AT THE POINT
Location: This confluence point is on private land close to Monogorilby Creek. The point was reached by public and private roads to within 672 m then on foot. The point was accurately located using GPS. The point had been visited a number of times by people participating in the Worldwide Confluence Project and geocaching contests. The point is located in just inside the North Burnett regional Council area. The nearest settlement is Mundubbera, 54 km to the north-east. Elevation at the point was 344m.
Landscape: The point is in bushland, but the surrounding property is used for cattle grazing. Topography is hilly with slopes to the east into Monogorilby Creek. The underlying geology is sandstone of Early Jurassic age (205 to 184 million years). Monogorilby Creek is a tributary of the Burnett River.
Woodland species of note include eucalypts and acacias, with Hovea acutifolia about to flower, Pomax umbellata finished flowering and mottled grey-white Bitter Bark (Petalostigma sp.). Grasses within the forest areas include Lomandra sp., Cymbopogon refractus, wiregrass, Dianella and Goodenia sp. No animals were sighted and several unidentified bird calls were heard.
Point information and photos: Brian and Heather McGrath, 2008
IN THE DEGREE SQUARE
The Country: The land within the square straddles the Great Dividing Range which separates the catchments of the Burnett River (to the north) and the Condamine River (in the south). Elevations range from around 500 m ASL on the top of the Great Dividing Range near the village of Monongorilby to 100 m ASL where the Burnett River leaves the degree square.
A large proportion of the square is composed of sandstone of Early Jurassic origin. This formation extends from the mass of the Great Dividing Range in the south-west in a block to the north-east that separates the Auburn and Boyne Rivers. Across the north of the square Late Triassic (230 to 205 million years) sandstone, mudstone and siltstone dominate though there are also areas of Late Carboniferous age (325 to 298 million years) granodiorite mixed with it. In the south-east there is a large area of granite of Triassic age (251 to 205 million years).
All of the country is well dissected so the terrain across the square is hilly to mountainous in the south (Great Dividing Range) and much of it could be described as "rough". Numerous creeks cut through between the hills, which feature substantial woodlands.
Fertile river and creek flats, especially in the northern and western portions of the degree square, are suitable for agriculture. The larger streams to the north include the Auburn River and the Boyne River, both of which join the Burnett River near Mundubbera. The Boyne River is dammed to form Lake Boondooma. In the south the streams include several smaller creeks the flow to the Condamine River.
Land use across the square is mainly cattle grazing and grain production. There are several State Forests along the top of the Great Dividing Range and logging from native forests continues.
Climate: The climate of the area is classified as sub tropical with a distinctly dry winter. The Bureau of Meteorology climate station at Narayen Research Station provides representative statistics, and has been recording data since 1969. Elevation is 260 m.
The highest temperature ever recorded at Narayen Research Station was 42.9°C in January 1994 while the lowest temperature was -2.2°C in July 1972. Rainfalls also vary greatly. The highest total of 1 015.6 mm was recorded in 1983 and the lowest total of 475.2 mm in 1979. These and other climate statistics for Gayndah can be found on the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website at, http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_039171_All.shtml.
Extremes of Nature: The area is subject to the impact of tropical cyclones. The Bureau of Meteorology cyclone database shows that 22 cyclones tracked within 200 km of the point in the 101 years from 1906-7 to 2006-7. Only one of these came within 50 km of the point, an unnamed cyclone in January 1951. Even distant cyclones can bring with them destructive winds and very heavy rain. Cyclone information for this area and all of Australia can be found at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website, http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/cyclones.cgi.
Cyclone tracks that passed within 200 km of the point since 1906 (Bureau of Meteorology web site)
The Burnett River system has a history of significant floods in its lower reaches. The flood of record at Mundubbera was in February 1942 when the river reached 23.62 m on the local gauge. No flood since that time has exceeded 17.45 m on the gauge (February 1971). A flood height of 18.3 m on the Mundubbera gauge will put water into the town and some houses will have water in them.
The area experiences around 20 thunder days a year. Severe thunderstorms can bring destructive winds, intense rainfall and lightning strike over a limited area. The intense rainfall can trigger flash flooding and lightning strike can spark bushfires if there is sufficient fuel for fire to spread.
Bushfires are a potential hazard during the late winter and early autumn. In most of the agricultural areas fires can be readily controlled because the fuels tend to be grass and pasture. In the forests and scrublands, by contrast, fires can be very severe and spread very quickly under windy conditions.
The area can experience extreme heat throughout some of the year, with Narayen having an average of 17 days annually with maximum temperatures equal to or over 35°C and one day with over 40°C. Such extreme temperatures can cause heat stroke and death if appropriate measures are not taken such as avoiding strenuous physical effort, keeping as cool as possible and drinking lots of water. Heat waves kill more people in Australia than all other natural hazards combined.
By contrast, Narayen also averages seven days with temperatures of 2°C or less a year and one day at 0°C or less.
Persistent drought is undoubtedly the most pervasive and economically damaging of all extreme climatic events.
This is one of the most seismically active areas in Queensland. The National Earthquake Database maintained by Geoscience Australia contains 164 earthquake epicentres within the degree square. Twelve of these events had magnitudes of ML 3.0 or greater with the largest event being the ML 4.7 event of 24 November 1910 that was located 16 km south-west of Mundubbera near the Auburn River. Two other events had potentially damaging magnitudes - the ML 4.5 event of 30 December 1951 located 11 km north of the confluence point and the ML 4.0 event of 13 February 1980 that was located 51 km north-west of the confluence point. No damage was reported from any of these earthquakes.
The Indigenous Story: The land within the degree square is the traditional country of the Barunggam people.
MORE INFORMATION WELCOME
European Exploration and Settlement: The area within this degree square was explored and settled by prospective landowners/graziers themselves. A local history indicates that by 1846, 13 squatters had taken up "runs" in the area, and that in 1861, the first survey was done of the village of Mundubbera. By 1882 land was already being resumed for closer settlement, and in 1915 local government came to the area with the establishment on 20 May of the Auburn Shire Council. One of the early properties settled in the area was Cooranga - now known as Old Cooranga - settled by the Strathdee family in 1848 on the Boyne River tributary of the Burnett River. Mundubbera Station, another of the "pioneer" stations in the district, was established also in 1848 as a sheep grazing property.
Another history indicates that after the transport of convicts to the colony of Queensland ceased in 1839, free English, Chinese, Indian and German immigrants were encouraged to come to settle in the Burnett area.
Today: The total population of the degree square at the 2011 national Census was 2721.
Of the total population 1045 people lived in Mundubbera at the 2011 census. The remainder of the population is spread over the rural areas and in small villages such as Monongorilby.
Mundubbera is a small service centre for the surrounding agricultural and forestry areas. It has a limited range of commercial and public services. Water supply is provided from a weir on the Burnett River and the town is served by an airstrip. It is linked to Maryborough by the Burnett Highway.
Mundubbera (Google Earth image)
Cattle grazing is the main industry for this area. Grain for both human consumption and cattle feed is farmed. Cattle feedlots are well established south of Mundubbera, which also is the site for specialist pig breeding enterprises. Some dairying is carried out.
There is a considerable forestry industry, logging and milling of native trees, in this degree square. The Allies Creek State Forest is a major forestry logging area. The Koko State Forest to the west of Allies Creek State Forest also provides commercial timber, as do the Jarrah, Barakula, Auburn, Dykehead, Delembra and Diamondy State Forests, all or partially within the Degree Square.
The Mundubbera region is home to a considerable citrus fruit industry. In 1933 Henry Zipf, Harry Eadie and Ernie Thureson from Gayndah planted the first citrus trees. They were soon followed by Jack Parr who had moved up from NSW in 1935. These were instrumental in Mundubbera becoming the citrus capital of Queensland. The Golden Mile Orchard, on the Durong Road south of Mundubbera is one of the largest orchards in Queensland producing citrus, table grapes, avocados and mangos.
More recently, pecan nut and stone fruit plantations have been established near Mundubbera, while table grape production is increasing. Asparagus is also grown in commercial quantities in the Mundubbera district. Another enterprise of note in Mundubbera is Bugs For Bugs Insectory where natural organic predators of exotic diseases and pests are bred and distributed to farmers Australia-wide.
The square is divided between three local governments: in the northern half is the North Burnett Regional Council, in the south-east quarter is the South Burnett Regional Government and in the south-west quarter is the Dalby Regional Council. The Auburn River National Park of 810 ha is the only national park in the square.
Compilers: Brian and Heather McGrath, 2008 with additional material by Ken Granger, 2009.
Edited by: Hayley Freemantle
Various web sites including EPA, local governments, tourist industry and Bureau of Meteorology.
Baker, Margaret. History of Cooranga, Celebrating 150 years 1848 - 1998.
Burnett Country, 150 Years, 1999.
Calendar of Dates and Brief Histories of Mundubbera's Progress in the Town and the Shire.
Howitt, A. W. The Native Tribes of South-East Australia. London: Macmillan, 1904.
Loveday, Gaye and Fahey Schulz (eds). Mundubbera: 1915 to 1995, Eighty Years of Local Government.
Mathew, John. The Representative Tribes of Queensland. London: George Allen and Unwin, 1910.
Mundubbera Stepping Forward, Mundubbera Shire Council.
Wild Plants of Greater Brisbane. Brisbane: Queensland Museum, 2003.
Woodside, Ian. Juandah, Wandoan.