Indigenous Australians are the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia, descended from groups that existed in Australia and surrounding islands before British colonisation. The time of arrival of the first Indigenous Australians is a matter of debate among researchers; the earliest conclusively human remains found in Australia are those of Mungo Man LM3 and Mungo Lady, which have been dated to around 50,000 years BP. Recent archaeological evidence from the analysis of charcoal and artefacts revealing human use suggests a date as early as 65,000 BP. Luminescence dating has suggested habitation in Arnhem Land as far back as 60,000 years BP. Genetic research has inferred a date of habitation as early as 80,000 years BP. Other estimates have ranged up to 100,000 years and 125,000 years BP. Although there are a number of commonalities between Indigenous Aboriginal Australians, there is a great diversity among different Indigenous communities and societies in Australia, each with its own mixture of cultures and languages.
In present-day Australia these groups are further divided into local communities. At the time of initial European settlement, over 250 languages were spoken. Aboriginal people today speak English, with Aboriginal phrases and words being added to create Australian Aboriginal English; the population of Indigenous Australians at the time of permanent European settlement is contentious and has been estimated at between 318,000 and 1,000,000 with the distribution being similar to that of the current Australian population, the majority living in the south-east, centred along the Murray River. A population collapse principally from disease followed European settlement beginning with a smallpox epidemic spreading three years after the arrival of Europeans. Massacres and war by British settlers contributed to depopulation; the characterisation of this violence as genocide is controversial and disputed. Since 1995, the Australian Aboriginal Flag and the Torres Strait Islander Flag have been among the official flags of Australia.
The word aboriginal has been in the English language since at least the 16th century to mean, "first or earliest known, indigenous". It comes from the Latin word aborigines, derived from origo; the word was used in Australia to describe its indigenous peoples as early as 1789. It soon became employed as the common name to refer to all Indigenous Australians. While the term Indigenous Australians, has grown since the 1980s to be more inclusive of Torres Strait Islander people, many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples dislike it, feeling that it is too generic and removes their identity. Being more specific, for example naming the language group, is considered best practice and most respectful. Terms that are considered disrespectful include Aborigine and ATSI The broad term Aboriginal Australians includes many regional groups that identify under names from local Indigenous languages; these include: Murrawarri people -- see Murawari language. Anindilyakwa on Groote Eylandt off Arnhem Land.
These larger groups may be further subdivided. It is estimated that before the arrival of British settlers, the population of Indigenous Australians was 318,000–750,000 across the continent; the Torres Strait Islanders possess a heritage and cultural history distinct from Aboriginal traditions. The eastern Torres Strait Islanders in particular are related to the Papuan peoples of New Guinea, speak a Papuan language. Accordingly, they are not included under the designation "Aboriginal Australians"; this has been another factor in the promotion of the more inclusive term "Indigenous Australians". Six percent of Indigenous Australians identify themselves as Torres Strait Islanders. A further 4% of Indigenous Australians identify themselves as having both Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal heritage; the Torres Strait Islands comprise over 100 islands which were annexed by Queensland in 1879. Many Indigenous organisations incorporate the phrase "Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander" to highlight the distinctiveness and importance of Torres Strait Islanders in Australia's Indigenous population.
Eddie Mabo was from "Mer" or Murray Island in the Torres Strait, which the famous Mabo decision of 1992 involved. The term "black" has been used to refer to Indigenous Australians since European settlement. While related to skin colour, the term is used today to indicate Aboriginal he
Kuranda is a town and locality on the Atherton Tableland in the Shire of Mareeba, Far North Queensland, Australia. The town of Myola is located within the locality of Kuranda, it is 25 kilometres via the Kuranda Range road. It is surrounded by tropical rainforest and adjacent to the Wet Tropics World Heritage listed Barron Gorge National Park, it is within the local government area of Shire of Mareeba. Kuranda is positioned on the eastern edge of the Atherton Tableland where the Barron River begins a steep descent to its coastal floodplain; the area is an important wildlife corridor between the Daintree/Carbine Tableland area in the north and Lamb Range/Atherton Tableland in the south, two centres of biodiversity. Parts of Kuranda along its eastern edge, are protected within the Kuranda National Park and Barron Gorge National Park. Both national parks belong to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Barron Gorge Forest Reserve and Formatine Forest Reserve have been established in the south of Kuranda.
Closer to the centre of the town is Jumrum Creek Conservation Park where a near threatened, endemic frog species is protected. An elongated dam created by a weir built for a power station was constructed in 1935 and is used to today for recreation; the rainforest around Kuranda has been home to the Djabugay people for over 10,000 years. Europeans began to explore the area throughout the nineteenth century, it is believed a massacre of indigenous people took place at the location in Kuranda known as Skeleton Creek. Kuranda was first settled in 1885 and surveyed by Thomas Behan in 1888. Construction of the railway from Cairns to Myola began in 1887 and the line reached Kuranda in 1891; the current railway station was built in 1915. Kuranda Post Office opened on 25 June 1891. Between 1912 and 1913 Eric Mjöberg lead an expedition to Queensland in which the Kuranda Aboriginal people were observed. Kuranda District State School and Kuranda State High School amalgamated at the commencement of 2007 to create Kuranda District State College.
Although coffee was grown around Kuranda in the early twentieth century, timber was the town's primary industry for a number of years. Kuranda has been known as a tourist destination since the early 1900s, it was both the local Aboriginals which attracted people to the area. Today Kuranda is a'village in the rainforest' with tourism being the current backbone of the local economy. The'village in the rainforest' concept promoted from the 1970s onwards served two purposes, it attracted those seeking a bohemian enclave in which to reside as well as a being a tourist promotional strategy. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s Kuranda was popular with alternative lifestylers, a theme that still runs through the local community today; the Barron Gorge Hydroelectric Power Station was built nearby in the 1960s. Kuranda Library opened in 1996 and underwent a major refurbishment in 2015. At the 2011 census, the locality Kuranda had a population of 2,966. Kuranda has a number of heritage-listed sites: Cairns-to-Kuranda railway line including the Kuranda railway station.
The town receives thousands of tourists each week who arrive from Cairns either on the Kuranda Scenic Railway, the Skyrail Rainforest cableway, coach or by public bus via the Kuranda Range Road, a 40-minute drive from Cairns. The town is surrounded by tropical rainforest, abundant with wildlife and popular amongst birdwatchers. There are several short walks around the village including the Jum Rum Creek Environmental Park which includes The River Walk. Walking to the Barron Gorge National Park to visit Barron Falls is popular. Another 1 kilometre each way on to Wright's Lookout. There is a shuttle service that provides an alternative to walking with a half-hourly service out to the Barron Gorge National Park; this service includes a visit to Wright's Lookout. Attractions in Kuranda include a bird aviary, butterfly sanctuary, wildlife rescue/rehabilitation centre, reptile park and koala sanctuary. There is a fossil and gemstone museum and candy making displays. Cruises are available aboard'Kuranda Riverboat' on the Barron River.
Kuranda provides the visitor with many shopping opportunities, all within easy walking distance around the CBD, including the markets which consist of a range of stalls with locally made arts and produce. Kuranda has numerous art galleries and specialty shops offering a wide selection of locally made and designed art and handicrafts as well as a variety of sidewalk cafes and restaurants. Kuranda is a major centre for opals and didgeridoos, it was the first home of the Tjapukai Indigenous Dance Theatre, established by former New Yorkers Judy and Don Freeman, together with indigenous dancer and actor, David Hudson. The theatre is now located adjacent the Skyrail Terminal at Smithfield. Mareeba Shire Council operate a public library in Kuranda at 18-22 Arara Street; the Kuranda Historical Society was established in 2017 and seeks to collect and display items of historical interest relating to the Kuranda area. The Kuranda Media Association publish a monthly newspaper called "The Kuranda Paper"; the Kuranda branch of the Queensland Country Women's Association meets at the CWA Hall on the corner of Barang Street and Thongon Street.
Kuranda District State School and Kuranda State High School amalgamated in 2007 to form Kuranda District State College. The nocturnal frog species Litoria myola is only found in the vicinity of a few creeks near Kuranda; the area boasts a rich diversity of invertebrate fauna including Australi
Government of Queensland
The Government of Queensland referred to as the Queensland Government, is the Australian state democratic administrative authority of Queensland. The Government of Queensland, a parliamentary constitutional monarchy, was formed in 1859 as prescribed in its Constitution, as amended from time to time. Since the Federation of Australia in 1901, Queensland has been a state of the Commonwealth of Australia, the Constitution of Australia regulates its relationship with the Commonwealth. Under the Australian Constitution, Queensland ceded legislative and judicial supremacy to the Commonwealth, but retained powers in all matters not in conflict with the Commonwealth. Key state government offices are located at 1 William Street in the Brisbane central business district; the Government of Queensland operates under the Westminster system, a form of parliamentary government based on the model of the United Kingdom. The Governor of Queensland, as the representative of Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, holds nominal power, although in practice only performs ceremonial duties.
The Parliament of Queensland holds legislative power, while executive power lies with the Premier and Cabinet, judicial power is exercised by a system of courts and tribunals. The Parliament of Queensland is the state's legislature, it consists of Her Majesty The Queen, a single chamber. Queensland is the only Australian state with a unicameral parliament after a second chamber, the Legislative Council, was abolished in 1922; the Legislative Assembly has 93 members. Elections for the Legislative Assembly are held every four years; the Cabinet of Queensland is the government's chief policy-making organ, consists of the Premier and all ministers. The Queensland Government delivers services, determines policy and regulations, including legal interpretation, by a number of agencies grouped under areas of portfolio responsibility; each portfolio is led by a government minister, a member of the Parliament. As of April 2016 there were nineteen lead agencies, called government departments, that consist of: Department of the Premier and Cabinet Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services Department of Education and Training Department of Energy and Water Supply Department of Environment and Heritage Protection Queensland Health Department of Housing and Public Works Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Department of Justice and Attorney-General Department of National Parks and Racing Department of Natural Resources and Mines Queensland Police Service and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation Department of State Development Department of Transport and Main Roads Queensland Treasury Department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth GamesA range of other agencies support the functions of these departments.
The judiciary of Queensland consists of the Magistrates Court, the District Court, the Supreme Court, as well as a number of smaller courts and tribunals. The Chief Justice of Queensland is the state's most senior judicial officer; the Magistrates Court is the lowest tier of the judicial hierarchy of Queensland. The court's criminal jurisdiction covers summary offences, indictable offences which may be heard summarily, but all criminal proceedings in Queensland begin in the Magistrates Court if they are not within this jurisdiction. For charges beyond its jurisdiction, the court conducts committal hearings in which the presiding magistrate decides, based on the strength of the evidence, whether to refer the matter to a higher court or dismiss it; the court's civil jurisdiction covers matters in which the amount in dispute is less than or equal to $150,000. Appeals against decisions by the Magistrates Court are heard by the District Court; the District Court is the middle tier of the judicial hierarchy of Queensland.
The court has jurisdiction to hear all appeals from decisions made in the Magistrates Court. Its criminal jurisdiction covers serious indictable offences; the court's civil jurisdiction covers matters in which the amount in dispute is more than $150,000 but less than or equal to $750,000. Appeals against decisions by the District Court are heard by the Court of Appeal, a division of the Supreme Court; the Supreme Court is the highest tier of the judicial hierarchy Queensland. The court has two divisions; the Trial Division's jurisdiction covers serious criminal offences, civil matters involving claims of more than $750,000. The Court of Appeal's jurisdiction allows it to hear cases on appeal from the Trial Division, the District Court, a number of other judicial tribunals in Queensland. Appeals against decisions by the Court of Appeal are heard by the High Court of Australia. There are several factors; the legislature has no upper house. For a large portion of its history, the state was under a gerrymander that favoured rural electorates.
This, combined with the decentralised nature of Queensland, meant that politics has been dominated by regional interests. Queensland, along with New South Wales operated a balloting system known as Optional Preferential Voting for state elections; this is different from the predominant Australian electoral system, the instant-runoff voting system, in practice is closer to a first past the post ballot, which some say is to the
, Dimbulah is a town and locality in Far North Queensland, Australia, 114 kilometres from Cairns by road, on the Atherton Tableland. It is within the local government area of Shire of Mareeba. At the 2011 census, Dimbulah had a population of 1,414; the former mining town of Wolfram is located in the north-west of the locality. There are historical ruins of early mining there as well as a present-day open cut mine; the town was established in 1876 to service the Tyrconnell Gold Mine, one of the richest mines on the Hodgkinson Gold Fields. The name "Dimbulah" is thought to have come from the local Indigenous Australian word for "long waterhole", referring to the Walsh River that runs nearby the town. Dimboola Post Office opened by 1900 and was renamed Dimbulah in 1904; the Dimbulah Public Library opened in 1995 with a minor refurbishment in 2013. The area around Dimbulah was home to the Djankun and Kuku Djungan tribe. During the 1920s the Queensland government forcibly removed most of their children, forcing the tribe to scatter.
In the early 1900s the area received an influx of Italian migrants and in 1928 tobacco was introduced, becoming the area's major industry soon after. At its peak, there were 800 growers in the area, producing over 8,000 tonnes of tobacco a year.'The Way Back In' is an Australian heritage project that documents a small selection of Australian heritage within the Italian communities in Dimbulah and Cairns. Tobacco remained the dominant crop until recent years. Recent attempts at alternative crops such as tea trees, sugar cane, lemons, avocados, papayas, soya beans, lychees and cash crops have met with mixed success. Farming is a significant employment option in Dimbulah and many travelers, including backpackers, are employed as short-term farm labourers during the busy mango harvest from November to January. Holders of a working holiday visa may be eligible for an extension to their visa after a period of work on farms in the area. Accommodation is available at the Junction Hotel. If employed on a farm, accommodation is available in small'dongas' or barracks.
Public transport from Cairns is possible, although infrequent, on Trans North's bus service which stops at Mareeba, 45 kilometres from Dimbulah. The Savannahlander tourist train does not operate year-round. Important local events include the annual Lion's Festival and the Great Wheelbarrow Race both held annually in May. On 27 September 2014, the Dimbulah P-10 State School celebrated its centenary. Local residents enjoy a tropical climate with dry, mild winters. There are many sporting clubs including swimming, horse & pony, lawn bowls, Rhee Taekwon-Do, soccer/football. Services include Police station, Queensland Health clinic, ADSL internet, 3G mobile service. In 2013, the town's retail facilities include a Bendigo Community Bank with 24-hour ATM, Australia Post office, Mareeba Discount Chemist, Funky Mango Cafe, Canzian's Restaurant, Junction Hotel, Abundant Life opp shop, Sunshine Bakery, two salons, TGT hardware store, Foodworks grocery store, One Stop convenience store and two petrol stations.
Community groups include the Dimbulah Community Centre, St Anthony's Catholic church, Men's Shed, Lions Club, QCWA, Chamber of Commerce, museum association, several other faith-based groups. The Mareeba Shire operates a public library at Shire Hall at the corner of Raleigh Street and Burke Development Road; the Dimbulah branch of the Queensland Country Women's Association meets at the QCWA Hall at 22 Brickley Street. Chris Sheppard, former NRL player Dimbulah has a number of sites listed on the Queensland Heritage Register including: Main Street, Wolfram: La Société Française des Métaux Rares treatment plant Wolfram Road, Wolfram: Thermo Electric Ore Reduction Corporation Mill Dimbulah Limited Hours Child Care, Age range 15 months - 5 years Dimbulah Kindergarten, Age range 3–5 years Dimbulah P-10 State School, Age range: 4–16 years St Anthony's Parish School Age range: 4-12 University of Queensland: Queensland Places: Dimbulah Town map of Dimbulah, 1984
Herberton is a town and locality on the Atherton Tableland in Far North Queensland, Australia. In the 2016 census, Herberton had a population of 855 people; the first European exploration of this area, part of the traditional land of the Dyirbal, was undertaken in 1875 by James Venture Mulligan. Mulligan instead found tin; the town of Herberton was established on 19 April 1880 by John Newell to exploit the tin find, mining began on 9 May. By the September of that year, Herberton had a population of 27 women. Herberton Post Office opened on 22 November 1880. In December 1881 a State School was established; the Herberton Public Library opened in 1995 with a major refurbishment in 2016. In the late 19th century the Mulligan Highway was carved through the hills from Herberton and passed through what is now Main Street, before continuing down to Port Douglas; this road was used by the coaches of Co to access Western Queensland. At its apogee, Herberton was the richest tin mining field in Australia, was home to 17 pubs, 2 local newspapers and a brewery.
Tin mining ceased in Herberton in 1985. At the 2006 census, Herberton had a population of 974. In the 2011 census, Herberton had a population of 934 people. Herberton has a number of heritage-listed sites, including: 38 Broadway Street: Holy Trinity Anglican Church Grace Street: Jack & Newell General Store 61 Grace Street: Herberton School of Arts off Jacks Road: Great Northern Mine 2-4 Lillian Street: Herberton Uniting Church Myers Street: Herberton War Memorial Herberton is situated 918 m high on the Great Dividing Range south-west of Atherton. Vegetation ranges from tropical rainforest to the east, wet schlerophyl forests to the north and east and open schleorphyl forests and woodlands to the north and west. Herberton is notably drier than the area around Atherton with average rainfall for Herberton of 1,155 mm. Herberton is the most northerly location in Australia to have recorded a temperature at or below −5 °C, the only location in Tropical North Queensland to have done so; the average minimum temperature ranges from 10 °C in winter to 18 °C in summer, while maximums range from 21 to 29 °C.
Several crops are grown around Herberton, it is the location of Queensland's only tropical vineyard. Herberton is a mini salad bowl with crops including avocados, tomatoes and pumpkins. Poultry and beef industries are present. Herberton's public hospital and the private school, Mt Saint Bernard residential college, are other major employers in the town; the Herberton Mining Museum and Visitor Information Centre opened in 2005, houses mining and social history of the Herberton Mining field, archives for the local area and maintains a genealogy project recording the families of the district and their histories. A Heritage Walk for tourists that takes in some of the old buildings and historical features of the town is a popular attraction. Historic Village Herberton is a 16-acre representation of a mining town filled with streets of buildings of the time, each one a museum in its own right with exhibits such as vintage machinery and Australian antiques, it has more than 50 restored period buildings.
The Herberton Spy & Camera Museum houses antique spy cameras, a photographic gallery and photographic memorabilia with guided tours through the museum and a working photographer and photographic studio. Most a Railway Museum has been established by volunteers in the former Herberton Railway Station building; this is operated by volunteers and only open part-time. The Tepon Equestrian Grounds just out of Herberton have been upgraded with a large undercover pavilion for equestrian and other sporting events such as cycling and mountain biking. Local markets are held on the 3rd Sunday of every month at the Wondecla Oval. There are several caravan parks, motels and B&Bs located in the town; the Tablelands Regional Council operates a Herberton Public Library and Customer Service Centre at 61 Grace Street. The Herberton branch of the Queensland Country Women's Association meets at the QCWA Hall at 14 William Street. Herberton State School opened on 12 December 1881. In 1912 the school had a secondary top added to the school.
Notable people associated with Herberton include: Bunny Adair, Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly for Cook who attended Herberton State School. Alice Bonar. Founder of the Australian Red Cross in Herberton, now the oldest continuously operating branch in Australia. In 1914 reconvened the branch as a member of the Australian Red Cross. Eldest son David Welbourn Bonar a tunneller at Hill 60 and daughter May was a nurse in World War 1. Nancy Francis and poet known as'Black Bonnet'. Wrote extensively on life in the Daintree area including recording indigenous culture. Wrote poetry published in North queensland The Bulletin. James Douglas Henry Mining Engineer, served in 4th Queensland Imperial Bushmen contingent. Member of the Mining Corps Commanding Officer of 1st Australian Tunnellers involved in Hill 60. Retired to Tepon near Herberton and A. R. P. Warden for Wondecla area in World War 2. John Ledlie, one of the founders of North Queensland firm Armstrong and Stillman. Brought the first electric street lights outside his Herberton store.
Shire Chairman of Herberton Shire Council, member of Cairns Harbour Board and Cairns Regional Electricity Board. Teamed with Robert Ringrose to establish Herberton State High School in 1912. John Newell, Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly for Woothakata, Chairman of Herberton Shire Council, Mayor of Herberton Municipality. One of the discoverers of payable tin and the establishment of Herberton Gold and Mineral Field. Founding member of the Tinaroo Division Board
Coen is a town and locality in the Shire of Cook, Australia. The town of Coen is inland on the Peninsula Developmental Road, the main road on the Cape York Peninsula in far northern Queensland. In the 2011 census, Coen had a population of 416 people; the locality of Coen is on the eastern side of Cape York Peninsula with the Coral Sea forming its eastern boundary. Part of the northern boundary follows the Archer River, while the Coen River forms part of its western boundary; the Peninsula Developmental Road runs north to south through the locality. In 1623, Jan Carstensz, the navigator of the ship Pera of the Dutch East India Company named a river on Cape York Peninsula after Jan Pieterszoon Coen, the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies. Today that river is known as the Archer River and the name Coen River is given to one of its tributaries. Gold was discovered on the Coen River in 1876. Coen came into being first as a small fort built by gold miners and prospectors in May 1877 but this first gold rush came to an end, the settlement did not recover until 1883.
It became a centre for several small goldmines in the region but, in 1893, the rich Great Northern mine boomed and the town became a more substantial place. Coen Post Office opened on 20 June 1893; the Great Northern mine continued operations until 1916 and produced some 52,000 troy ounces of gold before it closed. On 3 July 2014, Barry Port retired from the Queensland Police, he was Australia's last Aboriginal police tracker. In his 36 years working for the police, he has tracked criminals, missing stowaways. Today Coen provides services to the region, is an important supply point on the long unpaved road leading to Weipa and other northern communities, it is a popular stopping point for tourists driving to the tip of Cape York - the northernmost part of the Australian mainland. It has an airstrip at Coen Airport, public library, hotel/motel, guest house, two general stores and fuel outlets, post office, police station, camping grounds, primary school kindergarten, ranger base and more. There is a scheduled air service to Cairns four times a week.
Coen is an ideal destination for birdwatchers: there are good accommodations and a large and varied bird fauna with representatives from rain forest, monsoon forest and coastal forests. Coen has a number of heritage-listed sites, including: Coleman Close: Coen Carrier Station Moon, Ron & Viv. 2003. Cape York: An Adventurer's Guide. 9th edition. Moon Adventure Publications, Victoria. ISBN 0-9578766-4-5 Roberts, Jan. 1981. Massacres to Mining: The Colonization of Aboriginal Australia. Dove Communications, Victoria. Rev. Australian ed. Previous ed.: CIMRA and War on Want, 1978, London. ISBN 0-85924-171-8. Premier's Department. 1989. Cape York Peninsula Resource Analysis. Cairns.. ISBN 0-7242-7008-6 Ryan and Burwell, eds. 2000. Wildlife of Tropical North Queensland: Cooktown to Mackay. Queensland Museum, Brisbane. ISBN 0-85905-045-9. Scarth-Johnson, Vera. 2000. National Treasures: Flowering plants of Cooktown and Northern Australia. Vera Scarth-Johnson Gallery Association, Cooktown. ISBN 0-646-39726-5. Sutton, Peter.
Languages of Cape York: Papers presented to a Symposium organised by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies. Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, Canberra.. ISBN 0-85575-046-4 Wallace, Lennie. 2003. Cape York Peninsula: A History of Unlauded Heroes 1845-2003. Central Queensland University Press, Rockhampton. ISBN 1-876780-43-6 Wynter, Jo and Hill, John. 1991. Cape York Peninsula: Pathways to Community Economic Development; the Final Report of The Community Economic Development Projects Cook Shire. Cook Shire Council. McIvor, Roy. Cockatoo: My Life in Cape York. Stories and Art. Roy McIvor. Magabala Books. Broome, Western Australia. ISBN 978-1-921248-22-1
Port Douglas is a town and a locality in the Shire of Douglas, Australia 70 km north of Cairns. In the 2016 census, Port Douglas had a population of 3,504 people; the town's population can double, with the influx of tourists during the peak tourism season from May to September. The town is named in honour of a former Premier of John Douglas. Port Douglas developed based on the mining industry. Other parts of the area were established with timber cutting occurring in the area surrounding the Daintree River and with settlement starting to occur on lots around the Mossman River by 1880. Previous names for the town included Island Point, Port Owen and Salisbury; the town is situated adjacent to two World Heritage areas, the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. Port Douglas was No. 3 on Australian Traveller magazine's list of 100 Best Towns In Australia. The town is within the federal electorate of Leichhardt, within the state electorate of Cook. At the local level, it is in the local government area of Shire of Douglas.
The Port Douglas township was established in 1877 after the discovery of gold at Hodgkinson River by James Venture Mulligan. Port Douglas Post Office opened on 1 September 1877, it grew and at its peak Port Douglas had a population of 12,000 and 27 hotels. With the construction of the Mulligan Highway it serviced towns as far away as Herberton. Port Douglas State School opened on 11 November 1879, but closed in 1962, it was reopened on 23 January 1989. When the Kuranda Railway from Cairns to Kuranda was completed in 1891, the importance of Port Douglas dwindled along with its population. A cyclone in 1911 which demolished all but two buildings in the town had a significant impact. At its nadir in 1960 the town, by little more than a fishing village, had a population of 100; the Port Douglas War Memorial was unveiled on 10 February 1923 by Mrs Tresize. In the late-1980s, tourism boomed in the region after investor Christopher Skase financed the construction of the Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas Resort.
Its permanent population was 3,205 at the time of the 2011 census. Port Douglas has a number of heritage-listed sites, including: Macrossan Street: FDA Carstens Memorial Wharf Street: St Mary's by the Sea 6 Dixie Street: Port Douglas Wharf 25 Wharf Street: Port Douglas Court House Museum In the 2016 Census, there were 3,504 people in Port Douglas. 56.6% of people were born in Australia. The next most common countries of birth were England 6.3% and New Zealand 5.9%. 76.6% of people spoke only English at home. The most common responses for religion were No Religion, so described 41.1% and Catholic 17.4%. On 5 July 1943, a RAAF Vultee Vengeance crash landed on the beach near Port Douglas. In November 1996 United States President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton chose the town as their only holiday stop on their historic visit to Australia; when dining at a local restaurant they witnessed a couple's wedding certificate. On a return visit on 11 September 2001, Clinton was again dining at a local restaurant, when he was advised of the September 11 attacks.
He returned to the United States the following day. On 4 September 2006, television personality and conservationist Steve Irwin died at Batt Reef, off Port Douglas, after a stingray barb pierced his heart during filming of a documentary called The Ocean's Deadliest. Irwin was filmed snorkelling directly above the stingray when it lashed him with its tail, killing him immediately; the event was reported in Australia and overseas. The annual Port Douglas Carnivale is held in May and runs for 10 days over two weekends, beginning with a parade attracting over 10,000 people. In October Porttoberfest is held; the Great Barrier Reef Marathon Festival is held during October. Port Douglas was a popular location to view the 14 November 2012 solar eclipse that occurred at 6:38 am. Thousands travelled to Port Douglas to see the phenomenon; the music video for Kylie Minogue's 1988 single "It's No Secret" was filmed in Port Douglas. Port Douglas has a tropical monsoon climate according to Köppen climate classification, with hot summers and warm winters, with heavy rainfall occurring from January–March, the wettest month of the year being February.
The average temperature of the sea ranges from 23.7 °C in July to 29.5 °C in January. Kitesurfing is popular at the southern end of Four Mile Beach during the winter months when trade winds blow from the South. Port Douglas is near the Great Barrier Reef. Numerous companies run daily trips from the marina to the outer reef and the Low Isles for scuba diving and snorkelling. Port Douglas is well known for its many restaurants, golf courses, five star resorts; the Port Douglas Community Hall houses the Port Douglas Library, 11-29 Mowbray Street, operated by the Douglas Shire Council. The Library opened in 2010. Another branch library is located in Mossman; the Port Douglas branch of the Queensland Country Women's Association meets at the CWA Hall at 8 Blake Street. Port Douglas State School is a government primary school for girls at Endeavour Street. In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 281 students with 12 non-teaching staff. For secondary school, Port Douglas is within the catchment of Mossman State High School.
Port Douglas Tourism Information Port Douglas News Port Douglas Visitors Guide Port Douglas Webcam Tourism Port Douglas & Daintree University of Queensland: Queensland Places:Port Douglas