Towns in Australia

Exploring Australia, town by town

Tin Can Bay QLD

Tin Can Bay

Postcode: 4580

Tin Can Bay is a town in south east Queensland, Australia. The seaside town is located on a deep but narrow sheltered inlet in the Cooloola Shire Local Government Area, 218 kilometres north of the state capital, Brisbane. At the 2001 census, Tin Can Bay had a population of 1,968.

It is suggested that the town’s name derives from the indigenous word, “Tuncanbar”, thought to refer to the dugongs that frequent the inlet. European settlement began in the 1870s as the point where logs would be floated to the timber mills at Maryborough. Tin Can Bay later became, and still remains, an important fishing port, with a focus on prawns as well as recreational fishing.

Tin Can Bay is the nearest town to the Australian Army’s Wide Bay Training Area and a vehicular ferry operates at nearby Inskip Point providing access to Fraser Island.

Just 30 minutes or so by car south-east of Gympie, the town of Tin Can Bay fronts the beautiful, tranquil bay of the same name, where dolphins lie in wait to catch the bow waves of passing cruisers and yachts. If you are boatless, you can join the sailors plying the uncrowded waterways by hiring a houseboat at the local marina which offers visiting craft fully sheltered, serviced berths.

Whichever legend you favour, the unusual name of Tin Can Bay stems from the local Aboriginal terms for a native mangrove species (tinchin or tidhin), for dugong or plenty of tucker (tuncun) or for a large-leafed vine which once grew prolifically on the beaches (tinken).