Things to do in Kingaroy are many and varied. The regional art gallery is set in a gorgeous old Art Deco Shire Council Chambers building and showcases local talent.
Kingaroy Observatory is a great place to stargaze, especially in autumn and spring when there’s less light pollution. Powerful telescopes help you explore star clusters, nebulas and planets in startling detail.
The History of Kingaroy Queensland
Indigenous Roots and Early Settlement
- Pre-Settlement: Long before European settlers arrived, the area now known as Kingaroy was inhabited by indigenous peoples, including the Wakka Wakka and neighbouring Aboriginal groups. They thrived in harmony with the land, utilizing its resources for sustenance and cultural practices.
- 1860s: European exploration and settlement began in the 1860s, with pastoralists and timber getters venturing into the region. This marked the beginning of the town’s transformation from a traditional Aboriginal landscape to a colonial settlement.
Rise of Agriculture and Industry
- 1910s: The early 20th century saw the establishment of the town as a major agricultural center, particularly for peanut cultivation. In 1913, the first peanut crop was planted, setting the stage for Kingaroy’s future as the “Peanut Capital of Australia.”
- 1920s: Kingaroy continued to flourish as the peanut industry expanded. The establishment of peanut processing plants and the introduction of modern farming techniques propelled the town’s economic growth.
- 1930s: The Great Depression posed challenges, but Kingaroy’s agricultural resilience allowed it to weather the storm. The peanut industry remained a cornerstone of the local economy.
Cultural and Historical Landmarks
- 1950s: The town’s rich history is reflected in landmarks like the Kingaroy Heritage Museum, also known as Pioneer Park. The museum showcases historical buildings, machinery, and artifacts that offer a glimpse into Kingaroy’s past.
- 1980s: Kingaroy’s role in aviation history was celebrated with the establishment of the Kingaroy Airport. The town’s connection to aviation pioneer Sir Charles Kingsford Smith is commemorated here.
- 2000s: Kingaroy continues to be a hub of agricultural innovation, embracing sustainable practices while maintaining its status as a peanut production leader.
- Present: The town’s heritage is celebrated through events like the Kingaroy BaconFest, which combines food, music, and entertainment in a vibrant community celebration.
Kingaroy Heritage Museum
A visit to a town known for its peanuts isn’t complete without a stop at the Kingaroy Heritage Museum, the peanut silos on Haly Street and stargazing at the Kingaroy Observatory. Located on the former site of the town’s first public hospital, the Heritage Museum offers an excellent introduction to the region under the theme ‘People, Power and Peanuts’. Agricultural machinery and peanut production is the focus, with prototypes of national significance, such as a bicycle-powered peanut thresher, displayed.
The town’s main landmark is the pair of peanut silos on Haly Street, a local icon and frequented photo opportunity for visitors to the area. A large roadside tourist sign points the way to this attraction, which was once used as a peanut store but now serves as an interpretive centre on the history of the region’s thriving peanut industry.
The nearby Dandabah Rail Trail is a scenic walk or cycle track that takes you to a series of picturesque homesteads, including the Taabinga Homestead. This property was listed on the Queensland Heritage Register in 1997 and features a period-accurate main house, stables and carpenter’s workshop, as well as a church and a windmill. You can also stay at Hillview, a collection of old cottages on 57 acres of farmland. Set among the Booie Ranges, each cottage has a woodburning stove, uninterrupted views and native bird song.
Kingsley Grove Estate
From the moment you drive through the gates at Kingsley Grove Estate, a combined vineyard and winery, you’re immersed in the wine-making process. The owners are dedicated to bringing the best out of their vines and making wines that express their unique location. It’s no wonder that their wines are recognised nationally and internationally for their quality.
You can also sample some of their wines at the cellar door. Whether it’s the sparkling Brut Rosé or the Chardonnay, there’s something to satisfy every palate.
In the afternoon, take in the sweeping views from the deck of the winery’s grand colonial homestead or sip a glass of their top drops at the bar. Then tuck into the restaurant’s hearty meals like roast pork belly and apple salad or a cheese platter.
For a taste of local colour, head up the street to the Kingaroy Heritage Museum. Here, you’ll be transported back in time as you walk through displays of agricultural machinery built by local inventors and architecture from the 1920s. There’s more local artwork on display across the road at the Kingaroy Regional Art Gallery.
Pottique Lavender Farm
A popular tourist attraction, the Pottique Lavender Farm is free to visit and boasts a large lavender field. The shop also sells a range of lavender products, such as oils and soap. The cafe serves Devonshire tea and delectable lavender scones. The best time to visit is May, June and July when the lavender is in bloom.
While Kingaroy’s most famous claim to fame is its peanut production, it’s also renowned as the former home of dubious ex-Queensland Premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, and has huge peanut silos dotted around town. The city’s heritage and arts precinct is centred on a museum that shines a light on the town’s early days. Expect lots of old machinery and a catalogue of period objects, including tools, household products and shop signs that take you back to an era of ingenuity and resourcefulness.
If a culinary adventure is more your thing, you can sample local wines and foods at the nearby Crane Wines Boutique Winery. Enjoy a glass or two on the front porch of the vineyard’s grand colonial homestead, as you watch the afternoon sun sink below the Booie Range. Another must-do activity is the Kingaroy Rail Trail. This long-distance track is a great way to discover the region at your own pace.
Kingaroy Art Gallery
The centrepiece of a heritage, arts and cultural precinct in the heart of town is the Kingaroy Art Gallery. This not-for-profit is the oldest public art space in the South Burnett, lauded for hosting exhibitions that break new ground as well as offering a diverse range of traditional and contemporary art forms.
The museum shines a light on the area’s past with exhibits like peanut-threshing machines, demonstrating the ingenuity of local farmers who devised their own solutions to the lack of dedicated agricultural machinery. Other highlights include a range of photographs, tools, household products and shop signs to give an intriguing glimpse into the region’s history.
If you love local craft, visit in winter for the gallery’s annual Winter Craft Festival. This showcases a huge variety of handmade goods, from woodwork and paper to pottery and silk painting. The gallery is also home to Shop 38, a sales space for local artists and craftspeople.
A short drive north of the city is the Goomeri Pumpkin Festival, held in May, when the town takes on a festive feel. Spectacular pumpkin sculptures adorn the streets and you can sample quirky treats like hickory-smoked or curry-tinged peanuts. You can also get up close and personal with the stars at the observatory, which offers sessions to view star clusters, nebulaes and the Milky Way in all its glory or Moon and Planet nights where you can see the Sun’s surface as never before.
The Kingaroy Observatory (formerly Maidenwell observatory) is Queensland’s largest self-funded stargazing attraction. This unique experience is best done during autumn and spring when the Milky Way is more visible due to reduced light pollution. Visit the observation deck and look through powerful telescopes to view nebulas, star clusters, distant galaxies and even planets in the Solar System. Throughout the night, an astronomer with more than 60 years of experience gives a running commentary on what you’re viewing. Alternatively, sit in the air-conditioned Star Theatre and see the real surface of the Sun projected onto a big screen.
If you want to make the most of your trip to the South Burnett, plan your visit to coincide with one of the town’s popular events. From jazz to country music and a wide variety of food festivals, there’s something for everyone in Kingaroy.
If you’re a meat lover, make sure to time your visit with Kingaroy Baconfest, a three day celebration of everything pork. Try quirky treats like bacon fries, choc-dipped bacon and more at this must-see culinary event. Kingaroy also hosts a range of sporting events and cultural activities throughout the year. Check the website for up-to-date details.
Kingaroy Peanut Silos
Kingaroy’s peanut-themed landmarks make it easy to see why the town is known as the ‘Peanut Capital of Australia’. You can’t walk more than a few metres without seeing peanut imagery, especially during the annual Peanut Festival.
If you are a history buff, check out the fascinating Kingaroy Heritage Museum, which occupies what was the town’s power house from 1925 to 1952. Here you’ll find displays of agricultural machinery that demonstrate the ingenuity and inventiveness of local farmers and tradespeople. For example, a farmer converted an American-made wheat thresher to work with peanuts in the 1920s.
Another local attraction is the huge, heritage-listed peanut silos on Haly Street. The large cement silos were built in 1948 and 1951 to hold increased harvests of the famous snack, as the quality of the crop improved over the decades. A dramatic fire in 1951 destroyed the original wooden silos, which were replaced with their current concrete counterparts.
Other notable heritage buildings in the area include St Michael and All Angels Church, Carroll Cottage and the Shire’s earliest council chambers. Kingaroy is also a great place for special interest shopping, with everything from antiques to the distinctive ochre mud-dyed shirts worn by the locals.
Mt Wooroolin Lookout
With limited light pollution and expert astronomer hosts, the Kingaroy Observatory will take you one step closer to the stars. The powerful telescopes will let you explore Mars, Jupiter and the rings of Saturn, as well as moon craters, binary stars and star clusters.
If you’re looking for a little more culture, you can check out the local art at the Kingaroy Regional Art Gallery, housed in a stunning Art Deco building. There’s also a range of events hosted at the gallery throughout the year, including an annual Children’s Book Festival and an Open Studio event.
You’ll find plenty to do in and around the town, too, with a number of parks and attractions. Earle Park is a beautiful formal park with roofed picnic tables and barbecues, and there’s also an impressive band rotunda at the War Memorial in the heart of the town.
The Rotary Park, on the other hand, is a quieter option, with a large covered picnic area and barbecue. There’s also a playground, coin-operated barbecues and disabled toilets. Just over four kilometres from the city centre is Mt Wooroolin Lookout, which offers fantastic views over the town and its surrounding farmland.
Best Places to Stay in Kingaroy Queensland
Nestled in the picturesque South Burnett region of Queensland, Australia, Kingaroy offers a unique blend of rural charm and modern amenities. Whether you’re seeking a relaxing getaway or an adventurous escape, the region boasts an array of accommodation options to cater to various preferences and budgets. From cozy bed-and-breakfasts to luxurious retreats, Kingaroy presents a warm and welcoming atmosphere for visitors to enjoy. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best places to stay in Kingaroy, promising a delightful experience for every traveler.
- PepperTree Cabins: For Nature Enthusiasts
Located in the heart of Kingaroy, PepperTree Cabins offer a tranquil escape surrounded by lush greenery. These charming self-contained cabins are perfect for nature enthusiasts and families. With modern amenities, fully equipped kitchens, and private decks, guests can unwind while enjoying stunning views of the nearby countryside. The property also features a barbecue area and a playground, making it an ideal choice for families.
- Lee Farm Stay Cottages and Farm Tours: A Rustic Retreat
Immerse yourself in the authentic rural lifestyle by staying at Lee Farm Stay Cottages. This rustic accommodation offers comfortable cottages with a touch of vintage charm. Guests can engage in farm activities, including animal feeding and farm tours, providing an interactive and educational experience for all ages. The serene surroundings and cozy accommodations make Lee Farm Stay a delightful choice for those seeking a break from city life.
- Ascot Lodge Motor Inn: Modern Comfort
Travelers looking for modern comfort and convenience will appreciate the Ascot Lodge Motor Inn. Centrally located in Kingaroy, this motor inn offers spacious rooms equipped with contemporary amenities. From flat-screen TVs to free Wi-Fi, the Ascot Lodge Motor Inn ensures a comfortable stay. Guests can also take advantage of the on-site restaurant, swimming pool, and conference facilities.
- Burke and Wills Motor Inn: A Touch of Luxury
If you’re searching for a touch of luxury, the Burke and Wills Motor Inn might be your ideal choice. With elegantly designed rooms, an inviting pool area, and an acclaimed on-site restaurant, this inn caters to those who appreciate refinement and excellent service. Its convenient location near the town’s attractions adds to its appeal, making it a favorite among both leisure and business travelers.
- Hillview Cottages: Tranquil Seclusion
For a secluded and tranquil experience, Hillview Cottages offer private and comfortable accommodations nestled amidst rolling hills and beautiful gardens. These self-contained cottages provide an opportunity to unwind in a peaceful setting. With options for couples and families, Hillview Cottages are perfect for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
- Room Motels Kingaroy: Contemporary and Stylish
Room Motels Kingaroy is known for its contemporary and stylish rooms, offering a blend of comfort and design. The spacious accommodations come with modern amenities and sleek interiors. This motel is located close to local attractions and is suitable for both short stays and longer visits. The friendly staff and convenient facilities make it a popular choice for travelers.
Best Places to Eat in Kingaroy Queensland
Nestled in the heart of the South Burnett region in Queensland, Australia, Kingaroy offers not only picturesque landscapes but also a diverse and vibrant culinary scene. From charming cafes serving freshly brewed coffee to restaurants offering delectable dishes crafted from locally sourced ingredients, Kingaroy has something to tantalize every palate. In this article, we’ll take a culinary journey through some of the best places to eat in Kingaroy, promising a delightful and memorable dining experience.
- The Peanut Van: A Kingaroy Icon
No visit to Kingaroy is complete without a stop at the renowned Peanut Van. As the peanut capital of Australia, Kingaroy proudly celebrates its peanut heritage, and the Peanut Van is a testament to this. Offering a variety of peanut products, from roasted and flavored peanuts to peanut brittle, this iconic establishment allows visitors to savor the unique flavors of the region. A trip to Kingaroy would be incomplete without indulging in these locally grown treats.
- The Copper Country Bar and Cafe: Rustic Charm and Flavor
Situated in a historic building, The Copper Country Bar and Cafe exudes rustic charm while serving up flavorful dishes. With a focus on using fresh local produce, the cafe offers a diverse menu that caters to various dietary preferences. From hearty breakfasts to gourmet burgers and succulent steaks, visitors can enjoy a satisfying meal in a cozy and welcoming atmosphere.
- Kingaroy Kitchen: Fusion of Flavors
Kingaroy Kitchen is known for its creative and contemporary approach to dining. This restaurant brings together a fusion of flavors, combining locally sourced ingredients with international influences. The menu boasts an array of dishes that appeal to both adventurous foodies and those seeking familiar favorites. The elegant ambiance and attention to detail make dining at Kingaroy Kitchen a memorable experience.
- Dustys Bar and BBQ: Southern-Inspired Comfort Food
If you’re craving authentic Southern-style barbecue, Dustys Bar and BBQ is the place to be. This establishment serves up generous portions of slow-cooked meats, complemented by a range of delicious sides and sauces. From ribs and pulled pork to brisket and smoked sausage, the menu captures the essence of comfort food done right. The casual and friendly atmosphere adds to the overall experience.
- Bunya Nut Cafe: Fresh and Wholesome
For those who appreciate fresh and wholesome dining, Bunya Nut Cafe offers a menu that emphasizes nutritious and flavorful choices. The cafe sources ingredients from local farmers and producers, creating dishes that showcase the region’s bounty. From nourishing salads to homemade pies, the menu reflects a commitment to quality and taste.
- Epicure Homewares & Cafe: A Culinary Haven
Epicure Homewares & Cafe is a haven for food enthusiasts who enjoy exploring unique flavors. The cafe features a menu inspired by global cuisines, offering a range of dishes that cater to diverse tastes. With a focus on using fresh and seasonal ingredients, visitors can expect a culinary journey that reflects the chef’s passion for gastronomy.
10 interesting facts about Kingaroy Queensland
- Peanut Capital of Australia: Kingaroy is often referred to as the “Peanut Capital of Australia” due to its significant peanut-growing industry. The rich red soil and ideal climate of the region make it a perfect location for cultivating high-quality peanuts.
- Birthplace of Australian Aviation: Kingaroy holds a special place in Australian aviation history as it was the birthplace of the famous aviator, Sir Charles Kingsford Smith. He made his first solo flight from Kingaroy in 1919.
- Bunya Mountains: The Bunya Mountains, located near Kingaroy, are home to the ancient bunya pines. These trees produce large edible cones that were a traditional food source for Aboriginal people and are still enjoyed by visitors today.
- Kingaroy Observatory: The Kingaroy Observatory offers stargazing experiences for both amateur and experienced astronomers. The area’s clear skies make it an excellent spot for observing the night sky and celestial events.
- Unique Wine Region: The South Burnett region, including Kingaroy, is known for its burgeoning wine industry. The cooler climate and diverse soil types allow for the production of a variety of wines, including chardonnay, shiraz, and verdelho.
- Pioneer Park Museum: The Kingaroy Heritage Museum, also known as Pioneer Park, provides insight into the area’s history with its collection of historical buildings, machinery, and artifacts. It’s a fascinating destination for those interested in the region’s past.
- Famous Poppies: Kingaroy’s red poppy fields are a sight to behold during the poppy flowering season. These vibrant fields not only add a splash of color to the landscape but also contribute to the pharmaceutical industry as poppies are used in the production of opiate-based medications.
- Art and Culture Hub: Kingaroy is home to various galleries and cultural centers that showcase the creative talents of local artists. The town’s vibrant arts scene is evident through exhibitions, workshops, and community events.
- Scenic Lookouts: Visitors to Kingaroy can enjoy stunning panoramic views from lookouts such as Mount Wooroolin and Apex Park Lookout. These vantage points offer picturesque vistas of the surrounding countryside.
- Tarong Power Station: The Tarong Power Station, located near Kingaroy, is one of the largest power stations in Queensland. It plays a significant role in providing electricity to the state and offers guided tours for those interested in learning about its operations.