Mourilyan, Queensland

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Mourilyan mill destruction.jpg
The Mourilyan sugar mill after Cyclone Larry
Mourilyan is located in Queensland
Coordinates 17°34′S 146°03′E / 17.567°S 146.050°E / -17.567; 146.050Coordinates: 17°34′S 146°03′E / 17.567°S 146.050°E / -17.567; 146.050
Population 424 (2006 census)[1]
Postcode(s) 4858
LGA(s) Cassowary Coast Region
State electorate(s) Hill
Federal Division(s) Kennedy
Localities around Mourilyan:
Comoon Loop South Innisfail Coquette Point
Stockton Mourilyan Etty Bay
Boogan Martyville
New Harbourline
Mourilyan Harbour

Mourilyan is a town and locality in the Cassowary Coast Region, Queensland, Australia.[2][3] It was established around the Mourilyan sugar mill which provided much of the employment in the area until it was destroyed by Cyclone Larry on 20 March 2006.


The town is located 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) south of Innisfail on the Bruce Highway.


Construction of the Mourilyan sugar mill began in 1882, rendering it among the oldest in Australia. Excavation of the site was undertaken mainly by Kanakas, with assistance from Chinese and Anglo-Saxon labourers. After its completion in 1884, the mill had a processing capacity of 14 tonnes of sugar per 12-hour shift.[4]

In 1913, the Colonial Sugar Refining Company (now CSR) began purchasing sugar refined at the mill. Mourilyan remained a small settlement, growing only very slowly since.

Mourilyan Post Office opened by September 1910 (a receiving office had been open from 1884 when the mill opened).[5]

Mourilyan is prone to tropical cyclones; in 1918, a cyclone caused serious damage to the mill and surrounding community, having a drastic effect on sugar production in that year. In 1986, Cyclone Winifred also caused substantial damage to the area.

Cyclone Larry caused substantial damage to many households in the area, and destroyed the town's main source of employment. A major effort by the Australian Defence Force helped restore Mourilyan Primary School to functioning capacity. Insurance payouts have helped to repair residential and commercial properties.[6]

At the 2006 census, Mourilyan had a population of 424.[1]


Mourilyan's main attraction is the Australian Sugar Industry Museum,[7] which contains several relics from North Queensland's extensive sugar farming history. It also serves as a gateway to Mourilyan Harbour, Etty Bay and Paronella Park.


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Mourilyan (L) (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  2. ^ "Mourilyan - town (entry 23226)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 12 March 2017. 
  3. ^ "Mourilyan - locality (entry 45735)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 12 March 2017. 
  4. ^ "ABC Rural News". Retrieved 2007-05-26. 
  5. ^ Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Retrieved 10 May 2014. 
  6. ^ "Cyclone Larry: The Aftermath". Retrieved 2007-05-26. 
  7. ^ "The Australian Sugar Industry Museum". Archived from the original on 2007-06-18. Retrieved 2007-05-26. 

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