Yungaburra, a rural town of over 900 people on the Atherton Tableland is 45 km south-west of Cairns.
Originally named Allumbah Pocket, Yungaburra was on a track formed by John Atherton and John Robson in 1878. Robson's track proved to be a good means of access to Cairns, and was joined to others when mining discoveries were made at Herberton in 1880.
Allumbah was chosen as a village settlement site in 1886, but settlement of any consequence did not occur until the 1890s. The district was under dense tree cover, much of it rainforest cedar, silver ash and giant fig. So prolific was the timber, an early pit-sawn home was mostly silky oak, including the roof shingles. Dairying and mixed farming was taken up, particularly as families left towns such as Charters Towers and Herberton when mining prospects faltered. A school was opened in 1909.
When the Cairns railway was extended to Yungaburra in 1910 it enabled dairy produce to be transported to the Golden Grove factory at Atherton (1913) and timber to be marketed in large volumes. The Lake Eacham Hotel was also opened, to grasp the possibilities brought by rail tourists. In 1911 the inhabitants of Tolga, Millaa Millaa and Yungaburra, dissatisfied with the distant Shire Councils, successfully petitioned for the creation of Eacham Shire, headquartered at Yungaburra and, soon afterwards, Malanda.
When the railway reached Allumbah is was realised that it sounded like Alloomba, and the change of name was made. It is thought the name was derived from an Aboriginal expression describing the silver ash (Flindersia schottiana), a good furniture timber.
Anglican and Catholic churches were opened in 1911 and 1913, and a Methodist church in 1925. Pugh's Queensland directory (1925) revealed something of a timber town - two sawmills, a timber merchant and a cabinet maker - as well as the hotel. A change came in 1926 when the Gillies Highway from Gordonvale was opened. Lakes Barrine and Eacham were serviced by tourist boats, the hotel installed tennis courts and a golf course, and visitors could marvel at the giant fig trees with an arch and a curtain wall formed from their aerial roots.
Yungaburra became the tourist centre of Eacham Shire (Malanda became the administrative centre), and the creation of Lake Tinaroo for irrigation and hydro-electricity (1958) provided a recreational destination about a kilometre from the town centre. The heritage-listed Lake Eacham Hotel has retained a strong profile, complemented by three motels, restaurants and art and craft galleries. There is also a heritage walk.
Cedar Street has nine of Yungaburra's sites listed on the Queensland heritage register. They include the court house and police station (1921) and the post office (1926). A plywood and timber mill complex in Eacham Road (1910-86) is heritage-listed, as are the Anglican and Catholic churches (1912, 1914).
Yungaburra has local shops, three churches, a community hall, a primary school and a bowling club. Its median weekly income per person in 2001 was $332, higher than that in Malanda and Millaa Millaa. Yungaburra's census populations have been:
Yungaburra: place of haunted spirits, Eacham, Eacham Historical Society, 1983