El Arish the town, (pronounced El-A-rīsh) is nestled in the Mission Beach hinterland just off the Bruce Highway between Tully in the south and Innisfail in the north. It is surrounded by rainforest, cane paddocks, banana farms and beautiful scenery.
Mission Beach, Kurrimine Beach and Dunk Island are right on the door-step.
It has a tiny population (around 270) but many of the families still living in El Arish and surrounds have ancestors that came to this Soldier Settlement when it was established under "The Returned Soldiers Settlement Act of 1917". Under the Act the area was first called "The Maria Creek Soldiers' Settlement" at El Arish and was established on the 1st August 1920.
In the First World War a battle was fought at Arish on the Sinai Peninsula in 1916. This was a significant battle with the combined British, Australian and New Zealand forces securing El Arish in December 1916, and thus successfully clearing the whole of the Sinai Peninsula of Turkish forces. Francis Paxton Martin served in Palestine and on his return he was the supervisor of the Maria Creek soldier settlement, and he later named the town El Arish presumably in memory of that battle.
The town of Arish (Sinai) is by a big wadi, the Wadi Al Arish, which receives flash flood water from much of north - not unlike our town of El Arish. Arish is the capital and largest city of the Egyptian governorate of North Sinai, as well as the largest city on the entire Sinai Peninsula, lying on the Mediterranean coast of the Sinai peninsula, 344 kilometers (214 mi) northeast of Cairo. Arish is distinguished by its clear blue water, widespread fruitful palmy wood on its coast, and its soft white sand.