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About the Burdekin

About the Burdekin

Population: Approx. 17,784

Area: Approx. 5000kmsq

Rainfall: Approx. 962mm/year

Major Land Use: Agriculture

Major Industry: Sugar

Other Major Industries: Horticulture, aquaculture, engineerring and tourism

Average Temperature:

  • Summer 22 to 32 degrees celcius
  • Winter 11 to 25 degrees celcius

Gross value of agricultural production: $500 million

Sugar Industry


The Burdekin is the largest sugar producing region in Australia with 80 000 hectares of land dedicated to sugar cane growing. The district produces in excess of eight million tonnes of sugar cane, from which about 1.3 million tonnes of raw sugar is produced at the regions four large mills. This represents approximately one quarter of Australias national production making the district one of the most prosperous rural communities in the country.

The Burdekin is famous for its wealth of water. Local farms are drought-proof because of the Burdekin River, with the huge reserves in the Burdekin Falls Dam and a massive underground aquifer which lies just 10 metres below the surface. This ‘liquid gold’ allows Burdekin farmers to produce the biggest and sweetest sugar cane in Australia and consequently has many opportunities available for future industry development. 

The harvesting season  from June to November is marked by one of the most spectacular tourist attractions, the cane fire, necessary to rid the crop of its leaves.  It is then harvested and transported by local rail networks to the mill where it is crushed and boiled until raw sugar crystals form.  Molasses and bagasse are by-products of the milling process.  Molasses is used as a stockfeed and to make ethanol.  Bagasse is used as a boiler fuel to produce steam, which is then converted into electricity to power the factories. This process is called co-generation.  The surplus electricity is exported into the Queensland power grid. 

Burdekin Lifestyle and living!

The Burdekin offers warm tropical sunshine, over 100km of unspoiled coastal beaches, spectacular wetlands and plenty of off road adventurous country. The Burdekin is a haven for business owners, skilled professionals and agricultural specialists seeking that elusive work-life balance.

The Burdekin region is made up of the main towns of Ayr and Home Hill which are just 12km apart linked by the landmark Burdekin River Bridge – the longest bridge of its type in Australia.  Our region has a wide variety of affordable housing options to meet everyone’s taste.  Whether it’s a bungalow by the beach or a family cottage in the country, enjoy the luxury of living within a few minutes’ drive of where you work.

Locals are spoiled for choice with many rivers, estuaries and beaches to provide an abundance of opportunities for the bird watching, fishing, and boating and water sport enthusiasts.

There is also plenty on offer for those who crave country roads and wide open spaces. Our country side provides a rich display of picture postcard scenery, old world charming townships and off road adventure.

Our small community offers a diverse selection of restaurants, cafes and food providers that offer a variety of delicious food.  Our diverse multicultural heritage is celebrated through gourmet food festivals and farmers markets that showcase the region’s local produce throughout the year. 

Cultural and sporting events are another regular feature.  The aboriginal culture is exhibited through the Gudjuda People’s Cultural Centre, The Juru Walk and the Giant Serpentine Sculpture at Plantation Park.  Other popular events include the Water Festival and Harvest Festival, Burdekin Barra Rush, Canfield’s Ashes Cricket Carnival, Burdekin Growers Race Day, Wilmar Hand Cane cutting Championships and Tastes of the Burdekin.

Whatever part of the region you live, there is always something to see and do.  Enjoy the sweet life in the tropics.


Burdekin Fishing