Wandoan, a rural town, is 270 km west of Gympie and 60 km north of Miles.
Explored by Ludwig Leichhardt in 1844, the Wandoan district's fist important pastoral station was Juandah (1853). The name 'Juandah' passed on to the town, but because of its similarity to Jundah (a town in the Barcoo Shire), it was changed to Wandoan in 1926.
Situated on a track between Miles and Taroom, Juandah was a convenient stopping place for travellers and teamsters. The Juandah Hotel existed before 1900, and in the next decade much of the Juandah estate was subdivided for closer-settlement. A town survey was made in 1902, among land noted for good soil, scattered brigalow and areas of prickly pear. In 1914 the railway from Miles to Juandah (Wandoan) was opened, three years after the establishment of a provisional school. Wandoan became a rail terminus with a hotel, butcher and storekeeper. The eradication of prickly pear by the 1930s opened further land for closer-settlement 20 or more miles from the town.
It was Queensland's second soldier settlement scheme from 1952-54 which greatly influenced the town's development. During 1956-59 Wandoan gained new shops, a church and a post office, garages and a picture theatre. The town's population remained at 500 or more until the mid-1980s, when it began to decline, falling to 400 by 2000 before picking up again with the mining boom.
Wandoan today serves outlying wheat and cattle industries. Dominated by grain silos, the town also has saleyards, a hotel-motel, local shops and tradespeople, bowling, golf and swimming venues, a hospital, a community centre, Catholic and Uniting churches and a combined primary-high school.
In 2011 the mining company Xstrata moved to purchase about 40,000 hectares of grazing land to build a coal mine amid fears of environmental impact and increased carbon emissions.
Wandoan's census populations have been:
Gwen Fox, Pioneers of the Taroom and Wandoan District, Taroom, Taroom Shire Council, 1959
Ian Woodside, Juandah: Wandoan, Toowoomba, Ian Woodside, 1997