Innisfail Is built at the junction of the picturesque North and South Johnstone Rivers and is within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
It is set in an area of great natural beauty in the heart of the wettest region in Australia. With an annual
rainfall of around 4000mm, the landscape is “green like you have never seen”.
Innisfail was first settled in 1873 and originally most buildings were constructed of timber. In 1918 a severe cyclone virtually destroyed the entire town, killing 22 people. Buildings were replaced with stone and concrete structures designed in the prevailing Art Deco style. With Its large number of outstanding Art Deco buildings, Innisfail is now considered to be the Art Deco capital of Australia.
As you walk along Edith Street and Rankin Street, look up and admire the Art Deco building facades. Don’t forget to take a look at the Art Deco inspired tiles in the foyer of the Innisfail Shire Hall, which was built in 1937-38. The Shire Hall suffered major damage in 2006 during Cyclone Larry and has since been faithfully restored.
The spires of the Mother of Good Counsel Catholic Church are a town landmark. This splendid building replaced the church that was destroyed in the 1918 cyclone. It is a direct tribute to the drive and energy of Father Clancy who has his final resting place beside one of the altars.
Across the road from the church is the original surgery of Dr Cotter MBE, who discovered the leptospirosis virus, the cause of Weil’s Disease, a major health risk for canecutters in the early days of the sugar industry.
The Ma:Mu people are the local traditional owners with the Djiru, Ngadjon-ji, Yindin-ji, Jirrbal and Girramay tribes occupying lands on the margins of Ma:Mu country.
Innisfail has a strong multicultural population that includes members of Italian, Greek, Irish, Sikh, South Sea Islander and Hmong cultures. There are over 50 different languages spoken within the Innisfail community.
Take time to stroll along the riverbank to the canecutter statue. Made of the finest marble the statue was given to the people of Innisfail by the local Italian community in 1959.
The Lit Sing Gung Chinese Temple in Owen Street (locally known as the “Joss House”) is a reminder of the strong Chinese influence in the town.
Warrina Lakes with Its beautiful Botanical Gardens and Environmental Park Is within walking distance from the CBD and Is a beautiful spot for the whole family to enjoy.
Things to do:
- Explore a walking track In Wooroonooran National Park
- Go crocodile spotting and bird watching at Eubenangee Swamp
- Try spotting a wild Cassowary or having a swim at Etty Bay
- Learn about the early canecutters at the Australian Sugar Heritage Centre in Mourilyan
- Experience the fascinating story of Jose Paronella at Paronella Park
- Enjoy local taste sensations of tropical fruits, wine and seafood
- Marvel at the panoramic view from the Ma:Mu Canopy Walkway
Cassowary Coast Northern Beaches
Visit one of the many beaches located not too far away from the Innisfail township.
Flying Fish Point, only 8km from Innisfail is a popular hotspot for the local fishermen and you can also visit Ella Bay National Park from here
Etty Bay, 15km from Innisfail is a great place to go for a picnic with free BBQ’s avalable there and has the stinger net available during the Stinger season so you can go for a swim. Etty Bay is also a popular location to try and spot the famous endangered Cassowary.
Cowley Beach is a great place to unwind and get away from all the hustle and bustle and relax. Cowley Beach is a popular destination to go fishing with the caravan park only just metres from the beach.
The CaneCutter Way
The Canecutter Way is a region of immense beauty, steeped in history and natural charm. It follows the route of the old Bruce Highway from Innisfail to Silkwood through the small townships of Wangan, South Johnstone, Mena Creek and Silkwood. The original highway encompasses mist covered mountains, virgin rainforest, canefields, old canecutter barracks, a sugar mill, original Queenslander pubs, a waterfall, and even a castle in the rainforest!
Boutique eateries, a fruit winery, unique accommodation and access to the Misty Mountains trails through World Heritage rainforest - all make this a region where you need to take your time and discover for yourself.
Silkwood, Kurrimine Beach & El Arish
Friendly and laid back, Silkwood, Kurrimine Beach and El Arish are must see destinations for visitors seeking a real north Queensland small town experience. Surrounded by rainforest and rolling green farmland the area offers some of the best picnic spots and scenic drives in the Far North.
Kurrimine Beach is a fisherman’s utopia and bush walkers delight. Visit the Kurrimine Beach Conservation Park. Spoil yourself at our boutique wineries and experience the taste sensation of the exotic tropical fruit and produce grown in our surrounding districts.
Take a scenic drive through Silkwood and visit the smallest ever National Australia Bank in Australia.
Located next to one of Australia’s most scenic public golf courses is the old World War 1 soldier settlement town of El Arish. Steeped in military history each street is named after a leader in the armed forces, visitors can learn more about our local diggers at the El Arish Railway Station display - free entry.
Take your time to enjoy the intriguing and beautiful attractions of Innisfail and surrounds.
We hope you’ll like it here as much as we do.