Queanbeyan /ˈkwnbiən/ is a city in south-eastern region of the Australian state of New South Wales, located adjacent to the Australian Capital Territory in the Southern Tablelands region. Located on the Queanbeyan River, the city is the council seat of the Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council. At the 2016 census, the Queanbeyan part of the Canberra–Queanbeyan built-up area had a population of 36,348.[1]

New South Wales
Location in New South Wales
Coordinates35°21′12″S 149°14′03″E
Population36,348 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density210/km2 (540/sq mi)
Elevation576 m (1,890 ft)
Area173 km2 (66.8 sq mi)
Time zoneAEST (UTC+10:00)
 • Summer (DST)AEDT (UTC+11:00)
Location14.9 km (9 mi) from Canberra
LGA(s)Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council
State electorate(s)Monaro
Federal Division(s)Eden-Monaro
Localities around Queanbeyan:
Beard Oaks Estate Queanbeyan East
Crestwood Queanbeyan Queanbeyan East
Queanbeyan West Karabar Greenleigh

Queanbeyan's economy is based on light construction, manufacturing, service, retail and agriculture. Canberra, Australia's capital, is located just 15 kilometres (9 miles) to the west, and Queanbeyan has to some extent become a commuter town. The word Queanbeyan is the anglicised form of Quinbean, an Aboriginal word meaning "clear waters".


The town grew from a squattage held by ex-convict and inn keeper, Timothy Beard, on the banks of the Molonglo River in what is now Oaks Estate. The town centre of Queanbeyan is located on the Queanbeyan River, a tributary of the Molonglo River and approximately 1.4 kilometres (0.87 mi) south-southeast of Oaks Estate.

Queanbeyan was officially proclaimed a township in 1838 when the population was about 50. The local parish was also known by that name and later still the member for the electorate of Queanbeyan held a seat in the legislative assembly of the colony of NSW. On 28 November 1837 the Colonial Secretary announced the appointment of Captain Alured Tasker Faunce as resident police magistrate at Queanbeyan. His homestead, called Dodsworth, was situated on the banks of the Queanbeyan river opposite the town.[2]

Traces of gold were discovered in 1851 and lead and silver mines also flourished briefly. Settlers were harassed by bushrangers, of which James Shaw, William Millet, and John Rueben,[3] John Tennant, Jacky Jacky, Frank Gardiner and Ben Hall were some of the more notorious. In 1836, a Post Office was established.[4]

The Commercial Banking Company of Sydney Limited (CBC, now part of the National Australia Bank) opened in Queanbeyan on 19 September 1859. The Bank of New South Wales began service in Queanbeyan in 1878. The Golden Age (now The Queanbeyan Age) was Queanbeyan's first newspaper and was founded in 1860 by John Gale. In 1880 the residence of John James Wright, the first mayor of Queanbeyan, was constructed along the edge of the Queanbeyan River. In 1982 that building became the Queanbeyan Art Centre.

The Salvation Army claimed an outpost in Queanbeyan in 1884.

Queanbeyan, an increasingly successful primary producing district, was proclaimed a Municipality in February 1885 incorporating an area of 5,700 acres (23 km2). The railway reached Queanbeyan railway station in 1887 and it became the junction for the lines going to Canberra and Bombala. The town is served by the thrice-daily NSW TrainLink Xplorer service between Canberra and Sydney.

William James Farrer, the wheat experimentalist, established Queanbeyan's reputation as an agricultural district with his famous "Federation" rust-free strain, developed on his property "Lambrigg" at Tharwa. Farrer's work was only slowly recognised elsewhere in Australia, but local farmers supported him, particularly in his development of "Blount's Lambrigg", another strain which in 1889 gave hope to farmers after the disastrous season of 1887 when crops had failed after heavy Christmas rains.

At the height of its rural prosperity Queanbeyan boasted sixteen public houses and six flourmills powered by wind, water, horse and steam. The Royal Hotel on Monaro Street opened in 1926. In Canberra alcohol was prohibited from 1911, at the time of the territory's foundation, until 1928, when Federal Parliament had relocated from Melbourne. In that period many of the capital's residents crossed the border to drink at one of Queanbeyan's hotels.

Queanbeyan was granted city status on 7 July 1972. On 21 July 1975 the Queen's Bridge was opened. This bridge took pressure off the existing bridge in linking Monaro Street directly to the east. From 1982 to 1989, the Canberra Raiders rugby league team played their home games in Queanbeyan, at Seiffert Oval.

Since December 2008, the Australian Defence Forces's HQ Joint Operations Command has been based adjacent to the Kowen district of the Australian Capital Territory, just south of the Kings Highway, about 15 km east of Queanbeyan, and 15 km south of Bungendore, New South Wales.

Heritage listings

Queanbeyan has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:


Queanbeyan has two government high schools: Queanbeyan High and Karabar High. Queanbeyan primary schools include Queanbeyan South Public School, Queanbeyan West Public School, Queanbeyan East Public School, Queanbeyan Public School, Jerrabomberra Public School and St Gregory's Primary School.

The Queanbeyan District Hospital is a small but modern facility providing Maternity, Emergency and some Community Health services. Queanbeyan has an ambulance station, indoor and outdoor swimming pool, community centre, performing arts centre, a public library and several parks.

The city's local bus service is Qcity Transit, which also operates routes into Canberra.


At the 2016 census, the Queanbeyan part of the Canberra–Queanbeyan built-up area had a population of 36,348 (this did not include Googong).[1] At the 2011 census, the former city of Queanbeyan had a population of 37,991.[13] The suburb of Queanbeyan (central Queanbeyan) had a population of 6,237 in 2016.[14]

Commerce and industry

Queanbeyan has two light manufacturing/industrial precincts centred on Gilmore Road and Yass Road. The Queanbeyan Solar Farm with 720 solar panels has a generating capacity of 50 kW, and is located in the Yass Road area. Queanbeyan has a large and significant retail market in roses, which are sourced from the local district.


Queanbeyan is served by NSW TrainLink Xplorer which runs several times each day between Canberra and Sydney, calling at heritage listed Queanbeyan railway station. NSW TrainLink also operates regional coaches via Queanbeyan city.[15]

Regional coach services to the coast and Canberra are also provided by Rixons Buses[16] and Murrays Coaches[17]

Air services are available at the nearby (10 km) Canberra airport.

Local bus services (including cross border services to Canberra and Canberra airport) are provided by Qcity Transit (formerly Deane's).

Sport and culture

Queanbeyan has a number of sports teams that play in local sports competitions.

Queanbeyan WhitesRugby UnionACTRU Premier Division
Monaro Panthers FCAssociation FootballNPL
Queanbeyan City FCAssociation Football
Queanbeyan BluesRugby leagueCanberra Rugby League
Queanbeyan KangaroosRugby LeagueCanberra Rugby League
Queanbeyan TigersAustralian Rules FootballAFL Canberra
Queanbeyan Cricket ClubCricketACT Cricket Competition
Queanbeyan United Hockey ClubField HockeyHockey ACT

The Queanbeyan Show, which started over 100 years ago, is held annually at the Queanbeyan Showgrounds in November over two days. There are equestrian events, a sideshow alley, art and craft displays, cooking exhibits, an agricultural pavilion and livestock exhibitions. Also held is a Showgirl, Miss Junior Showgirl and Tiny Tots competition. Seiffert Oval is one of the largest stadia in the region.

In February, the Queanbeyan Showgrounds play host to the annual "Convoy for Kids" to aid cancer research. The event is widely supported by community groups, regional businesses and the emergency services. The event attracts hundreds of commercial vehicles, trucks, prime movers and bushfire brigade vehicles. The highlight of the afternoon is the sounding of horns, which can be heard for miles around. Other regular events throughout the year include the Rodeo in March, Field Days, and a camping and off-road vehicle show. Queanbeyan Basketball Stadium is based on Southbar Road near a SUPA IGA and is the main venue used for indoor sports like basketball and netball.

On 3 December, Queanbeyan hosts an annual Festival of Ability as part of the Don't DIS my ABILITY campaign, celebrating International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The event attracts more than 3,500 people and is a community celebration, acknowledging the strengths, skills and achievements of people with a disability in the Queanbeyan region.

In March 2008, the Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre – the Q – became the new home for the Queanbeyan Players who have provided over thirty years of live theatre and dramatic entertainment for the Queanbeyan community.[18]

Canberra's Harmonie German Club holds an Oktoberfest over a three-day period every year in October.[19] In 2017 the event moved over the border to the Queanbeyan Showgrounds on 27–29 October.[20][21]


Federally, Queanbeyan lies within the electorate of Eden-Monaro, currently held by Mike Kelly representing the Australian Labor Party.

At a state level, Queanbeyan is the major population centre in the seat of Monaro, and is currently held by John Barilaro of The Nationals.

Historic places and monuments

  • 1838 Anna Maria Faunce memorial: The oldest memorial grave-stone in existence in Queanbeyan was/is that of Anna Maria Faunce (born 30 November 1838), the eight-month-old daughter of Captain Allured Tasker Faunce.[22] The Memorial had not been seen for many years and was rediscovered by the Wheeler family.[23] The broken stone pieces were taken to the Queanbeyan Museum to arrange for repairs, sighted in broken pieces in a box at the Museum in the late 1990s, but the location now, is unknown.[24]
  • 1903 Queanbeyan Boer War memorial: Made of sandstone, the original memorial, had a gas light on top and was placed at the Monaro and Crawford Streets intersection in Queanbeyan, it was damaged when hit by a truck in the early 1950s and was repaired and re-erected on the same site. In 1955 the re-erected 1903 Boer War memorial was hit again by the same truck and same driver, Henry Ford, but this time it could not be repaired. As Veterans from the Boer War were still alive and wanted the 1903 Boer War memorial repaired/replaced, a public subscription was raised and a concrete replica memorial was cast and erected in 1964 in the centre-medium strip in Lowe Street,opposite the back of the Queanbeyan Courthouse. Although the memorial is a replica and although all the Boer War Veterans have since died, the remembrance, sentiment and respect for those who fought in the Boer War remains; Queanbeyan City Council undertakes regular conservation work, and the Queanbeyan RSL places a wreath on the Boer War Memorial each ANZAC DAY.[25][26]
  • 1923 Soldiers Memorial: Originally named the Soldiers Memorial, unveiled on 25 April 1923 Anzac Day but over time this memorial has had many local names such as the World War 1 memorial, World War 1 and 2 memorial and the World Wars memorial etc. but for many years has also been referred to as the Memorial for all Wars and all who served, be they men or women, who gave service in any capacity. General manager (now retired) Hugh Percy was the man who kicked the local Queanbeyan ANZAC Day ceremony off and got it growing and now every year the local Queanbeyan ANZAC Day ceremony grows bigger and better.[27][28]
  • 1936–1938 William Farrer memorial: Located on the central medium strip in Farrer Place, this sandstone and bronze memorial was unveiled in two ceremonies, 1936 and 1938. In 1936 the central sandstone column with the larger than life William Farrer bronze portrait bust at the top, with Raynor Hoff, the artist's signature on the bust and the large central plaque with "Farrer's quote" underneath the bust, were unveiled in 1936; The four smaller wheat-industry bronze-relief plaques (two on either side of the central sandstone column) were probably completed by other artists in Hoff's studio and were unveiled in 1938, during Queanbeyan's 1938 centenary celebrations.[29]

Notable residents


The Choirboys song 'Struggle Town' was written about Queanbeyan after lead singer Mark Gable heard the reference to the town from the band's drummer Lindsay Tebbutt's father called Queanbeyan "Struggle Town".


Queanbeyan has a subtropical highland climate (Cfb) with warm to hot summers and cold winters, similar to Canberra.

Climate data for Queanbeyan, New South Wales
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 29.0
Average low °C (°F) 12.7
Average precipitation mm (inches) 55.4
Average precipitation days 5.6 5.2 5.1 5.2 5.6 6.8 6.9 7.4 7.5 6.8 6.1 6.1 75.8
Source: Bureau of Meteorology[40]


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Canberra – Queanbeyan (Queanbeyan Part)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  2. Errol Lea-Scarlet. Queanbeyan. District and People. Queanbeyan Municipal Council 1968 p27.
  3. "The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser Saturday 13 August 1842". Archived from the original on 6 December 2017. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  4. "The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser Tuesday 22 March 1836". Archived from the original on 6 December 2017. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  5. "Old Queanbeyan Hospital – Rusten House". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H00552. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  6. "Hibernia Lodge". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H00514. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  7. "Queanbeyan Showground". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01890. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  8. "Queanbeyan rail bridges over Queanbeyan and Burbong Rivers". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01052. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  9. "Queanbeyan Railway Station group". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01226. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  10. "Mill and Millhouse". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H00363. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  11. "Christ Church Anglican Group". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H00043. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  12. "Kawaree". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H00365. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  13. Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Queanbeyan (C)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  14. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Queanbeyan (state suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  15. "Routes and timetables". Transport NSW. Archived from the original on 13 May 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  16. "Canberra Coast Shuttle". Archived from the original on 14 May 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  17. "Travel by coach with Murrays to & from Canberra – Batemans Bay – Narooma – Murrays Coaches, Buses & Limousines". Archived from the original on 13 May 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  18. See Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia – Speech – Opening of the Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre Archived 20 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  19. Archived 19 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  20. Williams, Elliot (28 October 2017). "Queanbeyan hosts first Oktoberfest after 50 years in Canberra". The Canberra Times. Archived from the original on 29 October 2017. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  21. Hall, James (25 February 2017). "Queanbeyan cashes in as the new home for Oktoberfest". The Canberra Times. Archived from the original on 1 March 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  22. Rex Cross. Bygone Queanbeyan. Queanbeyan Publishing Company, 1985 ISBN 0-9591096-0-9
  23. Enid Wheeler. The Lost Headstone. The Canberra Times. 10 December 1992.
  24. Queanbeyan Museum.
  25. Queanbeyan Age, 1950s–1960s
  26. P.B. Sheedy & E.A. Percy. Moneroo to Monaro. Publisher Queanbeyan City Council, Queanbeyan. ISBN 0 9599895 6 0
  27. Queanbeyan Age
  28. P.B. Sheedy & E.A. Percy. Moneroo to Monaro, Publisher Queanbeyan City Council, Queanbeyan. ISBN 0 9599895 6 0
  29. Queanbeyan Age, 1936 and 1938.
  30. "Olympic profile: Suzy Balogh". The Canberra Times. 28 July 2012. Archived from the original on 2 March 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  31. The Canberra Times Online Family ties bind Faingaa twins 6 April 2008 Archived 20 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  32. "ABC News Takeover Target completes Aussie sweep 2 May 2009". Archived from the original on 3 May 2009. Retrieved 2 May 2009.
  33. O'Farrell, Patrick. "Holland, Henry Edmund – Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  34. Gordon, Chris. "Lazenby's Goulburn bond" Archived 4 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine Goulburn Post, 3 November 2010
  35. Doherty, Megan. "Lawrence Mooney brings his existential crisis to Canberra" Archived 20 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine The Canberra Times, 22 November 2016
  36. "ABC News Aussie chases visual effects Oscar 23 January 2009". Archived from the original on 25 January 2009. Retrieved 24 January 2009.
  37. The Sunday Times Online Mark Webber: not your average F1 driver 31 May 2009
  38. "Results". Archived from the original on 3 April 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2009.
  39. "Motorsport – Formula 1 – Results – Brazil Grand Prix race results".
  40. "Climate Statistics for Quenbeyen, New South Wales". Retrieved 20 January 2012.
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