Towns in Australia

Exploring Australia, town by town

Giru QLD


Postcode: 4809

Giru is a small town in Queensland, Australia, situated on the Haughton River 56km south-east of Townsville. The Bruce Highway bypasses the town. Giru is noted for its sugar mill, crushing some three million tonnes of sugar cane annually, the highest in the Southern Hemisphere. During the Second World War, Giru was the site of an airbase used by the Royal Australian Air Force (R.A.A.F.) and United States Army Air Forces (U.S.A.A.F.).

The Palm Creek Folk Festival is an annual event held in Giru on the Queen’s Birthday public holiday, and stretches over the four days. It commonly features known and up-and-coming bands from several genres, ranging from folk to alternative. The festival-goers pitch tents on the site and live off the food and drink stalls for the four days as most travel from Townsville which is 40 kms to the north of Giru. Any one can set up a stall as all that is needed is the merchandise and it can be sold anywhere along the main track. Frequent vendors at the festival include Hare Krishnas and the Boy Scouts of Australia.

Originally a siding on the Townsville-Ayr sugar tramway, Giru has since developed into a significant link in the north Queensland cane chain. In fact, the mill in this Haughton River town regularly records an annual crush of about 3.25 million tonnes, the highest in the Southern Hemisphere.

The cane fires to burn off the excess leafage is a spectacular pre-harvest event on the Giru calendar.