Almost a satellite of Canberra, but actually a city in its own right, Queanbeyan is the centre of a wool-growing and mixed farming community. It is situated at the junction of the Molonglo and Queanbeyan rivers, in a narrow valley on the limestone Plains just 12km south-east of Canberra. Being so close to Canberra has helped this country centre to flourish and grow, with many of the capital's workforce preferring to reside in Queanbeyan's rural setting, and many of the region's visitors preferring to stay in the slightly cheaper accommodation.
Explorers Joseph Wild, James Vaughan and Charles Throsby, looking for the Murrumbidgee River, were the first Europeans in the area in 1820. They came upon the junction of what are now known as the Queanbeyan and Molonglo Rivers. Official settlement began in 1828 although for four years before then squatters had been running 'stock stations' in the area.
Wheat experimentalist James Farrer established Queanbeyan's agricultural reputation when he developed his world-famous 'Federation Rust Free Strain' here. A memorial to his work is located near the information centre. Queanbeyan was officially gazetted in 1838 and proclaimed a city in 1972.
Things to see and do
All the sights of Canberra are within easy access of Queanbeyan but the city also has its own attractions including a number of historically interesting buildings. One of these is the Old Police Residence (1876) off Farrar Place. Now a local history museum, it houses a good collection of memorabilia (open weekends 1.00pm-4.00pm). Other interesting original buildings include Byrne's Mill (1883) in Collett Street, now a restaurant, and the classic old railway station (1887) in Henderson Street. The adjacent station master's house dates from the same year.
Attractive sunken gardens are a feature of Queanbeyan Park which is a great spot for a picnic near the city centre and there are more picnic facilities in Queen Elizabeth Park, beside the Queanbeyan River. Good views of Queanbeyan can be seen from the lookout in Bicentennial Park, in the suburb of Karabar.
Visitors looking for food and entertainment in Queanbeyan will find a variety of restaurants and eateries in the city. Two major licensed clubs, the huge leagues Club, beside the river in Monaro Street, and the RSL Club in Crawford Street also offer a warm welcome.
Queanbeyan has grown to city status but another of the district's original settlements has remained much as it always was. located north-east, on the Kings Highway, is the historic village of Bungendore where there are plenty of opportunities to browse for antiques, art works and gifts and try local fare in carefully restored old buildings. North of Queanbeyan and Canberra at Geary's Gap, Bywong Town Gold Mining Village recreates pioneering history of the 1850s when traces of gold were discovered in the area. The village features an active goldmine, working machinery and gold panning in a bushland setting (guided tours 10.30am, 12.30pm and 2.00pm). Picnic and barbecue facilities are provided and light refreshments available.
Archery of Yesteryear & Captain's Flat Museum is a double attraction at Captains Flat, a township south-east of Queanbeyan. The museum holding a wide ranging collection is open daily, 1 0.00am-5.00pm. On weekends all the necessary equipment and advice are available for you to try the age-old skill of archery.
From an Aboriginal word meaning 'clear water'. Originally Queanbeyan was known as Quinbean, the name of the property taken up by an ex-convict squatter named Timothy Beard, although his occupancy was later declared illegal.
Access from Victoria via Hume
and Barton Highways, from Sydney via the Hume and Federal Highways, from the
Snowy Mountains via Monaro Highway and King's Highway from the Coast.
Distance from Parliament House Canberra: 12kms. Distance from Canberra Airport: 10 mins.
Height above sea level: 576M.
Queanbeyan is well served by train and coach services and is only 10 minutes from the Canberra Airport.
Queanbeyan experiences a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. Summer is hot and winter is cold, but neither is unbearable. Temperature is from around -5º overnight during winter through to 35º Celsius during summer
The average rainfall is 600mm a year.
296Kms south-west of Sydney and 12Kms south-east of Canberra