Manunda, a residential suburb, is north-west of central Cairns, separated from the city centre by a few blocks in the intervening suburb of Parramatta Park. Cairns' urban growth had followed railway lines and coastline, and Manunda was sufficiently out of the way for the site of the town cemetery.

Manunda is a suburb of the 1960s, although an Adventist primary school (1950) in Gatton Street was ahead of the trend. The Trinity Bay High School (1960) and the adjoining Cairns Technical School (later a TAFE) signified the coming suburbanisation, and a Catholic primary school was opened in 1967. Nearby, the Cairns West primary school opened in 1964, together with the Raintrees drive-in shopping centre (1974) with two supermarkets and 43 other shops.

Raintrees also serves as the district centre for the nearby suburbs of Kanimbla and Mooroobool.

In addition to the State school sites, large tracts of land were reserved for sports grounds and industrial uses. The residential areas around the schools have three other churches in addition to the ones mentioned.

Manunda's census populations have been:

census datepopulation
20065067
20114964