Lakes Creek and Koongal are residential suburbs, four km east of central Rockhampton, adjoining the north side of the Fitzroy River.
Lakes Creek is named after a minor stream which is thought to have been a source of fresh water for an early seaman, Captain Lake. The creek empties into the Fitzroy River just east of Lakes Creek primary school. Koongal, immediately east of Lakes Creek, apparently was named after Aboriginal words describing the locality, most probably referring to a bora ring.
In 1871 the newly-formed central Queensland Meat Preserving Company built a meat works at Lakes Creek. It also built group housing for employees, a practice continued until 1900. A school was opened in 1872, closed during 1874-77, but has been open continuously since then. A fire in 1883 required the meatworks to be rebuilt, but by then the central railway line was bringing livestock to Rockhampton from as far west as Emerald. A line to Emu Park on the coast, via Lakes Creek, was opened in 1888.
Although part of the North Rockhampton municipality, Lakes Creek was an outlying settlement dependent on itself for its recreation and facilities. A school of arts was built in the 1880s, the Lakes Creek Hotel was a social centre and the Catholic church had a convent school by the 1890s. A Baptist church was opened in 1914 and the Wesleyan Methodist church opposite the school continued into the twenty-first century.
The meatworks was the dominant economic activity. A meat export company was formed in 1880, and the workforce numbered up to 900 by the 1900s. There was a succession of owners, including William Angliss (1928), Vesteys and Kerry Packer (1990s). During Packer's stewardship there was a two year dispute and shutdown.
In the early postwar years Lakes Creek was still a town on its own, although neighbouring Koongal had a strong identity with a convent school, an Anglican church and the Imperial Cinema.
Lakes Creek continues to function around the re-opened meatworks (capable of employing 1300 workers). Koongal is a fully developed suburb with the Mount Archer primary school (1982), four major recreation spaces and a linear park along its main waterway, Thozet Creek. Lakes Creek's beef-industry heritage is best preserved in about 30 surviving meatworks cottages with timber lattices and verandahs, earning the group a National Trust citation.
In early January 2011 the Fitzroy River overflowed into Frenchmans and Thozets Creeks Koongal, and at several other points downstream. Flooding at Frenchmans Creek was extensive, covering nearly all of Birdwood Park and houses to the east.
Lakes Creek had riverside flooding a little beyond Lakes Creek Road.
Early census populations were:
William S. Hamilton, Memoirs of Lakes Creek 1918-1929: a village at the edge of change, Rockhampton, Central Queensland University Press, 2001
Lakes Creek State School centenary booklet: 1872-1978, Lake's Creek, Lake's Creek State School, 1978