Cairns Suburbs – Redlynch

Redlynch was an integral part of the development of the Cairns – Atherton Tablelands railway line.  The first stage of the line was from Cairns to Redlynch, with Redlynch then being known as Eight Mile Camp.  This first section of line was opened in 1887 and from there the Range section of the railway was constructed.

The name of the settlement was subsequently changed from Eight Mile Camp to Redlynch, with the origin of the name Redlynch, open to opinion.  One version is that Redlynch is named after the English village of Redlynch, in Wiltshire.  A second version is that the name honours the red haired, Irish, railway construction foreman, “Red” Lynch.

Barron River at Redlynch, north Queensland. State Library of Queensland, negative number 201075 Camping in Redlynch Valley beside Freshwater Creek, west of Cairns Image. State Library of Queesland, image number APE-070-0001-0004 Cairns to Herberton railway line looking from Freshwater Creek towards Redlynch Station, ca. 1883. State Library of Queensland, image number APE-061-0001-0010

Prominent sites within the area include:

  • Kamerunga State Nursery – the nursery was opened in 1889 by the newly formed Queensland Department of Agriculture, to experiment with tropical crops.  The first manager was Ebenezer Cowley who introduced a wide variety of tropical plants as well as opening the gardens to visitors and tourists.
  • Red Beret Hotel – formerly known as the Redlynch Hotel was built in 1926.  This hotel was built opposite another hotel, the Terminus Hotel, which was destroyed by fire in the 1920s.  The hotel has long been a hub for social activity in Redlynch.

One of Redlynch’s most famous residents was the renouned author, Xavier Herbert.

Redlynch retains many of the features of early settlement in the Cairns district, with small commercial sites as well as its proximity to the railway line.  There are also a range of early cottages and houses which reflect the development of a small railway and sugar town, later to be subsumed by the suburban expansion of Cairns.

Brian Randall, Queensland Places Coordinator – State Library of Queensland