The Queenslander

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The Queenslander
Chapter 3
The Verandah

Queenslander verandah

The most outstanding feature of the Queenslander, the verandah, was primarily a response to climate.  As time progressed, it came to fulfil a variety of functions. 

Shutters or blinds provided protection from the elements. Master craftsmen provided a decorative dimension with simple timber or more elaborate cast iron materials.

In the northern regions, verandahs invariably enclosed all four sides of a dwelling and often occupied more area than the "house" itself, which was limited to providing storage room for household possessions and some expensive items of furniture.

With so much use in the north-eastern regions where the sun is fierce and rain pours down in buckets, it became necessary to provide further protection for the verandah itself.  So in places like Townsville and Charters Towers, one can see verandahs-on-verandahs, a sort of double extension to the roof to cut out the direct view of the sky and thus reduce glare and allow verandah users better protection from the sun and torrential rain. Generally, verandahs were oriented towards the north-east and extended to the garden beyond.


The form of early verandahs was fairly simple and direct, but later examples incorporated a variety of embellished features which took almost a bizarre form during the heyday of the Victorian era.

The straight horizontal roof line of the verandah was invariably interrupted at the entrance to specifically emphasize the link to the stairs, and the panels facing the main street were generally finished with elaborate timber or metal fretwork of designs directly derived from the natural surroundings of the house.

The elaborate dual staircase of this house in Howard terminates in a covered porch which acts as a formal entrance to the house proper.

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

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