A service centre for the local agricultural activities which includes the South Burnett wine region. The town hosts a pumpkin festival every year in May, a highlight of which is the Great Australian Pumpkin Roll.
Location: 265 km north-west of Brisbane (235km via the Burnett Highway); 78km from Gympie.
Goomeri s information centre situated near the windmill at Lions Park in Moore Street. Open 10am 4pm, Monday to Friday. Goomeri also has a hotel and art gallery.
Places of interest: Burnett River; Kinbombi Falls; Boat Mountain; Goomeri Memorial Clock and Hall of Memory; Bjelke-Petersen Dam; localities of Tansey (6km north), Kilkivan (25km north), Manumbar, Cherbourg, Windera, Proston, Hivesville, Mondure, Wondai; Booubyjan Homestead (30 km north, 1847); Elginvale Mill Museum; Barambah homestead
With delightful parks and many of the buildings built in the 1920s, Goomeri is a quiet and pleasant place that boasts an agreeably relaxed old world charm. The town is also known as "Clocktown" due to the landmark town clock built in 1939. Goomeri's impressive Hall of Memory still in use today, was built in 1926 and is now a National Trust-listed building.
The town is also well known for its gourmet food. Goomeri offers variety dining of options from fine dining, country food, gourmet cheeses and locally grown olives to award winning pies. Goomeri is the gateway to the South Burnett wine district, with numerous vineyards and cellar doors within close proximity. Other industries in the area include beef and dairy.
The Goomeri Pumpkin Festival, held on the last Sunday in May each year, attracts up to 14,000 visitors each year. The big novelty attraction is the Great Australian Pumpkin Roll. Thousands of people from all over come to the town to see it on the last Sunday in May. There's quite a steep hill in Goomeri and the contest is to see who can roll the pumpkin the furthest. People buy a pumpkin and enter the pumpkin-rolling contest, which goes on for most of the afternoon. They roll the pumpkins down the hill and they run a good half a kilometre.
There are all sorts of other competitions and events on during the day. There's the heaviest-pumpkin contest and a street parade. The streets are packed with more than 200 market stalls and all sorts of novelty events. The pumpkin festival is organised by locals who wanted to revitalise their town and it's a great example of a community fighting back when there are reasons for it to die.
The earliest European settlements in the area were at Booubyjan Homestead and Boonara Station, both established around 1846. Each grew to become self-sufficient villages during the latter part of the 19th century (Boonara itself had more than 100 employees in the late 1880s). However, both slowly faded away in the early 20th century with the arrival of the railways. Goomeri itself was originally just a railway siding used primarily by timber hauliers and local farmers.
A land sale in 1911 opened up 12,000 hectares of rural allotments and town blocks for settlement. This drew hundreds of new residents to the area and permanently established the township (Goomeri is also sometimes known as the "Town of 1911" in honour of this famous land sale). With the development of the the timber industry during the 1920s, the town boomed and continues to provide services provided to a local farming community that grows vegetables, vineyards and olive groves.
Origin of name: reportedly an Aboriginal word in the Waka language, Bujiebara dialect, indicating the kurrajong tree and the shield made from it. The word is probably a variant of gudmeri or kunmarin, taken from the Kabi language.
Kinbombi Falls is a popular retreat with a large picnic area and barbecues, close to Goomeri. A walking track leads to a deep natural pool. An easy track skirts the top of the gorge, offering breathtaking views. A shaded flat grassy area adjacent to Kinbombi Falls is set aside for camping. There is no charge for the use of this facility. From Goomeri head East on the Wide Bay/Bunya Highway for about 6km towards Kilkivan/Gympie, and take the Kinbombi Falls turn off to the right. Travel about 5km further and turn left into Kinbombi Falls Picnic area (all signedposted from main road).
Bjelke-Petersen Dam, also known as Lake Barambah or BP Dam, is just 15 kilometres from Murgon, at Moffatdale. It is a popular and well-equipped area for recreational freshwater fishing, birdwatching, boating, picnicking and camping / caravanning. Picnic areas, barbecues, a general store, a caravan and recreation park and a boat ramp with a large car park make this the ideal place to relax for a day or extended stay. Koalas, wallabies and kangaroos can be seen around the lake while the birdlife includes black swans, ducks, pelicans and cormorants. Bjelke-Petersen Dam is also a popular fesh water fishing spot. Location: Lake Barambah, Murgon.
Lake Barambah is a 2150+ hectare inland lake created in the early 1980s when the Bjelke-Petersen Dam was built across Barkers Creek to supply water to the upper areas of the South Burnett. It offers world-class water-skiing, boating, fishing and water sports facilities and is one of the two great lakes of the South Burnett (the other is Lake Boondooma, west of Proston).
The national park comprises endangered and of concern regional ecosystems and provides important habitat for species of conservation significance. The park terrain is hilly and bisected by creeks and gu
llies. There are no visitor facilities in the park. The park is 2 km north of Goomeri off the Burnett Highway.
Elgin Vale sawmill
The Elgin Vale sawmill at Manumbar Road, Elgin Vale, is an open-air timber structure containing a steam operated mill, was built in 1944 by Wilson Hart Limited of Maryborough, replacing an earlier sawmill established in 1927. The construction of the branch railway to Kilkivan from Theebine in 1886 enabled logs and sawn timber to be sent to Maryborough and Brisbane more efficiently, creating conditions for a viable and larger scale timber industry in the South Burnett. By the end of the 1940s, the State Forests and Timber Reserves of the South Burnett provided just over 20 percent of Queensland's pine. The village of Elgin Vale was home to a large workforce who ran the local sawmill.
There were around forty sawmills in the district and during 1947 48, nearly 50 000 tons of timber was loaded at South Burnett railway stations. At this time, the Elgin Vale sawmill was thought to be one of the state's largest.