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Far North Queensland facts for kids

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Far North Queensland
Queensland Regions
Population 280,638 (2010 est.)
 • Density 0.7370696/km2 (1.909002/sq mi)
Area 380,748.3 km2 (147,007.7 sq mi)
LGA(s) Aurukun, Burke, Cairns, Carpentaria, Cassowary Coast, Cook, Croydon, Doomadgee, Douglas, Etheridge, Hope Vale, Kowanyama, Lockhart River, Mapoon, Mareeba, Mornington, Napranum, Northern Peninsula Area, Pormpuraaw, Tablelands, Torres Strait Islands (not autonomous), Torres Strait Islands (autonomous), Weipa, Wujal Wujal, Yarrabah
State electorate(s) Electoral district of Barron River, Electoral district of Cairns, Electoral district of Cook, Electoral district of Dalrymple, Electoral district of Hinchinbrook, Electoral district of Mulgrave
Federal Division(s)
Localities around Far North Queensland:
Gulf of Carpentaria Torres Strait Coral Sea
North West Queensland Far North Queensland Coral Sea
North West Queensland North Queensland North Queensland

Far North Queensland (FNQ) is the northernmost part of the Australian state of Queensland. Its largest city is Cairns and it is dominated geographically by Cape York Peninsula, which stretches north to the Torres Strait, and west to the Gulf Country. The waters of Torres Strait include the only international border in the area contiguous with the Australian mainland, between Australia and Papua New Guinea.

The region is home to three World Heritage Sites, the Great Barrier Reef, the Wet Tropics of Queensland and Riversleigh, Australia's largest fossil mammal site. Far North Queensland lays claim to over 70 national parks, including Mount Bartle Frere; with a peak of 1,622 metres (5,322 ft) it is the highest peak in both Northern Australia and Queensland.

The Far North region is the only region of Australia that is home to both the Aboriginal Australians and the Torres Strait Islanders.

Far North Queensland supports a significant agricultural sector, a number of significant mines and is home to Queensland's largest wind farm, the Windy Hill Wind Farm.


Viewpoint Daintree National Parc - Aussichtspunkt (22792907499)
View from Daintree National Park, 2009

Various Government Departments and agencies have different definitions for the region. The Queensland Government department, Trade and Investment Queensland defines the region as an area comprising the following 25 local government areas; Aurukun, Burke, Cairns, Carpentaria, Cassowary Coast, Cook, Croydon, Aboriginal Shire of Doomadgee, Douglas, Etheridge, Hopevale, Kowanyama, Lockhart River, Mareeba, Mapoon, Mornington, Napranum, Northern Peninsula Area, Pormpuraaw, Tablelands, Torres, Torres Strait Island, Weipa, Wujal Wujal, Yarrabah.


The main population and administrative centre of the region is the city of Cairns. Other key population centres include Cooktown, the Atherton Tableland, Weipa, Innisfail and the Torres Strait Islands. The region also consists of many Aboriginal and farming groups.

The north-eastern point of Highway 1 (Australia) passes through the region in the city of Cairns and connects the southern running Bruce Highway to the western running Savannah Way. Highway 1 (Australia) circumnavigates the continent at a length of approximately 14,500 kilometres (9,000 mi) and is second longest national highway in the world after the Pan-American Highway. Despite being Highway 1 not all sections of the Savannah Way are designated as a federally funded National Highway and certain sections remain unsealed.


The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates the region's population at 280,638 in 2014. The region contains 25.6% of the state's Indigenous population, or 28,909 people, making up 11.8% of the region's population.


Far North Queensland is the location of the first amber fossils to be found in Australia. The four-million-year-old fossils were found on a beach in Cape York Peninsula but were probably washed ashore after drifting with the currents for about 200 km. In the 1860s, Richard Daintree discovered gold and copper deposits along several rivers which led early prospectors to the area.


StateLibQld 1 234584 South Sea Islander workers on the Lower Herbert
South Sea Islander workers on the Lower Herbert around 1890

The region suffered Queensland's worst maritime disaster on 4 March 1899 when the Mahina Cyclone destroyed all 100 ships moored in Princess Charlotte Bay. The entire North Queensland pearling fleet was in the bay at the time of the cyclone. Approximately 100 Aboriginals assisting survivors and 307 men from the pearling fleet were drowned. Its pressure was measured at 914 hPa with a recorded tidal surge of 13 m, the highest ever in Australia. Cyclone Mackay hit the Queensland coast in 1918, killing 30 people.

In March 1997, Cyclone Justin resulted in the deaths of seven people. In early 2000, Cyclone Steve caused major flooding between Cairns and Mareeba. Cyclone Larry crossed the Queensland coast near Innisfail in March 2006. The storm resulted in an estimated $1.5 billion worth of damage and damaged 10,000 homes. 80% of Australia's banana crop was destroyed. Cyclone Monica was the most intense cyclone on record in terms of wind speed to cross the Australian coast. It impacted the Northern Territory and Far North Queensland in April 2006. In January 2011, Cyclone Yasi passed over Tully and resulted in an estimated $3.6 billion worth of damage, making it the costliest cyclone ever to hit Australia.

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