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Kingaroy
Queensland
KingaroyPeanutSilos.jpg
The peanut silos in Haly Street are the town's tallest structures and most visible landmark.
Population 9,586 (2011 census)
Postcode(s) 4610
Elevation 441.9 m (1,450 ft)
Location
LGA(s) South Burnett Region
State electorate(s) Nanango
Federal Division(s) Division of Maranoa
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
24.8 °C
77 °F
11.5 °C
53 °F
779.1 mm
30.7 in
Localities around Kingaroy:
Crawford Memerambi Corndale
Gordonbrook Kingaroy Booie
Inverlaw Taabinga Cooloola

Kingaroy /kɪŋəˈrɔɪ/ is an agricultural town and locality in the South Burnett Region, Queensland, Australia. It is 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 2011 census, Kingaroy had a population of 9,586.

It is known as the "Peanut Capital of Australia" because Australia's largest peanut processing plant is located in the town and peanut silos dominate the skyline. Kingaroy is also well known as the home town of former Premier of Queensland, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen.

Etymology

The origin of the name Kingaroy 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. 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, Hector Munro, who surveyed the original grazing holding of this name, on account of these ants being a pest at the survey camp.". Munro selected Wakka Wakka words describing various species of ants when he surveyed a number of local towns, including Taabinga (dha' be'ngga) and Mondure (mon'dhur)

History

Rural Queensland
A wheat field in the Kingaroy region.

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.

The first Kingaroy Post Office opened by 1902 (a receiving office had been open from 1895) and was renamed Taabinga Village in 1905, when Kingaroy Railway Station office opened. This was renamed Kingaroy in 1907. The Taabinga Village office closed in 1929.

StateLibQld 1 207437 Kingaroy War Memorial, 1950
Kingaroy Soldiers' Memorial Rotunda, 1950

The foundation stone of the Kingaroy Soldiers' Memorial Rotunda was laid on 25 April 1922 (ANZAC Day) by the RSL president Sergeant Norman Booth. It was dedicated on 29 June 1932 by Mayor-General Sir Thomas William Glasgow.

RAAF Kingaroy firing butt
Aircraft firing butts, 2008

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 Beaufighters. Kingaroy R.A.A.F. Post Office was open from 7 August 1942 until 28 February 1946.

Kingaroy celebrated its Centenary in 2004.

Kingaroy is also noted for being the first region in Australia to be placed on Level 7 Water Restrictions, which occurred on 1 October 2007.

Kingaroy has experienced growth in recent years. At the 2006 census, Kingaroy had a population of 7,620, an increase from the 2001 census figure of 7,147.

Heritage listings

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

  • 2-6 Alford Street: St Michael and All Angels Church
  • 6 Edward Street: Carroll Cottage
  • 126 Haly Street: former Kingaroy Shire Council Chambers (now home to the Kingaroy Regional Art Gallery)
  • 117-131 Haly Street: Kingaroy Peanut Silos
  • Kingaroy Road, Durong: Burrandowan Station Homestead
  • 7 Old Taabinga Road: Taabinga Homestead
  • South Burrandowan Road, Ironpot: Wylarah
  • 67 William Street: former Kingaroy Butter Factory

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 Regional 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 is also the new home for the Kingaroy Observatory (formerly Maidenwell Observatory) which was moved to its new site in Geoff Raph Drive, at the airport in early March 2015 and opened for business on June 29. Kingaroy Observatory is now a major tourist attraction for those wanting to eyeball the Universe up close, in large powerful telescopes, under a canopy of stars not affected by Light {Pollution. The facility is owned and manned by astronomer, James Barclay who has over 60 years experience in the science. Google the Observatory for more info.

Kingaroy State School opened its doors in 1902 and Kingaroy State High School was established in 1958.

Climate

Kingaroy has a humid subtropical climate with warm to hot summers and cool to cold winters. Daily maximum temperatures range from 30 °C (86 °F) in summer to 18 °C (64 °F) in winter. On the 12 February 2017, Kingaroy reached a new record high temperature, recording 41.6 °C (106.8 °F), while the coldest on record was -6.7 °C (19.9 °F) in July 1961. Due to its elevation, the town 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. Frost is common from June to August, whilst Sleet occurs occasionally, and light snow fell in July 1959. 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 town's airport.

Climate data for Kingaroy (Combined Sites 1947-2017)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 41.0
(105.8)
41.6
(106.9)
37.4
(99.3)
35.0
(95)
31.8
(89.2)
28.4
(83.1)
27.4
(81.3)
33.3
(91.9)
35.9
(96.6)
39.0
(102.2)
38.9
(102)
40.8
(105.4)
41.0
(105.8)
Average high °C (°F) 29.6
(85.3)
28.9
(84)
27.7
(81.9)
25.2
(77.4)
21.7
(71.1)
19.0
(66.2)
18.5
(65.3)
20.2
(68.4)
23.4
(74.1)
26.0
(78.8)
28.1
(82.6)
29.5
(85.1)
24.8
(76.6)
Average low °C (°F) 17.7
(63.9)
17.5
(63.5)
15.7
(60.3)
12.2
(54)
9.0
(48.2)
5.5
(41.9)
4.1
(39.4)
5.0
(41)
8.1
(46.6)
11.8
(53.2)
14.7
(58.5)
16.7
(62.1)
11.5
(52.7)
Record low °C (°F) 8.8
(47.8)
6.7
(44.1)
4.4
(39.9)
-0.6
(30.9)
-3.9
(25)
-5.3
(22.5)
-6.7
(19.9)
-6.0
(21.2)
-2.2
(28)
-1.1
(30)
2.4
(36.3)
6.5
(43.7)
-6.7
(19.9)
Rainfall mm (inches) 114.4
(4.504)
96.0
(3.78)
77.6
(3.055)
46.7
(1.839)
41.3
(1.626)
42.6
(1.677)
40.8
(1.606)
28.6
(1.126)
37.7
(1.484)
64.3
(2.531)
78.3
(3.083)
110.8
(4.362)
779.1
(30.673)
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

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, bowls club plus the Kingaroy & District Tennis Association – https://www.facebook.com/kingaroytennis. There is 8 synthetic grass courts, and a practice wall. The tennis club holds Thursday night fixtures and other social day matches during the week. 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 kilometres (22 mi) 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).

The Kingaroy Showgrounds is also home to the Lucas Oil Kingaroy Speedway, a 400 metres (440 yards) clay oval. The speedway, which opened in 1968, is run by the South Burnett Speedway Club.

The South Burnett Regional Council operates a library in Kingaroy.

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