Ilkley is a rural/residential suburb 12 km south-west of Maroochydore. It was first settled in about 1890, and the name reputedly was inspired by Ilkley, Yorkshire.

The Ilkley primary school was opened in 1901 and continued until 1964. The post office directory (1911) recorded most farms as 'selections', with only two designated as fruit growers. By 1925 nearly all farmers were fruit growers, and the situation continued at least until the early postwar years. Produce could be transported a few kilometres westwards to the Eudlo railway station.

Ilkley's census populations have been:

Census DatePopulation
1911108
195499
20061122
2011684