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Poste Bundaberg.JPG
Central Bundaberg
Bundaberg is located in Queensland
Population:71,000 approx. (2011)[1] (26th)
• Density:268.6/km² (695.7/sq mi)
Coordinates:24°51′S 152°21′E / 24.85°S 152.35°E / -24.85; 152.35Coordinates: 24°51′S 152°21′E / 24.85°S 152.35°E / -24.85; 152.35
Area:252.6 km² (97.5 sq mi)
Time zone:AEST (UTC+10)
Location:385 km (239 mi) from Brisbane
LGA:Bundaberg Region
State/territory electorate(s):Bundaberg
Federal Division(s):Hinkler
Mean max tempMean min tempAnnual rainfall
26.5 °C
80 °F
16.3 °C
61 °F
1,142.6 mm
45 in
  (Redirected from Bundaberg, Queensland)
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Poste Bundaberg.JPG
Central Bundaberg
Bundaberg is located in Queensland
Population:71,000 approx. (2011)[1] (26th)
• Density:268.6/km² (695.7/sq mi)
Coordinates:24°51′S 152°21′E / 24.85°S 152.35°E / -24.85; 152.35Coordinates: 24°51′S 152°21′E / 24.85°S 152.35°E / -24.85; 152.35
Area:252.6 km² (97.5 sq mi)
Time zone:AEST (UTC+10)
Location:385 km (239 mi) from Brisbane
LGA:Bundaberg Region
State/territory electorate(s):Bundaberg
Federal Division(s):Hinkler
Mean max tempMean min tempAnnual rainfall
26.5 °C
80 °F
16.3 °C
61 °F
1,142.6 mm
45 in

Bundaberg is a city in Queensland, Australia. It is part of the Local Government Area (LGA) of the Bundaberg Region and is a major centre within Queensland's broader Wide Bay-Burnett geographical region. The city lies on the Burnett River, approximately 385 kilometres (239 mi) north of the state capital, Brisbane and 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) inland from the coast.

The first Europeans in the area, were timbergetters and farmers who arrived in 1867. The town itself was surveyed in 1870 and by 1881 it was gazetted as a municipality. It grew rapidly into a town by 1902 and a city by 1913.



The city name is thought to be an artificial combination of bunda, the Kabi Aboriginal word denoting important man and the German suffix berg indicating mountain.[2] The city is colloquially known as "Bundy".


Bundaberg from space
Timber workers
Cane workers
Burnett River

The local Aboriginal group is the Dundu:ra/Doondora people the inhabitants of the Hervey Bay (Dundu:ra Bay) region which stretched from the Mary River to the Burnett River who were part of the Wahr Language Group of the Kabi nation (Edward Curr 1886).

The first white man to visit the region was James Davis an escaped convict from the Moreton Bay Penal settlement in 1830. Davis was referred to as Durrumboi by the local Kabi people. (Rev Dunmore Lang 1861, William Ridley 1866). Another man named Alfred Dale Edwards was adopted into the Kalkie speaking clan Yongkonu (Thyeebalang Roth 1910, Archibald Meston 1892) and was given the moiety name Bunda which was part of the four class matrilineal (female descent) moiety system used by the Kabi people whose territory spread from the Caboolture river in the south to the Kolan river in the north. The Kabi moiety names were Balgoin, Barang, Bunda, Derwain and Tandor (Durrumboi in Ridley 1866), the phratry names were Kupaiathin and Dilbai. Gooreng (Gurang) and Wakka inland or wa'pa (slow speech) utilised the moiety name Banjurr in Balgoin's stead (Mathew 1910). Bunda was not a clan sub-tribe or tribe only one of the moiety names ( Dr T H May 1892 Brisbane Courier). Kabi headquarters is in Bundaberg (Kamarangan 2012). The boundary between the Wahr and Kalkie peoples of the Kabi tribe is the Burnett River. There was not a massacre on Paddy's Island in 1850 as the Island did not exist until after the 1870s as it was a sand bar in the Burnett or Birral- bara, belonging to god cited by Durrumboi in Dunmore Lang 1861 (Cooksland). The six dialects spoken were Nhulla, Cabbee, Kalkie, Wahr, Gubbi and Karbi (Batjala) as cited by Curr 1886 and Meston 1901. Durumboi referred to the Kabi as the Dippil people.

Queen Maria was the headman(Kamarangan 2012)of the Dilbai phratry over all Kabi people which is an inherited title (Mathew 1910). Maria stated that she was "Queen over all the bloomin land".

The descendents of Queen Maria of Childers still live in the Bundaberg region (Kamarangan 2012).

Bundaberg as a European township was founded by timbergetters Bob and George Stewart in 1867.[3] The first farmers in the area, including Thomas Watson, arrived soon after. It was local resident and District Surveyor John Charlton Thompson who received the directive to survey a plot an area on the South side of the river. The city was surveyed, laid out and named Bundaberg in 1870.[3] It was gazetted a town in 1902 and a city in 1913.

Timber was the first established industry in Bundaberg. In 1868 a sawmill was erected on the Burnett River downstream from the Steuart and Watson holdings.[3] The Burnett Sawmill operated for over 100 years at its East Bundaberg location. It was the oldest operating sawmill in the Bundaberg area until it ceased operating on 26 May 2010.

Experimental sugar cane growing in the district followed and a successful industry grew. The first sugar mill was opened in 1882.[4] The early sugar industry in Bundaberg was the result of the semi-slave labour carried out by Kanakas.

The naming of Bundaberg's streets was a job for its surveyors, of which there were three. Thompson was assisted by unregistered surveyor assistants James Ellwood and Alfred Dale Edwards.[5] Edwards preferred using aboriginal names. Kolan, Woongarra, Barolin, Bingera, Kalkie, Moolboolooman, and for streets Tantitha, Bourbong etc. the later local Kalkie name for a large waterhole in front of the old Post Office Cairns Post 1910 P7 18 Jan W.A Dean. It is a common misconception that the main street was incorrectly gazetted in the Bundaberg Mail as "Bourbong" instead of "Bourbon" street and the name persisted. However, Rackemann conducted a survey of letterheads printed between 1904 and 1957.[5] Up until 1940 the count for both names was near enough to equal, with in some cases companies carrying both spelling variations in successive years. However, by 1941 there is no reference to "Bourbon" street. It is thought more likely that Edwards named it after 'Boorbong', the local name given to a series of waterholes near the Rubyanna area.[6] (Now East Bundaberg) This is borne out by farmer Robert Strathdee's farming selection in the vicinity of the watering holes being recorded on early survey maps as 'Boorbung'.[7] The Bourbong was referred to (Howitt 1904) as the name of one of the initiation ceremonies. Harry Aldridge stated that the scars of initiated men differed from that of Fraser Island in that men on Fraser Island had 5 vertical scars on their chest whereas in Bundaberg the Dundu:ra people had 3 scars across the chest. Edwards

In December 2010, Bundaberg experienced its worst floods in 60 years with floodwaters from the Burnett River inundating hundreds of homes.[8]


Looking down Bourbong Street, Bundaberg town centre.
Bundaberg town centre with Bundaberg General Post Office to the right.
Young woman riding on the back of a turtle at Mon Repos Beach, near Bundaberg, ca. 1930.

Subtropical Bundaberg is dependent to a large extent on the local sugar industry. Extensive sugar cane fields are found throughout the district and value-adding operations, such as the milling and refinement of sugar, and its packaging and distribution, are located around the city. A local factory that manufactured sugar-cane harvesters was closed down after it was taken over by the US multinational corporation Case New Holland. Most of the raw sugar is exported.[4] A bulk terminal for the export of sugar is located on the Burnett River east of Bundaberg.

Another of the city's exports is Bundaberg Rum, made from the sugar cane by-product molasses. Bundaberg is also home to beverage producer Bundaberg Brewed Drinks. Commercial fruit and vegetable production is also significant: tomatoes, zucchinis, capsicums, legumes, Sweet Potatos and watermelons are grown in abundant quantities.


Tourism is an important industry in Queensland, and Bundaberg is known as the 'Southern Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef'.[3] The city lies near the southern end of the reef in proximity to Lady Elliot and Lady Musgrave Islands. The nearby town of Bargara is an increasingly popular holiday and retirement destination.

The Mon Repos turtle rookery is located on the coast just east of Bundaberg. The northern bank of the Burnett River between the Don Tallon and Burnett bridges is home to a colony of flying foxes.

Nearby beaches are popular with both locals and tourists.[9] Moore Park, to the city's north, boasts 20 km of golden sandy beach. Beaches on the southern side of the Burnett River are (from north to south) the Oaks Beach, Mon Repos, Nielsen Park, Bargara Beach, Kellys Beach, Innes Park and Elliott Heads.

Cania Gorge National Park, Deepwater National Park, Eurimbula National Park and Kinkuna National Park, located in the Bundaberg region are popular with campers and bush-lovers.[9]

Tours of the famous Bundaberg Rum distillery and attractions at the Botanic Gardens are also popular with tourists.[9] The Mystery Craters, 35 un-explained water-filled holes in the ground, discovered in 1971 at South Kolan, are also a tourist attraction.[10]

Opened in December 2008, the Hinkler Hall of Aviation is an historical aviation tourist attraction that celebrates pioneer solo aviator Bert Hinkler. It includes an exhibition hall, featuring multi-media exhibits, a flight simulator, a theatre, five aircraft and the historic Hinkler House.[11]


Arts and entertainment

Bundaberg has two cinemas. The Reading Cinemas, on Johanna Boulevarde, west Bundaberg, and the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre (formerly known as the Moncrieff Theatre), located on Bourbong Street, central Bundaberg. The Moncrieff Entertainment Centre also holds live musical and theatrical performances year round.[12]

The Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery (BRAG) is a large multi-purpose visual arts facility located at the intersection of Barolin and Quay Streets in central Bundaberg. The gallery showcases exhibitions drawn from local, state, national and international artists, and includes a gift shop, artist-in-residence apartment, workshop areas and an art resource library (The Green Room).[13]


The newspaper in Bundaberg is called the NewsMail and it is published from Monday to Saturday. It is available in print and online.[14]

Bundaberg is served by three commercial television stations (Seven Queensland, WIN Television and Southern Cross Ten) and publicly owned services (ABC TV) and (SBS). Each broadcasts television services only in digital format, as analogue transmissions were deactivated in the second half of 2011.[15]

Local news coverage of Bundaberg and the Wide Bay is provided on all three commercial networks with both Seven Queensland's Seven Local News and Win Queensland's WIN News airing 30-minute local news bulletins each weeknight. Both programs are produced from newsrooms in the city with both bulletins broadcast from studios in Maroochydore, with WIN also producing a late night statewide bulletin for regional Queensland. Southern Cross Ten also airs short local news updates from their Canberra studios throughout the day.

SBS offers digital high-definition simulcasts of their main channel, SBS ONE on SBS HD.

Other digital channels available include: ABC2, ABC3, ABC News 24, SBS Two, One HD, Eleven, 7Two, 7mate, TV4ME, GEM, Gold and GO!. Austar Limited provides subscription satellite television services.

The city has been the location for two film sets, including the 1989 film, The Delinquents, starring Kylie Minogue and the 1977 film, The Mango Tree. Both films were set in and around Bundaberg.


Mitchell Langerak, former Bundaberg footballer, who is now playing for Borussia Dortmund in the German Bundesliga

Most major Australian sporting codes are played in Bundaberg, including; Rowing, Basketball, Cricket, Golf, Lawn bowls, Netball, Tennis, Rugby league, Football, Hockey, Australian Rules Football, and Softball.

Basketball - Bundaberg boasts two professional teams, both competing in the Australian Basketball Association's Queensland Conference (QBL). They are the Bundaberg Radiology Bulls (men) and Bundaberg Radiology Bears and both feature local players as well as national and international professionals.

Tennis - The Bundaberg & District Tennis Senior Association operates eleven floodlit clay courts in Drinan Park, Bundaberg West at the corner of George & Powers Streets.[16] Competition tennis is played all year round. The Bundaberg & District Junior Tennis Association operates five artificial grass courts, and two granite courts, at 69B George Street in Bundaberg South.

Rowing - Bucca Weir, west of Bundaberg, is home to the state rowing Championships every three years.

Football - Bundaberg is home to the Bundaberg Spirit Football Club. They participate in the Queensland State League against other teams across Queensland.

Australian Rules Football - Bundaberg has two current clubs playing in the AFL Wide Bay competition.

The other clubs in the competition are:



There are many public and private primary schools in Bundaberg, e.g. St. Marys Catholic Primary school.


Bundaberg has three public high schools, Bundaberg North State High School, Bundaberg State High School (the second-oldest high school in Queensland that is still open) and Kepnock State High School. There are also three main private secondary schools: Shalom Catholic College, St. Luke's Anglican School, and Bundaberg Christian College.


There is a campus of the Wide Bay Institute of TAFE on Walker St and a campus of CQUniversity, located adjacent to the airport. The Bundaberg CQUniversity campus offers degrees in Agriculture and Food Science, Aviation, Accident Investigation, Accounting and Business, Education, Environmental Science, Environmental Health, Health Promotion, Information Technology, Multimedia Studies, Nursing, Psychology and Social Work. The university is also a hub for a small group of postgraduate research students in various discipline areas.


Bundaberg has a subtropical climate with hot summers and mild winters. The climate is the most equable of any Australian town or city and ranked 5th on a worldwide comparison.[3] The mean daily maximum temperature is highest in January at 30.3 Celsius, and the mean daily minimum is lowest in July at 9.9 degrees Celsius.[17] The coldest temperature recorded in Bundaberg is 0.8 degrees Celsius, and some inland areas of Bundaberg sometimes experience frosts. The mean annual rainfall is 1141.0 millimetres.

Climate data for Bundaberg Post Office
Average high °C (°F)30.3
Average low °C (°F)21.3
Precipitation mm (inches)205.8
Avg. precipitation days10.
Source: Bureau of Meteorology[18]



View of Bundaberg town centre from the Burnett River bridge.

Bundaberg is situated at the end of the Isis Highway (State Route 3), approximately 50 km east of its junction with the Bruce Highway. Many long-distance bus services also pass through the city.


Bundaberg is serviced by several Queensland Rail passenger trains, including the Tilt Train and is approximately four and a half hours north of Brisbane by rail. The closed North Bundaberg railway station formerly served the Mount Perry railway line and is now a museum.


Bundaberg is also served by Bundaberg Airport, with flights to Brisbane and Lady Elliot Island.[19] The city is home to the Jabiru Aircraft Company, which designs and manufactures a range of small civil utility aircraft.[20]


Bundaberg Port is located 20 kilometres northeast of the city, at the mouth of the Burnett River. The port is a destination for ships from Australia and overseas. It is predominantly used for shipping raw sugar and other goods related to that industry such as Bundaberg Rum.



Bundaberg is served by three hospitals. One public hospital, Bundaberg Base Hospital on Bourbong St, and two private hospitals, Friendly Society Private Hospital & Mater Hospital.


Notable residents

Bert Hinkler is memorialised in many places throughout Bundaberg

Well-known current and former inhabitants of Bundaberg include:




International Relations

Sister cities

Bundaberg has sister city agreements with Nanning, China and Settsu City, Japan.


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Bundaberg (Statistical District)". 2006 Census QuickStats. http://www.censusdata.abs.gov.au/ABSNavigation/prenav/LocationSearch?collection=Census&period=2006&areacode=3045&producttype=QuickStats&breadcrumb=PL&action=401. Retrieved 3 March 2011. 
  2. ^ "Place Name Details" (PHP). Natural Resources and Water (Queensland). 2008. http://www.nrw.qld.gov.au/property/placenames/detail.php?id=5190. Retrieved 13 March 2008. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "History Of Bundaberg". Bundaberg Regional Council. http://bundaberg.qld.gov.au/discover/our-history/bundaberg. Retrieved 21 September 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Hall, James; Dening, Jill (1988). Beautiful Sugar Country. West End, Queensland: Child & Associates Publishing. pp. 2. ISBN 0-949267-86-4. 
  5. ^ a b Bundaberg – From Pioneers to Prosperity. (1992) Neville Rackemann. p46 ISBN 0-646-12555-9
  6. ^ Bundaberg History and People. (1978) Janet Nolan. p 86
  7. ^ Bundaberg- from Pioneers to Prosperity. (1992)Neville Rackemann p 48
  8. ^ Calligeros, Marissa and Cameron Atfield (30 December 2010). "Second Queensland town evacuated due to floodwater". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax). http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/second-queensland-town-evacuated-due-to-floodwater-20101229-19a4p.html. Retrieved 30 December 2010. 
  9. ^ a b c Vanessa Marsh (17 December 2009). "Bundaberg region a tourist haven". NewsMail (APN News & Media). http://www.news-mail.com.au/story/2009/12/17/the-bundaberg-region/. Retrieved 21 September 2010. 
  10. ^ "Mystery Craters". queenslandholidays.com.au. Tourism Queensland. http://www.queenslandholidays.com.au/things-to-see-and-do/mystery-craters-9010666/index.cfm. Retrieved 21 September 2010. 
  11. ^ Hinkler Hall of Aviation accessed 29 March 2011
  12. ^ "Moncrieff Entertainment Centre". http://bundaberg.qld.gov.au/moncrieff/. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  13. ^ "Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery". http://bundaberg.qld.gov.au/residents/arts. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  14. ^ "NewsMail". http://www.news-mail.com.au/. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  15. ^ Regional digital TV timetable, Australian Government
  16. ^ "Tennis Bundaberg Website" (PHP). Bundaberg & District Tennis Senior Association. 2008. http://bundy-tennis.wikidot.com. Retrieved 21 December 2008. 
  17. ^ Climate Statistics for Australian Locations, Bureau of Meteorology
  18. ^ "Climate statistics for Australian locations". Bureau of Meteorology. http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_039015.shtml. Retrieved 28 January 2011. 
  19. ^ Bundaberg Airport, Bundaberg Regional Council
  20. ^ Jabaru Aircraft and Engines, Jabaru Aircraft and Engines

External links