The peanut silos in Haly Street are the town's tallest structures and most visible landmark.
|Elevation||441.9 m (1,450 ft)|
|LGA(s)||South Burnett Region|
|Federal Division(s)||Division of Maranoa|
Kingaroy // is an agricultural town in Queensland, Australia, approximately 210 kilometres (130 mi) or about 2½ hours drive north-west of the state capital Brisbane. The town is situated on the junction of the D'Aguilar and the Bunya Highways. At the 2006 census, Kingaroy had a population of 7,620, a significant increase from the 2001 census figure of 7,147.
The origin of the name Kingaroy is conjectural. It is usually claimed to be derived from the Wakka Wakka Aboriginal word for 'Red Ant'. The local Kingaroy Rugby League football team is known as "the Red Ants" and a Red Ant features on the old Kingaroy Shire coat of arms. However a Wakka Wakka Word List provides the following explanation: "Derived from 'king', a small black ant, and 'dhu'roi', meaning hungry. The name was suggested by a local Aboriginal helper of the surveyor Mr Hector Munro who surveyed the original grazing holding of this name on account of these ants being a pest at the survey camp". Problems with the ant theory are that it is difficult to find authentic documentation of the popular story and the story itself conflicts red ants with black ants. Another more probable theory, which is generally disliked and discouraged in the Kingaroy area, for the origin of the name Kingaroy is that it is connected with the name of the nearby Mount Kiangarow, the highest peak of the Bunya Mountains, and is simply a gentrification of the word kangaroo. The word kangaroo, and similar words, is of aboriginal origin. Many present-day place names throughout the Wide Bay Burnett region, possibly including places named after ants, derived their names from what local aboriginees associated with the place, for example the Bunya Mountains is associated with bunya trees. Whether Kingaroy used to be associated by aboriginees principally with ants or with kangaroos is open to debate. Naming by association tended to reflect what was of greatest significance to aboriginees at each locality.
Rural settlement of the area dates back to 1843 when one of the first selections was made at Burrandowan (west of Kingaroy) by squatter and explorer Henry Stuart Russell. Even through Russell was reputedly the first European to realise the potential of the South Burnett, it was Simon Scott of Taromeo (now Blackbutt) and the Haly brothers of Taabinga who brought the first flocks of sheep to the area in the late 1850s.
In 1878 the district where Kingaroy now stands was settled by the Markwell brothers. When the first resumptions were made from the enormous Taabinga holding, the brothers selected two adjoining areas and in 1883 these leases were converted to freehold and became known as the 'Kingaroy Paddock'. The corner of this paddock was located on what is now known as Haly Street, named after the brothers who settled at Taabinga Station about 12 kilometres (7 mi) south-west of present-day Kingaroy.
A small, prosperous village grew up around Taabinga in the 1890s but the arrival of the railway in 1904 led to a land explosion around Kingaroy and the development of Kingaroy as it now exists. Taabinga quickly declined into a ghost town by the end of World War I and today the original Taabinga Homestead and a few outbuildings are all that remain of it. The area opposite Kingaroy Airport is today known as "Taabinga Village" but is really only a suburb of Kingaroy. Kingaroy celebrated its Centenary in 2004.
The Royal Australian Air Force had a significant operational and training presence in the region during the Second World War, the first squadrons deploying to the town's airport about mid-1942. At least eight squadrons were based at RAAF Kingaroy then (viz. Nos. 1, 4, 5, 6, 15, 75, 92 and 93 Squadrons), together with No. 3 Initial Training School. Aircraft operated there by the RAAF included Avro Ansons, CAC Wirraways, DAP Beauforts, DH Mosquitos, Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawks and Bristol Beaufightters.
Kingaroy has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
- 2-6 Alford Street: St Michael and All Angels Church, Kingaroy
- 6 Edward Street: Carroll Cottage
- Haly Street: Kingaroy Shire Council Chambers (former)
- 117-131 Haly Street: Kingaroy Peanut Silos
- Kingaroy Road: Burrandowan Station Homestead
- 7 Old Taabinga Road: Taabinga Homestead
- South Burrandowan Road: Wylarah
- 67 William Street: Kingaroy Butter Factory (former)
Attractions and services
Kingaroy itself is the largest town in the South Burnett and the region's commercial centre, offering all the services, shopping facilities and many of the industries generally expected in much larger centres. The town has its own hotels, motels, caravan parks, bed and breakfasts and cabins; and a range of restaurants, fast food outlets and petrol stations (including 24-hour petrol stations). Unlike many towns of its size, Kingaroy has its own shopping mall that includes Woolworths, Big W, and other retailers. Kingaroy also has an aerodrome a few kilometres from the centre of town and is regularly served by major bus lines.
Kingaroy has the most cosmopolitan feel of any South Burnett township but it's still a relaxed, friendly and informal country town at heart. It has the typical low-humidity climate of all South Burnett townships and is surrounded by extensive (and very picturesque) farmlands interspersed with low rolling hills. The Booie Range, home to several wineries and cellar doors, lies immediately north-east of the town and the Bunya Mountains about 55 kilometres (34 mi) to the south-west. The township is situated in the middle of some spectacular scenery, and is popular for bushwalking.
The Central Business District of the township is dominated by the Peanut Company of Australia's peanut silos (a local landmark). The Information, Art, and Heritage Precinct is located directly opposite the peanut silos. The complex includes the Kingaroy Shire Art Gallery, Visitor Information Centre, Heritage Museum, and an interpretative arena which highlights local industries. The Heritage Precinct also includes a number of historic buildings ranging from Carroll's Cottage (the first building constructed in Kingaroy) through to the Carrollee Hotel and the Shire's earliest Council Chambers (built in 1913).
Kingaroy has a humid subtropical climate with warm to hot summers and cool winters. Daily maximum temperatures range from 30 °C (86 °F) in summer to 18 °C (64 °F) in winter. The highest temperature ever recorded in Kingaroy was 41.0 °C (105.8 °F) while the coldest was -6.7 °C (19.9 °F). Due to its elevation, Kingaroy often records some of the coldest temperatures in Queensland during winter, dropping below freezing an average of 14.3 times per year. The annual average rainfall in Kingaroy is 779.1 mm (30.7 in), with the majority of it falling during the summer months. On 27 January 2013, 230 mm (9.2 in) of rain fell in a single night due to the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Oswald, causing significant flooding in the town.
The original weather station at Kingaroy's Prince Street has been recording rainfall since 1905 and temperatures since 1947. However it closed in 2000 to make way for a new, more advanced weather station at the towns airport.
|Climate data for Kingaroy (Kingaroy Prince Street, 1947-2000)|
|Record high °C (°F)||41.0
|Average high °C (°F)||29.6
|Average low °C (°F)||17.7
|Record low °C (°F)||8.8
|Rainfall mm (inches)||114.4
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2mm)||9.7||9.2||8.6||5.9||5.8||5.4||5.3||4.4||4.7||6.8||7.6||9.1||82.5|
|Source: Bureau of Meteorology|
Industry and agriculture
Traditionally, Kingaroy has always been the centre of Australia's peanut and navy bean industries but since the early 1990s it has also developed into one of the twin hubs of the South Burnett's rapidly-expanding wine industry (the other hub is at Murgon, Redgate and Moffatdale, 55 kilometres (34 mi) to the north). Several wineries are located either in or very close to the town, along with the Booie Range Distillery which opened in 2001 — only the third distillery in Queensland.
Droughts and uncertainty surrounding the region's annual peanut crop led some farmers to diversify and grow grapes. Rich volcanic soil, hot dry summers and cold winters proved to be ideal conditions for wine growing. Quite a number of vineyards were established in the region, and the success of their wine enables the South Burnett region, which includes Kingaroy, to promote the area as a tourist destination. The success of this enterprise has been largely attributed to the scenery of the location, and has benefited the local economy.
Other than grapes, peanuts and navy beans, other crops commonly grown in the Kingaroy area are sorghum, wheat, corn, sunflowers, citrus fruits and duboisia, a kind of plant often used for pharmaceutical products.
Sports and culture
Kingaroy has a vibrant sporting, cultural and social life and is home to an art gallery and several local craft outlets as well as a range of well-maintained and attractive parklands. The town is home to a number of leading sports people including NRL players Chris Sandow and Chris McQueen Wallabies centre/fly-half Berrick Barnes, as well as former Australian cricket test and one day opening batter Matthew Hayden and Southern Stars women's cricket Australian representative bowler Holly Ferling. The town has two lookouts (at nearby Mt Wooroolin and Apex Park in Fisher Street) which provide striking panoramic views across the area. Kingaroy also has its own golf club, cricket club, and bowls club. Live entertainment is held regularly at the Returned Services League club as well as several central hotels and in Kingaroy Town Hall. A half-dozen cellardoors are located either in town of very close to it. It is also has a notable speedway track.
Kingaroy has a rich history with Australia's four Football codes. Rugby League is arguably the most popular sport in terms of having a following, which reflects the passionate Rugby League culture in the Wide Bay-Burnett region. Kingaroy has a Rugby League team that participates in the South Burnett competition, named the Kingaroy Red Ants. The town also has two Football (Soccer) teams, Gunners and Wests, that take part in the South Burnett's Football competition. Kingaroy is also home to the South Burnett Thrashers, a Rugby Union team that participates at B Grade level in the strong Darling Downs Rugby Union competition. In 2013, an AFL team, the South Burnett Saints, joined the Darling Downs competition. This is based in Kingaroy and plays at Lyle Vidler Oval. Kingaroy previously had junior and senior AFL teams in the Darling Downs AFL competition, with the Kingaroy Bulldogs senior men's side playing on and off from the early 1980s up until 2006, and the Kingaroy-Nanango Jets junior side playing up until 2009.
Major annual events include the Wine and Food In The Park Festival (held on the second Saturday in March); The Kingaroy Trail Ride held since 2009 at "Minmore" 36 km from Kingaroy on the Burrandowan road (May 2011); the Kingaroy Show (held each May); the Burrandowan Picnic Races (held at Burrandowan on the outskirts of the Shire, also each May); the week-long UAV Outback Challenge flying robot competition (held in September on alternate years) and the Christmas Carnival (each December).
There are many well-known people who can claim Kingaroy as their home town.
- Current deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Warren Truss
- Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen former Premier of Queensland and his wife former Flo Bjelke-Petersen
- Howard Government Cabinet Minister, Ian Macfarlane.
- David Jull long-serving Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives, representing the Division of Bowman, Queensland, from 1975–83 and Fadden, Queensland, from 1984–2007.
- Charles Adermann former minister for Primary Industry under the Menzies Government
- Former Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden
- Australian Rugby Union player Berrick Barnes
- Australian cricketer Carl Rackemann
- Australian cricketer Holly Ferling
- Australian Rugby League player Dave Brown
- Current National Rugby League player Chris Sandow
- Former Australian and current NRL star Willie Tonga, as well as his younger brother Esikeli Tonga (Titan's under 20's)
- Current National Rugby League Player Matt Ballin (Although he was born in Nanango, he was raised in Kingaroy).
- Karl Learmont from the Sydney-Based Industrial Music Duo Angelspit spent many of his adolescent years in Kingaroy.
- Deb Frecklington the Assistant Minister for Finance, Administration and Regulatory Reform and Member for Nanango.
- University of Queensland: Queensland Places: Kingaroy
- South Burnett Regional Council - Official site
- Kingaroy Wine & Food in the Park Festival
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Kingaroy (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2007-11-12.
- Macquarie Dictionary, Fourth Edition (2005). Melbourne, The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd. ISBN 1-876429-14-3
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Kingaroy (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2007-11-12.
- "Kingaroy: The Peanut Capital", South Burnett Tourism
- "Kingaroy", Sydney Morning Herald 29 January 2008.
- Wakka Wakka Jinda Aboriginal Word List compiled by Mavis Hawkins
- "St Michael and All Angels Church (entry 3969)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
- "Carroll Cottage (entry 16637)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
- "Kingaroy Shire Council Chambers (former) (entry 33398)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
- "Kingaroy Peanut Silos (entry 22)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
- "Burrandowan Station Homestead (entry 15423)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
- "Taabinga Homestead (entry 15422)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
- "Wylarah (entry 15421)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
- "Kingaroy Butter Factory (former) (entry 27)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
- "Kingaroy Prince Street". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
- "Staying afloat". South Burnett Times (APN). 27 January 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013.