Japoonvale is a rural village 25 km south-west of Innisfail. It is thought that 'Japoon' derived from an Aboriginal word describing eels.
Farm settlements at Japoonvale began in the early 1900s. Sugar cane was transported northwards to the Goondi mill. Timber and other crops were taken by tramway (1910) to the Maria Creek wharf at Kurrimine Beach. When the South Johnstone sugar mill was opened in 1916 the tramway was continued northwards, joining Japoonvale to the mill. Almost immediately a primary school was opened at Japoonvale. It was named Stratvell, in honour of Joseph Stratford from Innisfail, reputedly the first soldier ashore at Gallipoli, and Nurse Edith Cavell. Later there was a store, a church and a public hall.
West of Japoonvale there is the Japoon National Park (1992). Stratvell school closed in 2002.
Japoonvale's census populations have been:
The district of Japoonvale had a census population of 957 in 2006.
Marlene Bromell and Rosanna D'Urso (comp), Stratvell State School, Japoonvale: the first 75 years, the school, 1991
Alan Hudson, Sweet success: the story of South Johnstone mill, Ascot, Christopher Beck Books, 1995