Coolabunia is a rural locality 10 km south-east of Kingaroy. It was named after a pastoral run, and it is thought that the name derived from an Aboriginal expression describing a sleeping koala. It was a resting place on Aboriginal journeys to the Bunya Mountains to the south-west.
European settlement of the Coolabunia scrub began in the early 1880s, and closer-settlement farms were taken up later in the decade. Early settlers dug a well because of the distance to the Stuart River and lagoons around Nanango, and in the 1890s the well was proved to be a permanent source of water. A primary school opened in 1891.
Crops and timber harvesting were the leading occupations. A Baptist church opened in about 1900, a year or two after a general store and a wheelright started. A hotel was built, but was denied a licence and dismantled. The railway from Gympie was extended from Kingaroy to Nanango in 1911, with a stop at Coolabunia.
Coolabunia has a primary school with approximately 100 pupils, a municipal saleyard on the D'Aguilar Highway and a few local businesses. Its census populations have been:
J.E. Murphy and E.W. Easton, Wilderness to wealth, Fortitude Valley, W.H. Smith and Paterson, 1950