Proud O’Connell residents (from left) Chris Weinert, Nathan Smith and Len Smith.
Proud O’Connell residents (from left) Chris Weinert, Nathan Smith and Len Smith. Kara Irving

Properties snapped up in suburbs no-one has heard of

SUBURBS that Gladstone hasn't even heard of are putting the industrial town on the map.

Properties in the rural zoned suburb of O'Connell are quickly being snapped up, with some having an asking price of more than $1 million.

O'Connell residents have even had their mail redirected because the posties couldn't find their homes.

At the end of Glenlyon Rd near the Tondoon Botanical Gardens, the suburb is defined by one stretch of road.

The 2011 Census listed 237 residents living in the area, with most people married, born in Australia and working full-time in a trade or technician role.

Remax Gold Real Estate Agent Jock Gaughan has sold almost all the lots on Tree Tops Close, O'Connell, and said it was appealing to homebuyers.

"But it becomes confusing when people go to search for the suburb on realestate.com or Domain and they haven't heard of O'Connell and don't know where it is," he said.

While the property boom in O'Connell has been a saviour for real estate agents, it has been a struggle for residents.

Len Smith has been staying with his son Nathan Smith at their O'Connell property for four months and he said they still had problems with mail.

"People still look at it as a non-existent community," Len said. "We find our mail is returned to sender. We had to change all our documents to list the suburb as Gladstone, instead of O'Connell."

Two other unusual suburbs, Byellee and Hetherington, carry a part of Gladstone's history.

Historian Paulette Flint said Byellee was a pocket of land between the Calliope River and Don Young Drive, neighbouring Clinton, and was believed to be named after the Byellee aboriginal tribe.

While O'Connell and Byellee can be searched for on internet map services, the suburb of Hetherington no longer exists.

The last ode to Gladstone's first mayor Richard Hetherington lies in a street in West Gladstone, where the suburb used to be.


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