Pittsworth, just a little over 40 km west of Toowoomba, began as a pastoral settlement in the early 1840s. Today it is the commercial centre for the surrounding agricultural communities and is also increasingly popular as a commuter town for Toowoomba.
It is the only country town in Darling Downs to have accredited gardens in the Australian Open Garden Scheme, making it spectacular in spring. Blessed with a mild temperate climate, the summers are warm and the winters cool and dry, with overnight temperatures rarely falling below freezing.
Population – 3,294
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander percentage of population – 2.8 percent
Closest major town – Toowoomba
Distance from airport – Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport (34.7 km),
Brisbane International (177 km with tolls)
Cinemas – 0
Restaurants – 8
Pubs/bars – 2
Primary schools – 2
Secondary schools – 1
Tertiary education providers – 0
Max average temp – 28.2°C
Min average temp – 6.5°C
- Population – 2,968
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander percentage of population – 3.4%
- Closest major town – Toowoomba
- Distance from airport – Toowoomba (33.88 km), Brisbane International (150.86 km)
- Cinemas – 0
- Restaurants – 7
- Pubs/bars – 2
- Primary schools – 2
- Secondary schools – 1
- Tertiary education providers – 0
- Max average temp – 28.1°C
- Min average temp – 6.4°C
Pittsworth is located about 30 km west of Toowoomba, on the cultivated plain that lies between the Main Range and Western Creek State Forest.
The population of Pittsworth is just over 3,000 people. The median age of Pittsworth residents is 43, which is about 6 years above the Queensland average. That’s mostly accounted for by a larger number of people aged 60 or over and a slight dip in the 20-39 age bracket; the number of children 19 and under is also above average. Marriage rates are high and so is the percentage of residents born in Australia – 81.8 percent, against a national average of 66.7percent.
Currently, 2.8 percent of residents are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander ancestry. The traditional owners of the Pittsworth area are the Giabal or Gomaingguru peoples. Sadly, the inhabitants were pushed out of the local grasslands and into the mountains with the introduction of European settlement, and much of the contemporary evidence of their history has been lost. Though we do know that the Indigenous population of the Darling Downs area numbered to around 1500-2000 and that they were known to practise back burning the grasslands. Between 1842 and 1845 there appeared to be some major form of resistance to European settlement which was labeled the ‘great fear’. This resistance was largely destroyed with the formation of a military fort near Helidon and by the 1840’s European diseases such as syphilis, smallpox and influenza had decimated the population to nearly 500.
Health care (including general practices) is provided by two medical centres; the Pittsworth Platinum Medical Centre, which currently provides services in Audiology, Adult and Children’s Vaccinations, Birth Control, Cardiac Management, Diabetic Education and Management, Emergency Medicine, Employment Medicals, Family Care, Gynaecology, Health Assessments, Immunology, Internal Medicine, Maternal Health, Mental Health, Medication Reviews, Nursing Home Visits, Obstetrics, Paediatrics, Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Post-Surgical, Skin Checks, Travel Medicine, 24hr Blood Pressure Monitoring, Veterans Affairs Assessments, Women’s Health, Workcover Assessments and Wound Management. This Centre is open Monday to Friday from eight am to five pm and currently has four doctors on staff.
The other Pittsworth Medical Centre on Yandilla street is open Monday to Saturday and provides services in; Alcohol & Drug Testing, Allergy Testing, Audiology, Biopsy, Birth Control, Cardiac Testing, Diabetic Care, ECGs, Emergency Medicine, Family Care, Gynaecology, Home Visits, Immunisations, Immunology, Internal Medicine, Lung Function Tests, Maternal Health, Maternal Serum Screening, Maternity Care, Medical Assessments, Nurses, Obstetrics, Paediatrics, Pap Smears, Post Surgical, Travel Medicine, Women’s Health and Workplace Assessments.
The Pittsworth & District Private Hospital is serviced by Pittsworth Ambulance Station and aged care is provided by Blue Care and Beauaraba Living.
Pittsworth’s health profile is somewhat disadvantaged. Median incomes are slightly lower than average and unhealthy lifestyle choices are prevalent. The smoking rate is quite high and almost two-thirds of residents are at an unhealthy weight.
Pittsworth is in the Darling Downs & West Moreton PHN and is rated RA2.
Pittsworth is the services centre for a fairly large farming area, so it has a reasonable array of schools for a town this size. There are state primary and high schools as well as a Catholic primary.
• Kate’s Place Early Education & Child Care Centre
• Pittsworth Primary
• St. Stephen’s Catholic Primary School
• Pittsworth High School
Whereas parents who prefer a private secondary will find plenty of options in Toowoomba.
For further education the closest option is Toowoomba, where the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba campus is located. It offers a wide range of courses covering business, science, engineering, law and much more. It also has distance learning facilities.
Career options for partners
Unemployment in Pittsworth is well below the state average at 4.6 percent. There is a shortage of professional and managerial positions though, with the largest sectors being poultry farming and aged care services. However, primary education and freight transportation also appear to be significant employers. The town is within easy reach of Toowoomba, so many residents commute.
For those interested in working part-time, there are some opportunities in town. 29.6 percent of the residents work part-time, mainly in retail and specifically in supermarkets. For volunteer opportunities, the community sports and social club is volunteer-run and 24.7 percent of Pittsworth residents do unpaid work for a group or organisation. However, the larger charitable organizations are more likely to be found in Toowoomba.
Arts and Culture
There aren’t a lot of art and craft groups in Pittsworth but there are a few cultural attractions. The town is well known for its gardens, thanks to an active club. There’s also an historical museum and a gallery that showcases local artists.
- Pittsworth Historical Pioneer Village & Museum – The Pittsworth Pioneer Historical Village brings to life a bygone time. The Village consists of the former Pittsworth Post Office, the telephone exchange, the post masters residence, the former one teacher school, a fully furnished cottage (circa 1900) and a blacksmith shop.
- Pittsworth Art Gallery & Visitors Centre – The Gallery houses a range of paintings and pottery produced by talented local artists.
- Pittsworth Garden Club
- Pittsworth Woodcrafters
- Gidgee Coal Bush Ballad Awards (Country Music)
- Pittsworth Amateur Theatrical Society
- Broxburn Music Festival
- Pittsworth Sprints – an annual auto racing event.
The farmland around Pittsworth is attractive but if you prefer wilder scenery, there’s plenty of that too. There are five national parks within easy reach; Crows Nest is particularly popular, offering campsites and some truly spectacular views. Ravensbourne has some of the best preserved native rainforest in Australia, and though the access to Lockyer is more difficult due to its adventurous terrain the park allows for a more secluded and adventurous experience. Glen Rock boasts some amazing forest walks and Main Range National Park has a wide variety of habitats to explore. Local parks for camping and bush walks include:
- Crows Nest National Park
- Glen Rock National Park
- Ravensbourne National Park
- Main Range National Park
- Centenary Park
If organized and team sports is more your interest, there are plenty of opportunities in Pittsworth. For cheering on and watching, the Pittsworth Danes Rubgy Team and the Pittsworth Vikings local soccer team are popular choices. If you want to play, there are a number of clubs for men, women and the kids, including:
- Pittsworth Rugby League Club
- Pittsworth Vikings Soccer Club
- Pittsworth & District Wildcats Netball Club
- Pittsworth Pony Club
- Pittsworth Ladies Bowling Club
- Pittsworth Tennis Club
- Pittsworth Golf Club
- Pittsworth Judo Club
- Pittsworth Piranhas Swim Club
- Pittsworth Millmerran Junior Australian Football Club
- Pittsworth Little Athletics
Food and Drink
Pittsworth has a decent array of dining options. There’s a handful of restaurants, including Chinese and Australian cuisine, and enough cafes so you can always find coffee, a snack or lunch.
Pittsworth’s population is growing steadily rather than quickly, so the housing stock is of mixed age – there are new homes mixed in with plenty of older ones. Almost all residences are separate houses and they tend to be spacious and on good-sized lots. Demand is low, helping keep things affordable, though with more commuters moving in, prices could rise in the future.
The median price of a three bedroom house in Pittsworth is $255,000. The rent for a comparable house in town would be around $280 per week.
There is no rail service from Pittsworth though Hubbards Coaches runs a regular service to Toowoomba. The closest mainline station for large scale public transportation is Toowoomba, which has regular services to Brisbane. Road access is good, with Pittsworth located on the Gore Highway, giving easy access to Toowoomba, Brisbane and the rest of the Queensland highway system.
- Broadband is available via ADSL2+ at speeds of up to 12Mbps, or through NBN fixed wireless at up to 50Mbps.
- Famous residents – Rugby player Mark Hohn was born in Pittsworth, as was former Queensland Legislative Assembly member Sir Alan Roy Fletcher.
- Pittsworth is the only Darling Downs town to have accredited gardens in the Australian Open Gardens Scheme. In spring, the town is a spectacular sight.