Customs House


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website and the archival collection may contain images or names of deceased persons in photographs, file or printed material.

Material drawn from the Mackay Regional Council Library Service, National Archives of Australian and other sources may contain terms that reflect the original authors' views, or those of the period in which the item was written or recorded, but which may not be considered appropriate today. These views are not necessarily the views of the Dean Williamson Dental or it's team. While information may not reflect current understanding, it is provided in historical context.

DWD_Mackay Customs House Floor Plan.jpeg

Item 6678169 National Archives of Australian 

A New Direction for Mackay

The Mackay Customs House was designed by district architect, John Smith Murdoch. The building was purpose built in 1902 on the site of the original Mackay Customs House built in 1865.

The cost of the build was £3797.

It was at the "head of navigation" point in the Pioneer River and designed to deliver customs and quarantine control for the river port. 

Constructed in the first years of the new commonwealth, the building is of an architectural design often termed "Federation". 

Federation buildings sought to create an identity for the new nation of Australia. 

Today, the Mackay Customs House is one of just a few surviving public buildings built in that style. 

DWD_Mackay Customs House 1908

Item PC0488 Centre for the Government of Queensland at the University of Queensland

DWD_The Bond Store_washed.jpg

Explore Property Commercial, Mark Fitz Photography

The Bond Store

The Bond Store - an essential part of a functioning customs office - was constructed on the south-eastern corner of the site in 1935. 


It was built in a style reflecting the detail of the Customs House. It remains in service as commercial offices today, occupied by Lifestyle Finance. 


These two buildings are now amongst the last remaining links to the original river port. The opening of the Outer Harbor in 1939 saw a predictable movement of all port related services out of River Street. 

DWD_Old Forgan Bridge Mackay.jpg
DWD_Sydney Street after the 1918 Cyclone.jpg

 Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia

Celebrating Mackay's Heritage

Most of Mackay's early buildings were destroyed in the 1918 cyclone, but the Customs House survived in good condition. It is another reason why this building is such a significant structure in our city's history. 

The Mackay Customs House was entered into the Queensland State Heritage Register on the 7th February 2005. 

Extensive internal renovations and new bathroom amenities were completed in 2006 leading the Mackay City Council to honour Alman Partners with a City Heritage Award for the restoration. 

DWD_Customs House Building 1909.jpg

The Future

Dean Williamson Dental is honoured to be the new custodians of the Mackay Customs House. 

We look forward to taking care of one of Mackay's most beautiful and iconic buildings for many years to come. 

Nagative No: 162989, Brisbane John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland