The historic Canungra Hotel
|Population||746 (2011 census)|
|LGA(s)||Scenic Rim Region|
Canungra // is a small rural township in the Scenic Rim Region local government area of South East Queensland, Australia. Its economy depends on tourism, being a popular destination for short drives from the Gold Coast and Brisbane. Canungra, also called the "Valley of the Owls", is situated in the Gold Coast hinterland, 35 kilometres (22 mi) west of the Gold Coast and 90 kilometres (56 mi) south of Brisbane. At the 2011 census, Canungra had a population of 746.
One of the origin of the town's name comes from the Aboriginal word for small owls, "Caningera". The most notable owl found in the area is the Southern Boobook Owl, which appears in various logos & symbols associated with Canungra. In 2005, the local Post Office released a special limited-release frank featuring Canungra & the Boobook Owl. However the word Cunungra comes from the Yugambeh word gungunga meaning "a long flat or clearing".
Residents and business in Canungra get their water supply from Canungra Creek, a tributary of Albert River. The slopes around Canungra are steep and forested with some cleared farmlands and rural homes in the flatter valley areas.
Canungra owes its existence to the timber industry and once boasted one of the largest stands of timber in the colony. The father of Romeo Lahey owned one of Queensland's largest sawmills at Canungra. By the 1940s most of the timber had been cut and sawmills were closing. The historic Laheys Tramway Tunnel is the only remnant of the past sawmilling activities in the area. Following this logging era came beef cattle and dairying.
Canungra has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
- 13-15 Appel Street: Former Canungra Ambulance Station 
- 31 Appel Street: Uniting Church 
- 1-3 Christie Street: Canungra War Memorial 
- Darlington Range Road: Lahey's Canungra Tramway Tunnel
- 10–26 Finch Road: Lahey's Canungra Sawmill Complex
- 15-21 Kidston Street: St Luke’s Anglican Church 
- 33-41 Kidston Street: Canungra Police Station Reserve 
- 51-57 Kidston Street: St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Church 
- Showground Road: Canungra Sports and Recreation Ground (entry gates) 
The nearby locality of Witheren is the location of a large military establishment called the Kokoda Barracks within the Canungra Military Area, which includes the Land Warfare Centre. It was established during World War II and revived in 1954 to train personnel for the South East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) commitment in Malaya and on through to the end of the Vietnam War. The base provides a substantial permanent resident population as well as an ever-changing transient population due to the extensive ongoing training courses on offer at the base.
The town is home to a small but growing wine industry.
Canungra is nestled in the middle of the three major tourist destination, and is the gateway to the Gold Coast hinterland. Mount Tamborine, Lamington National Park, O'Reilly's Guesthouse and Binna Burra. The township is also a meeting place for motor bike club rides, hanggliders, paragliders, birdwatchers and bushwalkers who visit the area annually to take advantage of what the Canungra Valley has to offer. A rodeo is organised each year in June.
Notable former residents
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Canungra (Urban centre/Locality". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
- Macquarie Dictionary, Fourth Edition (2005). Melbourne, The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd. ISBN 1-876429-14-3
- Roberts, Beryl (1991). Stories of the Southside. Archerfield, Queensland: Aussie Books. p. 57. ISBN 0-947336-01-X.
- "South-East Queensland Placenames". State Library of Queensland.
- Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
- Hutton, Drew; Libby Connors (1999). History of the Australian Environment Movement. Cambridge University Press. p. 33. ISBN 052145686X. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
- Queensland Environmental Protection Agency (2000). Heritage Trails of the Great South East. State of Queensland. p. 16. ISBN 0-7345-1008-X.
- The Canungra and Pine Creek Logging Tramway Burke, David Australia Railway Historical Society Bulletin, May/June 1950,pp8-10/24-25
- The Canungra Branch Milne, Rod Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, January 1993 pp12-19
- "THE FORESTRY PROBLEM.". The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 – 1933) (Qld.: National Library of Australia). 19 June 1922. p. 7. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
- "Fire Destroys School of Arts.". The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1933 – 1954) (Brisbane, Qld.: National Library of Australia). 4 March 1946. p. 3. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
- "Canungra War Memorial". Queensland War Memorial Register. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
- "Local Heritage Register". Scenic Rim Regional Council. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
- "Lahey's Canungra Tramway Tunnel (entry 19652)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
- "Lahey's Canungra Sawmill Complex (entry 30538)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
- "Canungra". Scenic Rim Regional Council. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
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