The Queenslander

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The Queenslander
Chapter 2
The Beginnings

Verandah of an Old Queenslander

Verandah of an Old Queenslander


The forerunner of Northern Queensland's lightweight timber and iron dwelling is a standard miner's tent.  In time, the workers developed a more permanent single-roomed timber-framed cottage, whose walls and roofs were lined with corrugated galvanized iron sheets.

However, in the fierce northern tropical sun, these single-roomed shelters proved far too hot for comfort, so it became a common practice to put another "tin" roof over the original cover, leaving a sizeable air-gap between the two. Eventually, these single-roomed cottages expanded to become two- or even four-roomed structures shaded by a three meter-deep front and back verandah.

In time, some of the owners added interesting embellishments in the form of decorative window metal hoods and brackets with stylised foliage-design verandah timber posts.

tropical Australian house

In contrast to the ruggedness of some early colonial houses, the elegant details of this tropical Australian house display a light, airy quality achieved with the versatility of timber and metal.

Queenslander mansion

This development continued until the 1900s when many northern Australian towns could boast enormous mansions with four to six rooms accessible through a central corridor, with all the rooms opening onto a continuous deep verandah which wrapped around the main structure.

The growth of most of these large and luxurious houses generally coincided with the height of the mining boom.

Text from: Balwant Saini and Ray Joyce, The Australian House. Homes of the Tropical North

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