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Mareeba is located approximately 64 km in the ranges west of Cairns at an elevation of 450 metres above sea-level.

With a population of approximately 8,500 residents, it is the largest of the communities in the Atherton Tablelands district.

Road access to Mareeba from Cairns is via the northbound Captain Cook Highway as far as the Smithfield roundabout, where clear signage instructs motorists to take a left turn onto the Kennedy Highway and proceed up the scenic Kuranda Range.

The sealed, double-laned road makes its way through dense tropical rainforest, but soon after passing the Kuranda turnoff, the countryside changes to lightly timbered open forest and grasslands, spotted here and there with the occasional large termite mound, commonly referred to as anthills.

While Cairns is celebrated as "Where the Rainforest Meets the Reef", Mareeba has been heralded by some as "Where the Rainforest meets the Outback".

Mareeba's European history, like most other population centres on the Atherton Tablelands, began in the late 1800s with the gold rush on the Hodgkinson River to its north-west and the discovery of tin in the Herberton district to its south-west.

A rough track servicing these two mining centres was blazed from Port Douglas in 1877, with the track to Herberton passing directly through the Mareeba area.

The legendary Australian transport icon, Cobb & Co, also ran a coach service along this trail. 

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Mareeba Attractions

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