About Yarrabah


The Yarrabah Community lies to the east of Cairns. By road it is about 60km from Cairns CBD (but approx. 12km if measured in a straight line). It takes about 45 minutes to travel by car from the Cairns CBD to the Yarrabah Community.


Gunggay is the traditional name for Gunggandji [Goon-gan-gee] people’s language. Yidinji is also a traditional language line of many Yarrabah residents.

As with many Australian Aboriginal languages, European settlement negatively affected the use of traditional languages that had been around for thousands of years – particularly in locations where missions established under the Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act 1897 disallowed traditional language use.

Today, Yarrabah residents speak both English and Yarrie-lingo, which is a mixture of English and common traditional language words that survived colonialism.

History of Yarrabah

Yarrabah facts and figures

For 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 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

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 4252 5101.

[ Return to top ]

Community justice group

Community justice groups (CJGs) are run by members of the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and provide a community-based response to local issues, working cooperatively with magistrates, police, corrective services personnel and staff from other government agencies and community organisations.

CJGs adopt a person-centred approach to addressing crime and justice-related issues in their community utilising cultural leadership and capability to contribute to whole of system outcomes.

CJGs deliver a number of core, court-related activities including:

  • preparation of bail and sentence submissions to the court
  • attending court sittings
  • supporting victims and offenders through the court process
  • referring victims and offenders to support and legal services
  • providing cultural advice and community input on justice related issues
  • supporting the operation of Murri Courts.

CJGs also deliver a range of other services within their communities aimed at reducing crime, addressing recidivism and promoting community wellbeing and healing.

For more information about your local Community Justice Group:

[ 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 ]