Rollingstone, Queensland

Rollingstone is a town and coastal locality in the City of Townsville, Queensland, Australia.[2][3] As of the 2016 census, the population of Rollingstone was 125.[1]

Swimming in Rollingstone Creek, 1986
Coordinates19.0441°S 146.3911°E / -19.0441; 146.3911
Population125 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density2.962/km2 (7.67/sq mi)
Area42.2 km2 (16.3 sq mi)
LGA(s)City of Townsville
State electorate(s)Hinchinbrook
Federal Division(s)Kennedy
Localities around Rollingstone:
Crystal Creek Mutarnee Coral Sea
Crystal Creek Rollingstone Balgal Beach
Crystal Creek Clemant Clemant


Rollingstone is a semi-rural/residential area approximately 54 kilometres (34 mi) north of Townsville, Queensland, Australia, and 57 kilometres (35 mi) south of Ingham, Queensland. The locality is roughly shaped like an hourglass with the town at the narrow centre area.[4]

Rollingston Creek flows to the south and east of the town and into the Coral Sea and forms, in part, the boundary between Rollingstone and neighbouring Balgal Beach.[4]

The Bruce Highway traverses Rollingstone from the south-east to the north, but deviates slightly to the south of the town. The North Coast railway line runs roughly parallel to the highway but to the north and passes through the town, which was served by the Rollingstone railway station (now closed).[4][5]


Settled in 1883 by John Lambert, the district was originally a pastoral lease known as Armidale, extending from Bluewater Creek in the south to Clerk Creek (later known as Ollera Creek) in the north.[6]

In 1906, the Armidale Hotel opened along the stagecoach route between Townsville and Ingham.[7]

When the North Coast railway opened through Rollingstone in 1915, the railway station was to serve as a post office. However concern over possible confusion with Armidale in New South Wales resulted in the town and railway station being renamed Rollingstone after the creek, which is believed to be named for the round shape of the rocks found in the creek bed. The hotel was renamed the Rollingstone Hotel.[7][8][9]

Rollingstone State School opened on 4 September 1916 with 28 students on land donated by the hotel owners, John and Isabella Fitzpatrick.[7][10]

The opening of the railway opened up the beaches north of Townsville for recreational use. The beach near Rollingstone just south of the mouth of Rollingstone Creek was surveyed for a town in 1947 and named Balgal with town land allotments being sold in 1948 onwards (this area is now a separate suburb called Balgal Beach).[11][12][13]


Located alongside the Bruce Highway, facilities in Rollingstone include a state primary school,[14] a service station, general store, hotel and caravan park.[15] Rollingstone is a popular location for recreational activities such as camping, picnicking and swimming at Bushy Park along Rollingstone Creek and it is in close proximity to Balgal Beach, popular for its fishing and patrolled beachside swimming area.

Rollingstone State School is a primary (P-6) school for boys and girls operated by the Queensland Government on Fred Williams Drive. In 2016, the school had an enrolment of 89 students with 6 teachers (5 full-time equivalent) and 5 non-teaching staff (4 full-time equivalent).[16]

The Townsville City Council operate a mobile library service which visits the Community Centre at Rollingstone every second Wednesday morning.[17]


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Rollingstone (SSC)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  2. "Rollingstone – town in City of Townsville (entry 28955)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  3. "Rollingstone – locality in City of Townsville (entry 44633)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  4. "Queensland Globe". State of Queensland. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  5. "Townsville Community Profiles: Division 1" (PDF). Townsville City Council. March 2016. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 October 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  6. Roads Out Of Townsville, North Queensland, accessed 1 November 2010.
  7. Walsh, Alison (14 October 2017). "Your Town: Rollingstone". The Courier-Mail.
  8. Balgal Beach, accessed 1 November 2010.
  9. "Hinchinbrook Fact File". Ingham Library. Archived from the original on 21 March 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  10. Queensland Family History Society (2010), Queensland schools past and present (Version 1.01 ed.), Queensland Family History Society, ISBN 978-1-921171-26-0
  11. "Balgal – town in City of Townsville (entry 1356)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  12. "Balgal Beach". Queensland Places. Centre for the Government of Queensland, University of Queensland. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  13. "Advertising". Townsville Daily Bulletin. LXIX. Queensland, Australia. 8 April 1948. p. 5. Retrieved 15 October 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  14. Rollingstone State School Archived 6 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 1 November 2010.
  15. Thuringowa's Northern Beaches Archived 20 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 1 November 2010.
  16. "Annual Report 2016" (PDF). Rollingstone State School. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 October 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  17. "Mobile Library Service" (PDF). Townsville City Council. Retrieved 29 January 2018.

Further reading

  • Vidonja Balanzategui, Bianka; Thuringowa (Qld.). Council; Queensland. Environmental Protection Agency (2003), Thirty-three miles to Rollingstone : a short history of Rollingstone and Balgal, City of Thuringowa, ISBN 978-0-9577305-7-1
  • O'Connor, Jack (1984), In the bush at Rollingstone, J.A. O'Connor, ISBN 978-0-9591445-0-5