This article is about the regional city in New South Wales. For the local government area, see Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council.
New South Wales

Coat of Arms of the City of Queanbeyan

Location in New South Wales

Coordinates 35°21′12″S 149°14′03″E / 35.35333°S 149.23417°E / -35.35333; 149.23417Coordinates: 35°21′12″S 149°14′03″E / 35.35333°S 149.23417°E / -35.35333; 149.23417
Population 37,991 (2011 census)[1]
 • Density 210/km2 (540/sq mi)
Established 1838
Elevation 576 m (1,890 ft)
Area 173 km2 (66.8 sq mi)
Time zone AEST (UTC+10:00)
 • Summer (DST) AEDT (UTC+11:00)
Location 14.9 km (9 mi) from Canberra
LGA(s) Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council
State electorate(s) Monaro
Federal Division(s) Eden-Monaro
Localities around Queanbeyan:
Yass Gunning Goulburn
Canberra Queanbeyan Bungendore
Michelago Cooma Captains Flat

Queanbeyan /ˈkwnbiən/ is a regional centre on the Southern Tablelands in south-eastern New South Wales adjacent to the Australian Capital Territory. The city's mixed economy is based on light construction, manufacturing, service, retail and agriculture. It is the council seat of the Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council. At the 2011 census census, Queanbeyan had a population of 37,991.[1]

Following the founding of Canberra, Australia's federal capital, just 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) to the west, Queanbeyan has become an integral part of the capital city's economy. 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 about one mile east 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 Allured 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.

Photo of Queanbeyan looking west-south-west
Bridge near the centre of town over the river
Royal Hotel in Queanbeyan, built 1926
Queanbeyan Solar Farm established 1999
The "Q" - Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre
A former monastery, St Benedicts now houses a number of local businesses
Queanbeyan's "Tidy Town" awards are proudly displayed on the Queanbeyan Council Chambers Building (c. 1927)

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.


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.

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.

Sport and culture

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

Team Sport Tournament
Queanbeyan Whites Rugby Union ACTRU Premier Division
Monaro Panthers FC Association Football NPL
Queanbeyan City FC Association Football
Queanbeyan Blues Rugby League Canberra Rugby League
Queanbeyan Kangaroos Rugby League Canberra Rugby League
Queanbeyan Tigers Australian Rules Football AFL Canberra
Queanbeyan Cricket Club Cricket ACT Cricket Competition

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.

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.

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.[5]


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

Notable residents

Queanbeyan's "Megan Still Court" immediately adjacent the City Council Chambers, named in honour of Queanbeyan's former olympic women's rowing pair gold medalist



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
Source: Bureau of Meteorology [25]
Lightning storms over Queanbeyan, 21 February 2007


  1. 1 2 Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Canberra-Queanbeyan (C) (Statistical Local Area)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  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
  4. The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser Tuesday 22 March 1836
  5. See Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia - Speech - Opening of the Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre Archived 20 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. Rex Cross. Bygone Queanbeyan. Queanbeyan Publishing Company, 1985 ISBN 0-9591096-0-9
  7. Enid Wheeler. The Lost Headstone. Canberra Times. 10 December 1992.
  8. Queanbeyan Museum.
  9. QBN Age, 1950s–1960s
  10. P.B. Sheedy & E.A. Percy. Moneroo to Monaro. Publisher QBN City Council, QBN. ISBN 0 9599895 6 0
  11. Queanbeyan Age
  12. P.B. Sheedy & E.A. Percy. Moneroo to Monaro, Publisher Queanbeyan City Council, Queanbeyan. ISBN 0 9599895 6 0
  13. 1 2 Queanbeyan Age, 1936 and 1938.
  14. "Olympic profile: Suzy Balogh". Canberra Times. 28 July 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  15. The Canberra Times Online Family ties bind Faingaa twins 6 April 2008 Archived 20 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ABC News Takeover Target completes Aussie sweep 2 May 2009
  17. O'Farrell, Patrick. "Holland, Henry Edmund - Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  18. Gordon, Chris. "Lazenby's Goulburn bond" Goulburn Post, 3 November 2010
  19. Doherty, Megan. "Lawrence Mooney brings his existential crisis to Canberra" Canberra Times, 22 November 2016
  20. Butler, David (12 November 2012). "A Winning Formula". Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  21. ABC News Aussie chases visual effects Oscar 23 January 2009
  22. The Sunday Times Online Mark Webber: not your average F1 driver 31 May 2009
  23. Official Results 2009 F1 German Grand Prix 12 July 2009
  24. BBC Formula One - 2009 Grand Prix results15 February 2009
  25. "Climate Statistics for Quenbeyen, New South Wales". Retrieved 20 January 2012.
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