Southeast Queensland is beautiful. When you drive through Southeast Queensland you are struck by the lush green rolling hills, the wildlife, quaint small towns, and the true Australian bush. A part from the incredible scenery, Southeast Queensland has a rich and diverse history.
The South Burnett is located about 3 hours northwest of Brisbane. Forests, farmland, creeks and beautiful hilly country is characteristic of the region.
I grew up in this area and as such it holds a special place in my heart. Whenever I smell the fresh air, see the rolling hills and stare into that shining sunset, I feel immediately at ease knowing that I have come home. There is so much to experience here beyond the norm, and it has so much more to offer than most would think. Especially those who live here. Many people take this beautiful land for granted because they do not know how lucky they are to live in such a beautiful part of the country.
The area is filled with cultural and natural heritage attractions, as well as a ton of places to try the local food. You can spend your weekend camping and fishing, or attend one of the many local markets, or you can time your visit to enjoy one of the popular events held here.
The towns of Blackbutt, Yarraman, Nanango, Kingaroy, Wondai, Murgon, Kilkivan, Cooyar, and Proston, as well as the Bunya Mountains, Boondooma Dam, and Lake Barambah, are all a part of the South Burnett. These places boast a lot of history, including some of the oldest towns in Queensland.
Located on the D’Aguilar Highway, Blackbutt is around 160km northwest of QLD’s state capital, Brisbane. European settlement began here in 1842 with Taromeo.
Nanango is the fourth oldest town in QLD, first settled in 1847. It is 210 km northwest of Brisbane and sits at the junction of the D’Aguilar and Burnett Highways. This area was originally home to the aboriginal language group Wakka Wakka, and was on the road to the Bunya Nut Festival at the Bunya Mountains. The word Nanango comes from the Wakka Wakka word “Nunangi” meaning “large watering hole”.
Kingaroy is known as the Peanut Capital of Australia. It is on the Bunya and D’Aguilar Highways about 3 and a half hours northwest of Brisbane. Settlement of the area dates back to 1843 when squatter and explorer Henry Stuart Russell made one of the first selections of land at Burrandowan (west of Kingaroy). Simon Scott of Taromeo (now Blackbutt) and the Haly brothers of Taabinga were, however, the first to bring flocks of sheep to the area in the late 1850s. In 1878, the Markwell brothers settled the district now known as Kingaroy. When Taabinga holding first became available, the brothers selected two adjoining areas and in 1883 their leases were converted to freehold. This area was then known as the ‘Kingaroy Paddock’. The main street of Kingaroy, Haly Street, was the corner of this paddock. Railway arrived in 1904 which led to an expansion of land around Kingaroy and the development of Kingaroy itself. The original Taabinga Homestead and a few outbuildings are all that remains of Taabinga.
The RAAF also used this area as a significant working and training centre during WW2. A minimum of 8 squadrons were based at RAAF Kingaroy as well as the No. 3 Training School. Avro Ansons, CAC Wirraways, DAP Beauforts, DH Mosquitos, Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawks and Bristol Beaufighters were some of the aircraft based at RAAF Kingaroy.
It was also the first region to be put on Level 7 water restrictions, in 2007.
Located on the Bunya Highway 250km northwest of Brisbane is Wondai. Wondai is named after the local aboriginal word meaning ‘dingo’ or ‘wild dog’. Settlement was in the 1850s and one of the most notable places is the heritage listed Boondooma Homestead along Mundubbera-Durong Road.
Barambah Station was once one of the largest cattle stations in the region. It was first settled in 1843 by JS Ferriter and Edmund Uhr. The early settlers of Murgon endured the same fate as most of the other stations that were new in the South Burnett region. As well as having difficulty maintaining labour with workers, the aboriginal people took a toll on the stock of Barambah Station for survival.The closest medical facility was Brisbane until 1859 when a hospital was built-in Maryborough. Until that time injuries and illness were treated with local remedies. The Cherbourg aboriginal settlement was created around 1900, to which aboriginal people were being sent from the entire East Coast of Australia. The wide main street of Murgon today, was constructed to accommodate the early bullock teams which were carting timber to and from the coastal regions
Kilkivan is on the Wide Bay Highway around 50km west of Gympie. Kilkivan has historical links to old coach and stock routes and is one of the only towns on the Bicentennial National Trail. The heritage listed Mount Clara chimney is thought to be the oldest surviving mining industry chimney in QLD and one of the first built. It is located 13km outside of Kilkivan and is accessible for visitors.
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