Kingaroy is the aboriginal word for 'red ant' and it's probably best known for its towering peanut silos (Kingaroy is the processing capital of Australia's peanut industry).
But Kingaroy is also now home to several quality wineries that produce everything from shiraz and merlot through to chardonnay and verdelho. The range is wide and quality is high!
This rich agricultural area also produces a host of gourmet delights (including olives and cheeses) to complement the wines alongside its more traditional crops such as peanuts, sorghum, navy beans and corn.
We've listed some of the attractions you can enjoy visiting when you come to Kingaroy below.
Pottique Lavender Farm
Pottique Lavender Farm is a unique South Burnett lavender farm with its own gift shop that sells hundreds of lavender products, many of which are exclusive to Pottique and are made on site. These include jams and chutneys made from local produce and hand-made lavender soap. Pottique specialises in French country style furniture, antiques, quilts, homewares and gifts and you can enjoy wine tastings there too (their lavender liqueur is a knock-out!). Pottique serve Devonshire teas and light lunches in a very peaceful garden setting (the house specialty is lavender scones), and you can even pick your own lavender when it's in season. Pottique is located on the D'Aguilar Highway at Coolabunia a few kilometres south of of Kingaroy and are open every day. You can phone them on (07) 4162-2781.
Crane Wines is a small family owned boutique winery located just a few kilometres from Captains Paddock (so close that most people visiting one of these wind up visiting the other as well). Crane Wines are housed in a grand old colonial homestead perched high on the Booie Range, and guests can get to enjoy sweeping views from its picturesque cellar door. Cranes offer "a wine for every palate" and their extensive range (which include reds and whites in sweet, dry, fortified and sparking styles) have won a large number of awards, medals and trophies. Visitors can also try out a wide range of jams, chutneys, soaps, body creams, moisturisers and other products that are hand-made on the property by owners Bernie and Judy Cooper. Crane Wines is open seven days a week and you can phone them on (07) 4162-7647.
Kingsley Grove Winery
Kingsley Grove Winery is the second-largest vineyard in the South Burnett and is located about 10km south-west of town on the Bunya Highweay near the Stuart River. Kingsley Grove offer great wood-fired pizzas on weekends and produce some beautiful Meditteranean wines like Sangiovese (described as the ultimate pizza wine by Italian gourmets) along with more traditional reds and whites and some delicious sparkling varieties. They're open from 10:00am to 5:00pm seven days a week. You can phone them on (07) 4162-2229.
Taste South Burnett
Taste South Burnett is located at Shop 4, 36 Alford Street in the heart of Kingaroy's CBD. They act as a cellar door for several local wineries and in addition to free wine tastings they offer cheese and fudge tastings too. Taste South Burnett stock the award-winning Kingaroy Cheeses a wide range of other hard-to-get local gourmet products in their delicatessen. They also offer great light lunches and platters showcasing local foods, mostly gluten free. They're open 7 days a week (11:00am to5:30pm Mondays to Fridays, 10:00am to 4:00pm weekends and public holidays) and you can phone them on (07) 4162-8222.
Cassis At Booie Restaurant
Cassis At Booie Restaurant is located on the way to Crane Wines. This licensed restaurant is acknowledged as one of the finest in the South Burnett and its spectacular views over the Booie Range and surrounding countryside make it a "must see" on any visit to the area. Cassis is open Wednesdays to Saturdays from 10:00am to 10:00pm, and Sundays 10:00am to 5:00pm. You can phone them on (07) 4162-3465.
The Peanut Van
The Peanut Van has supplied the world's best and freshest peanuts to their drive-by customers ever since 1969 and have steadily grown to become a South Burnett legend. While the Van now has retail outlets in Childers, the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane the original Peanut Van still occupies the same position it's had on the main road leading into Kingaroy for more than 40 years. The Peanut Van sell a range of more than 20 uniquely flavoured peanuts (along with other types of nuts, such as cashews and macadamias) and their flavours are really quite sensational. All their nuts are processed, prepared and packed in Kingaroy and the Peanut Van supply them to customers all over Australia. The Peanut Van is open every day and you can phone them on 1300 81-82-83.
Mt. Wooroolin Lookout
Mount Wooroolin lookout is located around four kilometres west of Kingaroy (travel along along Haly Street until you see the clearly-marked turnoff to the right) and it provides sweeping panoramic views over the areas to the west of Kingaroy. The former Kingaroy Shire Council - now the South Burnett Regional Council - developed the lookout in 1988 as a Bicentennial project and the Council still maintains the lookout and its surrounds. The lookout has a grassed area available for picnics with tables and wood barbecues, but you'll need to bring along your own water. You can drive to the lookout by car but you should take care when ascending or descending the narrow sealed road to the top. This road isn't suitable for cars towing caravans or trailers, though it's quite OK for cars or motorcyclists.
Gordonbrook Dam is located 20 kilometres north-west of Kingaroy and is the source of the town's water supply. The Dam was built by army engineers in World War II and today it's a popular bird-watching, bush walking and picnicing area (the Dam has a custom bird hide to allow photographers and keen bird-watchers to observe the wide range of native birds that can be found around the impoundment). You can reach Gordonbrook Dam by travelling along the Bunya Highway north of Kingaroy through the village of Memerambi, then taking the Recreation Drive turnoff which is on the left about a kilometre north of Memerambi and following it through to its end (this road is sealed except for the last kilometre, which is good quality dirt). Fishing and boating isn't allowed on Gordonbrook - if you want to do either of these you'll need to visit the Bjelke-Petersen Dam near Murgon or Lake Boondooma near Proston.
Kingaroy's beautiful Memorial Park is located near the heart of town and is the town's major formal park. The Kingaroy War Memorial is located there and it's a band rotunda constructed of eight classical columns which supports a frieze and a domed roof. The frieze contains the names of the areas where Australia's armed forces fought in World War I and it was dedicated by Sir Thomas Glasgow on 29 June 1932. To the west of the rotunda is the Stone of Remembrance honoring those who served from World War I to Vietnam. The Kingaroy RSL, Kingaroy Lions Club and the former Kingaroy Shire Council added paving and a flagpole in 1994, and all Kingaroy's ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day services are held there every April 25th and November 11th. The Park itself covers a wide area and there are picnic facilities, coin-operated gas BBQs and disabled toilet facilities at the eastern end of the Park, immediately next to the Kingaroy Swimming Pool. Memorial Park is also home to theWine & Food In the Park Festival on the second Saturday each March (see entry further below).
Rotary Park is located on the eastern side of Kingaroy and you can find it by travelling east along Haly Street past the peanut solos until you reach the lights at Fisher Street (the park is located on the corner of Haly and Fisher Streets). In December 1978 the Kingaroy Rotary Club donated a fountain to Kingaroy to celebrate their 30th birthday and the park was renamed from Kingaroy Park to Rotary Park to recognise this contribution. A 30-year time capsule was also placed beneath the dedication plaque and it was opened in 2008. The fountain has since been closed due to safety concerns but the park now boasts a large covered picnic table area, coin-operated gas barbecues, toilet facilities and lovely gardens. It's a great spot for a family picnic.
Wine & Food In The Park Festival
Wine and Food in the Park is the South Burnett's annual wine and food festival and one of the largest of its type in south east Queensland. It's been held at Memorial Park near Kingaroy's CBD on the second Saturday in March every year since 1998. This all-day event features the PCA South Burnett Regional Cuisine Cook-offs, 10 hours of non-stop live music from national and local acts, hilarious street theatre performers, a Giant Wine Tent packed out with all the South Burnett's wineries, as well as a more traditional wet bar and a large food court. This is a wonderful family day out and it attracts thousands of visitors from all over south east Queensland and interstate as well as the South Burnett (many locals now use the Festival as their own annual "Back To Kingaroy" day for happy reunions with friends and family). You can find out more about this great festival.
Bethany Farm Tours
Bethany Farm has been the home of the Bjelke-Petersen family for more than 80 years, and it's probably one of the most famous farms in Australia (and certainly in Queensland!). Every year thousands of people come to Bethany to see this legendary farm for themselves and enjoy tea and pumpkin scones with the family. Bethany run guided farm tours most Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2:00pm and hosts John and Karyn Bjelke-Petersen are happy to tell guests all the ups and downs the property has had over the years, then treat them to a great afternoon tea with Lady Flo's famous pumpkin scones. You can phone Bethany on (07) 4162-7046.
South Burnett Visitor Information Centre - Kingaroy
The South Burnett Visitor Information Centre - Kingaroy is part of Kingaroy's Arts and Heritage precinct and it's located in Haly Street right opposite the towering peanut silos. The Visitor Information Centre is a bright, modern building that also links to the Kingaroy Art Gallery and the Kingaroy Heritage Museum.