A middle-sized, typically Queensland country town that is known as
both the peanut capital and baked bean capitalof Australia. The town
hosts a peanut festival every September.
Location: 431 m above sea level; 225 km northwest of Brisbane on the D'Aguilar Highway.
Events: Annual Bunya Festival - Aboriginal tribal ceremonies, hunting, feasting, mock fighting and corroborees.
Kingaroy was the home of the former long-serving Premier of Queensland,
Sir Johannes Bjelke-Petersen, whose name appears throughout the area as
regularly as does NSW's early Governor, Lachlan Macquarie, across New
South Wales and Tasmania.
Natural features: Bunya Mountains National Park (303 ha); Stuart River
Built features: Sir Joh and Flo Bjelke-Petersen's property, 'Bethany';
Johannes Bjelke-Petersen Airport; peanut silos; navy bean factory
(known as the bean used in baked beans); Gordonbrook Dam; The Peanut
Van; localities of Memerambi, Tingoora, Wooroolin, Kumbia; Muntupa
Heritage features: Bicentennial Heritage Museum; Taabinga homestead (1846); 'Wylarah' homestead (1891)
Origin of name: pioneer settler James Markwell called his selection
Kingaroy Paddock using a corruption of the local Wakka Wakka aboriginal
people's word for the red ant ('kinjerroy') because red ants were so
prevalent in the area. Another source suggests the town was named after
an early settler named King but there is little evidence to support
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Henry Stuart Russell and the Haly brothers moved into the area. The
heritage listed Taabinga Station homestead (5 km south) was built in
1846. Part of the vast Taabinga Station was set aside for a town as
early as the 1880s but it wasn't until 1902 that the town centre came
into existence. After 1904, when the railway from Brisbane arrived, the
town grew rapidly. In the 1920s the first significant crops of peanuts
was harvested. The first peanut silo was built (1928). The town is now
one of Australia's major peanut producers with part of the crop
exported to New Zealand, Britain and Japan.