Iluka, from humble beginnings..
Iluka encompasses the Bundjalung National Forest, that prior to the arrival of Europeans was inhabited by the Yaegl/Yaygir Aboriginal tribe. Many regions within the Clarence valley are identified as being significant to the Yaegl community, and respect is cordially given to the Elders of Yaegl Country. Iluka is an Aboriginal word meaning "by the sea"
In 1799 Mathew Flinders landed his ship on the Northern headland but found the waters too shallow. Not realising that what he thought was a bay, was actually the mouth of the Clarence River, Flinders dismissed the area as "deserving of no more than a superficial examination". It wasn't until 1832 when an escaped prisoner (Richard Craig) of the Moreton Bay penal colony, reported sightings of a big river, that Thomas Small sent his brother and two dozen men on board the "Susan" to investigate the claims.
The Susan was the first European vessel to enter the River. After their discovery Governor Gipps named the river the Clarence in 1839.
In 1862 the breakwater at the mouth of the Clarence River was built, along with settlement and the start of construction of the Iluka Harbour. A tramway was constructed to obtain large stones for the breakwater. These were collected from what is now known as the Iluka Bluff.
The Wharf was completed in 1875 followed by the first post office in 1876.
By 1878 the population had grown to approx 150 people and most were employed on the Harbour works program. 1890 saw the establishment of the first professional fishermen, an Industry that continues to flourish in Iluka today.
Iluka as of the 2019 census has a population of 1764. A land area of 13 kms, meaning the density of population is 1.37 people per hectare.
Iluka is definitely about getting some peace, space, privacy, and tranquility