Mareeba is a rapidly growing service town on the Atherton Tablelands about 58mins drive west of Cairns via the Kuranda Range Road. Mareeba is mostly an agricultural area growing mangoes, potatoes and other market vegetables. Mareeba is also the centre of the Cape York and Gulf of Carpentaria cattle industry and holds the Mareeba Rodeo every year. First settled in 1877, Mareeba was home to a large number of immigrants, particularly Italians arriving after WWII, give the town a semi-European feel. There are a number of interesting buildings, delis and cafés that celebrate this heritage. Mareeba was once the centre of the Australian tobacco growing industry but since that has stopped is now home to a number of award-winning coffee plantations. Mareeba is also a popular tourist destination with attractions like the Warbirds Aeroplane Museum and the nearby Cairns Wildlife Safari Reserve. The Mareeba Wetlands wildlife reserve which is also nearby is a popular spot for birdwatching. Mareeba operates as a service centre for the surrounding area including the towns of Kuranda and Dimbulah. Mareeba is also the entrance to the Cairns Outback with the abandoned mining town of Chillagoe being about 1hour55mins west of Mareeba.
Mareeba is a very multicultural town with a large group of Italian-descent and other Europeans living in the area. There is also a large indigenous community. Mareeba has a population of about 19,000 with the majority being families and a large proportion of retired people. Housing consists of older-style homes in the town centre that gives way to modern single dwellings in the outer suburbs. There is still some acreage available in the area and there are a number of large residential developments underway including a gated retirement / holiday community. Mareeba has a number of motels and cheaper accommodation options for visitors.
Mareeba is a service centre for the surrounding communities and has most government departments including Centrelink and Medicare. There is a post office, a library, a police station and a hospital. Mareeba also has a wide variety of general services including lawyers, tax agents, builders, all trades and hardware and electrical stores. Mareeba also has a regional tourist information office, parks and gardens and a community centre as well as a number of churches. The Tablelands Advertiser newspaper is also based in Mareeba.
Mareeba offers general medical, dental and pathology services and has a regional hospital. Major surgery, emergencies and specialised medical services can be found in Cairns, about 58mins drive east via the Kuranda Range Road. Emergencies are often transported to Cairns Base Hospital via helicopter if needed.
Mareeba has a wide variety of shopping options including a number of grocery outlets, speciality stores, a famous deli, pubs, bars, hotels, cafés and takeaway food outlets. There are also hardware and electrical stores, a car yard and retail fashion stores. The closest major shopping centre is in the Cairns suburb of Smithfield about 50mins drive northeast of Mareeba.
There are a number of child care options available in Mareeba including a kindergarten and Prep Years at local state schools.
Mareeba has a state high school and primary school as well as a Catholic college (Prep-12). The nearby towns of Dimbulah and Walkamin also have state primary schools.
There are two Mareeba taxi services that travel to surrounding areas and a local bus company. Whitecar Coaches also travel between Mareeba and other towns on the Atherton Tableland and to Cairns.
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