Yarrabah has a tropical climate with hot, wet summers and cool, dry winters. The shire occupies a coastal region of the wet tropics region of Queensland.
Rainfall is highly seasonal, with most rain occurring during the summer months. The nearest Bureau of Meteorology recording station is at Cairns Airport, 15 kilometres from the community. Recordings from that location are considered to be an appropriate reflection of the weather conditions in Yarrabah.
Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council is the major employer in the region.
Most employed people in the area, either work for the Council, Gurriny Yealamucka Health Service or for state government agencies. There are a number of small retail and tourism businesses.
Access to Yarrabah is by road only.
There is an officially registered heliport (YYBH) at latitude 16 54.36 S, longitude 145 52.19 E (on the western side of Swamp Road, between Sawmill Road and Workshop Road). The pad is 3 metres above Mean Sea Level, which is 1.14 metres above Highest Astronomical Tide, rendering the site unserviceable in the event of even a relatively minor storm tide inundation.
A Jetty is being constructed and has identified potential to add a water route access and potential attract tourism attention for Yarrabah.
Yarrabah is connected to the electricity grid – supply is provided through an Ergon Energy power station. Electricity supply is distributed via overhead and underground reticulation throughout the community. Yarrabah is at the end of the power feed and is subject to power brown outs and impacts to the power line during extreme weather events.
Most of the community relies on bottled gas for cooking purposes.
Water Supply The Council delivers on average more than 210 ML water per day to householders and non-householders through five bores in the Reeves Creek area and five pumping stations and associated equipment, and approximately 15 kilometres of distribution mains. Approximately 4500 consumers are supplied through approximately 529 water connections.
In 2021, Yarrabah secured funding to explore opportunities for a Micro grid configuration. This project aims to exploit benefits of solar, wind and other energy generation options – open community to potential cost savings and add resilience to the power supply in community.
Yarrabah township is fully sewered. Alternative power is available to operate the pump stations as required. The Council is responsible for the maintenance of 9 km of trunk mains, 9 pump stations and 6 treatment ponds one of which is aerated, while the others are aerobic.
Private lease holders utilise a septic system to manage their effluent waste.
The phone service in Yarrabah is delivered via pencil beam from cairns , bouncing off of Green Island and fed into community via copper wire and mobile connectivity. The service includes landline telephone, mobile telephone coverage (via Telstra and Optus networks) and satellite phones (emergency use etc.).
The coverage is mainly within the town area and blackspots exist in the outer areas (due to shadow cast by the mountainous terrain.
Council is working with partners to secure investment in community to improve the telecommunication network connectivity.
Mainstream free to air television stations are available in the community, along with satellite television services. The area is well served by ABC and commercial radio. Bumma Bippera Media – Radio 98.7 and Blackstar Radio 92.9 are community based radio stations, which is popular in Yarrabah.
Satellite dishes are present in community – latest investment include NBN co expanding wifi connectivity at the Yarrabah Knowledge centre, via the Sky-muster satellite.
Mt Yarrabah is a key infrastructure site, hosting telecommunication and television infrastructure.
The Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council (YASC) wishes to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land within the shire boundaries – the Gunggandji and Yidinji peoples; and the area agreements developed through previous negotiations that provide clear opportunities and processes for traditional owners to be formally involved in the land planning process.
The Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council also wishes to acknowledge the historical people brought here to Yarrabah from various locations by government policies of the past.