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Mareeba Local History

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Mareeba is a small town in Far North Queensland, Australia. It is located on the Atherton Tablelands, approximately 60 kilometers west of Cairns. The town has a rich and diverse history, dating back to the early 1870s when European settlers first arrived in the area.

Indigenous History

The Mareeba area was originally inhabited by the Mamu people, who are Indigenous Australians. The Mamu people are part of the larger Aboriginal group known as the Yidinji people, who are the traditional owners of the land in the area. The Mamu people were skilled hunters and gatherers, and they lived a semi-nomadic lifestyle, moving around the area in search of food and water.

Early European Settlement

European settlement of Mareeba began in the 1870s when gold was discovered in nearby locations. This led to a rush of prospectors and settlers to the area, with the first hotel being established in 1877. Mareeba continued to grow as more settlers arrived, and in 1900, the railway line was extended to the town, further boosting its growth. By the early 1900s, Mareeba had become a major agricultural center, with tobacco and sugarcane being the primary crops.

World War II

During World War II, Mareeba played a significant role in the allied forces' Pacific campaign. The town was home to a large military base, and it was used as a staging point for the allies' campaigns in Papua New Guinea. Many of the buildings in Mareeba were used as military barracks, and the town's airstrip was one of the busiest in the Pacific. After the war, Mareeba became an important center for the growing tourism industry in the Cairns region.

The Mareeba Rodeo

The Mareeba Rodeo is one of the town's most famous events, attracting visitors from across Australia and around the world. The rodeo has been held annually since 1949 and is one of the largest rodeos in Australia. The event features a wide range of rodeo competitions, including bull riding, saddle bronc riding, and barrel racing. In addition to the rodeo competitions, the event features live music, food stalls, and a carnival atmosphere.

The Next Chapter

Mareeba continues to evolve, with a growing population and new industries such as renewable energy and eco-tourism. The town has a proud history, and its residents are focused on preserving its heritage while embracing the future.

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