Freshwater, Queensland

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

View across the Cairns-to-Kuranda railway line towards Freshwater, Cairns, 2018.jpg
View across the Cairns-to-Kuranda railway line towards Freshwater, 2018
Freshwater is located in Queensland
Coordinates16°53′08″S 145°42′39″E / 16.8855°S 145.7108°E / -16.8855; 145.7108Coordinates: 16°53′08″S 145°42′39″E / 16.8855°S 145.7108°E / -16.8855; 145.7108
Population2,023 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density1,124/km2 (2,910/sq mi)
Area1.8 km2 (0.7 sq mi)
LGA(s)Cairns Region
State electorate(s)Barron River
Federal Division(s)Leichhardt
Suburbs around Freshwater:
Barron Barron Stratford
Kamerunga Freshwater Stratford
Redlynch Brinsmead Brinsmead

Freshwater is a suburb of Cairns in the Cairns Region, Queensland, Australia.[2] The suburb was once a separate town in the Shire of Mulgrave but was amalgamated into the City of Cairns, which subsequently was amalgamated into the Cairns Region. In the 2011 census, Freshwater had a population of 2,104 people.[3]


Kiplings Mill in Freshwater, circa 1890

The European history of Freshwater is a long one dating back to 1877. Chinese market gardeners moved into the area, after exhausting their chances on the Hodgkinson Goldfields, leased small plots from the landowners, successfully growing rice, bananas, pineapples and other tropical crops.

The need for a railway from the Herberton mines to the coast, resulted in the construction between Herberton and Cairns (now the Tablelands railway line). The first 8 miles of this railway went from Cairns to Redlynch crossing over Freshwaster Creek . The development of the railway line encouraged land developers to release a land subdivision called Richmond Park Estate near the railway line and Freshwater Creek, which was sold from 1886 with advertising featuring the forthcoming "Richmond Park railway station" and its ten-minute rail journey to Cairns.[4] When the railway line opened in late 1887, there were a number of railway sidings along the line: Stratford (5 miles from Cairns), Lily Bank (6 miles from Cairns), and Richmond (7 miles from Cairns). Richmond Siding was renamed Freshwater Siding (later Freshwater railway station) in January 1890.[5]

A rice mill was established on the Lower Freshwater Creek and was being successfully operated by local man, Joseph Kipling in 1891. Chinese farmers grew rice in the adjacent fields.[6][7]

The Freshwater State School was opened on 20 August 1896.[8]

Freshwater Post Office opened by April 1925 (a receiving office, earlier named Stratford, had been open from 1897).[9]

At the 2006 census, Freshwater had a population of 1,976.[10]


Freshwater railway station sign on the Kuranda Scenic Railway, 2015

The Kuranda Scenic Railway has a stop at the Freshwater railway station, which is today actually just outside the suburb in the neighbouring suburb of Barron.


Bunny Adair Park on Lower Freshwater Road (once in Freshwater but now in Barron) is named after Bunny Adair.[11] The park has equestrian facilities and is home to the Freshwater Pony Club.[12][13]

The Freshwater branch of the Queensland Country Women's Association meets at the CWA Hall on the corner of Kamerunga Road and Old Smithfield Road (opposite the Freshwater railway station).[14] The branch was established in 1937 and held its meetings in the home of first president Mrs Odgen. In 1940, the railway square became available for recreational use and the CWA purchased the present site for their hall. However, it was not until after World War II that the branch focussed on raising funds for the building, having devoted their wartime activities to the manufacture of camouflage nets and contributions to the war effort. The building was completed in 1955. In additional to CWA activities, the hall is used for by other community groups and for private parties.[15]


Freshwater State School is a government primary (P-6) school for boys and girls at 10 Corkill Street. In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 738 students with 50 teachers (43 full-time equivalent) and 25 non-teaching staff (16 full-time equivalent).[16]

Notable people[edit]

Herbert ("Bunny") Adair and Gladys Down, just married, Freshwater Hall, 1928


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Freshwater (Qld) (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 18 April 2018. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "Freshwater - suburb in Cairns Region (entry 48643)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  3. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Freshwater, Queensland (SSC)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 28 May 2016. Edit this at Wikidata
  4. ^ "Advertising". Cairns Post. III (152). Queensland, Australia. 8 April 1886. p. 3. Retrieved 24 September 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  5. ^ "The Cairns Range Railway". Stratford History Trail. Archived from the original on 15 September 2018. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  6. ^ Benfer, John; Benfer, Val (1995), A history of Freshwater, The author, retrieved 3 February 2014
  7. ^ "Enterprise in Cairns". Cairns Post (Qld. : 1884 - 1893). Qld.: National Library of Australia. 18 May 1892. p. 3. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  8. ^ "Opening and closing dates of Queensland Schools". Queensland Government. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  9. ^ Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Archived from the original on 15 May 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  10. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Freshwater (Cairns City) (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
  11. ^ Hodes, Jeremy. "Far North Queensland Place names bo – bz". Queensland History. Blogger. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  12. ^ "Sport fields". Cairns Regional Council. 12 December 2017. Archived from the original on 24 September 2018. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  13. ^ "Freshwater Pony Club". Archived from the original on 24 September 2018. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  14. ^ "Branch Locations". Queensland Country Women's Association. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  15. ^ "Freshwater CWA Hall". Freshwater Heritage Trail. Archived from the original on 30 December 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  16. ^ "Annual Report 2017" (PDF). Freshwater State School. Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 September 2018. Retrieved 24 September 2018.

External links[edit]

Media related to Freshwater, Queensland at Wikimedia Commons