Caravonica is a residential suburb 12 km north-west of central Cairns, backing onto the Barron Gorge National Park.

In or about 1884 a widower, Dr David Thomatis, headmaster of Townsville Grammar School, came to Cairns to establish a banana plantation. He named the plantation Caravonica, possibly because it was like-sounding to his late wife, Veronica, and in honour of the town of Caravonica in Italy, with which his family had been connected. The plantation was in the Freshwater Creek area in neighbouring Redlynch.

Around 1900 Thomatis' attention turned to cotton, and he found some self-seeded wild cotton plants descended from unsuccessful plantings by a Chinese farming syndicate in the 1880s. Crossed with existing commercial species, Thomatis developed a vigorous, disease-resistant cotton variety which gained worldwide acceptance. It was named Caravonica.

Caravonica is separated from the Cairns to Kuranda railway (1887) by the Barron River, which ensured that it was kept away from urban development until late in the twentieth century. Caravonica primary school was opened in 1927.

There was considerable tourism potential, with the national park and Red Peak (544m) as Caravonica's backdrop. A rainforest cable car was opened from near the primary school to Kuranda, the Kamerunga conservation park was reserved downstream of Lake Placid on the Barron River. The deserted township of Kamerunga was described in the 1903 Australian handbook:

An Aboriginal cultural park was opened at the base of the cable car route. Rainforest and elevated hillsides made Caravonica an attractive subdivision locality, and by 1990 its population neared 1500. In 2003-04 house prices in Caravonica increased by 56%, making it one of Cairns' highest-priced suburbs. A drive-in shopping centre, 'Kamerunga', was built in Lake Placid Road in 2005.

Caravonica's census populations have been:

Census Date Population
1991 1599
2001 1806
2006 1986
2011 1934
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