Situated on the northern part of Queensland coastline, and seated just about 45 minutes drive from Cairns is the ‘paradise’ of the Yarrabah community. The Township of Yarrabah is for the most part located adjacent to Mission Bay. The tribes Gunggandji and Yidinji, are its main residents.
Visitors of Yarrabah Community can immerse in the arts and crafts of its people through the Yarrabah Art Centre. Beside Yarrabah Art Centre is the Menmuny Museum where guests can have a look of the treasured items from Yarrabah families and residents. New businesses rose in the place, like the YarriCino cafe where visitors can grab a cup of great-tasting coffee. The town is also equipped with establishments such as supermarket, takeaway shops, and other public amenities like swimming pool, schools, library, health care centre, banks, and government agencies. Along with all these, Yarrabah Community has organisations like Yarrabah Aboriginal Council Administration Centre, QHealth Yarrabah Health Service, Gindaja Rehabilitation Centre, Centrelink, Yarrabah Women Shelter, and more.
Seasonal considerations are nonexistent, and travellers are free to visit Yarrabah anytime. There are strict Yarrabah laws regarding alcohol. There are set restrictions that travellers must familiarize themselves with. In Queensland State Laws, consumption of alcohol in public places is firmly prohibited.
It takes an estimated 45-minute drive from the south of Cairns to Yarrabah. For those without private vehicles, Paradise Bus provides regular service 30 kilometres away along the Bruce Highway. A ferry service used to be available as a mode of transportation to reach this small but astonishing community. The locals used to call this ferry “flatty,” it carried school children back and forth from Yarrabah to Cairns.
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Visiting Yarrabah is a trip of a lifetime; it will provide travellers with unique experiences and countless stories to bring back home.
Yarrabah is rich in stories worth telling. It started behind the enthusiasm of Reverend John Gribble, an Anglican Church missionary who established the Bellenden Ker Mission or currently known as Yarrabah Community. This pursuit turned out to be a success when the leader of the tribe, Menmuny, encouraged the other members to join in the mission. But Gribble’s jovial start eventually became a challenge when he experienced poverty and sickness during the early months. He died in 1893, and his son Ernest Gribble continued his mission until the year 1909. The mission gave way for Christianity to be known in the Yarrabah Community.
A few years later, the Government of Queensland takes over Gribble’s undertaking. The community was given a Deed of Grant in Trust land tenure on October 27, 1986.
Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council
56 Sawmill Road, YARRABAH, QLD, 4871.
ABN: 30 977 526 871.
Phone: 07 4056 9120