Deeral is a rural district 40 km south of Cairns. The place was first named Munros Creek, probably after W. Munro, the chair of Cairns Division/Shire, 1897-1912. Cairns Division funded and built the Cairns-Mulgrave tramway (1897), and Munros Creek was one of its stations. In 1907 the station was renamed Deeral, a word thought to derive from an Aboriginal word meaning teeth.

Deeral is east of the Bellenden Ker Range, in the Russell River valley. The north-flowing Russell joins the south-flowing Mulgrave River, and their confluence enters the Pacific Ocean through Russell Heads. Russell River and Russell River Upper were described in the 1903 Australian handbook:

The Russell River Valley has alluvial flats and a high rainfall, ideal for sugar cane. Deeral is 15 km north of the Babinda sugar mill (1915).

In 1925 the post office directory recorded a store keeper and numerous cane farmers at Deeral. In addition Shepherd's launches started on the Russell River, an early Cairns tourism service. By 1949 Deeral's sugar cane farms had about doubled to 25 according to the post office directory.

Deeral has a mixture of cane farms and rural/residential holdings. There is ample access to inland fishing and boating. The river mouth adjoins the Russell River National Park which is entered along the coast from Bramston Beach. West of Deeral and the highway/railway corridor there is the Wooroonooran (formerly Palmerston) National Park, occupying the Bellenden Ker and Francis Ranges where the headwaters of the Russell River are found.

Deeral's census populations have been:

Census Date Population
1921 57
1933 254
1961 132
2006 718
2011 not recorded

Copyright © Centre for the Government of Queensland, 2018. All rights reserved.

UQ Logo