The town is in the Wide Bay–Burnett region on the Burnett Highway, 363 kilometres (226 mi) north west of the state capital, Brisbane and 200 kilometres (120 mi) west of the regional centre, Bundaberg. Mundubbera is built on the bank on the Burnett River.
Gureng Gureng (also known as Gooreng Gooreng, Goreng Goreng, Goeng, Gurang, Goorang Goorang, Korenggoreng) is an Australian Aboriginal language spoken by the Gureng Gureng people. The Gooreng Gooreng language region includes the towns of Bundaberg, Gin Gin and Miriam Vale extending south towards Childers, inland to Monto and Mt Perry. Wakka Wakka (Waka Waka, Wocca Wocca, Wakawaka) is an Australian Aboriginal language spoken in the Burnett River catchment. The Wakka Wakka language region includes the landscape within the local government boundaries of the North and South Burnett Regional Council, particularly the towns of Mundubbera, Cherbourg, Murgon, Kingaroy, Gayndah, and Eidsvold.
The name of the town comes from the name of a pastoral property established in 1848 by H.P. Bouverie. It is believed to be an Aboriginal word, possibly from the Kabi language, meaning sharp ridges or climbing steps cut in a tree. It has also been suggested it may mean meeting place of the waters referring to the confluence of the Burnett, and Boyne rivers just upstream from Mundubbera.
European settlement took place in the late 1840s. A town reserve was established on 26 November 1861. Closer settlement, involving migrants from Germany, Britain and the Netherlands, did not take place until the early 1900s and the town was established in its existing site prior to World War I.
Mundubbera State School opened on 7 November 1913.
The railway arrived in 1914.
A library was established in Mundubbera in December 1933 in the School of Arts.
The Mundubbera War Memorial commemorating those from the district who served in World War I was unveiled by the Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly for Brisbane and Minister for Works, Mick Kirwan, on 27 May 1928.
planted the first citrus orchards in 1933 and established Mundubbera as a major producer of export citrus. The recent (2006) drought and the after effects of the 2004 Citrus canker outbreak in Emerald has had a dampening effect of the citrus industry in the area.
The Mundubbera district is bounded on the east by the Binjour Plateau and on the south and west by the Burnett River. Devonian, Carboniferous, Triassic, and Post-Triassic sediments have all been found in the district. Devonian and Carboniferous sediments are incorporated into the late or post-Permian folds which affect the Yarrol Basin. A large syncline is exposed, commonly called the Mundubbera Syncline. Folded Triassic strata are found in the western part of the district in a fault block. There is evidence of Tertiary or post-Triassic sediments in horizontal sandstone. Near Riverleigh, fossil corals were found in limestone during the 1920s. These were studied by Dorothy Hill of the University of Queensland.
Industry in Mundubbera is entirely based around agriculture and forestry. The major agricultural activities in Mundubbera are cattle grazing and, in the irrigated areas, fruit growing. Fruit grown in the Mundubbera area includes citrus, mangoes, avocadoes and stone fruit. In addition, Mundubbera is Queensland's largest producer of table grapes.
During the fruit picking seasons Mundubbera can double in size as many itinerant workers and backpackers from around the world come to the town looking for work on the orchards. Seasonal workers are accommodated in two large caravan parks in Mundubbera itself or in many on-site parks. Since 2010, workers from Tonga and Papua New Guinea have been supported through the . The success of this endeavour has meant that the Seasonal Worker Program will be fully operational from 1 July 2012.
Supporting the fruit industry are businesses such as a fruit juice processor and several packing sheds. *Bugs for Bugs, an integrated pest management business, raises insects that act as a biological control for common fruit pests, allowing less chemical insecticide use.
With large areas of State forest in the shire, Mundubbera also has a large timber industry with a mill in Mundubbera town. Other industries include piggeries and dairying. Commercial activity is limited, and consists mainly of small businesses supporting local residents and farmers. The town has two hotels, two motels and an IGA supermarket, plus the usual small town services such as a butcher, baker, newsagency, post office and a public library open to the general public.
The town is about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) south of the intersection of the Burnett Highway and the Mundubbera-Durong road. The Burnett Highway links Mundubbera with Gaydah and Goomeri to the east; and Eidsvold, Monto and Biloela to the north. The Mundubbera-Durong links Mundubbera to Dalby and Toowoomba in the Darling Downs. This road is single lane bitumen in places. Public transport is limited. In 2005 the only public transport servicing Mundubbera had was a bus service operating once a week on Thursdays to Bundaberg and on Wednesdays and Fridays to Maryborough. An active rail link from Mundubbera to Maryborough and the coast was maintained with the line no longer having a passenger service, however in 2012 Campbell Newman, the Queensland Premier, announced that the line would no longer be looked after.
Mundubbera is host to a limited range of primary and secondary school facilities. Primary schools in the area include the small school cluster of the rural schools of Boynewood SS (opened 1915), Binjour Plateau SS (1913), Monogorilby SS (1936) and Riverleigh SS (1914); Riversleigh SS was closed at the end of 2009 due to lack of enrolment.
Mundubbera State School is a government primary and secondary (Early Childhood-10) school for boys and girls at 57 Bunce Street ( In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 242 students with 24 teachers (22 full-time equivalent) and 24 non-teaching staff (14 full-time equivalent). It includes a special education program. The school previously had a Pre-school but following the introduction of Prep, the pre-school has been converted into a music room. High school students wishing to complete Years 11–12 must either attend (formerly Gayndah State High School), 45 kilometres (28 mi) to the east in Gayndah or attend boarding schools in Brisbane, Toowoomba or Rockhampton.).
Mundubbera has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
- 26 Bowen Road: Mundubbera Butter Factory (also known as Maryborough Co-operative Dairy Association Butter Factory)
- Kinchela Street: Mundubbera Cemetery
- Leichhardt Street: O'Regan Memorial Gates
- Lyons Street: former Mundubbera Shire Hall and Bloxsome Memorial Building (also known as Mundubbera Library)
- intersection of Lyons and Bouverie Streets: Mundubbera War Memorial
- Seligmann Avenue: Jones Weir
While Mundubbera attracts seasonal workers from around the world, tourism remains relatively undeveloped. Some attractions include:
- The nearby Auburn River National Park is a good location to find Queensland Lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri), known locally as Ceratodus, a rare living fossil found only in the Burnett and Mary Rivers. This park is popular with bush walkers and rock climbers. It features cascades, great swimming spots, caves, balancing rocks and superb scenery.
- The town lookout on the entrance to town on the Burnett Highway is home to a Black stump, to symbolise Mundubbera's location on the edge of the Outback.
- Mundubbera is the home of the Big Mandarin, a larger than life fibreglass model of an Ellendale Mandarin that doubles as a kiosk for a local caravan park. It is one of many "Big" tourist attractions that dot the Australian landscape.
- The Meeting Place of the Waters 360-degree mural painted on the sewerage pumping station is a visual tribute to the rivers that provide Mundubbera with its prosperity.
- Mundubbera hosts a popular seven-a-side cricket tournament in February each year.
- The Mundubbera Fish stocking association hosts a popular fishing competition.
- The Ellendale Open, a pro-am golf tournament is held each year, on the Queens Birthday weekend, at the Mundubbera Golf Club
- The towns annual agricultural show occurs on the second Friday and Saturday of May each year, at the towns Show Grounds, amongst other events, it features a rodeo, cattle judging, chicken judging, and art and food judging, campdraft events, as well as a side show alley.
- Until recently the Rugby league teams of Mundubbera and Gayndah would play-off in the State of Oranges, a pun on the State of Origin series between New South Wales and Queensland that recognised the strong but friendly rivalry between the two towns. This match has been reinstated and will be played on the Queen's Birthday Weekend in June.
- The Mundubbera Bullarama committee runs an annual Rodeo in September, which attracts bull riders from around Queensland. Usually held at the towns show grounds, but in 2007 the event was held at the Scampers Grounds, an area also containing the towns Motocross Track, and 6 cricket ovals that hold a large portion of the seven-a-side cricket tournament.
- Mundubbera has a motocross track regarded by some as the best natural terrain track in Queensland, it holds several meets each year, in series such as the Thundercross Series.
- Mundubbera celebrated their centenary on the weekend of the 24 and 25 March.
Some notable people from Mundubbera include:
- Courtney Beutel, footballer with W-League team Brisbane Roar
- Kurt Brown, Queensland and Australian Lawn Bowls Champion, was raised in Mundubbera. Brown has amassed an impressive 12 Queensland titles and 1 Australian Title. He has represented Queensland on 126 occasions and also trialled for the Commonwealth Games Lawn Bowls Team.
- Wayne Goss, former Queensland Premier, was born in Mundubbera
- Martin Love, Australian test cricketer, was born and raised in Mundubbera
- Kim McCosker, author and cook, was raised in Mundubbera
- Stuart Tinney, Olympic-level equestrian rider and gold medalist, was born in Mundubbera
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