Sarina and the beaches of Armstrong Beach, Freshwater Point, Sarina Beach and Campwin Beach are part of the traditional lands of the Yuwibara people..
The land around Sarina was first occupied by the Plane Creek pastoral run in 1865. In 1894 local sugar growers built a central mill on Plane Creek, around which the town of Sarina grew.
By 1915, Sarina featured four hotels, a primary school and four churches.
In 1913 Sarina was joined to Mackay by rail.
Postwar development intensified in the 1960s, with the town hospital, a high school and the formation of a show society . The next decade's development came from further away, the Bowen Basin coal fields. Late in the 1970s plans were made for coal export terminals north-east of Sarina, at Dalrymple Bay and Hay Point. The beaches south of Hay Point - Sarina, Grasstree and Half Tide beaches also grew as retirement and holiday spots. From 1960s there has been a steady increase in Sarina's population.