A quiet rural centre which was made famous by reports of a mythical
Yowie wandering about in the woods. Official statistics record over
3,000 sightings of Yowies throughout Australia between 1975 and 1979. A
statue, based on descriptions from claimed observations, is in Yowie
Park in Hope Street, Kilcoy. For unbelievers, there is also an indoor
sports complex in Yowie Park.
Location: 94 km north west of Brisbane via the D'Aguilar Highway; 50 km west of Caboolture; 125 m above sea level.
The Jimna Forest Fire Tower was opened in 1977. A 47 metre structure it
afforded panoramic views of the surrounding ranges including hoop pine
plantations and native forests. Despite its listing on the Queensland
heritage register in 2000, the wooden based tower was threatened with
demolition since 2006.
The Kilcoy region is a rich Aboriginal cultural landscape. Mount Archer
was known as Buruja, and also the name of a wetland near Villeneuve
that was one of the main camps of the Dungidau clan. Bora rings existed
at ‘Wellcourt’ on Somerset Dam and at Sandy Creek east of
Kilcoy, Oaky Creek and Waraba Creek The junction of the Brisbane and
Stanley Rivers was known as Gunundjin, meaning a ‘hollow
place’, and a sacred place, called Gairnbee Rock, recalled a
dreaming story of a girl who went swimming there and was turned by her
father, a gundir (clever man) by magic into a rock to save her from a
dangerous evil spirit. The Stanley River was also called Gairnbee,
meaning the water gum. The Brisbane River was known as Mairwar or
Mairrwarrh, meaning ‘platypus’ in Dungidau.
Somerset DamSomerset Dam was constructed between 1935 and 1959 with
suspension of construction during the Second World War. The dam is
situated on the Stanley River approximately 220 km upstream from the
mouth of the Brisbane River. Construction of the Somerset Dam created
jobs and in 1953 Kilcoy Pastoral Company established the meat works and
has steadily increased production to what it is today.
Natural features: Yabba Creek; Conondale Range; Red Bluff; Sheep Station Creek; Conondale National Parks
Heritage features: Kilcoy Station Homestead (6 km north-east, 1850s);
The Australian Narrow Gauge Railway Museum Society
Origin of name: derived from the name of a pastoral run, the name first
used in 1842 by pastoralists Sir Evan (1816-1883) Colin Mackenzie,
after the Mackenzie's birthplace of Kilcoy in Rosshire, Scotland.
Originally called Kilcoy, the township changed its name to Hopetoun
1892 (after Capt. Louis Hope (1817-1894) grazier, sugar miller and
planter, who ran the Kilcoy pastoral property, 1858-94). It was then
was changed back to Kilcoy 1906 because of confusion with similar place
names in Victoria and Western Australia.
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Scottish migrants opened up the area in the early 1840s and cleared
land to run beef and dairy cattle. In 1842 on the outskirts of Kilcoy
Station, 30-60 Native Aborigines of the Kabi Kabi (or gubi gubi) died
from eating flour laced with strychnine or arsenic. The Mackenzies were
admonished for this mass killing by attorney-General John Hubert
Plunkett (1802 - 1869), who threatened prosecution if an official
complaint was lodged. Up until the early 1990s Evan Mackenzie was a
prime suspect but recent research suggests that he himself was probably
not responsible for the massacre, since he was in Sydney at the time.
The property's English overseer disappeared upon Mackenzie returning.
Mackenzie appears to have organised a conspiracy of silence to protect
Mackenzie sold the property in 1854 to Capt. Louis Hope who built the
heritage listed Kilcoy Station Homestead. Timber felling and milling
was also important in the early development of Kilcoy, which was
founded in the 1890s.