Cassowary Coast Region
The Cassowary Coast region features world-heritage rainforests, secluded beaches, tropical islands, rugged coastal ranges and fertile flood plains.
The region is equally well known as Australia's banana-growing hub, as an art deco district and as the home of both the endangered southern cassowary and the giant golden gumboot.
The Cassowary Coast covers 4701 square kilometres from Garradunga in the north to Cardwell in the south and East Palmerston in the west.
Its major population centres are Innisfail, Tully, Cardwell and Mission Beach.
The region is home to about 30,000 people and prides itself on its cultural diversity. At last count, there were 48 languages spoken and 46 different religions practiced.
There are two seasons on the Cassowary Coast - wet and dry. The mean daily maximum temperature ranges from 29.6°C (85°F) to 27°C (80°F) while the average daily minimum is between 20.9°C (69°F) and 16.8°C (62°F).
The mean annual rainfall is 3,134mm (123 inches), almost all of which falls between January and mid-April.
The township of Tully holds the nation's annual rainfall record with a 7.93m dumping in 1950. There is an 8m golden gumboot monument at the town's entrance.
Our high rainfall and resulting humidity mean lush tropical forests and many streams. The area abounds in natural beauty and is home to 2 world heritage areas, the Wet Tropics rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef.
The Cassowary Coast's rainforests, tropical beaches and islands and its closeness to the Great Barrier Reef make it a must-see tourist destination.
The tourism industry is ever-increasing. Visitors can try adventure sports ranging from white-water rafting and sea-kayaking to skydiving and diving on the Great Barrier Reef.
They can find their secluded beach, explore some of the rainforest walking and mountain biking trails or relax at resorts. There are also well-established tourist attractions such as Paronella Park and the Mamu Rainforest Canopy Walkway.
New opportunities include food trails, indigenous culture tours and art deco tourism.
The Cassowary Coast boasts rich agricultural land and this has paved the way for a $400 million a year banana industry and a sugar cane industry that has driven growth in the region since the late 1800s.
Sugar mills operate out of South Johnstone in the north and Tully in the south.
Cane and bananas are big employers in the Cassowary Coast region, however there is ever-increasing diversity in crops. Produce includes paw paw, tea, rambutans, pineapples, watermelons, pumpkins, lettuces, lychees, mangosteens and less traditional Cassowary Coast products such as tomatoes, vanilla and cocoa.
Cattle, timber, aquaculture, fishing and fruit wineries also feature among the agriculture-based industries. Prawn and reef fishing fleets work out of the region, as do tourist fishing boats. In addition, there is prawn, barramundi and crocodile farming.
Queensland's major coastal highway, the Bruce Highway, runs through the region while the Palmerston Highway, the easiest road route to the Tablelands region and the gateway to the Gulf of Carpentaria and Cape York, begins in the Cassowary Coast region.
There are three aerodromes - Mundoo Aerodrome outside Innisfail, Tully Airport and Dallachy Aerodrome north of Cardwell.
Mourilyan Harbour near Innisfail is a high quality natural harbour with timbers cattle and sugar exports.
The region's closeness to Cairns and Townsville add to its liveability and attraction for investors, retirees, families and tourists, many of whom have been seduced into staying after experiencing the relaxed outdoor lifestyle, the warm climate and spectacular scenery.
Photos courtesy of Tourism & Events Queensland & CCRC