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POPULATION: 8,654 approximately
Situated on the northern approach to the Burdekin Bridge, 85 kilometres south of Townsville, with more than 300 glorious sunny days each year, the district truly is the winterless north. The natural beauty of the rivers, creeks, estuaries lined with unspoiled mangrove and miles of sandy beaches make the area a mecca for fishing, crabbing, windsurfing and water skiing. Said to be "built on liquid gold" because it is situated on a vast natural underground aquifer which is artificially replenished with water from the Burdekin Falls Dam the district is Australia's richest sugar producing area and also the mango and melon capital. It is a bird watcher's paradise with 280 species of birds recorded.