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Burnett Bridge 120 years old this week

Burnett bridge
The Burnett Bridge was a significant engineering achievement when it was built in 1900.

The iconic Burnett Bridge in Bundaberg is 120 years old after being officially opened on 24 August 1900.

An exhibition of historical photographs and artefacts will open at BRAG on Saturday to celebrate the engineering marvel.

The Governor, Charles Cochrane-Baillie, 2nd Baron Lamington, performed the ceremonial honours in one of his last major public acts before the colonies federated to form the Australian nation on 1 January 1901.

Premier Robert Philp, several ministers and many local dignitaries were also in attendance.

The Telegraph newspaper reported that several thousand people turned up for the occasion.

Lord Lamington was welcomed with “resounding cheers”.

The Governor and official party were then entertained at lunch by the Burnett Bridge Board at Queen's Theatre.

The bridge was designed by engineer and Queensland Government Architect, Alfred Barton Brady.

When it opened in 1900, the Burnett Bridge was the fifth-longest metal truss bridge in Australia. Of the others, all have been demolished or decommissioned.

It's 412 metres long and carries a roadway of 7.3 metres and a footpath. The bridge was heritage listed in 1992.

A few weeks after it opened the schooner Lochiel, carrying crew and 27 returning South Pacific Islanders, crashed into the bridge on a strong tide.

“The fore and mizzen masts, together with all the above deck gear, snapped as though they were tinderwood,” The Telegraph reported.

The bridge was undamaged and nobody was injured.

The exhibition at BRAG will also feature Kennedy Bridge, which is one year older than its big brother.

The display runs from 29 August 2020 to early October every day from 9.30am to 5pm. Social distancing rules apply.

Burnett Bridge 120 years
The Burnett Bridge today.



  1. The bridge, now how could the pair who played the duet to each other not be remembered? I understand one was Julius who later married Annie, a Bundaberg girl, and they went to New Zealand to live.

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