About Yarrabah


Yarrabah is located about 50km east of Cairns.


Kunggandji is the traditional language of the Cape Grafton area, taking in the present-day Yarrabah community. Kunggandji is also known as Gunggay, Goonganji, Goonganjee, Gunggandji, or Gungandji.

History of Yarrabah

Yarrabah facts and figures

Key social indicators from the 2016 Census for the Yarrabah community include:

  • 25.9% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 15 years and over had completed year 12 or equivalent
  • 47.6% of households with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were overcrowded.

The following figures are from the 2011 Census and will be updated later in 2017:

  • 70.1% of dependent children in families with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were from jobless families
  • 63.4% unemployment rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 15 to 64 years
  • 37.2% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 15 to 64 years worked in the Public administration and safety industry.

For more 2011 and 2016 census information on education, employment, income, housing figures and more, build a statistical profile for Yarrabah on Know Your Community.

Native title information

Search for native title information on the National Native Title Tribunal website

[ Return to top ]

Visiting Yarrabah

Getting to Yarrabah

Yarrabah can be accessed by travelling south from Cairns along the Bruce Highway for about 18km, past the township of Edmonton, and turning left onto Warner Road. Warner Road turns into Pine Creek Road and continues all the way to Yarrabah. The total distance between Cairns and Yarrabah is about 50km and takes about 45-55 minutes in good road and weather conditions. 

Seasonal considerations

Yarrabah is subject to tropical cyclones and heavy rains between October and April-May each year.

Alcohol restrictions

Alcohol restrictions apply on Yarrabah.

Local government

Search the local government directory for information about the Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council.

Who to contact if you have questions about your visit

Principal Engagement and Planning Officer, Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships

Phone: 07 4039 8895

Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council

Phone: 07 4056 9120
Email: council[at]yarrabah.qld.gov.au

Sorry business

The death of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person impacts on the whole community; however the experience of sorry business varies within each community. For more information about sorry business practices in Yarrabah contact the Principal Engagement and Planning Officer, Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships on 07 4039 8895.

[ Return to top ]

Community justice group

The role of the Community Justice Group (CJG) is  to ensure that clients of the service are given appropriate cultural support for Court matters. The CJG also provides cultural reports to the courts at sentencing and bail applications; assistance to the courts in managing community-based offences and networking to implement crime prevention initiatives. 

Members of the CJG work closely with a number of justice agencies including the Queensland Magistrates Court, Department of Corrective Services, Queensland Police Service, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service. The CJG assists in supporting the community’s understanding of and access to the justice system by working in conjunction with Murri Courts, the JP Magistrates Program, Shire Council by-laws and victim support agencies.

Key ways in which the CJG is able to assist the community and the courts include:

  • preparation and presentation of written and oral sentencing submissions to the court
  • defendant support and referral (including court support)
  • victim support and referral (including court support)
  • support for debtors wishing to access the State Penalties and Enforcement Registry (SPER)
  • participation in community consultations relevant to the CJG’s role within the criminal justice sector.

The local CJG is:

Yarrabah Community Justice Group
c/- Post Office, Yarrabah, 4871

Contact: Mr David Baird (relieving); Ms Lerissa Kynuna
Director: Carmel Canendo

Phone: 07 4056 9156
Email: justicegroup[@]gindaja.org

[ Return to top ]

Community services

Use the Queensland Government's one place service directory to find up-to-date contact information for local support services including:

  • legal advice and support groups
  • youth justice and support groups
  • domestic and family violence support
  • drug and alcohol services
  • mens' and women's groups
  • accident, emergency and medical services.

[ Return to top ]

More information

[ Return to top ]

Is your feedback

Please submit your comments on the department's Compliments and Complaints section.

Please submit your comments on the Queensland Government website Contacts form.