Dimbulah, Queensland

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Dimbulah is located in Queensland
Coordinates 17°08′56″S 145°06′38″E / 17.14889°S 145.11056°E / -17.14889; 145.11056Coordinates: 17°08′56″S 145°06′38″E / 17.14889°S 145.11056°E / -17.14889; 145.11056
Population 1,414 (2011 census)[1]
Established 1876
Postcode(s) 4872
Elevation 407 m (1,335 ft)
LGA(s) Shire of Mareeba
State electorate(s)
Federal Division(s) Kennedy
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
35 °C
95 °F
10.5 °C
51 °F
783.2 mm
30.8 in
Localities around Dimbulah:
Chillagoe Thornborough Thornborough
Chillagoe Dimbulah Mutchilba
Petford Irvinebank Irvinebank

Dimbulah is a town and locality in Far North Queensland, Australia, 114 kilometres (71 mi) from Cairns by road, on the Atherton Tableland.[2][3] It is within the local government area of Shire of Mareeba (between 2008 and 2013, it was within the Tablelands Region). At the 2011 census, Dimbulah had a population of 1,414.[1]


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.[4]

The area around Dimbulah was originally home to the Djankun[5] 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 (60% of national yield) 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, Innisfail and Cairns.


Tobacco remained the dominant crop until recent years when government policy compelled its demise. Recent attempts at alternative crops such as tea trees, mangoes, sugar cane, coffee, lemons, limes, avocados, papaws, papayas, peanuts, soya beans, lychees, grapes and cash crops (pumpkins, melons, etc.) 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, particularly 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 town's caravan park or the Junction Hotel. If employed on a farm, accommodation is often 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 (28 mi) from Dimbulah. The Savannahlander tourist train stops in Dimbulah as well but 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 will be celebrating its centenary.


Local residents enjoy a tropical climate with hot, wet summers and dry, mild winters.


There are many sporting clubs including swimming (with an Olympic-sized pool), tennis, horse & pony, lawn bowls, Rhee Taekwon-Do, and soccer/football. Services include Police station, Queensland Health clinic, ADSL internet, and 3G mobile service (Telstra and Optus). 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, butcher, two salons, TGT hardware store, Foodworks grocery store, One Stop convenience store and two petrol stations. The library is located within the town hall and is open Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings. Community groups include the Dimbulah Community Centre, St Anthony's Catholic church, Men's Shed, Lions Club, QCWA, Chamber of Commerce, museum association, and several other faith-based groups.

Notable people[edit]

Heritage listings[edit]

Dimbulah has a number of sites listed on the Queensland Heritage Register including:


  • Dimbulah Limited Hours Child Care, Age range 15 months - 5 years
  • Dimbulah Kindergarten, Age range 3–5 years (C&K Affiliated)
  • Dimbulah P-10 State School (founded September 1914), Age range: 4–16 years
  • St Anthony's Parish School (Catholic - founded January 1966) Age range: 4-12


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Dimbulah". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 13 March 2016. 
  2. ^ "Dimbulah - town (entry 9976)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 
  3. ^ "Dimbulah - locality (entry 48608)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 
  4. ^ Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Retrieved 10 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "Tindale's Catalogue of Australian Aboriginal Tribes". South Australia Museum Archives. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  6. ^ "La Société Française des Métaux Rares treatment plant (former) (entry 602583)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "Thermo Electric Ore Reduction Corporation Mill (entry 602240)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 

External links[edit]