Rathdowney, Queensland

Rathdowney is a rural town and locality in the Scenic Rim Region, Queensland, Australia.[2][3] In the 2016 census, Rathdowney had a population of 308 people.[1]

Rathdowney seen from the town's scenic lookout
Coordinates28.2114°S 152.8633°E / -28.2114; 152.8633
Population308 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density4.266/km2 (11.049/sq mi)
Area72.2 km2 (27.9 sq mi)
Time zoneAEST (UTC+10:00)
LGA(s)Scenic Rim Region
State electorate(s)Scenic Rim
Federal Division(s)Wright
Localities around Rathdowney:
Maroon Knapp Creek Tamrookum Creek
Maroon Rathdowney Innisplain
Barney View Palen Creek Running Creek


Rathdowney is on the Mount Lindesay Highway 32 kilometres (20 mi) south of Beaudesert at the base of the McPherson Range.

The eastern boundary is marked by the Logan River. It is also close to some of the areas of greatest biodiversity in Australia, and a gateway to various National Parks such as Border Ranges National Park and Mount Barney National Park with a variety of lush rainforest, eucalypt forest, mountain heath and other habitats. In the west, where Burnetts Creek enters the Logan is Bigriggen Reserve Park. The park provides camp sites with a kiosk by the river with access available to caravans, motorhomes and buses.[4]


The first European exploration of the area was by Patrick Logan, commandant of the Moreton Bay penal colony, in 1828. The area became available for settlement in 1842. Thomas Lodge Murray-Prior purchased a large freehold estate in 1876, which he named Rathdowney Station after the Murray-Prior estates in Rathdowney, Ireland.[5]

The town was named after the former Rathdowney pastoral station.[2][6]

Timber clearing was the first major industry in the area. Cattle grazing and dairy farming are now the main industries.

The Beaudesert Shire Tramway was extended to Rathdowney in 1911 but closed in 1944.[7]

Rathdowney Terminus State School opened on 14 May 1912; the school's name presumably refers to the terminus of the tramway. In 1915 it was renamed Rathdowney State School.[8]

In April 1928, 116 subdivided allotments of "Telemon Estate, Beaudesert" were auctioned by Isles, Love & Co. and in conjunction with M. Selwyn Smith & Son Auctioneers. 25 dairy and agricultural farms, 72 township allotments and 19 farmlets from the estate of Chris J. Collins were available. According to the map advertising the auction, the estate was 17 miles from Beaudesert and 64 miles from Brisbane.[9][10] At the 2011 census, Rathdowney had a population of 434.[11]

Heritage listings

Rathdowney has the following heritage-listed sites:


There are many tours, farm stays, guest houses and other opportunities available for visitors to experience this region, which is about a 90-minute drive from Brisbane or the Gold Coast. In Autumn every year the population rises by several thousand for one day at the Rathdowney Heritage Festival, organised by the Rathdowney and District Historical Association (RADHA), who also run an information centre with information on natural heritage, indigenous heritage and history of white settlement from the time of the first pioneers to present day.

Mount Maroon is 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) west of Rathdowney. At 966 m the summit provides 360 degree views.[13]


Currently the small town has a police station, a small shop, a pub, a service station, a post office, memorial grounds, information centre, and a bowls club.

The Scenic Rim Regional Council operates a mobile library service which visits Collins Street.[14]


Rathdowney State School is a government primary (Prep-6) school for boys and girls at Mount Lindesay Highway (28.2156°S 152.8605°E / -28.2156; 152.8605 (Rathdowney State School)).[15][16] In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 39 students with 7 teachers (3 full-time equivalent) and 5 non-teaching staff (3 full-time equivalent).[17] The school has a 25-metre (82 ft) swimming pool in which every spring and summer the swimming club has races on a Friday night. The swimming club also has swimming training during the week after school.

See also


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Rathdowney (SSC)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  2. "Rathdowney - town in Scenic Rim Region (entry 28044)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  3. "Rathdowney - locality in Scenic Rim Region (entry 45182)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  4. "Welcome To Bigriggen Park in the Scenic Rim". Archived from the original on 26 March 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  5. "History of Rathdowney". Rathdowney Area Development & Historical Association. Archived from the original on 4 March 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  6. "For the man on the land". The Brisbane Courier (22, 296). Queensland, Australia. 13 July 1929. p. 11. Retrieved 28 March 2016 via National Library of Australia.
  7. Queensland Environmental Protection Agency (2000). Heritage Trails of the Great South East. State of Queensland. p. 31. ISBN 0-7345-1008-X.
  8. Queensland Family History Society (2010), Queensland schools past and present (Version 1.01 ed.), Queensland Family History Society, ISBN 978-1-921171-26-0
  9. "Telemon Estate, Beaudesert". State Library of Queensland. 2 April 1928. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  10. "Advertising". Tweed Daily. XV, (42). New South Wales, Australia. 18 February 1928. p. 8. Retrieved 30 April 2019 via National Library of Australia.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  11. Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Rathdowney (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  12. "Local Heritage Register" (PDF). Scenic Rim Regional Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  13. "Mt Maroon - Aussie Bushwalking". Aussie Bushwalking. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  14. "Mobile Library" (PDF). Scenic Rim Regional Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  15. "State and non-state school details". Queensland Government. 9 July 2018. Archived from the original on 21 November 2018. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  16. "Rathdowney State School". Archived from the original on 7 April 2017. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  17. "ACARA School Profile 2017". Archived from the original on 22 November 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2018.

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