Dirranbandi

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.

Brief history

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").

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