Mareeba is located on the Atherton Tablelands, in the mountains ‘behind’ Cairns. You can get to this easily accessible township by road, rail or air and it offers a range of tours, attractions, activities and events to keep you entertained throughout the year. There’s National Parks, private Nature Parks, mountain bike trails, a plethora of local markets, not mention farm gates and more, all providing visitors with the opportunity to connect with country, the local people and places.
On this page we’re pleased to offer the answers to a range of frequently asked visitor questions, including advice on the weather, accommodation options, camping and RV information, local markets, safety, swimming and weather advice, and so much more, including working holiday information for those who want to stay longer. If you can’t find what you are looking for here, our team of passionate volunteers at the Mareeba Visitor Information Centre are available 7 days a week to provide and share local knowledge, to help you plan the perfect Mareeba getaway.
Need help? If you can't find what you need call 07 4092 5674 or contact us.
Anytime is a good time to visit Mareeba. We are known for our sunshine and enjoy cool, dry winters and warm summers. While our weather does fluctuate a little from season to season, it’s generally pleasant and warm throughout the year.
The scents of summer around Mareeba is brought to you by the many flowering frangipani trees and heady perfume of juicy, ripe mangoes. The daily temperature average hovers around 30 – 32 degrees Celsius, with overnights cooling down to between 20 – 22 degrees Celsius. Summer storms are known to sweep across the landscape, topping up the waterfalls and rivers. In fact, this is the wettest time of year up here.
Spectacular sunsets are the order of the day in Autumn, and in fact at most times of the year in and around Mareeba. As the day starts to wane the sky lights up in a myriad of golden hues before finally turning velvet black. Day time temperatures are between 26 -30 degrees Celsius, cooling down to between 16 – 21 degrees Celsius overnight.
Mareeba winters are simply divine. There’s no Jack Frost up this end of the country. The day time temperatures are between 25 – 27 degrees, making it the perfect time to get out and explore on foot or by bike. At night we hover between 13 – 16 degrees, meaning it’s perfect for camp fires and toasting marshmallows. Lots of southern visitors come at this time of year, because the secret got out long ago – Mareeba is simply magnificent in winter.
We spring into spring with more delightful weather. Maximum day time temperatures are between 28 – 32 degrees Celsius, cooling down to between 15 – 20 degrees at night. The early part of spring sees fields of golden savannah grasslands and permanent waterways, flitting with many different types of birds. Towards the end of the season, the summer storms start to make an appearance with some thunderous electrical storms sweeping across the landscape.
The wetter season lasts 4.6 months, from December to March, with a greater than 39% chance of a given day being a wet day. Even if it is raining during your stay, there is still plenty of wet weather activities you can enjoy in and around Mareeba and we’ve prepared a quick list for you. See our story What To Do In Mareeba When It Is Raining.
Mareeba is easy to access by vehicle and the roads are generally well maintained. You can drive from the southern coast, northern coast and western outback and is the ultimate self-drive holiday destination. You can travel by air to Cairns and hire a car to visit Mareeba. By road, you can travel through any one of the gateways of Cairns, Port Douglas, Cassowary Coast, Cape York and the Savannah Way. More details and information is provided below.
Refer to Cairns Airport website – www.cairnsairport.com
It is easy to access Mareeba by vehicle. Roads are generally well maintained and you can drive from the southern coast, northern coast and western outback.
There are two directions of travel available to you, if you are coming to Mareeba from Cairns. If you’re in the city or on the northside, then take the Kuranda Range Road from Cairns. The roundabout for this road is at Smithfield and is well sign-posted. The Kuranda Range Road climbs the coastal range to Mareeba (State Route1). The distance between Cairns and Mareeba on this route is 61km. Travel time is approx 1hr.
If you are on the southside of Cairns, then your closest access point will be to take the Gillies Highway. The turn off for the Gillies Highway is at Gordonvale (35 kilometres south of Cairns), where you will start your gradual climb up the Gillies Range (State Route 52). The distance between Cairns and Mareeba, via Gordonvale is 91km. Travel time is approx 1hr 26 min.
From Port Douglas Road, Port Douglas turn right onto Captain Cook Highway. 10kms north turn left onto Mossman/Mt Molloy Road. At Mt Molloy, this road turns into the Mulligan Highway taking you through to Mareeba. The distance between Port Douglas and Mareeba is 85km. Travel time is approx 1hr 16min.
From Cape Tribulation, the main road (Cape Tribulation Road) will take you to the Daintree Ferry. Continue straight onto Cape Tribulation Road, then turn left onto Mossman-Daintree Road. Continue onto Captain Cook Highway and turn right onto Mossman/Mt Molloy Road which will take you through to Mareeba. The distance between Cape Tribulation and Mareeba is 142km. Travel time is approx 2hr 36min.
The Cassowary Coast is the area between Townsville and Cairns. Access to Mareeba is via the Palmerston Highway, a sealed road that connects to the Bruce Highway at Innisfail. The distance between Innisfail and Mareeba is 137km. Travel time is approx 1hr 46min.
From Cooktown, travel the Mulligan Highway which is a fully sealed road, to Mareeba. The distance between Cooktown and Mareeba is 266km. Travel time is approx 2hr 59min.
From Cape York, travel the Peninsula Development road (state route 81) which runs from Weipa situated on the western coast of Cape York, to Lakeland. The distance between Cape York to Lakeland is 779kms. Travel time is approx 10hr 25min.
From Lakeland to Mareeba, travel the Mulligan Highway. The distance between Lakeland to Mareeba is 188km. Travel time is approx 2hr 9min.
You will need at least 48 hours to take in the sights and sounds of Mareeba, as there is so much to see and do.
During your stay, visit one of our Visitor Information Centres for more details on local events happening in the area you may be staying.
Your favourite furry family members are welcomed additions to many places in Mareeba. So let’s take a moment to paws and reflect on our favourite dog-friendly places in Mareeba.
As a growing number of places jump on the trend of allowing pets to join you in your travels some still have strict rules, so be sure to get in touch with the place before you plan to visit or book accommodation.
Mareeba is located in North Queensland, Australia. As such there are a few things to be aware of when travelling through and staying in our town and its surrounds. This includes the importance of being aware of the presence of crocodiles, checking for the presence of localised flooding and knowing your emergency numbers. We’re pleased to provide this Mareeba safety information on our website and you can also download a PDF copy of the Travelling Safely in Mareeba Shire document. In addition, the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service has prepared fact sheets regarding the potential hazards when visiting natural areas, in particular, swimming in uncontrolled natural (‘wild’) environments. You can download their Water Safety Fact Sheet here.
There’s a reasonable range of Mareeba accommodation options to suit all budgets; from traditional caravan parks, through to motels, self-contained units and pub style accommodation.
If you are seeking motel type of Mareeba accommodation we advise that you book ahead. During major events or festivals, any type of accommodation can book out months in advance.
Before camping in a park, forest or reserve, you must obtain a camping permit and pay your camping fees. Most camping areas can be booked online – for more information please see the Qld Government, Parks and Forests website – at an over-the-counter booking office or by phone. You must pay your camping fees to secure your booking.
Davies Creek Camping Area is popular with granite outcrops, open eucalypt woodland and clear, flowing streams are the striking features of these parks and this reserve. The Aboriginal Traditional Owners have a long-standing and continuous connection with these parks. They welcome you to their country and ask that you respect this special place. Download the Park Map here.
Please note there are potential hazards when visiting natural areas, in particular, swimming in uncontrolled natural (‘wild’) environments, such as Davies Creek. To help minimise risk the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service has prepared fact sheets to help educate visitors about the hazards, so they can make informed decisions about their actions. Download their Water Safety Fact Sheet here.
There are two local council free camping sites in the region. Rifle Creek Rest Area Campground, Mt Molloy and Rocky Creek War Memorial Campground, Tolga. For more information, please visit us at the Mareeba Visitor Information Centre.
Yes, Mareeba is proud to welcome and support motorhome, campervan and RV holidaymakers. In fact we believe that one of the best aspects of a campervan holiday in Australia and Queensland, is stopping off in towns like Mareeba, during your journey of exploration. This is where you get to see the true face of the country and get to know the landscape and the people. Key information is as follows.
Lamb’s Head and Kahlpahlim Rock Loop, Bare Hill and Turtle Rock Circuit are well known hikes. Granite Gorge private nature park has well organised tracks with markers you can follow and you are also provided a map when signing in.
This network of mountain bike trails in the Lamb Range between Mareeba and Kuranda is accessed from the Kennedy Highway, approximately 13km from Mareeba. Follow the Davies Creek signs. The trails wind along the rain-shadowed slopes of the Lamb Range. With lengths and grades for everyone, riders navigate granite outcrops, cross clear streams, and traverse forests of bloodwoods, stringybarks, she-oaks, cycads and grass trees.
These shared trails were built for mountain bike riding but are available to walkers. Horse and trail bike riding are not permitted. Download a Trail Map here.
A variety of crystal clear, small pools running along Emerald Creek. The first pool is right beside the car park and there are many more to be found along the 1km trail up to the falls. The falls cascade over granite boulders which form a large pool surrounded by lush rainforest above and eucalyptus forest below. The Emerald Creek turn-off is along the Kennedy Highway, about 5 minutes before you reach Mareeba. Turn left onto Tinaroo Creek Road and then after 3km turn left again onto Cobra Road. The last part of the road is dirt track and is not suitable for caravans or trailers as it steep in places.
Has its own national park and there are plenty of places to test the cool waters in this granite gorge. There are lots of small rock pools for kids and big boulders to climb over or just rest on top of in this scenic hot spot. If you are feeling energetic, a scramble over some of the big rocks will take you to deeper swimming holes. Rock hop and swim your way to some pretty falls. There is also an infinity pool at the top of the falls. Davies Creek National Park is about 18kms from Mareeba off the Kennedy Highway.
Please note there are potential hazards when visiting natural areas, in particular, swimming in uncontrolled natural (‘wild’) environments, such as Emerald Creek Falls and Davies Creek. To help minimise risk the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service has prepared fact sheets to help educate visitors about the hazards, so they can make informed decisions about their actions. Download their Water Safety Fact Sheet here.
Lots of international visitors – aged between 18 – 30 (or 18 – 35 for Canadian, French and Irish citizens) – come to Australia on a Working Holiday visa. This gives international residents the opportunity to enjoy an extended holiday in Australia, with the chance to work while here, to fund their stay and travels.
If you want to extend your stay and visa by another 12 months, there is the opportunity to do so by working in a regional area such as the Mareeba Shire. Should you be interested in this, please note you’ll need to undertake at least three months specific work which may include seasonal farm work, construction or mining. Please note not all countries are eligible for a Working Holiday visa: please see the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website for more information.
If you want to see what seasonal harvest work opportunities there may be, please visit the Harvest Trail website.
Mareeba Shire is a great place to visit and stay. Located on the Atherton Tablelands, Mareeba is on the cusp of the Queensland Outback, gateway to the wilds of Cape York, and right at the doorstep of World Heritage listed rainforest.
For younger Australian travellers wanting to stay longer on a working holiday, there is the option of seeking seasonal harvest work or alternatively you can investigate any positions vacant on arrival, or while planning your trip.
There’s lots of local markets you can visit during your stay in and around Mareeba and the Mareeba Shire. Details of some of the locations and dates are below for your convenience. Or visit these websites for more information: https://msc.qld.gov.au/events/markets/ | https://www.athertontablelands.com.au/cant-miss-markets/
The Mareeba Markets are held in Centenary Park, adjacent to the Mareeba Heritage Museum and Visitor Information Centre, on the 2nd and 5th Saturday of every month. This is a large space which has the feel of a traditional country fair. Peruse the many stalls offering goods from home-made breads and preserves, to plants, clothing, craft, fruits and vegetables and so much more. There’s always food and coffee vans on site and usually some kids activities too. The Mareeba Markets operate 7.30am – 12.30pm.
The Koah Markets are held on the first Saturday of every month, except December and January. They can be found at 322 Koah Road at the Koah Hall (which is between Mareeba and Kuranda) and are well sign-posted. This is a small community market with live music, scrumptious treats and food stalls. The Koah Markets operate 9am – 1pm.
Kuranda is well known for its markets, which are open 7 days a week, 365 days a year. There’s two distinct ‘markets’ in Kuranda – the Original Markets and the Heritage Markets – complemented with a diverse array of retail outlets, fashion boutiques, galleries, tourist attractions, cafes and restaurants. Kuranda’s Original Markets began in 1978 and continue today. Open daily from 9.30am – 3pm. Kuranda’s Heritage Markets are open daily from 9.30am – 3.30pm and in addition to market stalls, it’s also home to Kuranda Koala Gardens, Birdworld and the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary. Both of these markets are easy to locate, as Kuranda is a small township with easy parking and lots to see and do.
The Tolga Markets are held on the first Sunday of the month, at Marrow Park which is adjacent to the Tolga Racecourse. This has a real community feel, with many of the stallholders selling produce or craft items they have created themselves. There is always some food stalls and coffee vans. This is a great place to find local treasures.
The Yungaburra Markets are very popular with local residents. Operating on the fourth Saturday of every month (third in December), they have hundreds of stalls selling a diverse array of goods. From art and craft, to homemade jams, preserves and breads, clothing stalls, plants, books and more. There’s always food stalls and coffee vans in attendance with lots of parking. The Yungaburra Markets are easy to locate, as Yungaburra is a small township and the markets are right on the main road.
The Mareeba township itself is a hub for locals and residents from across Cape York. It offers many facilities and amenities, including but not limited to grocery stores, banks, petrol stations, cafes, restaurants, country pubs, clothing boutiques, gift stores, hardware stores, a range of accommodation providers and much more.
If you’re looking to buy goods and services locally, you won’t have to look any further than the Mareeba Express Business Directory. Proudly provided by The Express Newspaper, this easy-to-use website allows you to quickly find some of our region’s great local businesses. All you need to do is start searching, and bookmark it for future reference. The Express directory services Mareeba, Atherton, Malanda, Tolga, Dimbulah, Kuranda and surrounding areas. Visit the Mareeba Express Business Directory for more information – https://www.theexpressbusiness.com.au/
© Mareeba Heritage Museum and Visitor Information Centre 2021