Sister City of Canberra

In 1838 Queanbeyan’s convicts out numbered those who came free and the bushranger’s hold-ups and sly-grog sales were the business of the day; Queanbeyan’s Constables were often ex convicts who helped their mates escape from the lock-up; but in time the village of Queanbeyan, which had been proclaimed on October 3, 1838, became a town; then a borough; then a municipality; and in 1972 received city status – Queanbeyan Sister City of Canberra.

New Australians

The convicts transported from England never planned to arrive in Sydney on January 26, 1788 (now called Australia Day) in fact the convicts never planned anything or knew anything about where or when they were coming or going; they may not have known or been too fussed that Sydney was proclaimed in 1788 only 50 years before Queanbeyan would be proclaimed. In those days it was all about survival.

Bullock teams

Back in 1837 Queanbeyan was chosen as the site for a village because the tracks from the coast, the Snowy Mountains, Sydney, and inland tracks, met here to take advantage of a natural gap in the mountains to cross to the other side. A low level crossing over the Queanbeyan River clinched the choice.

Now it takes about four hours to get to Sydney down the main drag, but back in the 1840s it took six weeks each way by bullock teams, via tracks through the bush and could take many more months if it rained and the tracks turned into bog and quagmire.

How close is that?

All the above explains why Queanbeyan now has big traffic problems – but as we are only a few hours away from the surf, the snow and Sydney’s night-life, we are very grateful for this lucky location – all we need to do now is sell Queanbeyan’s tourism assets, to tourists.

The Canberra City Center is a ten minute drive from the Queanbeyan City Centre, but as the railway track defines the border between Queanbeyan (NSW) and Canberra (ACT) the reality is, that it is only a hop, step, and a jump, across the railway line from Queanbeyan into Canberra. How close is that?


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