Mareeba

A major service centre and the largest town on the Atherton tableland. It is the centre for a number of agricultural activities including coffee plantations, mango, avocado and tobacco farms.

Location: 64 km west of Cairns; 450 metres above sea-level.

Places of interest in the surrounding area: Barron River; Granite Gorge; Mareeba Tropical Savannah and Wetland Reserve; Davies Creek National Park; Golden Drop Tropical Winery; Tinaroo Falls Dam; Mosque (built by the town's Albanian community); Mareeba Heritage Museum.

Origin of name: a local Aboriginal term meaning 'meeting of the waters' or 'place to meet'.


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Brief history

The locality was settled by John Atherton in 1880. Atherton had settled at Emerald End Station on the Barron River in 1876. He discovered tin and named the locality Tinaroo. His house became an inn and the town, the first on the tableland, grew up around it. Tobacco was first grown in the area in 1928 and did much to bring prosperity to a town which had previously been little more than a stopping point. Today there are over 400 tobacco farms around the town.

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