With its mild climate and gentle rolling hills, the town of Boonah is the perfect place for anyone who loves a rural atmosphere and exploring the great outdoors. Established in the 1870s, the town may be small but, as the social and retail hub for the surrounding farms, it has plenty to offer.
- Population – 2,484
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander percentage of population – 1.9%
- Closest major town/city – Ipswich (48 km)
- Distance from airport – 99 km (Brisbane)
- Cinemas – 0
- Cafes/restaurants – 12
- Pubs/bars – 4
- Primary schools – 2
- Secondary schools – 1
- Tertiary education providers – 0
- Annual average maximum temperature – 26.7°C
- Annual average minimum temperature – 13.0°C
Located on the Darling Downs, Boonah is southwest of Brisbane and along the Scenic Rim. With Main Range west of Boonah and McPherson Range to the south, the town is nestled in a little valley that primarily supports agriculture and includes Teviot Brook, which runs into the Logan River.
Boonah has a slightly older population than the Queensland average, with a median age of 47. This is further reflected in the fact that it has more than double the number of widowed people as the national average.
Around a third of Boonah’s residents reported at the 2016 census that they had completed a post-secondary course of education. A little over half of the population have Australian or English ancestry, with the vast majority born in Australia. The town is well represented when it comes to religion, with several churches of different denominations.
There are two medical centres in Boonah – Boonah Medical Centre, and Fassifern Doctors. The Boonah Hospital provides a range of services including emergency medicine, palliative care, dental, physiotherapy, speech pathology, mental health and visiting cardiology and rehabilitation services. There is also an ambulance station in the town.
Boonah has a higher than average proportion of elderly people, with close to 30 percent of residents aged 65 or over. This gives the town a high burden of chronic diseases. Drug use and other lifestyle issues are also prevalent.
Boonah is in the Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN and is rated RA2.
As the hub for the surrounding area, Boonah has excellent educational opportunities for children from Prep to Year 12. Primary education is covered by Boonah State School and the Catholic All Saints’ School, while Boonah State High School provides secondary education.
Preschoolers are also well covered with two options – Goodstart Early Learning and Boonah & District Family Day Care.
There are no private high schools or other educational facilities in town. The nearest university campuses are at Toowoomba, Ipswich, Gatton and Brisbane.
Career options for partners
The rates of full-time and part-time employment for Boonah residents are similar to state and national levels, with part-time positions slightly more common and full-time jobs slightly less so. Boonah’s unemployment rate of 7.6 percent is on a par with the state level. Agriculture is the largest employment sector, with education and aged care and health services also providing jobs. Opportunities may also be found by commuting to Ipswich.
Volunteering is popular in town, with around a quarter of people reporting they have worked at an unpaid position for a group or organisation.
Arts and culture
Boonah offers a wide variety of options when it comes to music and art instruction, as well as several venues for enjoying music and art. The local Eastman Academy of Music offers lessons for a number of different instruments, the Barre Dance School offers a variety of dance classes, and there are private classes available in town as well.
The town boasts a regional art gallery and a local cultural centre that hosts concerts and other cultural events throughout the year. Annual events such as the Boonah Arts Festival held each September add to the cultural life of the town and are well attended.
Although Boonah doesn’t have its own cinema, residents can travel to Ipswich for a wide choice of the latest movies.
With its location close to Moogerah Peaks National Park, Main Range National Park and Glen Rock State Forest, which all offer opportunities for a wide variety of bushwalks, camping and birdwatching, Boonah is a great town if you enjoy outdoor activities. Rock climbing is a big sport in the area, there are many great places for cycling, and nearby lakes Moogerah and Maroon are ideal for water sports including boating and fishing.
There are also several parks and playgrounds within the town, including Bicentennial, Coronation and Tiny Tots parks, for those who don’t want to venture too far from home.
Food and drink
Boonah has a good selection of places to eat out, including restaurants, cafes, pubs and takeaways. Options include Chinese, Indian, vegetarian and gluten free. Simon’s Tavern is a popular pub with the locals, with the other three pubs in town providing meals as well.
While most of the homes available in Boonah are separate houses, they are quite affordable due to the low housing demand in town. The town centre is the most likely place to find flats, and houses outside of this area have good-sized lots and come well equipped, with many of them recently built. The median price for a three-bedroom house is $265,000, with a similar home renting for around of $275 a week.
This is a town where having a car is probably your best bet. There are no train services in the area, and even bus services are limited. There are some local private bus services, but outside of this, public transit both in town and to other towns in the area is difficult. However, if driving, the Cunningham Highway (National Highway 15) passes by Boonah about 10 km west of town. It gives locals easy access to Ipswich and Brisbane.
Broadband – Boonah is on the National Broadband Network, with most homes connected via fixed wireless. Speeds of up to 50Mbps are available.