Mareeba is a town on the Atherton Tableland in Far North Queensland, Australia. It is located at 417 metres above sea level on the confluence of the Barron River, Granite Creek and Emerald Creek. The town’s name is derived from an Aboriginal word meaning “meeting place of the waters”. Mareeba has a population of approximately 8,000.
It is the largest of the four shires on the Atherton Tableland. There are a number of smaller centres in the Shire including Kuranda, Dimbulah, Chillagoe, Mt Molloy, Mt Carbine and Irvinebank.
The Shire spreads westwards from the coastal escarpment behind Cairns and incorporates four of the Queensland’s biogeographical regions. These are the Wet Tropics area which runs along the Shire’s eastern boundary and lies closest to the coast; the Einasleigh Uplands which dominates the southern sections of the shire; the Gulf Plains which cover the vast sprawling western area of the Shire and the Cape York bioregion which dominates in the northern areas of the Shire. This means that the Shire contains a remarkably diverse range of landscape and vegetation units.
The altitude of the Tableland moderates the tropical climate which means that Mareeba Shire enjoys cool dry winters and warm wet summers. During winter the daily minimum temperatures rarely fall below 15°C, while in summer the maximum rarely exceeds 35°C.