Bundaberg Regional Council administers, or is Trustee for, nine cemeteries throughout our region. Some of these cemeteries are closed to new burials.
Bundaberg Region also has numerous private cemeteries and lone graves.
For further information please contact the Cemetery office.
A Cemetery can demonstrate or provide significance in the following areas:
- Historical; providing physical evidence of past attitudes towards death, commemoration, providing evidence into the social and economic development of our regions.
- Cemeteries provide tangible evidence to the lives of the local population, the rich, the poor, the famous and infamous. The monumental inscriptions are a constant resource for researchers both professional and personal.
- Major events in the region such as diphtheria, floods and fire can be traced through the cemetery records and the monumental inscriptions.
- The appearance of the memorials has altered greatly with the utilisation of both elaborate and simplistic designs.
- Community importance – cemeteries have strong social, cultural and/or spiritual associations which should be respected and cared for by the community.
Please select a cemetery below to learn more about it's history.
Bundaberg General Cemetery
The Bundaberg General Cemetery continues to provide one of the biggest windows into the history of our great region. However, adding to the mystique that often surrounds cemeteries and the folk-lore or legend they can evoke, the development of cemeteries in Bundaberg have an almost quirky slant. This includes the transfer of remains from an original burial ground to a new cemetery location and ultimately the loss of cemetery records covering a six- year period from 1873 including the names of those whose remains were relocated.
The very first Bundaberg Cemetery was located more towards what is now the Bundaberg CBD on land bordered by Woongarra, Maryborough, Woondooma and McLean Streets and was first utilised for burials in 1869.
The city fathers recognised this site was not sustainable as a long term option and a new cemetery was developed on 40 acres (a little over 16 hectares) at the current location off Takalvan Street. However, it was not until 1881 that Council, reacting to public pressure, gained permission from the Colonial Secretary to have the bodies exhumed and relocated to the new cemetery. Council was informed at its meeting in January 1882 that all bodies (believed to be located in 10 or 12 graves) had been removed from the original cemetery site.
Bundaberg Regional Council accepted cemetery management responsibilities from the former Bundaberg City Council at the point of amalgamation in 2008. A Lawn Cemetery, located adjacent to the General Cemetery, was reportedly first utilised for a burial in December 1965.
Another quirky fact associated with the early days of the cemetery was that burials were carried out free of charge. The Cemetery Trustees abolished the practice in 1879 with a very formal edict “The privilege of free interment of their dead hitherto possessed by the people of this town and district is now abolished”.
Read "Bundaberg General Cemetery: a history" by the Bundaberg Regional Libraries for more information on the original location of the cemetery, the development of the new cemetery and links to the burial registers.
Childers Lawn Cemetery
The closure of the Apple Tree Creek Cemetery to new burials resulted in the establishing of the Childers Lawn Cemetery in 1983.
The Apple Tree Creek Cemetery had historically catered to most burials across the Isis Shire until the Isis Shire Council decided space and convenience were issues and confined future burials at Apple Tree Creek to existing plot holders.
The Childers Lawn Cemetery was constructed on property off Huxley Road, just a few kilometres from the Childers CBD. Council had previously purchased the property from the Irrigation and Water Supply Commission in the mid-1970’s.
The initial design incorporated 90 gravesites with infrastructure including gravelled carparks, reticulated water and landscaping. Council proposed a budget of $60,756 to fund development.
The Childers Lions Club later approached Council and was given permission to fund and establish a Columbarium (niche wall for cremated remains).
The cemetery accepted its first burial in March 1983.
Apple Tree Creek Cemetery
Established in 1887 Apple Tree Creek Cemetery is the original cemetery of the Isis Shire. The township of Apple Tree Creek was once known as Webb’s Mile. The government surveyed the area for a township on the northern side of Ilett’s Road, and it was then named Bodalla. Bodalla was intended to be the major town in the Isis area, but due to the steepness of the site the town lost that distinction. The name Bodalla was eventually replaced with Apple Tree Creek due to the native trees to the town which bore blossoms similar to apple blossoms.
The cemetery is eight hectares with 2.8 hectares cleared for burial. Set on a gentle sloping hill on the eastern side of Apple Tree Creek the cemetery includes a beautiful arrangement of natural and polished stoned monuments. Adhering to the burial tradition of the times the cemetery was segregated into religious denominations.
South Isis Cemetery
The South Isis Cemetery located off Aerodrome Road to the south of Childers has been closed to burials since the 1940’s and is now regarded as a place of historical significance.
The cemetery, now administered by Council, was established in the mid 1870’s with the first recorded burial in 1877. The South Isis area at that time was experiencing significant growth with farming practices attracting settlers and their families leading to the creation of small communities and even a school.
A major flood in 1942 demonstrated the flood-prone nature of the low-lying cemetery land and this, in conjunction with diminishing use of the facility, led to its closure to burials.
Large galvanised double gates provide an impressive entryway to the eight hectares of land which comprises the cemetery.
As a final resting place, the district pioneers who are buried here could not want for a better location. It evokes silence and serenity. Only the slight rumble of traffic from the nearby highway and the odd drone of light aircraft taking off and landing at the adjacent Childers airstrip offer and interruption to the sounds of nature.
The Friends of the South Isis Cemetery was a group established in the early 2000’s and was responsible for undertaking remedial work that ensured this historic site would be retained for posterity.
The group received a heritage grant in late 2011 and this allowed for the purchase of the cemetery gates as well as the identification of gravesites and some protective fencing. Some names will be lost forever such as the six gravesites with simple plaques bearing the inscription “Unknown baby of the Isis”.
Gin Gin Cemetery
The first European settlement in the Gin Gin district occurred in 1848 when Gregory Blaxland (the son of the famous explorer) and William Forster established the Tirroan pastoral station, which was stocked with sheep. The station was renamed Gin Gin in the 1850s, possibly after Gin Gin in Western Australia. At the time of establishment, the station was on the edge of the pastoral frontier. The pastoral stations were progressively broken up via Land Acts from the 1860s onward in order to encourage closer settlement. However, the stimulus to the establishment of the town of Gin Gin and the area more generally was the discovery of copper to the west of the district, particularly Mount Perry and New Moonta, in the late 1860s and early 1870s. Other prominent industries included sugar, timber and dairying with the Gin Gin sugar mill established at Wallaville in 1895.
The Gin Gin Cemetery reserve was created in 1890, reflecting the growing prosperity of the town. A Cemetery Trust was established and the reserve was fenced in the same year.
The cemetery is a 5.5 hectare site. The Gin Gin General Cemetery is important in demonstrating the evolution of the region’s history, while the size of the cemetery was indicative of the importance of Gin Gin as a major settlement in the region.