Should Kingaroy win Australia’s Next Big Thing?

Kingaroy is Australia’s Peanut capital, but you’re nuts if you think that’s all there is to this charming Queensland destination. Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s hometown is home to awesome wineries, excellent local produce, and a fantastic observatory. It’s also a quick 30-minute drive from Coomba Falls, which is perfect for picnics and day trips.

Kingaroy’s Memorial Park in full bloom.

But that’s just the start. We asked Abigail Andersson – a Kingaroy local and Big Peanut Committee member – to tell us a little more about what makes her town special.

How long have you lived in Kingaroy?

My whole life – 32 years.

What’s the best thing about living in Kingaroy?

Our community. Our people are our family.

Christmas street fair in Kingaroy.

What annual events or festivals should people visit Kingaroy for?

BaconFest! It’s the last weekend in August and we have food markets, fun runs, rockabilly bands, and a Miss BaconFest beauty contest. This year, we even had a Kevin Bacon Film Festival.

For more than 50 years, we also had a Peanut festival. The Kingaroy Peanut Festival had street parades with peanut-themed floats and marching bands. Each year, there was even a Peanut Festival Queen. The first one was Moya Hayden, the mother of cricketer Matthew Hayden.

Bacon Man at a BaconFest flash mob.

Where in Kingaroy can you find the best…

• Coffee?
Lee’s Kitchen. A great little takeaway café at 117 Kingaroy Street, with lots of gluten-free options.

• Pub meal?
The Com Pub at 167 Haly Street. Make sure you check out the daily specials!

• Breakfast?
The Mitre 8 Café at 10 Rogers Drive. Their Big Breakfast really is BIG.

• Meat pie?
Baker’s Haven at 197 Kingaroy Street.

• Lamington?
Also at Baker’s Haven (yum!).

I also recommend the Carrollee Hotel at 4 King Street. It’s Kingaroy’s oldest pub and has a great seafood buffet once a month.

Kingaroy’s oldest pub, the Carrollee Hotel.

What’s the best free thing to do in Kingaroy?

I love to lay on the green grass under the blooming jacarandas in Apex Park – it’s so relaxing! But if you want to do something more active, go for a hike, bike ride, or horse ride on the Rail Trail. It’s an 89km trail from Kingaroy to Kilkivan and takes you through wonderful scenery and charming towns, with lots of historic sites and interesting museums and galleries to visit along the way.

What’s something surprising about Kingaroy that only locals know?

We have our own airport because of Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen! He built it while he was premier, right next to his own property. We also have a huge amount of Duboisia (also known as corkwood tree), thanks to the Boehringer Ingelheim plant on the outskirts of town. Duboisia only grows in Australia and New Calendonia, and the Boehringer Ingelheim plant farms it to make Buscopan. Kingaroy is also home to Swickers/SunPork – one of Australia’s largest pork processors. That’s why we have BaconFest.

The view from the Mt Wooroolin lookout. Kingaroy is blessed with red volcanic soil, which helps us grow the best peanuts in the world.

What’s Kingaroy’s best-kept secret?

There’s a lucky nut made out of brass at the local fruit shop that you can rub for luck.

Kingaroy’s lucky nut.

Why should Kingaroy win the Next Big Thing?

I think we should win because a Big Peanut would show a real respect for our history and the people that built our community before us. Peanuts are part of our identity and our town has always been “Peanut country”.

All pics provided by Abigail’s sister Nancy, from Nancy Jayde Photography. Thanks, Nancy!

Think we should build the Big Peanut in Kingaroy? Cast your vote now for your chance to WIN $2000 towards your next Wotif holiday.*


*AU residents 18+ only. Ends 11.59am AEDT 9/10/18. Limit one entry/vote per person per valid email address. Full terms and how to enter via link. Permit NSW LTPS/18/27577.

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