Killarney, Queensland

Killarney is a rural town and locality in the Southern Downs Region, Queensland, Australia.[2][3] In the 2016 census, the locality of Killarney had a population of 954 people.[1]

View of Killarney from the south
Coordinates28.3338°S 152.2961°E / -28.3338; 152.2961
Population954 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density12.184/km2 (31.56/sq mi)
Elevation507 m (1,663 ft)
Area78.3 km2 (30.2 sq mi)
Time zoneAEST (UTC+10:00)
LGA(s)Southern Downs Region
State electorate(s)Southern Downs
Federal Division(s)Maranoa
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
23.9 °C
75 °F
9.3 °C
49 °F
741.8 mm
29.2 in
Localities around Killarney:
Tannymorel Mount Colliery Mount Colliery
Loch Lomond Killarney The Falls
Elbow Valley Legume (NSW) Acacia Creek (NSW)


Killarney is located 35 kilometres (22 mi) south-east of Warwick on the Condamine River in the Darling Downs. Killarney is located about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from the Queensland/New South Wales border. It is close to Queen Mary Falls in the Main Range National Park, where Spring Creek plunges 40 metres (130 ft) into the valley.

Mountain View is a neighbourhood within the locality of Killarney (28.350°S 152.317°E / -28.350; 152.317 (Mountain View, Queensland)).[4]

Melrose is a neighbourhood within the locality of Killarney (28.360°S 152.254°E / -28.360; 152.254 (Melrose, Queensland (Scenic Rim Region))); it is associated with the Melrose pastoral station.[5]


Killarney bordered on the northern boundaries of the Yetimarala. Originally part of Canning Downs, established by the Leslie brothers in 1840, the development of the town was largely based on primary production and forestry.

The name of the district was chosen by the Hon. Peter Murray, who was visiting George Leslie at the Canning Downs pastoral station and commented that the scenery reminded him of Killarney in County Kerry, Ireland.[6]

Killarney State School was established on 17 August 1874.[7] However, it was not until 1 January 1876 that teacher Gwyther Hill was appointed and students enrolled.[8]

The South Killarney town site was first surveyed in 1878, but the town already boasted several shops and services by this time. Many early settlers to Queensland selected land in the Killarney area with the first of these arriving in 1863. During the 1880s Killarney was described as "one of the most flourishing towns in Southern Queensland".[9]

The first Killarney Post Office opened on 1 July 1877 (a receiving office had been open from 1875). Killarney North Post Office opened on 26 June 1889 (replacing Killarney North Railway Station receiving office open from 1887) and was renamed North Killarney in 1897. In 1905 the Killarney office was renamed Killarney South, and the North Killarney office became the second Killarney office, due to the town having moved to near the railway station.[10]

A branch railway was built from Warwick in 1885. The line closed in 1964.[11]

Mountain View Provisional School opened circa 1886 and closed in 1892. In 1895 it reopened as Mountain View State School, finally closing on 4 July 1965.[7]

Melrose State School opened on 1910 and closed on circa 1931.[7]

Wynola State School was establised in 1935 at River Bank 7 miles (11 km) from the town of Killarney, following the discovery that several families in that district were illiterate.[12] It is presumed the school was in the vicinity of the Wynola pastoral station (28.313°S 152.350°E / -28.313; 152.350 (Wynola pastoral station)) to the north-east of the town on the Condamine River Road.[5] The school building from the closed Melrose State School was relocated to establish the new school.[13][14] The school was officially opened on 19 October 1935 by John Healy, the Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly for Warwick.[15] The school closed circa 1941.[7]

The town was hit by a destructive tornado on Friday 22 November 1968, which destroyed many of the original buildings.[16][17] The main street buildings that survived the storm: the Butter Factory, the Co-op Building, MacKenzie’s Emporium (now a St Vincent de Paul boutique), former Commercial Bank (opposite the Post Office), the Post Office and the Killarney Hotel, hint at the town's former glory.[18] The former National bank building did survive the storm but was relocated to a suburb of Brisbane in 1977. The old Bank Vault foundation stones remain on the vacant block in the buildings original location adjacent to the St Vincent de Paul boutique. November 2008 marks the 40th anniversary of this storm.[19]

At the 2011 census, the town of Killarney had a population of 773 people,[20] while the locality as a whole had a population of 984 people.[21]


The Killarney Co-operative is Killarney's main street under one roof. Partially operating in the original Milward's General Store, originally established in 1913 as the Killarney Dairy Company, the Co-operative was formed in 1922 and remains community owned. In 2008, the "Co-op" was a department store boasting in-store banking, gifts, shoes, electrical, hardware, garden, agricultural supplies, supermarket, delicatessen and coffee shop.

Several key buildings remain in Willow St. The Killarney Post Office was built in 1905. The CWA building, formerly the School of Arts, was built in 1888 on stilts over Gravel Creek and is testament to how crowded the main street had become at the towns height. The Killarney Hotel is located in Willow St and is the third hotel to sit on this site.[18]

The Killarney Recreation Club has been a recent addition to the townscape on the southern side of town, built with funds raised by the local community. Two sandstone horseheads at the entrance to the Polocrosse Fields and the "God of Sport Statue" in front of the Club were created by locally based sculptor Paul Stumkat.

The Southern Downs Regional Council operates a mobile library service which visits Canning Park on the corner of Willow and Oleander Streets.[22]

The Killarney branch of the Queensland Country Women's Association meets at 12 Willow Street.[23]


Killarney P-10 State School is a government primary and secondary (Prep-10) school for boys and girls at Acacia Street (28.3413°S 152.2978°E / -28.3413; 152.2978 (Killarney P-10 State School)).[24][25] In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 149 students with 15 teachers (14 full-time equivalent) and 14 non-teaching staff (11 full-time equivalent).[26] It includes a special education program.[24]

There is no secondary school in Warwick offering Years 11 and 12; the nearest secondary school offering Years 11 and 12 schooling is in Warwick.[5]


The local economy is underpinned by agriculture, abattoirs (which was closed in February 2011),[27] transport and more recently tourism. The annual agricultural show, rodeos, various horse-related events and the annual Border Ranges Trail Ride are major events that attract substantial numbers of visitors to the town. Killarney has many active community and sporting groups including the Killarney Area Promotion Association and the Killarney Cutters Rugby League club.


The five waterfalls surrounding Killarney make this area a popular scenic destination, the Teviot Falls, Queen Mary Falls, Dagg's Falls, Brown's Falls and Upper Brown's Falls. During wet weather there are two additional falls, Black Fella Falls and Jack Brunton's Falls, which can be seen tumbling down the cliffs surrounding Killarney at the bottom of the Cambanoora Gorge.


Killarney has a cool subtropical climate, like most of inland south-east Queensland. Winters can be cold and frosty, while summers are warm but rarely hot.

Climate data for Killarney, Queensland
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 39.6
Average high °C (°F) 29.4
Average low °C (°F) 15.8
Record low °C (°F) 9.4
Average precipitation mm (inches) 96.0
Average precipitation days 9.6 9.8 9.8 7.4 7.4 7.0 6.3 5.5 5.6 7.5 8.3 9.5 93.7
Source: Bureau of Meteorology[28]

Water supply

Water to the town is supplied from a small weir on Spring Creek. In April 2007, the Courier Mail newspaper reported that the town might have to be evacuated due to water shortages caused by years of extreme drought.[29] In January 2008 the Condamine River broke its banks after a week of steady rain and buildings in the main street were flooded.[30] Since that time Killarney has returned to the verdant green hills local long term residents find more familiar.[31]

Notable people


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Killarney (SSC)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  2. "Killarney - town in Southern Downs Region (entry 18123)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  3. "Killarney - locality in Southern Downs Region (entry 50081)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  4. "Mountain View - unbounded locality in the Southern Downs Region (entry 23215)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  5. "Queensland Globe". State of Queensland. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  6. "The Early Days". Warwick Examiner And Times (4681). Queensland, Australia. 6 March 1915. p. 7. Retrieved 19 November 2019 via National Library of Australia.
  7. Queensland Family History Society (2010), Queensland schools past and present (Version 1.01 ed.), Queensland Family History Society, ISBN 978-1-921171-26-0
  8. "Agency ID5388, Killarney State School". Queensland State Archives. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  9. Killarney & District Historical Society, Memories of Killarney & District. Pg 7
  10. Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Archived from the original on 15 May 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  11. The Killarney Branch Line Armstrong, J. Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, August 1976 pp166-181
  12. "WHY THEY ARE ILLITERATE". The Courier-mail (520). Queensland, Australia. 30 April 1935. p. 12. Retrieved 19 November 2019 via National Library of Australia.
  13. "ILLITERATE COLONY". Warwick Daily News (4981). Queensland, Australia. 3 July 1935. p. 4. Retrieved 20 November 2019 via National Library of Australia.
  14. ""WYNOLA" STATE SCHOOL". Warwick Daily News (5025). Queensland, Australia. 23 August 1935. p. 4. Retrieved 20 November 2019 via National Library of Australia.
  15. "OPENING OF NEW SCHOOL". Warwick Daily News (5074). Queensland, Australia. 19 October 1935. p. 3. Retrieved 20 November 2019 via National Library of Australia.
  16. Oconnor, T (25 April 1998). "1968 The Year that Shook the World". The Courier-Mail. 2. p. 001. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  17. Brown, Jayden (23 November 2015). "The day a tornado smashed the Darling Downs". Warwick Daily News. Archived from the original on 9 August 2019. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  18. Killarney & District Historical Society, Memories of Killarney & District.
  19. Peter Gunders (21 November 2008). "Killarney commemorates fortieth anniversary of tornado". ABC Southern Queensland. Archived from the original on 8 November 2012. Retrieved 5 January 2009.
  20. Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Killarney (L) (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  21. Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Killarney (SSC)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  22. "Library Details". Southern Downs Regional Council. Archived from the original on 31 January 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  23. "Branch Locations". Queensland Country Women's Association. Archived from the original on 26 December 2018. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  24. "State and non-state school details". Queensland Government. 9 July 2018. Archived from the original on 21 November 2018. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  25. "Killarney P-10 State School". Archived from the original on 26 March 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  26. "ACARA School Profile 2017". Archived from the original on 22 November 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  27. (10 February 2010) Jon Condon. Pittsworth, Killarney abattoirs close Archived 18 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine. Queensland Country Life. Fairfax Agricultural Media. Retrieved 3 August 2013.
  28. "Climate Statistics for Killarney, Queensland". Archived from the original on 15 April 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  29. Towns face drought death blow Archived 27 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine by Tuck Thomspon. 26 April 2007. Retrieved on 28 April 2007.
  30. Floods bring relief to Killarney district Archived 6 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine by Amy Phillips Wednesday, 16 January 2008
  31. The silver lining to summer's storm clouds Archived 14 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine An ABC 7:30 report that highlights "Australia as the land of drought and flooding rains"
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