Rathdowney, Queensland

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Rathdowney seen from the town's scenic lookout
Rathdowney is located in Queensland
Coordinates28°12′0″S 152°51′0″E / 28.20000°S 152.85000°E / -28.20000; 152.85000Coordinates: 28°12′0″S 152°51′0″E / 28.20000°S 152.85000°E / -28.20000; 152.85000
Population434 (2011 census)[1]
LGA(s)Scenic Rim Region
State electorate(s)Scenic Rim
Federal Division(s)Forde

Rathdowney is a small town in south-eastern Queensland, Australia. It is on the Mount Lindesay Highway 32 kilometres (20 mi) south of Beaudesert at the base of the McPherson Range. It is located in the Scenic Rim local government area. At the 2011 census, Rathdowney had a population of 434.[1]


Beaudesert Shire Tramway train at Rathdowney in 1912

The town was named after the former Rathdowney station,[2] which derived its name from Rathdowney in Ireland. The Beaudesert Shire Tramway was extended to Rathdowney in 1911 but closed in 1944.[3] Timber clearing was the first major industry in the area. Cattle grazing and dairy farming are now the main industries.

In April 1928, 116 subdivided allotments of "Telemon Estate, Beaudesert" were auctioned by Isles, Love & Co. and in conjuction with M. Selwyn Smith & Son Auctioneers. 25 dairy and agricultural farms, 72 township allotments and 19 farmlets from the estate of Chris J. Collins were available. According to the map advertising the auction, the estate was 17 miles from Beaudesert and 64 miles from Brisbane.[4] [5]

Heritage listings[edit]

Rathdowney has the following heritage-listed sites:

  • 8-12 Hardgrave Street and 14-18 Prior Street: St David’s Church of England [6]
  • 157-159 Mount Lindesay Highway: St Joseph’s Catholic Church [6]


The eastern boundary is marked by the Logan River. It is also close to some of the areas of greatest biodiversity in Australia, and a gateway to various National Parks such as Border Ranges National Park and Mount Barney National Park with a variety of lush rainforest, eucalypt forest, mountain heath and other habitats. In the west, where Burnetts Creek enters the Logan is Bigriggen Reserve Park. The park provides camp sites with a kiosk by the river with access available to caravans, motorhomes and buses.[7]


There are many tours, farm stays, guest houses and other opportunities available for visitors to experience this region, which is about a 90-minute drive from Brisbane or the Gold Coast. In Autumn every year the population rises by several thousand for one day at the Rathdowney Heritage Festival, organised by the Rathdowney and District Historical Association (RADHA), who also run an information centre with information on natural heritage, indigenous heritage and history of white settlement from the time of the first pioneers to present day.

Mount Maroon is 12 km west of Rathdowney. At 966 m the summit provides 360 degree views.[8]


Currently the small town has a police station, a small shop, a pub, a service station, a post office, memorial grounds, information centre, a bowls club and a small school. The Rathdowney Primary School opened in 1912[9] and has a 25 m swimming pool in which every spring and summer the swimming club has races on a Friday night. The swimming club also has swimming training during the week after school.

The Scenic Rim Regional Council operates a mobile library service which visits Collins Street.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Rathdowney (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 12 July 2013. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "For the man on the land". The Brisbane Courier (22, 296). Queensland, Australia. 13 July 1929. p. 11. Retrieved 28 March 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  3. ^ Queensland Environmental Protection Agency (2000). Heritage Trails of the Great South East. State of Queensland. p. 31. ISBN 0-7345-1008-X.
  4. ^ "Telemon Estate, Beaudesert". State Library of Queensland. 2 April 1928. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Advertising". Tweed Daily. XV, (42). New South Wales, Australia. 18 February 1928. p. 8. Retrieved 30 April 2019 – via National Library of Australia.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  6. ^ a b "Local Heritage Register" (PDF). Scenic Rim Regional Council. Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  7. ^ "Welcome To Bigriggen Park in the Scenic Rim". Archived from the original on 26 March 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Mt Maroon - Aussie Bushwalking". Aussie Bushwalking. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  9. ^ "Opening and closing dates of Queensland Schools". Queensland Government. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  10. ^ "Mobile Library" (PDF). Scenic Rim Regional Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2018.

External links[edit]

Media related to Rathdowney, Queensland at Wikimedia Commons