Dirranbandi, Queensland

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Dirranbandi is located in Queensland
Coordinates 28°35′0″S 148°14′0″E / 28.58333°S 148.23333°E / -28.58333; 148.23333Coordinates: 28°35′0″S 148°14′0″E / 28.58333°S 148.23333°E / -28.58333; 148.23333
Population 711 (2011 census)[1]
Established 1885
Postcode(s) 4486
Elevation 173 m (568 ft)
LGA(s) Balonne Shire
State electorate(s) Warrego
Federal Division(s) Maranoa

Dirranbandi is a town and locality in South West Queensland, Australia, located in the Shire of Balonne.[2][3] At the 2011 census, Dirranbandi had a population of 711.[1] It sits on the Castlereagh Highway and the Balonne River. It is notable for the population variations each year as seasonal workers come to work on the extensive cotton fields. Due to the low annual rainfall, irrigation is used extensively. Cubbie Station, the largest cotton producing property in the southern hemisphere, is close to Dirranbandi.


Dirranbandi is located on the traditional lands of the Kooma people. However people in Dirranbandi recognise themselves as Kamilaroi.[citation needed]

The town reserve was surveyed in 1885.[4] One hundred housing allotments were first set aside, followed by land for a police station, a state school, and post office.[5]

Dirranbandi Provisional School opened in 1902 but closed in April 1905. It reopened on 20 January 1908 and became Dirranbandi State School on 1 January 1909. On 29 January 1963, a secondary school to Year 10 was added.[6]

The railway reached Dirranbandi on 22 May 1913.[7] Dirranbandi had the honour of being the destination for the last mail train to operate in Australia.[7]

The Culgoa Floodplain National Park lies 130 kilometres (81 mi) to the south-west.[8] The town experienced serious flooding in February–March 2010 and January 2011.[9]

Origin of name[edit]

Dirranbandi is said by some[by whom?] to be an Aboriginal word meaning "swamp abounding in frogs and waterfowl". Although this is possible, there is no evidence in any of the region's languages to suggest that this is the case. The name may be derived from a Yuwaaliyaay dialect placename, Dhurrunbandaay, relating to dhurrun.gal ("hairy caterpillars") and baanda-y ("move in single file"). There is also a Yuwaalaraay noun, dhirrinbaa, meaning "bad weather camp, on high ground", possibly from dhirrin ("high ground") and -baa ("place of, time of").


Dirranbandi has a hospital, civic centre, swimming pool, park and showground. [10]

Balonne Shire Council operates a library on the Castlereagh Highway inside the Rural Transaction Centre.[11][12]


Dirranbandi State School is a co-educational government school (Prep-10) in Jane Street.[13] In 2015, the school had 73 students with 12 teachers (11 full-time equivalent).[14] The School was opened on 9 June 1902.[15]

Popular culture[edit]

Australian author Robert G Barrett's main character Les Norton hails from Dirranbandi.

Slim Dusty sang about being the Dirranbandi Dandy in the song Cunnamulla Fella, which he co-wrote with Stan Coster.[16]

Actor Ray Meagher grew up near Dirranbandi. He is best known for playing Alf Stewart on soap opera Home and Away, and credits one of his character's catchphrases "Stone the flamin' crows!" to a man who was a stock and station agent in town.[17]


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Dirranbandi (L) (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2014-09-01.  Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "Dirranbandi - town (entry 10182)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 7 November 2016. 
  3. ^ "Dirranbandi - locality (entry 42680)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 7 November 2016. 
  4. ^ Centre for the Government of Queensland, Dirranbandi, [1], accessed 9 June 2011.
  5. ^ Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to Australian Places. Sydney, NSW: Reader's Digest. 1993. p. 492. ISBN 0-86438-399-1. 
  6. ^ Queensland Family History Society (2010), Queensland schools past and present (Version 1.01 ed.), Queensland Family History Society, ISBN 978-1-921171-26-0 
  7. ^ a b The Last of the Mail Trains Winney, Ken Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, July, 1990 pp155-166
  8. ^ Queensland Government Department of Environment and Resource Management, Culgoa Floodplain National Park, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-09. , accessed 9 June 2011.
  9. ^ Dan Nancarrow, From inland town to island town, 4 January 2011, [2], accessed 9 June 2011.
  10. ^ "Dirranbandi". Balonne Shire Council. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  11. ^ "Library location and hours". Balonne Shire Council. Retrieved 8 May 2017. 
  12. ^ "Dirranbandi Library". Public Libraries Connect. State Library of Queensland. Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  13. ^ "Dirranbandi State School". Dirranbandi State School. Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  14. ^ "2015 School Annual Report" (PDF). Dirranbandi State School. Retrieved 7 November 2016. 
  15. ^ "Opening and closing dates of Queensland Schools". Queensland Government. Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  16. ^ "Slim Dusty - Cunnamulla Feller". TotalTabs Aussie. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  17. ^ OK! Magazine, Interview: Ray Meagher and Georgie Parker, [3], accessed 26 March 2013.

External links[edit]