Goomeri, a rural town in the former Kilkivan Shire, is 60 km west of Gympie and 180 km north-west of central Brisbane. It is thought that the name derives from an Aboriginal word describing a fighting shield.

Goomeri emerged as an identifiable locality when it became a terminus for the railway extension for Kilkivan in 1902. It became a railhead for livestock and timber, but had only the station, two stores and a Methodist church (1908) until the Boonara pastoral property was resumed for closer-settlement in 1912. The property included 30,000 acres of black-soil alluvial flats, highly suited to dairying and lucerne cropping. Town lots were surveyed and sold, and a school was opened in 1912. Within ten years Goomeri's population had surpassed Kilkivan's. In 1924 Pugh's Queensland Directory recorded several stores and service businesses, a hotel, two motor garages and three builder/contractors at Goomeri. Typical of larger country towns, a retail emporium was built near the railway station. A Methodist church was opened in 1915, Baptist and Catholic churches in the 1920s and Lutheran and Presbyterian churches in the 1950s.

The substantial row of interwar shops along the main street was given added civic prominence with the construction of a clock-tower war memorial after World War II. As the businesses declined their place was taken by antiques retailers, thus retaining a level of street activity that is absent from some similar towns elsewhere. Goomeri became the main town in Kilkivan Shire, with a showground, golf, swimming and bowling venues, a public hall (The Hall of Memory), a hotel, motel and local shops. There is a combined primary-secondary school. The Boonara homestead is 10 km north of the town and the Barambah homestead is 10 km south; the latter is on the Queensland heritage register. In the town itself, both the war memorial clock (1940) and the large Hall of Memory (1926) are listed on the register. Goomeri's census populations have been:

Census DatePopulation

Dulcie Logan, Where two rivers run: a history of Kilkivan Shire, Kilkivan, Kilkivan Shire Council, 1988

J. E. Murphy and E.W. Easton, Wilderness to wealth, Brisbane, Smith and Paterson, 1950

Never ending stories: a tribute to our pioneers, Goomeri, Goomeri Heritage Writers Group, 2000


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