As the centre both geographically and socially for the surrounding agricultural area, Allora is a lively little town with notable architecture and well-designed streetscapes. The town has several historic timber buildings, including its two churches, St David’s and St Patrick’s. St David’s is built in the Gothic Revival style and is heritage listed.
- Population – 1,223
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander percentage of population – 4.4%
- Closest major town – Warwick (26 km)
- Distance from airport – 170 km (Brisbane)
- Cinemas – 0
- Cafes/restaurants – 4
- Pubs/bars – 3
- Primary schools – 2
- Secondary schools – 1
- Tertiary education providers – 0
- Annual average maximum temperature – 24.7⁰C
- Annual average minimum temperature – 10.5⁰C
Set in the Darling Downs, Allora is 158 km southwest of Brisbane in the middle of an agricultural area. The foothills of Main Range National Park, part of the Scenic Rim, are a short 20 km east of town.
Allora has a population that is somewhat older than the average town in Queensland. Its median age is 51, with a little over half of its residents married. At 10.2 percent, the number of widowed in Allora is almost twice the Australian average. The town has equal numbers of males and females and a low median income level.
Health care for Allora is looked after by Allora Medical Practice. The closest hospital is Warwick Hospital, which has resident or visiting facilities for most specialties. The nearest ambulance stations are located at Clifton and Warwick.
Aged care services are run by Southern Cross Care, which operates two residential nursing homes, Allora Nursing Home and Allora Homestead.
Coronary heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke and lung cancer are the main causes of illness and death, due in part to the higher than average aged population. High alcohol consumption, smoking, obesity, poor diet, lack of exercise and mental health issues are major concerns across the community as a whole.
Allora is in the Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN and is rated RA2.
For pre-school children, there are two kindergartens operating in Allora – C&K Allora Community Kindergarten and Headstart Australia Child Care Centre. Headstart also offers day care for babies and toddlers.
There are two schools in town. Allora P-10 State School covers Prep through to Year 10, while the private St Patrick’s School provides education from Prep to Year 6.
For secondary education, students can either attend school in Allora for years 7 to 10 and then travel to Warwick if continuing on to years 11 and 12 or undertake all their secondary schooling in Warwick. There is a state high school and four private secondary schools in Warwick, some of which also offer primary education. These are:
- Warwick State High School (Year 7 to 12)
- Assumption College (Year 7 to 12)
- Scots PGC College (Prep to Year 12)
- The School of Total Education (Prep to Year 12)
- Warwick Christian College (Prep to Year 12)
There are several universities in the area, though none in Allora itself. The closest options for higher education are Griffith University in Warwick and University of Southern Queensland at Toowoomba, 59 km away.
Career options for partners
Local employment options include aged care residential services, education, supermarkets/food stores and agriculture, which is the area’s largest employer. Local levels of employment in all of these sectors are higher than state and national levels.
Much of the work available in Allora is part-time, with the 2016 census recording that just over 32 percent of the town’s workforce was in part-time employment.
Nearby Warwick has several major charities that are always open to volunteers.
Arts and culture
There are a number of clubs and craft groups in Allora, including:
- Allora Arts & Craft Group
- Allora Photography Group
- St Patrick’s Craft Group
- Allora & District Historical Society
- Allora Garden Club
- Allora Landcare Group
- Allora Men’s Shed
- Allora QCWA
- Allora Red Cross
- Allora Rotary Club
- Allora RSL Sub-branch
- Allora Senior Citizens
- Allora Show Society
- Doctor Who Club of Australia
In addition, Allora sometimes hosts the Goomburra Country Music Stampede, held each September, and holds concerts at the Allora Showgrounds. There are also dance and music lessons available in town.
Local residents make the drive to Warwick for movies at the Warwick Twin Cinema.
Allora is quite close to Goomburra Forest Reserve in the Main Range National Park. The park has three developed camping grounds, two of which are in the Goomburra section. There are many walking trails throughout the national park, with remote campsites also available for hikers. Beyond these, there are numerous other campsites within a 100 km range of Allora.
In addition, there are several great outdoor facilities within the town, including:
- Apex Park
- Dalrymple Creek Park
- PL Travers Park
- Stuart Henry Park
- Victory Park
Food and drink
For those wanting a meal out or a relaxing drink, Allora has four cafes and three hotels to choose from. The cafes are great places for locals and visitors alike to grab a tasty takeaway or sit-down meal, while the pubs – Blue Cow Hotel, Commercial Hotel and Railway Hotel – are popular places for a meal or to catch up with friends. All the eateries are located in Herbert Street, in the centre of town.
Allora supports a good mix of old and new housing, with a stable population maintaining a high standard of homes. Most homes are separate houses with a few flats mixed in. Homes tend to be on large blocks with plenty of room. Median price for a three-bedroom home is around $250,000, with the median rent for a three-bedroom house around $260 a week.
While there is no train service to Allora, there is a regular bus route that connects the town to the surrounding area. Crisps Coaches has a daily service that runs between one and three buses a day through the town on its route from Toowoomba to Warwick. In addition, the town is on the New England Highway, which gives it easy road access to Warwick and Toowoomba as well as to the larger Queensland road network.
Broadband – Allora is covered by ADSL2+ broadband, with speeds of up to 15Mbps available, and is due to be included in the NBN high speed fibre network by 2018.
Famous residents – Probably the most notable resident was PL Travers, the author of Mary Poppins. The house where she lived can still be seen in Herbert Street.