Kalbar, Queensland

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Kalbar Community Baptist Church.jpg
Kalbar Community Baptist Church
Kalbar is located in Queensland
Coordinates27°56′31″S 152°37′24″E / 27.9419°S 152.6233°E / -27.9419; 152.6233 (Kalbar (town centre))Coordinates: 27°56′31″S 152°37′24″E / 27.9419°S 152.6233°E / -27.9419; 152.6233 (Kalbar (town centre))
Population1,093 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density34.48/km2 (89.30/sq mi)
Area31.7 km2 (12.2 sq mi)
Time zoneAEST (UTC+10:00)
LGA(s)Scenic Rim Region
State electorate(s)Scenic Rim
Federal Division(s)Wright
Localities around Kalbar:
Silverdale Kents Lagoon Obum Obum
Frazerview Kalbar Teviotville
Fassifern Fassifern Valley Templin

Kalbar (formerly Engelsburg / Engelsberg) is a rural town and locality in the Scenic Rim Region, Queensland, Australia.[2][3] In the 2016 census, Kalbar had a population of 1,093 people.[1]


Kalbar is in the Scenic Rim in South East Queensland, 70 km south-west of Central Brisbane. It is located near the Cunningham Highway and directly north of Mount French in the Fassifern Valley.


Passengers waiting at Kalbar railway station on the Mount Edwards railway line, 1917
Edward Street in the 1920s
Farms close to Warrill Creek, 2015

In 1877, 17,700 acres (7,200 ha) were resumed from the Fassifern pastoral run and offered for selection on 19 April 1877.[4] By 1890 a small town had developed.[5] The town was once known as Fassifern Scrub and then Engelsburg after an early settler, storekeeper August Engels.[6][7] The town has a very rich German history, having been established "almost exclusively" by German settlers, reflected today in the many Anglo-German road and street names as well as the many local German settler descendant surnames.[8]

Fassifern Scrub Privisional School opened on 3 February 1879.[9][10] On 4 September 1879 it was renamed Engelsburg State School. Having previously operated in the Baptist Church, the school moved to Edward Street (now Engels Memorial Park) on 28 September 1885. On 24 January 1955, the school relocated to the Kalbar School of Arts while modern school buildings were being constructed in a new site on George Street. On 24 June 1955, the school moved into the new George Street buildings. On 19 April 1958 an official opening of new school site in George Street was held. On 27 August 1979 the school was renamed Kalbar State School (it had not been possible to rename the school during World War I because there was another Kalbar State School in South Kolan which operated until 1962). In 2007 some of the school buildings were invaded by a colony of microbats which lived in the walls and roofs and constituted a health hazard to staff and students as the bats can transmit Australian bat lyssavirus. The staff and students in the affected buildings were relocated into demountable buildings and the bat-infested buildings were demolished.[11][12] A "bat haven" was established on the school grounds to provide an alternative home for the bat colony (being a protected species). New bat-proof buildings were opened in July 2010.[13][14]

Engelsburg Post Office opened on 7 July 1897 (a receiving office had been open from 1878. known as Engels for five years) and was renamed Kalbar in 1916.[15]

During the 1899 referendum to decide if Australia should become a federation, Kalbar registered the highest No vote of any town in Queensland.[16]

On Sunday 5 July 1908 the new Engelsburg Primitive Methodist Church was officially opened.[17] It was the Primitive Methodist church building originally built at Dugandan in 1883 and subsequently relocated to Boonah to avoid flooding. Following the opening of a new Methodist Church in Boonah in 1907, the church building was relocated to Engelsburg where it was extensively renovated.[18][19]

The Mount Edwards railway line reached the town in 1916 with the town being served by the Kalbar railway station.[5]

The name changed to Kalbar because of anti-German sentiment in 1916 during World War I,[5] initially it only applied to the railway station.[20] The Engelsberg School of Arts did not change to the Kalbar School of Arts until July 1918.[21]

In 1920, the Kalbar School of Arts hall and half the businesses in town were destroyed by fire.[5]

From 1961 to 1990, Kalbar held a large annual celebration, the Fassifern Potato Festival. The event included a street parade with motorised floats culminating at the show grounds and continuation of festivities.[22][23] Some artifacts from the festival can be found at the Templin Historical Museum. Harvest Festivals organised by the local Salvation Army church extended back to the 1920s.[24][25][26]

Heritage listings[edit]

St John’s Lutheran Church, 2015

Kalbar has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:


The Scenic Rim Regional Council operates a mobile library service which visits George Street.[31]


Kalbar State School is a government primary (Prep-6) school for boys and girls at George Street (27°56′32″S 152°37′26″E / 27.9421°S 152.6238°E / -27.9421; 152.6238 (Kalbar State School)).[32][33] In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 202 students with 21 teachers (15 full-time equivalent) and 14 non-teaching staff (8 full-time equivalent).[34] It includes a special education program.[32]


The annual agricultural show is held in June.

Kalbar Country Day is a festival which is held in late October annually since 1991.[35][36]


Kalbar has a population of 1093 at the 2016 census. The locality contains 453 households, in which 47.8% of the population are males and 52.2% of the population are females with a median age of 41, 3 years above the national average. The average weekly household income is $1,133, $305 below the national average.

4.8% of Kalbar's population is either of Aborigional or Torres Strait Islander descent. 57.3% of the population aged 15 or over is either registered or de facto married, while 42.7% of the population is not married. 28.7% of the population is currently attending some form of a compulsory education. The most common nominated ancestries were Australian (28.6%), English (27.8%) and German (13.4%), while the most common country of birth was Australia (83.0%), and the most commonly spoken language at home was English (90.9%). The most common nominated religions were No religion (23.7%), Catholic (15.0%) and Anglican (14.3%). The most common occupation was a labourer (19.4%) and the majority/plurality of residents worked 40 or more hours per week (40.9%).[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Kalbar (SSC)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 20 October 2018. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "Kalbar – town in Scenic Rim Region (entry 17575)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  3. ^ "Kalbar – locality in Scenic Rim Region (entry 45151)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  4. ^ "Proclamations under the New Land Acts". The Brisbane Courier. Queensland, Australia. 2 March 1877. p. 3. Retrieved 19 February 2020 – via Trove.
  5. ^ a b c d Environmental Protection Agency (Queensland) (2000). Heritage Trails of the Great South East. State of Queensland. pp. 36–37. ISBN 0-7345-1008-X.
  6. ^ "Kalbar". Queensland Places. Centre for the Government of Queensland, University of Queensland. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  7. ^ "Our History". Visit Scenic Rim. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  8. ^ "A Visit to [?]glesburg". Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald And General Advertiser. XXXI (4407). Queensland, Australia. 18 September 1890. p. 5. Retrieved 19 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  9. ^ "Opening and closing dates of Queensland Schools". Queensland Government. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  10. ^ "Kalbar SS". Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  11. ^ Ratnam, Reshni (1 May 2007). "Bats drive kids out of school". Queensland Times. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  12. ^ "Bats have school in a flap". The Sydney Morning Herald. 1 May 2007. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  13. ^ Maeseele, Melanie (31 July 2010). "Kids get new 'bat-proof' school". Queensland Times. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  14. ^ "History". Kalbar State School. 4 January 2019. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  15. ^ Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  16. ^ "The Brisbane Wheel". Centenary of Federation. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 12 March 2001. Retrieved 8 December 2009.
  17. ^ "BELOW THE RANGE". The Brisbane Courier. LXV (15, 752). Queensland, Australia. 7 July 1908. p. 2. Retrieved 3 October 2020 – via National Library of Australia.
  18. ^ "Australian Christian Church Histories - Boonah, QLD - Methodist". Australian Christian Church Histories. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  19. ^ "The Beginning of Methodism in Boonah". Fassifern Uniting Church. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  20. ^ "A FATAL ACCIDENT". Queensland Times. LVII (9638). Queensland, Australia. 31 August 1916. p. 4 (DAILY.). Retrieved 19 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  21. ^ "Kalbar Letter". Queensland Times. LX (10, 121). Queensland, Australia. 17 July 1918. p. 6 (DAILY.). Retrieved 19 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  22. ^ Pfeffer, C. K. (26 November 2007), Fassifern Potato Festival parade entering Kalbar Showgrounds, 1987, Scenic Rim Regional Council, retrieved 10 February 2015
  23. ^ "Beautiful bikes". Scenic Rim. Scenic Rim Regional Council. Archived from the original on 9 February 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  24. ^ "WEST MORETON NEWS". Queensland Times (Ipswich) (Qld. : 1909 - 1954). Ipswich) (Qld.: National Library of Australia. 17 March 1923. p. 6 Edition: DAILY. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  25. ^ "KALBAR". Queensland Times (Ipswich) (Qld. : 1909 - 1954). Ipswich) (Qld.: National Library of Australia. 15 March 1935. p. 12 Edition: DAILY. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  26. ^ "Farewell Socials At Kalbar". Queensland Times (Ipswich) (Qld. : 1909 - 1954). Ipswich, Qld.: National Library of Australia. 1 March 1949. p. 4 Edition: DAILY. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  27. ^ "Wiss House (former) (entry 601137)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  28. ^ "Fassifern Homestead (entry 602675)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  29. ^ a b "Local Heritage Register" (PDF). Scenic Rim Regional Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  30. ^ "Wiss Brothers Store & Dwelling (former) (entry 601200)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  31. ^ "Mobile Library" (PDF). Scenic Rim Regional Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  32. ^ a b "State and non-state school details". Queensland Government. 9 July 2018. Archived from the original on 21 November 2018. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  33. ^ "Kalbar State School". Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  34. ^ "ACARA School Profile 2017". Archived from the original on 22 November 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  35. ^ "Kalbar Country Day". Visit Scenic Rim. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  36. ^ Bushnell, Tom (17 October 2018). "Kalbar to come alive for Country Day". Beaudesert Times. Retrieved 18 December 2018.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]