Passenger records held in Brisbane – Fact sheet 190

Passenger records, such as passenger lists and passenger cards, can provide evidence of the arrival of a person in Australia and are therefore a valuable source of information for family historians and researchers.  Passenger lists are arranged by the date, name of the ship and the port of arrival or departure. Unless you know these details your search may be very time consuming.

Records held in Brisbane

Passenger lists

The National Archives office in Brisbane holds inwards and outwards passenger lists for all Queensland ports, with those for the port of Brisbane dating from as early as 1852. Details of the passenger lists held for all Queensland ports are listed in the table below. Note that lists may be available as originals or as microfilm copies. Lists that pre-date the Archives holdings for individual ports may be held by the Queensland State Archives. Prior to 1924, passenger lists also included a list of crew.

Registers of passenger lists

Registers of passenger lists shown in the table below can help you determine which passenger lists you are looking for. Registers show the names of the vessels, number of passengers, date of arrival or departure and the origin or destination of the ship.

Registers of passenger lists held in Brisbane

Collection references

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
SeriesRegister of inwards/outwards Asian passengers *1918–24J3047
SeriesRegister of passenger lists – outwards – Townsville1924–65J1501
SeriesRegister of passenger lists – inwards – Townsville1924–65J1502
ItemRegister of passenger lists outwards – Brisbane, volumes 1 (1924–36) and 2 (1936–47)1924–49BP159/28, volume 1
ItemRegister of passenger lists outwards – Brisbane, volumes 1 (1924–36) and 2 (1936–47)1924–49BP159/28, volume 2
ItemRegister of passenger lists inwards – Brisbane, volumes 1 (1924–36) and 2 (1936–47)1924–47BP159/29, volume 1
ItemRegister of passenger lists inwards – Brisbane, volumes 1 (1924–36) and 2 (1936–47)1924–47BP159/29, volume 2
SeriesRegister of ships passenger lists – inwards – Cairns1924–52BP273/3
SeriesRegister of ships passenger lists – outwards – Cairns1924–52BP273/4
SeriesRegister of ships passenger lists – inwards – Rockhampton1924–62BP358/2
SeriesRegister of ships passenger lists – outwards – Rockhampton1924–62BP358/3
ItemArrivals register – coloured persons arriving in Queensland ports, volumes 1 (1924–44) and 2 (1944–59)1924–59BP384/10, volume 1
ItemArrivals register – coloured persons arriving in Queensland ports, volumes 1 (1924–44) and 2 (1944–59)1924–59BP384/10, volume 2
ItemParticulars of coloured persons leaving the State of Queensland for parts beyond the Commonwealth, volumes 1 (1924–44) and 2 (1944–59)1924–59BP384/11, volume 1
ItemParticulars of coloured persons leaving the State of Queensland for parts beyond the Commonwealth, volumes 1 (1924–44) and 2 (1944–59)1924–59BP384/11, volume 2
SeriesRegister of passenger lists – inwards – Brisbane1947–65BP319/2
SeriesRegister of passenger lists – outwards – Brisbane1949–65BP319/1

* available as microfilm

Ships passenger lists for Queensland ports

Inwards passenger lists

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
SeriesBowen *1897–1963J723
SeriesBrisbane *1852–1964J715
SeriesBrisbane and other Queensland ports1965–74BP264/1
SeriesBundaberg *1948–50J733
SeriesCairns *1897–1964J725
SeriesGladstone *1924–64J717
SeriesMackay *1924–64J729
SeriesMaryborough *1929–50J731
SeriesRockhampton *1898–1962J727
SeriesRockhampton1966–70BP659/2
SeriesThursday Island *1924–64J719
SeriesTownsville *1895–1964J721
SeriesTownsville1963–70BP659/3
* available as microfilm

Outwards passenger lists

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
SeriesBowen1897–1963J724
SeriesBrisbane (lists for 1852–1911 are available as microfilm)1852–1964J716
SeriesBrisbane and other Queensland ports1965–75BP264/2
SeriesCairns1897–1964J726
SeriesGladstone1924–64J718
SeriesMackay1924–61J730
SeriesMaryborough1929–50J732
SeriesRockhampton1898–1964J728
SeriesThursday Island1924–64J720
SeriesTownsville1895–1964J722

Ships passenger lists for other Australian ports

The Brisbane office also holds microfilm copies of passenger lists for the following Australian ports in States other than Queensland.

Collection references

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
SeriesNSW – Newcastle – inwards1865–84C667
SeriesNT – Darwin – inwards1898–1934E1019
SeriesSA – Adelaide – inwards1941–64D5077
SeriesVic – Melbourne – inwards1924–64B4397

Related records held in Brisbane

The Brisbane office also holds the following records of arrivals to Queensland:

  • surface vessel passenger arrival cards for Queensland ports for 1948–50 (see BP26/1); and
  • nominal rolls of British migrants who arrived in Queensland under the Assisted Passage Scheme (also known as the Bring out a Migrant or Bring Out a Briton Scheme) for 1961–62 (see record series BP384/23).

Sources in other offices of the Archives

Further information on passenger lists held by the Archives is available in

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2014