Kingaroy

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 Tunnel

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 this claim.


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Brief history

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.

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