Drayton St, the main street of Nanango
|Elevation||355.0 m (1,165 ft)|
|LGA(s)||South Burnett Region|
Nanango // is a town in the South Burnett region of Queensland, Australia. It is the fourth oldest town in Queensland. At the 2006 census, Nanango had a population of 3,083. It is situated 210 kilometres (130 mi) north-west of the state capital, Brisbane. Nanango sits at the junction of the D'Aguilar and Burnett Highways.
The original inhabitants of the area were the indigenous people belonging to the Wakka Wakka (or Waka Waka) people. The area was used as a gateway to the bunya nut festivals, where Aboriginal people would travel from far as far away as the Clarence River in northern New South Wales and the Maranoa River to feast on bunya nuts from the bunya trees.
The area around Nanango was first settled by Europeans in 1847 by John Borthwick and William Oliver from Ipswich taking up pastures for sheep farming. Oliver selected an area of more than 500 km² that comprised four blocks - Coolabunia, Booie, Broadwater and Nanango.
The first commercial establishment at the present site of Nanango township was Goode's Inn, founded by prospector Jacob Goode. The inn served travellers journeying from Brisbane and Limestone (now known as Ipswich) and became the meeting place for early residents of Taromeo, Tarong and Nanango stations. The town of Nanango quickly developed around it. Goode's original rough slab structure met the licensing conditions as his first license for the “Burnett Hotel situated at Barambah Creek” was given at a special licensing meeting on 26 April 1849.
The name Nanango has evolved from the Wakka Wakka word "Nunangi". There is dispute over the origins of the name Nanango- the word means "large watering hole" or but was also the name of a local aboriginal leader at the time of settlement. The original settlement was called "Noogoonida" by the aborigines, meaning "place where the waters gather together".
Beef, dairy and timber (in particular the valuable red cedar) were the primary early industries in the area. The discovery of gold at the Seven Mile Diggings near Nanango in 1867 precipitated a gold rush, and consequently a local population boom, however the gold deposits were found to be meagre. At one time the population included 700 miners, many of whom were Chinese. A second population boom occurred when the Brisbane Valley railway line was extended to Yarraman in 1911. Nanango became the terminus of a branch off the South Burnett railway line at Kingaroy on 13 November 1911. The 22.5 km (14 mile) missing rail link between Nanango and Yarraman, although planned was never built. After World War I, however, growth levelled off until the early 1970s when the development of the Tarong Power Station led to a third population explosion. McCauley Weir was used as the town's water supply until three additional bores were drilled at the confluence of Barkers Creek and Meandu Creek.
Nanango has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
Nanango's principal industries are power generation and coal mining, agriculture, beef and pork production, dairying and milk processing, timber growing and milling, small crops, natural medicine, art and craftwork and tourism.
Nanango has two primary schools being Nanango State Primary situated near Barkers creek and a Catholic school called St. Patricks. It also has the Nanango State High School which was established in 1982,and is set over 35 acres of land. The State High School, which has over 500 students and a special education unit (SEU), was previously situated on the same land as Nanango State Primary School.
Nanango also has a vigorous cultural and sporting life and is host to several potteries, Art Gallery and many craft outlets. The town also has many clubs and a range of sporting facilities including an RSL, bike, darts, golf, lawn bowling and archery clubs. There are 13 well-maintained parklands in the Shire which naturalists believe are home to 250 different bird species.
Located approximately 200 km away from Brisbane, Nanango attracts day and weekend trippers from South East Queensland. Tourists also travel through the town on their way between Rockhampton in the north and Sydney/Melbourne in the south. The CBD features chainsaw sculptures and murals which reflect the town's historical connections with timber-felling, farming and mining.
A great deal of Nanango's colourful history is preserved in its buildings - especially Ringsfield House, a restored circa 1908 Queenslander developed by architect Robin Dods and now the headquarters of the Nanango Historical Society. Unfortunately a number of fires throughout history have ravaged the CBD of the town, especially the fire of 1940 which destroyed all of the shops on the southern side of Drayton Street from Fitzroy to Henry Street. This has led the CBD to have a "1950s feel" due to the architecture of the time. One building that escaped the ravages of fire was "Nobby's Corner", an example of an old-fashioned corner store with wide verandahs.
Nanango serves as a gateway for exploration of nearby towns. Day trips from the town include the Grapes and Gourmets Drive, Bunya Mountains, Coomba Falls and fossicking at Seven Mile Diggings. The "Great Bunya Drive" was created in 2006 and passes through the township and other regional attractions.
The Nanango Country Markets are featured on the 1st Saturday of every month and are widely recognised as the largest rural markets in SE Queensland. They have on average over 400 stalls, and reportedly in December 2013 had over 800 stalls.
Nanango has a range of accommodation for tourists, including caravan parks and motels.
Nanango has a number of live entertainment venues which regularly host performances by local theatre and musical groups. The Lee Park race track - not far south of the CBD - hosts around 8 meetings each year.
Major annual events include the international Criterium Bike Race (held in Nanango's CBD in February); the Nanango Show (held at the Nanango Showgrounds in April); Nanango Medieval Fest (forth Saturday in August); Nanango Arts Fest (held over a week in October); the Nanango Country Music Muster (held at the Showgrounds in September); the week-long Mardi Gras (in October), and the Christmas Carnival (in December).
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Nanango (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2008-03-27.
- Macquarie Dictionary, Fourth Edition (2005). Melbourne, The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd. ISBN 1-876429-14-3
- Whistlestop wines
- Rails to Nanango Milne, Rod Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, May, 1993 pp116-131
- "Nanango Butter Factory Building (entry 19647)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
- "Nanango Court House (entry 16332)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
- South Burnett Holidays
Media related to Nanango, Queensland at Wikimedia Commons
- University of Queensland: Queensland Places:Nanango
- Sydney Morning Herald travel article, 8 February 2004
- Queensland Place Names