Te Kowai, Queensland

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Te Kowai
Te Kowai is located in Queensland
Te Kowai
Te Kowai
Coordinates21°11′15″S 149°06′41″E / 21.1875°S 149.1113°E / -21.1875; 149.1113 (Te Kowai (centre of locality))
Population218 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density13.13/km2 (34.01/sq mi)
Elevation0–10 m (0–33 ft)
Area16.6 km2 (6.4 sq mi)
Time zoneAEST (UTC+10:00)
LGA(s)Mackay Region
State electorate(s)Mirani
Federal Division(s)Capricornia
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
27.8 °C
82 °F
16.6 °C
62 °F
1,666.8 mm
65.6 in
Suburbs around Te Kowai:
Erakala Erakala Foulden
Alexandra Te Kowai Racecourse
Palmyra Sandiford Bakers Creek

Te Kowai is a rural locality in the Mackay Region, Queensland, Australia.[2] In the 2016 census Te Kowai had a population of 218 people.[1]


The locality is bounded by the Pioneer River to the north, by the Mackay Ring Road to the north-east and east, and Bakers Creek (the watercourse) to the south-west and south.[3]

The land is flat and low-lying, between 0 to 10 metres (0 to 33 ft) above sea level, and is used for growing sugarcane.[3]

The Peak Downs Highway enters the locality from the east (Racecourse) and exits to the west (Alexandra).There is a network of cane tramways in the locality to transport the harvested sugarcane to the sugar mills.[3]


Road through Te Kowai Sugar Mill, circa 1880

The name of the suburb is derived from a former railway station, itself derived from a nearby sugar plantation named after a New Zealand tree, kowhai. The name was shortened and the Māori definite article "Te" added.[2]

The Te Kowai sugar mill was established in 1874 at 21°09′41″S 149°07′19″E / 21.16143°S 149.1220°E / -21.16143; 149.1220 (Te Kowai sugar mill (former))[4] and operated until 1894 when it amalgamated with the Palms Mill.[5]

Te Kowai State School opened on 13 November 1883 and closed in December 1968.[6] It was at 5 Te Kowai Foulden Road (21°09′57″S 149°07′38″E / 21.1659°S 149.1273°E / -21.1659; 149.1273 (Te Kowai State School (former))).[4][7][3]

Constructed on the Mackay railway line, initially from Mackay to Eton, commenced on 14 November 1883 and was completed on 10 August 1885.[8] In Te Kowai it followed the route of the present-day Peak Downs Highway with the Te Kowai railway station at 21°09′56″S 149°07′15″E / 21.1655°S 149.1207°E / -21.1655; 149.1207 (Te Kowai railway station (former)).[4][7][3] The line closed in 2009.[citation needed]

In the 2016 census Te Kowai had a population of 218 people.[1]


There are no schools in Te Kowai. The nearest government primary schools are Dundula State School in neighbouring Bakers Creek to the south-west, Walkerston State School in Walkerston to the west, and Mackay West State School in West Mackay to the north-east. The nearest government secondary school is Mackay State High School in South Mackay to the east.[3]


Mackay South Water Recycling Facility (also known as Bakers Creek Water Treatment Plant) is a sewage treatment plant at the western end of Temples Lane (21°12′21″S 149°07′33″E / 21.2058°S 149.1258°E / -21.2058; 149.1258 (Bakers Creek Water Treatment Plant)).[9][3] Operated by the Mackay Regional Council, the plant processes waste water from 63,000 people. It provides high quality recycled water for irrigation as required by farmers (reducing drawdown of groundwater) with any remaining water being discharged into Bakers Creek. As the water is high in nutrients, it is better for the environment to use it on crops than to add it to the nutrient load of the creek. The sludge that remains after processing is centrifuged to remove remaining water and the solid waste is sold as nutrient-rich compost for farms.[10]

Weather Station[edit]

Te Kowai weather station is a weather station at Te Kowai, operated by the Bureau of Meteorology. This weather station does not run on weekends and public holidays.

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average max. temperature
30.9 30.4 29.5 27.9 25.7 23.7 23.4 24.6 26.8 29.0 30.3 31.3 27.8
Average min. temperature
21.9 21.9 20.7 18.1 14.7 11.6 10.1 10.8 13.4 16.6 19.2 20.8 16.6
341.3 346.5 277.5 144.3 92.3 61.3 36.0 30.0 28.2 45.6 83.2 180.0 1666.8
Source: Bureau of Meteorology


  1. ^ a b c Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Te Kowai (SSC)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 20 October 2018. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ a b "Te Kowai – locality in Mackay Region (entry 46843)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Queensland Globe". State of Queensland. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
  4. ^ a b c "Queensland Two Mile series sheet 2m309 Mackay" (Map). Queensland Government. 1935. Archived from the original on 18 March 2021. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
  5. ^ "Te Kowai Sugar Mill". Mackay Historical Society and Museum Inc. Archived from the original on 20 November 2008. Retrieved 29 August 2008.
  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 "Queensland Two Mile series sheet 2m309" (Map). Queensland Government. 1952. Archived from the original on 18 February 2021. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
  8. ^ "History of the Mackay Railway". www.mackayhistory.org. Archived from the original on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
  9. ^ "Landmark Areas - Queensland". Queensland Open Data. Queensland Government. 18 November 2020. Archived from the original on 21 November 2020. Retrieved 21 October 2020.
  10. ^ "Mackay South Water Recycling Facility" (PDF). Mackay Regional Council. 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 March 2021. Retrieved 18 March 2021.