Warwick was founded, under its original name of Cannington, in 1847. It became Warwick within its first couple of years, and by 1861 was expanding rapidly. In the 1870s it became a local industrial centre, and since 1861 has also been a seat of local government. Today, it’s the administrative centre of the Southern Downs LGA. Warwick is a popular place with retirees and also attracts young families.
Warwick has a warm temperate climate, verging on subtropical, with hot summers and cool, dry winters. Temperatures rarely drop below freezing and hard frosts are unheard of. Rainfall is moderate and mostly arrives in summer.
- Population – 13,376
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander percentage of population – 4.3%
- Closest major town – Toowoomba
- Distance from airport – Toowoomba Airport (75.58 km), Brisbane International (140.86 km)
- Cinemas – 1
- Restaurants – 33
- Pubs/bars – 9
- Primary schools – 8
- Secondary schools – 5
- Tertiary education providers – 0
- Max average temp – 30.0°C
- Min average temp – 4.8°C
Warwick is located on the Condamine River, around 130 km southwest of Brisbane. The Cunningham and New England highways both pass through the town.
Warwick’s population is slightly older than average, with a median age of 39 – three years higher than the Queensland figure. This is mostly due to the town’s high population of people aged 65 and over, but there’s also an above average number of younger children and a corresponding shortage of young adults. The average resident spent 10.41 years in education. A quarter of the population is Catholic, and a third of the residents were born in Australia. 4.6% of residents are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent.
The traditional owners of the Warwick area are the Keinjan peoples, who called it Gooragooby. Today there’s a more diverse Aboriginal population, with seven different language groups present. Part of the town’s indigenous history is commemorated with a large statue of Tiddalik, the legendary frog who drank all the fresh water.
- Emergency medicine
- Obstetrics and gynaecology
- Mental health
- Adult Internal Medicine
- Population health
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander health
- Aged care
- Diet and Nutrition
- High Dependency
- Heart Failure
- Stress ECG
- Cardiac Rehabilitation
- Occupational Therapy
- Speech Pathology
Warwick’s health profile is disadvantaged. Median incomes are considerably lower than the state or national average, although that’s partly compensated for by a lower cost of living. A high percentage of elderly residents brings a significant burden of chronic disease. Lifestyle issues are also prevalent, including high rates of smoking and alcohol consumption combined with a fairly poor diet. Almost two-thirds of the population have an unhealthy weight.
Warwick is in the Darling Downs & West Moreton PHN and is rated RA2.
Warwick has a good selection of schools. Public education is covered by four state primaries and a state high school; for those who prefer a private option there is also a private Catholic primary, the independent School of Total Education, and three private schools – one Christian and two non-denominational – which teach Prep to Year 12. These include:
- Early Childhood Education & Care
- Warwick & District Family Day Care
- Kidzone School Aged Care
- Warwick West State School
- Warwick East State School
- Glennie Heights State School
- Warwick Central State School
- Warwick Christian College
- SCOTS PGC College
- The School of Total Education
- St. Mary’s Primary School
- Warwick State High School
- Warwick Christian College
- SCOTS PGC College
- Assumption College
- The School of Total Education
Career options for partners
56.5% of Warwick’s residents are in full-time employment, below the Queensland average of 60.0%. Unemployment is also below the Queensland average, at 5.6%. The largest local employment sector is education, followed by the meat industry. However, professional positions are relatively scarce.
Part-time work occupies 31.9% of the residents of Warwick, mainly in the retail industry. 23% of the residents have volunteered for a group or organisation in the past year. Opportunities include the Red Cross shop and Warwick Wildlife Care.
Arts and Culture
Warwick has a good – and sometimes eclectic – selection of cultural activities, including a range of museums, a heritage railway and a gallery showcasing local artists. There are classes in clarinet, guitar and saxophone offered and three dance studios, as well as a thriving community theatre and the Warwick Artist Group. Local art galleries and museums include:
- Glengallan Homestead & Heritage Centre
- Southern Downs Steam Railway
- Warwick Art Gallery
- Warwick Historical Society Museum
- Pringle Cottage Museum
There’s also a popular winter jazz and knitting festival each July, Jumpers and Jazz in July, along with the Warwick Agricultural Show and the annual Rose Festival.
Although a lot of the land around Warwick is cultivated, there are also several stretches of bush close by, especially west and south of town. A short drive will bring you to plenty of places to enjoy the scenery.
Main Range National Park is half an hour to the east and offers spectacular mountain scenery and native forests. It’s a great place for bush walking and there’s no shortage of places to picnic or camp, either.
The Lake Leslie Tourist Park is one of Queensland’s most popular spots for freshwater fishing, and has boating opportunities too. There’s also a campsite and holiday cabins for weekend trips.
Warwick has a diverse range of sporting opportunities, including team sports – soccer and both kinds of rugby – and many other options. There’s also a strong equestrian scene. Clubs include:
- Warwick Tennis Club
- Warwick Rugby Union Club
- Warwick Golf Club
- Warwick Bowls Club
- Southern Cross Bowls Club
- Warwick East Bowls Club
- Warwick District Sporting Car Club
- Sporting Shooters Association
- Warwick Soccer Club
- Condamine Sports Club
- Warwick Boat Club
- Warwick Squash Club
- Warwick Gymnastics Club
There are several teams you can follow in the area including the Warwick Water Rats (Rugby Union), Warwick Cowboys (Rugby League) and the Warwick Wolves Football Team (Soccer). For sports competitions, the offerings are plentiful and include:
- FEI Eventing
- The Rose Bowl Polocrosse Carnival
- Warwick Trots (Harness Racing)
- Warwick Cup (thoroughbred horse racing)
- Warwick Rodeo
Food and Drink
Warwick has no shortage of restaurants, ranging from fast food to seafood, Asian and classic Australian cuisine. A plentiful assortment of cafes makes it easy to find a coffee or snack. Here is just a short list to give you an idea of the variety in town:
- Belle Vue Cafe – Top-rated restaurant by TripAdvisor for the area
- Cherry Tree Coffee and Dining – Good prices and country hospitality
- Abbey of the Roses – Great place for High Tea
Because Warwick isn’t growing, house construction is fairly slow; the existing stock is of varied ages. Demand is low too and that keeps property prices reasonable. Almost all houses are separate homes and these tend to be quite spacious.
The median price of a house in Warwick is $254,000, for a three bedroom house in town. A comparable home can be rented for around $265 per week.
Warwick has no rail service. However they do have local buses that operate throughout Warwick, and Greyhound operates services to Toowoomba and Brisbane.
Road access is through the New England Highway which links directly to Toowoomba and the National Highway A15 that links to Brisbane. Overall, Warwick has very good road access.
Broadband is available through ADSL2+ at up to 12Mbps, or via NBN fixed wireless. There are also a limited number of NBN fibre connections. NBN speeds can reach up to 100Mbps.
Famous Residents – A number of well-known people come from Warwick, including former Queensland premiers Anna Bligh, Thomas Byrnes and Arthur Morgan. Several sports personalities were also born in Warwick – among them are rugby players Wayne Bennett and Duncan Thompson, racing driver Matt Campbell and cricketer Alan Marshall.
- Australian Good Food and Travel Guide: Warwick
- Virtual Tourist – Warwick: General information
- Real estate
- The Australian Commonwealth Police was formed after the Warwick Incident in November 1917, when an anti-conscription demonstration ended with an egg being thrown at the Prime Minister.