A small pastoral township and railhead on the Balonne River. It is the administrative centre of the Balonne Shire.
Location: 650 km east of Brisbane off the Carnarvon Highway.
It is notable for the population increase each year as seasonal workers
come to work on the extensive cotton fields. Due to the low annual
rainfall, irrigation is used extensively. Dirranbandi is close to
93,000 hectare Cubbie Station, the largest privately owned cotton
property in the southern hemisphere.
The town was probably named by surveyor Claudius Buchanan Whish
(1827-1890) in March 1885 when he laid out the town. The railway
reached Dirranbandi in May 1913. Dirranbandi had the honour of being
the destination for the last Mail Train to operate in Australia.
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Origin of name: the name appears to be derived from a Yuwaaliyaay
dialect place name Dhurrunbandaay. It is said to be dervived from
dhurrun.gal ("hairy caterpillars") and baanda-y ("move in Indian
file"). There is also a word dhirrinbaa (a Yuwaalaraay dialect noun),
meaning "bad weather camp, on high ground." Another possibility is a
derivation of dhirrin ("high ground") and -baa ("place of, time of").