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Calen, Queensland facts for kids

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Rotating cloud at Calen near Mackay, Australia - panoramio (1).jpg
Rotating cloud at Calen
Calen is located in Queensland
Location in Queensland
Population 390 (2016 census)
 • Density 5.42/km2 (14.0/sq mi)
Postcode(s) 4798
Area 71.9 km2 (27.8 sq mi)
Time zone AEST (UTC+10:00)
LGA(s) Mackay Region
State electorate(s) Whitsunday
Federal Division(s) Dawson
Localities around Calen:
Yalboroo Pindi Pindi St Helens Beach
Eungella Hinterland Calen Coral Sea
Mount Charlton Mount Pelion Mount Ossa

Calen is a rural town and coastal locality in the Mackay Region, Queensland, Australia. In the 2016 census the locality of Calen had a population of 390 people.


The locality of Calen is loosely bounded by One Mile Creek to the south and Blackrock Creek to the north. The land is mostly flat and used for sugar cane farming, apart from some undeveloped mountains across the western boundary of the locality and some small undeveloped hill land in the east.

The Bruce Highway passes from the south-east to the north-west of the locality. The North Coast railway line runs immediately north and parallel to the highway.

The town of Calen is located on the south-eastern of the locality with the highway and railway passing through it. The Calen railway station is located in the town.

A second town of Kolijo is located on the south-eastern edge of the locality, again with the highway and railway passing through it. Calen and Kolijo are separated by St Helens Creek, which might explain the development of two towns less than 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) apart.

A neighbourhood called Moondaba exists at the north-western edge of the locality along the highway and railway line. It takes its name from the former Moondaba railway station and is reportedly an Aboriginal word meaning place of snakes. Moondaba is very close to the town of Pindi Pindi to the north, but are separated by the Blackrock Creek.

The locality of Calen has a network of privately operated tramway lines for transporting sugar cane to the sugar mill.


The town of Kolijo takes its name from the former Kolijo railway station which was named on 9 March 1923 by the Queensland Railways Department, reported an Aboriginal word, language and dialect not recorded, meaning possum.

The town of Calen takes its name from the Calen railway station which was named on 8 February 1924 by the Queensland Railway Department, reportedly being an Aboriginal name, language and dialect unknown, indicating cloud.

Calen State School opened on 24 February 1925 under head teacher Honoria Mary Doherty. In 1963 it expanded to offering secondary schooling (8-10). In 1991 it further expanded to offer secondary schools (11-12). On 13 December 2003, it was renamed Calen District State College.

Calen Post Office opened by 1933.

At the 2006 census, Calen had a population of 289.


Calen District State College is a government primary and secondary (Prep-12) school for boys and girls at 38 McIntyre Street (20°53′57″S 148°46′13″E / 20.8993°S 148.7704°E / -20.8993; 148.7704 (Calen District State College)). In 2018, the school had an enrolment of 195 students with 22 teachers (18 full-time equivalent) and 20 non-teaching staff (12 full-time equivalent). It include a special education program.

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