Wandoan /ˈwɒnd.ən/ is a town and locality in the Western Downs Region, Queensland, Australia.[2][3] It was formerly known as Juandah. It is on the Leichhardt Highway about halfway between Taroom and Miles and is the centre for the local cattle industry. In the 2016 census, Wandoan had a population of 566 people.[1]


War memorial, Wandoan, 2014

The beginnings of the Wandoan township can be traced back to 1853 when 'Juandah' Station was established at this location in 1849. When Herbert Salway and Percival Sydney Francis Stephen first tendered for a huge area of land: Juandah of 23,000 acres (9,300 ha) and two other runs Coringa of 21,000 acres (8,500 ha) and Cherwondah of 19,200 acres (7,800 ha). This area, defined in accordance with the 1847 Orders-in-Council, falls far short of the actual size of the holding, which has been estimated at 449 square miles (1,160 km2)—five and a half times as much. The aggregation of these three runs became known as Juandah and records show Percival Stephen was living on Juandah before August 1849.

After the Hornet Bank massacre in October 1857, one of the many reprisals against Aboriginal people in the area included the Juandah massacre. Frederick Walker wrote to the Colonial Secretary of Queensland describing how after a number of aboriginals were declared innocent of involvement at Hornet Bank by a bench of magistrates at Juandah, local whites proceeded to murder them. Some were shot on the verandah of the magistrate's residence and others in the kitchen. Two aboriginals were kept alive in order to bury the corpses and once this was done, one of them was shot and the other was spared as "possibly the supply of cartridges was running short".[4]

A wayside hotel was built there in the 1890s, and by the end of the nineteenth century the hotel was well established and a township was formed.

Juandah Provisional School opened on 30 October 1911. It became a State School on 1 March 1916. Due to low student numbers, it closed in 1922 but reopened in 1923. In 1924, it was renamed Wandoan State School in 1924. A secondary department was added in 1961.[5][6][7]

The railway to Miles opened on 16 December 1914.

Juandah was named Wandoan in 1926 to avoid confusion with Jundah near Longreach.[8]

After World War II, land around Wandoan was used for soldier settlements through ballots in the 1950s.[9]

The Wandoan Library opened in 1987.[10]

The Wandoan War Memorial is in front of the Community Culture Centre on Henderson Street and commemorates Australians who served in all wars. There are plaques for individual wars on the wall behind the memorial. The monument was dedicated on 25 April (Anzac Day) 1993.[11][12]


The town's economy is traditionally based on agriculture, including wheat, sorgum and cattle. The townscale is visually dominated by the grain silos near the railway station. However, mining for coal and gas are growing industries, increasing the population and facilities in Wandoan.[9]


Visitor information centre and windmill, Wandoan, 2014

The following are features of interest in Wandoan:[13]

  • the local Heritage Trail leads to 23 points of interest, including the Juandah site and the Waterloo Plains Environmental Park with its lakes, picnic areas and water birds
  • the 'Wandoan Windmill' at the town entrance on the Highway across from a colourful mural painted on the town's main water tank.
  • a mural depicting local history in the Community Cultural Centre on a huge piece of local sandstone.
  • the : horse racing meetings held once or twice every year.
  • Wandoan Unlicensed Airport is 1.2 kilometres (0.75 mi) away.

The Wandoan Information Centre on Royd Street provides information for visitors. It is housed in a former railway station building and is easily spotted by the large windmill beside it.[14]


Opening of the new Juandah State School, 1918

Wandoan State School is a government co-educational primary and secondary (P-10) school at 49 North Street. In 2016, the school had an enrolment of 86 students with 13 teachers (12 full-time equivalent) and 10 non-teaching staff (7 full-time equivalent).[15]


Community Cultural Centre, Wandoan, 2014

Western Downs Regional Council operates the Wandoan Community Cultural Centre i at 6 Henderson Road (26°07′16″S 149°57′31″E / 26.12106°S 149.95870°E / -26.12106; 149.95870 (Wandoan Community Culture Centre)). It includes a public hall used for meetings and entertainment and a public library.[16][17][18]


Wandoan has the following services:[19]

  • Ambulance service, doctor, out-patients clinic, veterinary surgeon
  • Fire brigade, police station
  • tank water, town water, TV reception – v.a.s.t[clarification needed] only, normal alternating current (ac) power
  • Railway station (closed, no longer used), coach bus service (three services per week), full vehicle service
  • Chemist, hotel/motel, official post office, mail collected daily


The average temperature ranges between 21 °C (70 °F) and 34 °C (93 °F) in summer and between 5 °C (41 °F) and 22 °C (72 °F) in winter.[20]


Year Population Notes
2001 401 [21]
2006 386 [22]
2011 655 [23]
2016 566 [1]

Notable people


  1. ^ a b c Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Wandoan (SSC)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 31 October 2018. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "Wandoan (town) (entry 36427)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  3. ^ "Wandoan (locality) (entry 47754)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  4. ^ "THE NATIVE POLICE". The North Australian, Ipswich And General Advertiser. VI (377). Queensland, Australia. 9 August 1861. p. 3. Retrieved 18 October 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  5. ^ The State of Queensland (Department of Public Works) (2006). "Wandoan State School". Queensland State Archives. Archived from the original on 1 September 2007. Retrieved 20 February 2007.
  6. ^ "STATE SCHOOLS". The Brisbane Courier. National Library of Australia. 5 March 1915. p. 4. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  7. ^ Queensland Family History Society (2010), Queensland schools past and present (Version 1.01 ed.), Queensland Family History Society, ISBN 978-1-921171-26-0
  8. ^ "TAROOM". Morning Bulletin (19, 712). Queensland, Australia. 24 August 1927. p. 7. Retrieved 18 October 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  9. ^ a b "Wandoan and District". Western Downs Regional Council. Archived from the original on 17 May 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  10. ^ "Queensland Public Libraries Statistical Bulletin 2016-2017" (PDF). Public Libraries Connect. State Library of Queensland. November 2017. p. 16. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Wandoan War Memorial". Monument Australia. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  12. ^ "Wandoan War Memorial". Queensland Government. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  13. ^ Tourism Queensland (2006). "Wandoan – Places to visit". Queensland holidays. Retrieved 20 February 2007.
  14. ^ "Wandoan, Qld". Highway Traveller. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  15. ^ "Annual Report 2016" (PDF). Wandoan State School. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  16. ^ "About Us". Western Downs Libraries. Western Downs Regional Council. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  17. ^ "Wandoan". The Age. 8 February 2004. Archived from the original on 16 May 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  18. ^ "Western Downs Library". Public Libraries Connect. 28 November 2016. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  19. ^ The State of Queensland (Department of Education) (2007). "Schools Directory – Business Centre – Services". Queensland Government Department of Education, Training and the Arts. Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 20 February 2007.
  20. ^ Tourism Queensland (2006). "Wandoan Climate". Queensland holidays. Archived from the original on 12 February 2011. Retrieved 20 February 2007.
  21. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (9 March 2006). "Wandoan (L)". 2001 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  22. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Wandoan (L)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  23. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Wandoan (SSC)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 15 May 2014. Edit this at Wikidata
  24. ^ Koch, Dan (11 May 2010). "Darren Lockyer". Alpha. Australia: News Magazines. Retrieved 13 July 2010.[dead link]
  25. ^ Reed, Brent (2 July 2011). "Darren Lockyer: born for football, bred into greatness". The Australian. Retrieved 9 January 2017.

Further reading

External links

Media related to Wandoan, Queensland at Wikimedia Commons