If you happen to pass through Banana, Queensland, and you might wonder, with a name like that, where all the banana plantations are. But if you look around, you’ll be even further perplexed to discover you’re in the dusty heart of Australia’s cattle country.
Believe it or not, Banana is named for a bull. In the 1850s, before a town existed here and the area was just a series of squatting leaseholds and sheep stations, the region’s best working bullock was a yellow-colored beast named Banana.
Banana would lead bullock drays in transporting heavy materials and machinery, helping the local stockmen round up wild cattle into holding yards. So admired and respected was he that when he passed away, his body was buried in a nearby gully, which was named Banana Gully in his honor. In 1862, a fledgling township was established near the gully and took on the name Banana as well.
Upon entering Banana, visitors are greeted with a lovely little poem about the legendary longhorn: “In bygone days / of the bullock drays, / Banana led the team. / An enormous yellow bullock / who died beside a stream. / The years have passed ‘Banana’s Creek’ / tells of the bullock’s fame, / For a town grew up beside it / and BANANA is its name!”
Know Before You Go
The Banana Memorial is located at the Junction of the Leichardt and Dawson Highways, in the center of Banana, QLD.