Kingaroy is a favorite destination for overseas tourists and Queenslanders. There is so much diversity in Queensland that getting bored isn’t really an option, regardless of what you’re looking for. There is plenty on offer for the fans of sand and beaches, but if you prefer towns and unique landmarks, Kingaroy would be a perfect choice!
Kingaroy has the title of the “Peanut Capital of Australia,” and rightfully so. Back in the 80s, it was one of the most famous Australian towns, and it still remains popular to date. Peanut imagery dominates the town as it is the main draw for most of the tourists.
The town is located some 200 km north-west of Brisbane. You can reach it by using a train, a bus, or a car, which should be the fastest option. The bus is slightly more expensive at $80, whereas a train ticket goes for around $60. Check out the map below:
Places to See in Kingaroy
Kingaroy Information, Art and Heritage Precinct
After arriving in Kingaroy, you’ll surely start planning the route through the notable landmarks and attractions. It’s probably the best to start at Kingaroy Information, Art & Heritage Precinct, which should get you up to speed on the town’s history.
The precinct contains an art gallery, a visitor center, and a museum as the main facilities. They comprise the cultural melting pot of Kingaroy and give you a better idea of the town’s history and customs.
One of the most famous local attractions, Peanut Van, is a household name in Queensland. It’s a local business that produces over 100 tons of peanuts and sells them all over Australia. You will probably see a few of their iconic vans in the area, or you can order delivery. The owners, Chris and Robbie Patch, pride themselves on running an environmentally clean business.
They recently started selling their product through large supermarket chains, since the brand awareness is so high. Their factory in Kingaroy is the main production center, and there is a variety of flavors on offer, like curry, BBQ, Mexican lime, and many others.
Wooroolin lookout is a nature reserve and offers a beautiful view of Kingaroy and the surrounding areas. Once you ascend the platform, you’ll immediately notice the sprawling panorama in front of you.
The Kingaroy Shire Council is in charge of maintaining the Mount Wooroolin lookout. It was developed by the council back in 1988 as a part of the Bicentennial project, and it overlooks the area in between Kumbia and Bunya mountains.
The lookout is also accessible to people with disabilities and is quite easy to find. It’s about 2,5km away from the Bunya Highway intersection, but the road can be quite steep. The place can be a great option for a picnic as well, as there are covered tables and barbeque grills.
Then there’s Apex Park, which used to house the first public Kingaroy hospital. Most of the trees in the area were planted while the hospital was up and running in 1960. There’s always something to do at the park for people of all age groups.
For children, there’s a spacious playground with rubber materials that guarantee safety, and a nearby picnic area. For seniors, there are walking tracks that surround the area and are ideal for stretching your legs. The tracks lead to the lookout platform on Coral Street, where you can survey the area in peace and quiet.
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Observatories are irresistible attractions for people regardless of interests and preferences. Gazing at the stars and planets in a clear night sky never gets old, and Kingaroy Observatory is a perfect place to do it. Formerly know as Maidenwell Observatory, it’s a favorite spot both for tourists and locals, as the sky over South Burnett is darker than the coastal sky, resulting in clearer views.
Kingaroy Observatory usually opens at 19:00 pm, and the observation deck can take 40 people at once. There is also the Star Theatre for up to 70 people, where you can catch audio-visual presentations on astral bodies.
As for the stargazing, there is an ongoing running commentary by James Barclay, the owner of the Observatory and an astronomer. James has over 60 years of experience, so don’t worry if you’re new and unsure of what to look for.
If you plan on checking out the Observatory, try visiting during winter or autumn. The Milky Way is more visible during cooler months, and you’ll definitely have a better experience.
Kingaroy Heritage Museum
Kingaroy Museum is a part of the Art and Heritage Precinct and is located at the same place where the town’s old power house used to be. Like most of Kingaroy, the museum is also full of peanut-related imagery! Everything on display follows the simple theme of “People, Power, and Peanuts.”
Here you can find many exhibits related to the peanut industry and various types of tools used by farmers. One of the most interesting examples is an old peanut thresher machine that runs on a bicycle. All of the exhibits date back to earlier times when the lack of advanced machinery forced local farmers and inventors to come up with their own solutions.
Kingaroy Art Gallery
Another mandatory stop on your tour and right next to the Information Centre is the Kingaroy Art Gallery. The design of the gallery has clear art deco inspirations, which contribute to its beauty. They hold exhibitions both by local and visiting artists on various subjects. It’s best to check the schedule beforehand, but there’s something interesting to see at all times.
There’s a separate section for regional arts and crafts from over 40 artists that paint the picture of Kingaroy perfectly. The Kingaroy Arts Team is an organization in charge of the gallery, and it is run mostly by volunteers. The positions are always open for anyone willing to contribute or help support the creativity of others.
Historic Buildings in Kingaroy
St Michael and All Angels Church
Another noteworthy landmark to visit during your stay in Kingaroy is the Anglican St Michael and All Angels Church. The church is over 100 years old and was built by the architect Colin Deighton in December of 1910.
The building itself is lovely and sports some impressive woodwork. The timber interiors are still intact and give the church a timeless look. Paintings with religious motifs are displayed behind the altar, and the whole building is still in perfect shape. The atmosphere in the church is very community-oriented, but also welcoming to visitors.
A small cottage that’s now a part of the town’s Heritage Precinct, dates back to the 1900s. The cottage belonged to Daniel Carrol and is a classic example of the style of housing that was widespread at the time. It is also the oldest house in Kingaroy, which is why it still holds relevance for tourists and locals.
Its steep roof and the classic rectilinear form transform it into a museum piece. Both from within and without, the cottage is a clear representation of what life was like in the early 1900s. These types of buildings were present throughout Queensland a century ago, and It’s nice to have a visual reminder.
Kingaroy Shire Council Chambers
The council chambers are back to back with the Kingaroy Heritage Museum and stand as another historical piece. Their decorations also share the Art Deco motifs, which stand out in the small-town background. Council Chambers demonstrates the growth and development of Kingaroy.
Like other similar Queensland towns that developed near railways, Kingaroy grew in prosperity. The peanut industry was always the biggest contributor to the town’s growth, and it continues that tradition to this day.
The maturation of the town’s architectural style is also evident when examining the Council Chambers building. The modest building contrasts nicely with then nearby peanut silos that tower above the town.
Kingaroy Peanut Silos
The famous peanut silos stand as the cornerstone of the town’s peanut industry. They are among the most recognizable landmarks and are well worth the visit. Kingaroy is the cradle of the Australian Peanut Company, and it houses its headquarters. Silos stand as a manifestation of the successful industry and its history, seeing how they date back to the 1940s.
The tallest of them is 42m high and can hold up to 16,000 tons of peanuts. The silos have walkways and conveyor belts that link them to each other and allow the transport of peanuts.
The silos are often heavily used in tourist brochures to promote tourism since they dominate the town’s panorama. They are a symbol of Kingaroy and an inevitable part of any local tour.
Kingaroy’s long history can also be glimpsed from a couple of homesteads that remain preserved. Taabinga Homestead, which was built in 1846 by the Haly brothers, is a prime example of an early homestead. It is about 5 km south of the town but still falls within its borders.
The Queensland Heritage Register mentions the facilities that comprise the property, all of which can still be seen today. Those include the main residence, a smithy, and a carpenter’s workshop, a grain storehouse, and a cemetery, among others.
Most of the homestead still remains in excellent conditions, the stables, and the yard particularly. It’s another great example of period-accurate architecture that can transport you straight into the 19th century.
Kingaroy to Kilkivan Rail Trail
This rail-trail was opened recently, in 2017, and it managed to connect the nearby farmlands with a few previously isolated towns along the way. You can catch mobile reception at most points along the trail, and it is open for both cyclists and horse riders as well.
Bunya Mountains National Park
Once you’re done with the cultural tour of Kingaroy, you might be yearning for some natural beauty and fresh air. When you’re ready to embark into the wilderness, there are no better options than the Bunya Mountains National Park.
The park contains the worlds’ largest collection of bunya pines that contribute to its name. The pines themselves are ancient, some over 500 years old, and you can even find traces of Aboriginal axe cuts they used to mark the especially bountiful trees. The indigenous people considered these ancient trees sacred and held bunya feasts to celebrate them.
The park itself is huge and varied both in biomes and in activities. There are over nine walking trails to choose from if you’re an avid hiker, so take your pick! The park is full to the brim with flora and fauna which is especially important for animal lovers and bird-watchers.
The best place to start would be the Bunya Mountains Information Centre, where you can get an idea of what to visit first. The Centre is right next to the Dandabah Picnic Area, where you can take a breather after a long hike.
Kingaroy Upcoming Events
Kingaroy Peanut Festival
For those interested in more dynamic events, there is always something to look forward to in Kingaroy. The most common ones are various food and wine celebrations, but there’s also the iconic Peanut Festival.
The festival is now over 60 years old and commemorates the town’s most prosperous industry. You can hardly go a few meters in Kingaroy without seeing peanut-themed imagery, but the festival is the time when they shine. The whole event used to be held annually but was revamped in 2010, and is now held every other year.
Wine and Food In The Park Festival
Queensland Wine & Food Festivals are annual events that celebrate local cuisine. Some of the best chefs in the area attend to serve up quality food and drinks. Local wines and beers are plentiful along with culinary specialties. Kingaroy often hosts some of these festivals, especially those held in South Burnett.
Other famous festivals are Noosa Eat and Drink Festival, The Curated Plate, Reef Feast Palm Cove, and many others. Any of these provide ample opportunities to try out local favorites, including fresh seafood from the coastal waters. If you are a food lover or a wine connoisseur, you owe it to yourself to visit one of these!
Most of Kingaroy’s hotels and accommodations are close to famous landmarks and attractions. You can’t really go wrong in terms of distance, but then there are pricing and service to take into consideration.
This motel is one of the more premium hotels in town, and the most expensive one. While it looks humble on the outside, the interior is quite luxurious and modern in terms of design and layout.
Rooms go for $160 per night, and all feature balconies, TVs with cable, free Wifi, and everything you can expect. It is a 4-star motel, so all the beds, toilets and other equipment is of high quality. They serve international cuisine three times a day, and the motel is some 400 meters away from the Caravan Park.
Here is a 3-star alternative with a more homely atmosphere. The lobby and the rooms are more colorful and cheerful, but still very professional. The rooms are around $105, and pets are allowed for an additional $20 per night.
Rooms all pack the refrigerators, TVs, coffee machines, and room service make indoor dining pretty convenient. Aside from that, the motel has a garden with barbecue grills, an outdoor swimming pool, and freely available laundry facilities. It’s quite close to the Kingaroy Visitor Centre, so it might be the first one you run into.
The most pet-friendly one of the bunch. They allow pets to stay at no charge and with minor restrictions. Motel Oasis really lives up to its name with tall palm trees at the front, providing a relaxing environment. Their rooms also go for $100 and have various bed configurations available.
Their restaurant, appropriately named Midnight at the Oasis, is open during breakfast and dinner time. They have a bar lounge where you can grab a drink, and free Wifi on the motel grounds. This motel is also close to the Visting Centre and the Kingaroy Showground.