancy adventure, then spend the day white water rafting at Barron Gorge. Locally, visit the impressive Heritage Museum and visitor’s centre where you will receive expert tourist information and also gain historical knowledge of the region. Take a coffee tasting tour, see the only Mango winery in Australia, bushwalk in the scenic Granite gorge and for the more energetic, there is a new go-cart track in town. The Mareeba Wetlands Sanctuary is also a must.
  • Swimming Nothing quite like dipping your feet in refreshing mountain streams and lakes to cool off on a hot summer’s day. The Barron river runs down the east side of Mareeba and there are some lovely picnic and barbecue spots to stop and combine lunch with a pleasant swim. Bicentennial Lakes is another favourite local spot. There is also a public swimming pool in town. Davies creek to the east , Lake Mitchell to the north and Lake Tinaroo to the south are also popular areas for swimming.
  • Animal Viewing Visitors, nature lovers and scientists alike come from all over the world to view, study and photograph rare local native animals that can not be seen anywhere else. It is also not uncommon to see kangaroos when playing a round of golf at the local course or wallabies at Granite Gorge and any of the other National Parks in the region. The Mareeba Wetlands Sanctuary specialises in tours of flora and fauna of the area. Mammals such as Echidnas, Quoll and Flying Fox are found here. The Marbled Frog, Green Tree Frog, and Bumpy Rocket Frog are abundant. Frilled neck Lizards Geckos, Skinks, Goannas, and various Snakes are also found here. Bream, Sooty Grunter, Spangled Perch and Archer Fish are also just a few examples of the animals that can be found in this wonderful eco-system. Hire a canoe and explore the lily lagoons and waterways or experience the 50 minute interpretive walk with a Savannah guide.
  • White Water Rafting Half and Full Day Rafting tours on the Barron River are ideal for those who want to experience the thrills and spills of white water rafting in Tropical North Queensland. The Barron River rapids are technical but easy, with enough heart thumping excitement to provide action for fun filled hours. Enjoy the famous majestic scenery of Barron Gorge in this World Heritage listed rainforest. Full safety instructions are provided. Whether a beginner or an experienced rafter, the Barron River is a great location for this exciting sport.
  • Wine Tasting Visit Australia’s only Mango Winery in North Queensland located just north of Mareeba. The ‘Kensington Red’ Mango has been used to create a unique selection of white wines. Other vineyards in the region are located at Wondecla to the south west. Take a tour and learn all about how wines are make. Sample a drop or two and you’re sure to want to take home a bottle.
  • Accommodation Luxury 4/5 star cottages, tree houses and retreats with that something extra such as a spa, are often located on acreage in the area. B&Bs, farmstays, self contained apartments and motels in the area offer comfortable and affordable accommodation. Hostels and Camping grounds also offer comfortable options for the budget minded. You will be able to centrally base yourself during your stay.
  • Airport There is an aerodrome just south of the Mareeba. Daily flights are available to Cairns and surrounding areas
  • Ambulance An Ambulance station is located in the town centre. For emergencies call ‘000’.
  • Automatic Teller Machine All major banks are represented with ATM facilities available.
  • Banking Facilities All the major Banks and building societies are available in the town centre.
  • Bottled Gas Bottled gas is available from local fuel outlets.
  • Chemist There is a chemist located in the town centre as well as the shopping centre.
  • Licensed Club The local Bowls and Golf club serve wonderful meals and Ala Carte as well as refreshments for your enjoyment.
  • Coach Stop Coaches travel daily from Cairns and surrounding areas to Mareeba and beyond to ensure that visitors without a vehicle don’t miss out on all the wonderful things to see and do in the area. Tours are also available to connect you with many of the attractions.
  • Currency Exchange All major banks are represented where currency exchange is available.
  • Dentist Dentist services are available in Mareeba.
  • Electronic Funds Transfer at Point Of Sale Eftpos services are available at most business outlets.
  • Hospital The local hospital is located in the town centre. For emergencies call ‘000’.
  • Public Bar There are a number of hotels in Mareeba. Drop in for lunch or dinner and a chilled glass of wine or beer and chat to the locals. Evening entertainment is often available.
  • Mechanical Services Mechanical and RACQ services are available in Mareeba.
  • Medical Facilities A medical centre is available in the town centre and at the local hospital. For emergencies call ‘000’
  • National Park Davies Creek national park to the east, the Hann Tableland and Mt Molloy to the North, the Lamb Range State forest to the south all offer visitors an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the forest and it’s many creeks and streams. Permits will be required for some areas. Some areas have basic camping facilities. Most areas will cater to conventional vehicles but check if you require a 4WD. If you don’t have your own 4WD consider hiring one. For more information contact the Parks and Wildlife and the Department of Natural Resources in Mareeba.
  • Newsagent Newsagency supplies are available in the town centre.
  • Police The local Police station is located in the town centre. For emergencies call ‘000’.
  • Post Office Postal services are readily available in Mareeba.
  • Public Telephone Public telephones are located at the local shopping centre and in the main street of Mareeba.
  • Rail Terminal Daily Rail services to Cairns, Atherton, Forsayth and Chillagoe are available.
  • Restaurant Mareeba has some wonderful cafes, pubs and restaurants that offer sumptuous lunch and evening meals and refreshments.
  • Supermarket Mareeba has one large shopping centre, some major chain stores are represented as well as variety retail stores.
  • Swimming Pool There is a local swimming pool located in the town area.
  • Takeaway Food Mareeba has one large shopping centre with a number of take away food outlets available.
  • Visitor Centres Expert tourist information can be found at the Mareeba Heritage Museum and Visitor’s Centre in Centenary Park. You will receive a comprehensive picture of Mareeba’s varied history from the gold mining, timber and tobacco eras including cultural and environmental developments.
  • Winery Visit Australia’s only Mango Winery in North Queensland located just north of Mareeba. The ‘Kensington Red’ Mango has been used to create a unique selection of white wines. Other vineyards in the region are located at Wondecla to the south west. Take a tour and learn all about how wines are make. Sample a drop or two and you’re sure to want to take home a bottle.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mareeba is an Aboriginal word for ‘Meeting of the waters’. Prior to European settlement, it was a meeting place for the Aboriginal tribes of the area to meet. The KuKu Muluridji, Yindinji, KuKu Imidji, KuKu Yananji, KuKu Jungun and KuKu Kulunggurr. Today it is a meeting place of many cultures. In Mareeba and near by towns such as Kuranda, you’ll have lots of opportunities to meet and chat with local aboriginal people about their culture. Learn to play a didgeridoo and see artworks being created.
  • Aussie Lifestyle Experience meeting some of the friendly locals as part of the laid back way of life. Attend some of the local attractions and taste some local produce or just have a leisurely chat. They can be very helpful regarding local knowledge.
  • Caravan and Camping Modern camping grounds with cabins, caravans, powered sites and comfortable amenities are available in the Mareeba township. Basic bush camping is available at Davies Creek to the east and at a number of spots along the Danbulla Forest Drive. These locations have toilets, fire rings and barbecues, but you must bring your own firewood. This is an inexpensive alternative for budget travellers and for those who enjoy the delights of the camping experience. Contact the visitors centre and National Parks and Wildlife for more information.
  • Rural/Country With around 8,500 residents, Mareeba is the ‘Gateway to the Savannah’ ranging from rainforests to wide open plains. It offers all the modern services you will need, including cafes, motels, caravan parks and licensed clubs. It has a shopping complex, and numerous parks and gardens. Mining, cattle and tourism are a major part of the economy. Mareeba is sometimes referred to as the ‘Salad bowl’ because of its reputation for quality in the market place with tropical fruits, vegetables, sugar cane, tea tree.
  • Eco Tourism Because Mareeba is located in a nature based region, Eco Tourism is widely practiced to ensure protection of the surrounding rainforest and Savannah environments.
  • Educational In the town centre, visiting attractions such as the Heritage Museum and Information Centre in Centenary Park will give you a comprehensive picture of Mareeba’s varied history from the gold mining, timber and tobacco eras and cultural developments. The Mareeba Wetlands Sanctuary will teach you all about the flora and fauna in the region. Take a coffee tasting tour, learn how Mango wines are made. Go bushwalking in the scenic Granite gorge and other national parks and rainforest areas. Stay on a farm or visit a working cattle station. Learn about fossils, limestone caves or simply take time out to educate yourself on how the laid Aussie lifestyle is not a bad way to go.
  • Farm/Station Children and adults will delight in staying a few days on a working farm with the opportunity to experience a stay with a difference. From milking a cow and feeding chickens, geese, sheep and turkeys to horse riding, making billy tea and damper by the campfire – everyone will have fun. Night spotlighting for native animals is always exciting. Station Stay will also allow you be centrally based with the advantage of being close to town. Visit a working cattle station and learn all about how they operate. You may even want to try your hand at helping out. Tours can be arranged. Contact the visitors centre for more information.
  • Fishing Try fishing in the Barron river section that runs down the east side of Mareeba. The running waters are sure to hold plenty of feisty catches to take home for dinner on the right day. Lake Tinaroo to the south has 200kms of shore line to give the most private fisherman room to concentrate on catching that special Barramundi or Sooty Grunter. Lake Mitchell to the north is another favourite spot for dropping in a line.
  • Flora and Fauna The Tropical and Savannah regions Eucalypt woodlands, wetlands and farmlands offer an excellent range of flora and fauna in a relatively small geographical area. Rare plant and animal species grow well in this region and can be readily seen. It is not uncommon to see kangaroos when playing a round of golf at the local course or wallabies at any of the National Parks in the region. The Mareeba Wetlands Sanctuary specialises in tours of flora and fauna of the area. Contact the visitors centre, the Mareeba Wetlands Reserve and National Parks and Wildlife for more information.
  • Historic/Heritage The township began life back in the 1870’s as a ‘Coach Change’ along the overland route from Herberton and Chillagoe down to the coast. The railway arrived in the 1890’s. Still today Mareeba plays an important role as a service centre to a large and expanding agricultural and tourist region. To find out more, visit the Heritage Museum to get a comprehensive view of Mareeba’s history and cultural development. Beck’s War Museum 5kms south of town is another interesting location for visitors. It has enough tanks, planes and military information to satisfy the most ardent historian.
  • Industry/Mining, Agriculture Mareeba is the second largest shire in Queensland. The township began life back in the 1870’s as a ‘Coach Change’ along the overland route from Herberton and Chillagoe down to the coast. Today, Mareeba continues to plays an important role as a service centre to agricultural, horticultural, mining, cattle and tourist industries. With around 8,500 residents, Mareeba is the ‘Gateway to the Savannah’ ranging from rainforests to wide open plains. It offers all the modern services you will need, including cafes, motels, caravan parks and licensed clubs. It has a shopping complex, and numerous parks and gardens. Mining, cattle and tourism are a major part of the economy. Mareeba is sometimes referred to as the ‘Salad bowl’ because of its reputation for quality in the market place with tropical fruits, vegetables, sugar cane, tea tree.
  • National Park Davies Creek national park to the east, the Hann Tableland and Mt Molloy to the North, the Lamb Range State forest to the south all offer visitors an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the forest and it’s many creeks and streams. Permits will be required for some. Some areas have basic camping facilities. Most areas will cater to conventional vehicles but check if you require a 4WD. If you don’t have your own 4WD consider hiring one. For more information contact the Parks and Wildlife and the Department of Natural Resources in Mareeba.
  • Off road The region offers a variety of off road experiences. Davies Creek national park is located to the east, the Hann Tableland and Mt Molloy to the North, Chillagoe to the west and the Lamb Range State forest to the south all offer visitors an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the forest and it’s many creeks and streams. Permits will be required for some areas to ensure a quiet nature-based experience free of crowds. Some areas have basic camping facilities. If you don’t have your own 4WD consider hiring one. Tours are also available. For more information contact the Parks and Wildlife, the Department of Natural Resources and the visitors centre in Mareeba.
  • Outback Mareeba is the ‘Gateway to the Savannah’ and the outback. Travelling west, Chillagoe has Limestone Caves and the ‘Gulf Savannah Way’ will take you to wonderful outback towns such as Mt Surprise, Georgetown, Normanton, Karumba, Gregory Downs and Bourketown. After that, you’re on your way to the Northern Territory and Darwin. The Sunlander and Gulflander scenic rail tours are a great way to learn all about the outback. Visit some beautiful National Parks such as the Staaten River and Lawn Hill. Eating bush tucker or succulent Barramundi in Karumba at Sunset, you’ll seriously want to consider going west to visit the outback from Mareeba.
  • Rail Rail transport is available to Cairns, Atherton, Forsayth and Chillagoe. Take a rail/cable car adventure from near by Kuranda through rainforest down to Cairns and return on the same day by train or cable car. Learn all about how rainforests develop and continue to sustain themselves. The Sunlander and Gulflander scenic rail tours run regularly all year round. The Gulflander runs 150kms from Normanton to Croydon and then returns the next day. The Savannahlander travels from Cairns to Forsayth in the west. These rail trips offer first hand knowledge of the Tropical Wetlands and Gulf Savannah regions. You’ll experience an amazing variety and mix of scenery and experiences.
  • Sport Apart from the normal variety of sports available in Mareeba at the local sports centre as well as a game of golf with the Kangaroos on side, the annual Rodeo in July draws cowboys and spectators from all around Australia – a truly unique experience.
  • Wilderness Lush rainforest gives way to the open Savannah of tall Eucalypts and spiky grasses. As the gateway to the outback, there are many wilderness areas for anybody wishing to experience vast and remote peaceful rivers and desert bush with minimal human contact if you choose. The large National Park areas in the region make way for visitors to experience the wilderness in forests, lakes, mountain streams and waterfalls. Permits are often required to ensure a quiet nature-based experience free of crowds. For more information contact the Parks and Wildlife, the Department of Natural Resources and the visitors centre in Mareeba.
  • Wildlife The Tropical and Savannah regions Eucalypt woodlands, wetlands and farmlands support a wide range of wildlife in a relatively small geographical area. It is also not uncommon to see wild kangaroos when playing a round of golf at the local course or wallabies at any of the National Parks in the region. The Mareeba Wetlands Sanctuary specialises in tours of flora and fauna of the area. Contact the visitors centre, the Mareeba Wetlands Reserve and National Parks and Wildlife for more information.
  • World Heritage Surrounding national parks and rainforests were placed on the World Heritage listings in 1988. Conserving their outstanding natural and cultural values for the benefit of local, national and international communities is of the greatest importance. The local environmental centres are wonderful sources of information providing displays, theatres, videos and written materials.
  • RTN, QH and National Distributors (TQ)

Nearest Airport: Cairns

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