Goondi, a small sugar town, is five km north-west of Innisfail. Situated on an elbow bend of the South Johnstone River, 'Goondi' is thought to be an Aboriginal word referring to elbow.

Farm selections, each of two sq miles, were taken up at Goondi in 1881 and within a few years Colonial Sugar Refineries built a sugar mill at Goondi (it is thought that the place name was given by the mill manager in 1883). South Sea Islander indentured labourers (then known as Kanakas) were the main labour force. The Goondi Mill made its first crushing in 1885.

A plantation school of arts was functioning by 1890 and a school opened in 1898. By then most cane farms were owned by independent growers. More farm subdivisions occurred during 1908-10 and the river was bridged by the Goondi Mill to improve transport.

Taken over by Bundaberg Sugar, the Goondi Mill closed in 1987, despite the growers initially rebelling by refusing to let their cane go to the Mourilyan Mill.

Goondi Hill and Goondi Bend are localities in Innisfail, west of the railway line. Goondi primary school is also found there along with the Innisfail showground, racecourse and golf course. Proximity to Innisfail has seen that much larger settlement provide most of Goondi's needs.

Goondi's census populations have been:

areaCensus DatePopulation
Goondi Bend2011515
* Includes 99 nearby residents.

Dorothy Jones, Hurricane lamps and blue umbrellas: a history of the Shire of Johnstone to 1973, Cairns, G.K. Bolton Printers, 1973


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