Woodgate, a coastal town, is 35 km south-east of Bundaberg.
Woodgate was first named Ascot by Charles West, the proprietor of a coach service between Bundaberg and Maryborough. It was renamed Westgate, but changed to Woodgate after Thomas Wood, an early resident.
Woodgate was a coastal watering place for residents of Childers, the surrounding Isis Shire and Bundaberg. Allotments about 300 metres deep back from the beach were roughly subdivided, providing flexible access for buggies through the sandy soils and with space for animals to graze. There was a short-lived school until 1922 for half a dozen children, and an angling club was formed in 1936. Swimming enclosures were built and in 1939 joint action between the shire and Bundaberg led to the formation of the Woodgate Life Saving Club.
Much of the landscape is flat to undulating wallum, and in 1948 the Woodgate State Forest was reserved and harvested until 1970. It was gazetted as a national park in 1974. Comprising 5500 ha, it adjoins the town and extends to the Burrum River inlet. Kangaroos occasionally reach invasive proportions in the town.
Woodgate changed from a casual holiday spot to a town in the 1970s. In rapid progression there were a bowling club (1973), a town plan (1973) and a community hall transferred from Isis Central Mill (1974). Water had been obtained from wells and securing a central reticulated system proved difficult. Woodgate has 16 km of sandy beach. Development was vigorous during the 2000s. Shoreline apartments were a step-up from previous standards. Town sewerage was installed in 2005, and the Isis shire brought in a foreshore management plan.
Woodgate has a large community centre (replacing the hall burnt down in 1991), a hotel-motel, a tourist park and other holiday accommodation, local shops, a bowling club and a progress association. Woodgate's census populations have been:
Many houses are for holiday and weekend use. At the 2011 census the median age of Woodgate residents was 61, compared with 37 for Australia.
A History of Goodwood and Woodgate, Queensland, s.n., 1981
B.W O'Neill, Taming the Isis, Childrers, Isis Shire Council, 1987