It lies on the banks of the Burdekin River and on the Gregory Developmental Road. A good sealed road crosses the hills over to Townsville. An ore-carrying railway line ran between Greenvale and Queensland Nickel Industries (QNI) processing plant at Yabulu, approximately north of Townsville from 1974 to 1993. Greenvale Post Office opened on 1 November 1973. Some of the longest trains in Australia were pulled along this. The railway line tracks were removed in mid-2000; however the bridges, cuttings, blue metal and easement remain. Occasionally people walk from Yabulu to Greenvale along it, as a form of fundraising. Despite the fact that the mine itself has since concluded operations, more mining operations around the area have since commenced and homes are all fully occupied with workers supporting the regional mining and exploration.
Greenvale's population is approximately 150; however, when the nickel mine was in operation, its population was roughly estimated to be 3,000. The 2006 Census Data states that 255 people were living in the Greenvale statistical division of the Dalrymple shire.
There are no real sights at Greenvale; the nearest site of interest would be Undara Volcanic National Park approximately to the north, however the town is a snapshot of life in 1973 so it's a point of interest for many passing tourists.
The Three Rivers Hotel, made famous by Slim Dusty in a song by the same name, is now located at Greenvale. This is not the actual hotel where the song was penned by Stan Coster. The hotel reference is actually to the "Mess Hall" at the construction camp where Stan Coster penned the song. Stan worked as Grader operator for Thiess Brothers on the construction of the railway line. The origin of the name "Three Rivers Hotel" is not because the "hotel" was ever at the junction of the three rivers - Burdekin, Star and Clarke as stated on numerous web sites. The lyrics mentions the camp at the Star River. This was one of 6 camps that existed on the length of the Greenvale line . During 1974 North Queensland was severely drenched by a very active wet season and work on the railway line ceased for days, even weeks, on end. The workers in the camps had nothing better to do than spend the day in the camp "boozer". Each camp had a boozer which was a basic demountable building with outdoor covered seating. During one of these wet days the water started to enter the confines of the boozer and immediately some of the men started digging some improvised drainage around the boozer to channel away the water. As they built the channels, some wags named them after the 3 main rivers (Burdekin, Star and Clarke). These were joined up roughly as they do in real life and the boozer named "the Three Rivers Hotel". One of the drinkers that day was Stan Coster who penned the song on the spot in the bar and performed it for the drinkers - the rest is history. The three rivers referred in the song do not join up at one point but the Star and the Clarke join the Burdekin at completely separate locations and therefore there could be no hotel on the "junction" of the three rivers the song refers to.
There is a 9-hole golf course, caravan park and general store/mini supermarket. The hotel serves meals and has a number of self-contained units once used by the mine to house staff and contractors.