Smithfield was originally the name of a township on the Barron River, named after William Smith (Bill) in 1876. Smith was a prospector, packer and track finder to the Hodgkinson Field. It was known locally as Smithville, to avoid the association with the London cattle market where witches and martyrs were burnt at the stake. Unknowingly located on flood plains, the township declined and was deserted by 1881. The town was re-sited on higher ground where the current suburb is now located.

Location and boundaries

Smithfield is bounded by Smithfield Conservation Park, the suburbs of Trinity Beach and Trinity Park and O’Brien Road in the north, the suburb of Yorkeys Knob in the east, the Captain Cook Highway, Brinsmead-Kamerunga Road and the suburb of Caravonica in the south, and Kuranda National Park in the west.

Settlement history

Settlement of the area dates from 1876, with land used mainly for sugar cane growing. Significant development did not occur until the 1980s. Rapid growth continued during the early 1990s, with growth slowing considerably between 1996 and 2006 as fewer new dwellings were added to the area. Population and housing growth resumed between 2006 and 2011. Population growth is expected to continue, spurred by development of the Smithfield Town Centre.

Land use

Smithfield is a relatively recent residential area, with some industrial and commercial land use, and conservation areas in the west.

Major features

Major features of the area include James Cook University (Cairns Campus), Smithfield Conservation Park, Cattana Wetlands, Smithfield Shopping Centre, Smithfield Bungy Tower, Cable Ski Cairns, Kuranda Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, Smithfield Sporting Precinct, YMCA Cairns Marlin Coast Recreation Centre, Smithfield Bicentennial Pool, Kennedy Park, Mason Park, Rainy Mountain Park and one school.

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