Silkwood is a small sugar farming community west of the Bruce Highway between Tully and Innisfail. It’s only a fairly short drive from Silkwood to some of the best beaches in this part of the world, including Kurrimine and Mission Beach, where lush green tropical vegetation leads you down to the white sand of unspoilt beaches. These and other beaches in the Region offer superb fishing, boating, sailing and beachcombing.
It was named after a tree-covered hill, which could have had any of several ‘silkwood’ species native to north Queensland and valued for furniture or building. This beautiful timber displays a silky lustre.
It was established in the early 1900s, Silkwood was at the junction of the tramlines from Maria Creek and Liverpool Creek/Japoonvale where bananas were grown and timber taken out.
There were ambitious plans to open up lands for tropical fruit and dairying, and toward the late 1920s settlers at Japoonvale and Silkwood obtained a government subsidised dairy at Silkwood. It also drew on suppliers at Mena Creek and Utchee Creek, continuing until the 1940s when the Millaa Millaa factory came into operation when many of the dairy farms changed to beef cattle.
Silkwood’s population approached 800 in the 1930s, and the Post Office Directory (1935) recorded two hotels, a cash store, Silkwood Caen Stores, a butcher, a baker, several other shops and Silkwood Motors. In the 1940s it was the site of significant Italian immigration.
The present day town has local shops and tradespeople, a hotel, a bowling club and two primary schools (1916, 1948).
This fascinating little town has been working on a unique history project and has some audio files of the memories from some of the old locals. Access them here.
Silkwood has another side to it … the best pepper ever! Aussie Pepper is helping put this town on the map. Follow the pepper trail during the harvest on Australia’s only commercial estate at Silkwood, north of Tully. Read the full story here http://www.abc.net.au/…/picking-pepper-painstaking-…/8001944.
In May each year the Feast of the Three Saints is celebrated and draws crowds, not just locally, but from many other parts of the world.