View across the Cairns-to-Kuranda railway line towards Freshwater, 2018
|Population||2,023 (2016 census)|
|• Density||1,124/km2 (2,910/sq mi)|
|Area||1.8 km2 (0.7 sq mi)|
|State electorate(s)||Barron River|
Freshwater is a suburb of Cairns in the Cairns Region, Queensland, Australia. The suburb was once a separate town in the Shire of Mulgrave but was amalgamated into the City of Cairns, which subsequently was amalgamated into the Cairns Region. In the 2011 census, Freshwater had a population of 2,104 people.
The European history of Freshwater is a long one dating back to 1877. Chinese market gardeners moved into the area, after exhausting their chances on the Hodgkinson Goldfields, leased small plots from the landowners, successfully growing rice, bananas, pineapples and other tropical crops.
The need for a railway from the Herberton mines to the coast, resulted in the construction between Herberton and Cairns (now the Tablelands railway line). The first 8 miles of this railway went from Cairns to Redlynch crossing over Freshwaster Creek . The development of the railway line encouraged land developers to release a land subdivision called Richmond Park Estate near the railway line and Freshwater Creek, which was sold from 1886 with advertising featuring the forthcoming "Richmond Park railway station" and its ten-minute rail journey to Cairns. When the railway line opened in late 1887, there were a number of railway sidings along the line: Stratford (5 miles from Cairns), Lily Bank (6 miles from Cairns), and Richmond (7 miles from Cairns). Richmond Siding was renamed Freshwater Siding (later Freshwater railway station) in January 1890.
The Freshwater State School was opened on 20 August 1896.
The Freshwater branch of the Queensland Country Women's Association meets at the CWA Hall on the corner of Kamerunga Road and Old Smithfield Road (opposite the Freshwater railway station). The branch was established in 1937 and held its meetings in the home of first president Mrs Odgen. In 1940, the railway square became available for recreational use and the CWA purchased the present site for their hall. However, it was not until after World War II that the branch focussed on raising funds for the building, having devoted their wartime activities to the manufacture of camouflage nets and contributions to the war effort. The building was completed in 1955. In additional to CWA activities, the hall is used for by other community groups and for private parties.
Freshwater State School is a government primary (P-6) school for boys and girls at 10 Corkill Street. In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 738 students with 50 teachers (43 full-time equivalent) and 25 non-teaching staff (16 full-time equivalent).
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Media related to Freshwater, Queensland at Wikimedia Commons