Mungindi is a small rural town on the State border, at the point where the river boundary changes to a straight-line boundary running west. It is 110 km south of St George and 140 km west of Goondiwindi. Most of Mungindi is in New South Wales; by population about a quarter is in Queensland.
The Mungindi district was under pastoral occupation in the early 1840s. When the New South Wales Surveyor-General, Sir Thomas Mitchell, camped at the Barwon River near Mungindi on 8 December 1846 as he returned from his fourth expedition, he saw the footprints of stray cattle. He noted grassy plains, open forests and plains of richer soil watered by river flooding. (The Barwon River's headwaters are in the New England Tableland, and it joins the Darling River east of Bourke, New South Wales.)
The locality was named Mungindi in the 1860s and it is thought that the name derived from an Aboriginal expression denoting a place where good water is found by digging. Mungindi was on or near a mail route and a stock route, and there was a hotel (1863) on the New South Wales side. The Australian Handbook (1881) described Mungindi as one of the most important crossing places on the colonial border. Like Goondiwindi and Wallangarra, it had a customs house (Queensland side). A bridge over the Barwon had been built in 1876.
In the late 1880s pastoral stations were resumed for farm selections. Queensland's primary school No 7, Mungindi, opened in 1894. By 1900 there were three stores and the Post Office and Queensland Hotels, and many more facilities such as a hospital, show society, sports clubs and a newspaper on the New South Wales side. A New South Wales railway ran to Mungindi from 1914 to 1974.
The Queensland primary school closed in about 1970, and the New South Wales town has a State central school and a Catholic primary school.
Mungindi's census populations have been:
|Census Date||New South Wales||Queensland|
A history of Mungindi to 1988, Mungindi and District Historical Society Book Committee, 1988