The name Uki is taken from the Aboriginal name for Mt Uki, Yugoi, meaning 'bandicoot'.
Unlike many other villages Uki, according to a report of the Lands Department, was never officially proclaimed, "It just grew up".
Located 13.8 km from Murwillumbah on the South Arm of the Tweed River and was a centre for cedar getting in the mid 1850's. By the early 1900s nearly all vegetation was cleared. This clearing of the Big Scrub became a reserve for traveling stock with dairy farming following. The Butter Factory and saw mill became the economic hub for settlers in the surrounding valleys. The last remaining sawmill is located on the Smith's Creek Road.
"In 1914, only 25 years after the first settlers arrived at Rowlands Creek, Uki had a shop, a hall/Mechanical Institute, a school, a butter factory, a mail service, and a telephone exchange, Methodist and Roman Catholic churches and a post office and hotel under construction".* 1914 was also the start of The Great War resulting in the loss of 28 local men who are listed on the Uki War Memorial.
Following a rationalisation of the dairy industry in the 1960s many dairies closed down with farmers turning to beef cattle, which remains a feature of the region today, along with the production of bananas and other tropical fruits. Since the advent of the Aquarius Festival at nearby Nimbin new settlers looking for alternate lifestyles, attracted by the subtropical climate, abundance of water, close proximity to pretty beaches and coastal villages and of course the world class natural beauty of the area, bought a diversity of trades, arts and crafts to the area, the growth of residential small acreage and tourism.
Today Uki is a heritage listed village with an active historical society keen on preserving the heritage of Uki and district.
*Holy Trinity Anglican Church: A War Memorial Church, Design and Production libbymills.com.au