Innisfail is a prosperous and lively town, situated on the North and South Johnstone Rivers, and is surrounded by flourishing landscape. Luxuriant sugar plantations flow from the thick rainforest coastline to the dense jungles of the Palmerston National Park to the west. Innisfail is the second largest urban centre in Far North Queensland, and is known as the Art Deco capital of Australia.
Innisfail was established in 1880 when the Catholic Bishop of Brisbane, together with 11 nuns, purchased 10,000 hectares of jungle and cleared it to plant sugar. Originally called Geraldton, the town obtained its current name in 1910, in honour of a local Irish-born entrepreneur whose farm was called Innisfallen, the romantic name for Ireland. The town has had a very strong Italian presence from immigrants coming to work in the cane fields. There are even reports of a local branch of the mafia called 'The Black Hand' operating in the Innisfail area during the 1930's.
Nowadays, Innisfail is still very well known as a sugar town, producing a large proportion of Australia's sugar, with other industries such as fishing, farming and aquaculture also playing an important role. Tea, bananas, pawpaws and other exotic tropical fruits are grown within the area. It is also famous thanks to Paronella Park, a Spanish castle.
For the fishermen among you, the Johnstone Shire, where Innisfail is located, will captivate you straight away. The Innisfail region has been recognised as one of the best recreational fishing areas for freshwater and tidal species alike. Offshore reef fishing is very popular and lots of companies in the area offer fishing tours in search of Barramundi, Mangrove Jack, Javelin Fish, Trevally, Bream, Queenfish, and Golden Snapper. For those without a boat, there are some easily accessible spots, one of the most popular being the town wharf, at the juction of the North and South Johnstone Rivers. For more detailed information about fishing locations in Tropical North Queensland, please visit our FISHING page.