Mareeba // is a rural town and locality in the Shire of Mareeba in Far North Queensland, Australia. The town is 417 metres (1,368 ft) above sea level on the confluence of the Barron River, Granite Creek and Emerald Creek. Between 2008 and 2013, it was within the Tablelands Region. The town's name is derived from an Aboriginal word meaning meeting of the waters. In the 2011 census, Mareeba had a population of 10,181 people.
|Population||11,079 (2016 census)|
|Elevation||400 m (1,312 ft)|
|LGA(s)||Shire of Mareeba|
Prior to European settlement, the area around Mareeba was inhabited by the Muluridji people. They maintained a hunter/gatherer existence in the area between Mount Carbine, Mareeba, Rumula (near Julatten) and Woodville (near Canoona), mainly concentrated between Biboohra and Mount Molloy. In the local Aboriginal language, Mareeba means meeting of the waters - referring to the point at which the Barron River is joined by Granite Creek.
On 26 May 1875 James Venture Mulligan became the first European officially to see the future site of Mareeba when he rode up the eastern bank of the Barron River, and passed the junctions of Emerald Creek and Granite Creek.
The Mareeba area was first settled by Europeans in 1877 by John Atherton, who arrived with cattle at Emerald End, which is just north of the town today. Mareeba quickly became a busy coach stop for Cobb & Co on the road from Port Douglas to Herberton. When the railway arrived in 1893, Mareeba grew into a busy town.
From 1942 to 1945, up to 10,000 Australian and US service personnel used Mareeba Airfield as a staging post for battles in New Guinea and the Pacific. The Americans referred to it as Hoevet Field in honour of Major Dean Carol "Pinky" Hoevet who was killed on 16 August 1942. Units that were based at Mareeba during World War II included No. 5 Squadron RAAF, No. 100 Squadron RAAF, the Australian 33rd Light A-A Battery, 19th Bomb Group USAAC, 43rd Bomb Group USAAC and 8th Fighter Group USAAC.
Mareeba Library opened in 1958 and underwent a major refurbishment in 1985.
In October 2011, most of the land (209 hectares; 516 acres) of the former state farm / research station at Kairi was sold by the Queensland Government, retaining only 26 hectares (65 acres). The sale of the land was to fund the establishment of the Agri-Science Hub at Peters Street in Mareeba. The hub focusses on agricultural research and development, together with education and training. James Cook University is a partner of the hub, researching tropical agriculture, aquaculture and biosecurity. The hub opened on 16 December 2011.
Mareeba has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
|Climate data for Mareeba Airport (2001-2014)|
|Record high °C (°F)||37.8
|Average high °C (°F)||31.0
|Average low °C (°F)||21.3
|Record low °C (°F)||16.9
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||229.0
|Average rainy days (≥ 0.2mm)||16.1||18.3||14.8||10.2||6.6||5.1||4.4||3.7||3.3||4.1||6.9||10.8||100.0|
|Source: Bureau of Meteorology|
Numerous crops are grown throughout Mareeba Shire, including avocados, mangoes, lychees, longans, sugar cane, cashews, macadamias, bananas, pineapples, tea tree oil, coffee, cotton and a variety of vegetables and tropical fruits. Poultry and cattle are also common. Tobacco was once the main grown crop of the local economy, but is no longer grown within the Mareeba shire.
The town's main street is the Mulligan Highway which branches off from the Kennedy Highway when coming in from Cairns (63.3 km; 40 miles) away passing localities such as Speewah, Kuranda and The Barron Gorge.
Tourism also contributes to the local economy. Tourist attractions in the Mareeba Shire include the Golden Drop Mango Winery, Jaques Coffee Plantation, Coffee Works, Mareeba Heritage Museum, Mareeba Rock Wallabies and Granite Gorge Nature Park, Emerald Creek Falls, Davies Creek Falls
Mareeba has two primary schools, two secondary schools and a TAFE campus. There are also several day care centres in the town.
- St Thomas of Villanova Parish School
- Mareeba State School
- Mareeba State High School
- St. Stephen's Catholic College
- Tropical North Institute of TAFE
Mareeba State School opened on 28 August 1893 and Mareeba State High School opened on 25 January 1960.
St Thomas of Villanova Parish School opened on 1 January 1909 and for a period of two years during World War Two, Mareeba State School was taken over by the army, so St Thomas’ accommodated the entire school population of Mareeba. St Thomas' celebrated their centenary in 2009.
On 24 January 2006 St Stephen's Catholic College opened after a nearly 10 year approval process regarding the provision of Catholic secondary education.
Mareeba Hospital is in the Tablelands Health District. It provides 52 beds, with surgical, maternity, pediatric, outpatient, emergency and x-ray facilities.
Sport and entertainmentEdit
Mareeba's local sporting teams are:
- Rugby league — Mareeba Gladiators: The Gladiators participate in the Cairns District Rugby League competition. They last won the Premiership in 2007.
- Football (soccer) — Mareeba United Football Club
The Mareeba United Football Club, known as the Mareeba Bulls is based at Borzi Park, Mareeba: the Bulls have dominated the local football scene for the past decade. The Bulls were Grand Final winners in 2003, premiers, Grand Final Winners and NQ Champions in 2004, FNQ premiers and NQ Champions in 2005, FNQ Grand final winners and 2006 and FNQ premier and NQ Champions in 2008. The sustained success of the Bulls has brought the title for Mareeba as 'Football Capital of North Queensland'. Then in 2009, the Mareeba Bulls entered the Queensland State League, as the FNQ Bulls, incorporating the entire FNQ Football area, being based at the Bulls home ground at Borzi Park, Mareeba. The club then returned to the FNQ premier league in 2013 after the demise of the QLD state league. In 2013 the existed the QSL to focus back on their regional competition and junior base and the success again returned in 2014 the club returned to the status of "Football Capital of North Queensland" bringing to the club nine pieces of silverware including the treble in the Premier and Reserve divisions, plus the double in the 2nd division, plus the Mazda Cup. In 2015, the Mareeba Bulls Premier side staged one of the best comebacks seen in FNQ Football history with a come from behind 3-2 win. Down 2-0 with a handful of minutes to go, the Bulls did the unthinkable and scored 3 goals in the space of 7 minutes.
- Motor Racing: Both the Mareeba Karting Club and the Far North Queensland Motorcycle club hold monthly race meetings at the Makotrac International Racetrack which is located five kilometres from Mareeba.
The Mareeba Rodeo and Festival is held annually, with the first Affiliated Mareeba Rodeo held in July 1949 (which is now the home ground of the Gladiators Rugby league team). The rodeo is hosted at the Kerribee Park Rodeo Grounds, located slightly out of town on route to Dimbulah. In 2014, the attendance was 13 000, almost double the town's normal population. A parade through the town is held, and the Rodeo Queen is crowned (the first Princess was crowned in 1959). A ute muster is often staged over the same weekend as the rodeo. In 1999 Mareeba District Rodeo Association Inc. celebrated their 50 years Golden Jubilee of the foundation of the Association and 20 years of the opening of "Kerribee Park".
Mareeba is serviced by the following radio stations:
Country Music FestivalEdit
Mareeba has three hotels:
- The Anthill
- The Graham
- The Gateway (previously known as The Peninsula Hotel after new owners purchased and renovated the building in 2015)
Mareeba has representatives from a large number of religions and has as many places of worship.
Each year, on the second Sunday of September, St Thomas's Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of the Chain. The celebration begins with a procession through various streets of Mareeba and culminates in a fireworks display.
The Mareeba branch of the Queensland Country Women's Association meets at the CWA Hall on the corner of Dempster Street and Wilkes Street. The Cairns Aerial Outpost branch of the Queensland Country Women's Association meets at 15 Wilson Street.
- Aron Baynes (born 1986), Australian basketball player
- Harriet Brims (born 1864), pioneer female commercial photographer
- Steven Ciobo (born 1974), Australian politician
- Tom Gilmore, Jr. (born 1946), Australian politician
- Katie Page (born 1956), CEO of Harvey Norman
- Ernest Riordan (1901-1954), Australian politician
- Chris Sheppard (born 1981), Australian rugby league player
- Wayne Srhoj (born 1982), Australian footballer
- Deon St. Mor, Australian business owner and designer
- Owsley Stanley, (1935-2011) American counter-culture figure of the 1960s (LSD; The Grateful Dead).
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