Halifax, a rural town of 450 people, is 15 km north-east of Ingham and 110 km north-west of Townsville. It is named after Halifax Bay which was charted and named by Lieutenant James Cook in 1770. The Earl of Halifax (George Montagu Dunk, 1716-71) was Secretary of State in England during 1763-65.
Situated in the Herbert River valley, Halifax is north-east of the Victoria Estate sugar crushing mill and the Macknade mill, both owned by CSR. The district was opened for selection after George Dalrymple's expedition from Port Hinchinbrook (Cardwell) in 1864, and developed as a sugar growing district. In 1880 a successful blacksmith, August Anderssen, purchased the parcel of land which would host Halifax. With other settlers Anderssen developed sugar plantations, and the rudiments of the settlement - a hotel (1881) and store - were established.
A primary school was opened in 1883, and Halifax township was surveyed in 1885, together with inaugural land sales. A hospital followed in 1886 (the year of the town was officially named), and a local newspaper, Northern Age, began in 1890. The town prospered, and through the 1880s was equal in importance to Ingham. The development of a sugar tram line from Ingham to a deepwater port at Lucinda during the mid-1890s effectively marginalised Halifax as a service hub for the sugar industry.
Despite its eclipse by Ingham, Halifax evolved a range of civic and cultural institutions. Pugh's Queensland Directory, 1925, recorded a school of arts, a cinema, a Planters Club, the Exchange and Commercial hotels, three stores and an aerated waters maker. The 1949 directory also recorded St Teresa's Catholic primary school, a restaurant and a second cinema. The main street's median features a row of heritage-listed shade trees, planted in the mid-1880s.
Halifax has pre and primary schools, two hotels, a Catholic primary school (1927), the Herbert River Museum and local shops. Its census populations have been:
Queensland heritage register entry no. 602349, Row of Street Trees.