Earlville, a residential suburb, is five km south-west of central Cairns. It lies along the Chinaman and Clark Creeks, and was on the Balaclava sugar estate owned by Edward Earl. When the estate was subdivided for housing it was named Earlville.
The Balaclava primary school (1954) on the Bruce Highway is just outside Earlville's eastern boundary. The Catholic primary school (1964) is in Earlville, together with the Stockland Drive-in (1980) shopping centre which has two discount department stores, two supermarkets, over 120 other shops and cinemas.
Slightly further west is a cane tramway which runs south to Edmonton.
At the western end of Earlville's built-up area is the Sisters of Mercy headquarters and conference centre.
In the early 2000s Earlville's population was relatively aged, on moderate incomes, but mostly owning their own dwellings. By 2006 the median age of the population was only one year more than the median for Australia and the census recorded 3731 people.