Drayton started out as a farming settlement back in the early 1840s but when Toowoomba was established nearby, much of the population moved there. As Toowoomba grew, it eventually surrounded the smaller town, and today Drayton is considered an outer suburb of the city.
Drayton is hilly with a mix of residential and commercial buildings and a small selection of shops. Townsfolk tend to go to Toowoomba for just about everything from supplies to entertainment, as it is only 8 km away.
- Population – 1,710
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander percentage of population – 5.0%
- Closest major town/city – Toowoomba (8 km)
- Distance from airport – 20 km (Toowoomba); 145 km (Brisbane)
- Cinemas – 0
- Cafes/restaurants – 2
- Pubs/bars – 1
- Primary schools – 1
- Secondary schools – 0
- Tertiary education providers – 0
- Annual average maximum temperature – 23.1°C
- Annual average minimum temperature – 12.6°C
Located on the southwestern edge of Toowoomba, just 8 km from the city centre, Drayton is primarily situated on a small hill. The Gore Highway, which connects Toowoomba to Goondiwindi on the New South Wales border, passes through the town.
Drayton’s population has a median age of 37, the same as the state figure. Half of Drayton’s adult population are married, and a little over 40 percent of people are of either Catholic or Anglican faith. More than half of the population claim Australian or English ancestry. Eighty percent were born in Australia, with one in 20 residents either Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
Drayton’s health profile is not noticeably disadvantaged. Median income is slightly lower than average, which may have health implications, but the main concern is lifestyle factors. Around 60 percent of residents are at an unhealthy weight, and while smoking prevalence is average, there’s a high rate of alcohol consumption.
Drayton is in the Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN and is rated RA2.
Preschoolers in Drayton are catered for at Goodstart Early Learning. There is one public primary school in the town, Drayton State School. The closest high school is Harristown State High School, just north of Drayton. There are no private schools in Drayton, but there are a number of options available in Toowoomba at both primary and secondary levels. Toowoomba also offers a variety of higher education opportunities, including at University of Southern Queensland and TAFE Queensland South West.
Career options for partners
The unemployment rate in Drayton is a little higher than that for all of Queensland, and the proportion of residents working full-time is somewhat lower than state and national levels. While hospitals, cafes and restaurants, and education are listed as the top industries of employment, there is a good mix of professional, trades and administrative jobs, with many residents commuting to Toowoomba for work.
Part-time work amongst Drayton residents is more common than elsewhere in Queensland, with the majority in the food and retail sectors. The level of voluntary work is the same as statewide participation, with close to 19 percent of residents stating they have undertaken unpaid work for an organisation or group recently.
Arts and culture
Despite its small size and close proximity to Toowoomba, Drayton does exhibit its own cultural heritage. Of particular interest is the Royal Bull’s Head Inn, a heritage-listed building dating back to the 1850s which today operates as a museum to that time. DownsSteam Tourist Railway and Museum is the place for train buffs to explore some of the area’s railway history.
For arts and crafts, Toowoomba has galleries, studios and classes, as well as music and dance tuition. The city also offers a host of festivals, theatres and other cultural events.
For those who like to spend time outdoors, there are several parks in Drayton. Mount Peel Bushland Reserve has trails suitable for bushwalking, horse riding and mountain biking. Other parks in the town have a range of facilities such as play equipment, cricket pitch or picnic tables. A little further afield, Federation Park at Vale View, about 6 km south of Drayton is another great spot for hiking and cycling. There are also numerous parks throughout Toowoomba with a range of facilities, and the city also has more than 70 km of bike paths.
For the more adventurous, several national parks and state forests are near Drayton, including Main Range National Park and Glen Rock State Forest, which are suitable for day trips or a longer camping holiday.
Food and drink
While options for eating out in Drayton are limited, the eateries that do exist are quite popular. The Arches Cafe is open for breakfast and lunch or, for an evening meal, Downs Hotel and Grumpy’s Tavern Steakhouse are the local choices. Alternatively, making the drive into Toowoomba will provide a much wider range to choose from.
Drayton offers a reasonable variety of housing options with everything from 19th-century classic homes to newly built houses. Most homes are separate houses and sit on good-sized blocks with plenty of space. A three-bedroom home in Drayton sells for an average of $345,000, with a similar house renting for around $325 a week.
Although there is no train service to Drayton, Bus Queensland has a route linking the town to Toowoomba. If driving, the nearby Gore Highway (A39) connects to Toowoomba, from where roads extend to many parts of Queensland. Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport has regular passenger flights to and from Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns and Townsville.
Broadband – Much of Drayton is on the National Broadband Network, with speeds of up to 100MBps available. However, there are some small pockets still to be connected.
Famous Drayton residents – Author Steele Rudd (real name Arthur Hoey Davis) was born in Drayton.