Wilsonton is a residential suburb in northwest Toowoomba. Originally a small village, it was developed as a suburb after World War II. Until the 1970s it lacked amenities, including basic ones like schools, and the small suburb wasn’t officially named until 1981. Today the population is declining, but relative affordability makes it popular with retired people and young families.
Wilsonton has a temperate climate. Summers are pleasantly warm with moderate rainfall; winters are cool and dry. Temperatures occasionally drop below freezing in winter and there are a few days of light frost most years. In common with the rest of Toowoomba, the suburb does get more fog and hail than average.
Population – 5,955
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander percentage of population – 5.8 percent
Closest major town – Toowoomba (5km)
Distance from airport – Toowoomba Airport (2.7 km)
Brisbane International (143 km with tolls)
Cinemas – 0
Restaurants – 2
Pubs/bars – 1
Primary schools – 2
Secondary schools – 1
Tertiary education providers – 0
Max average temp – 28.2°C
Min average temp – 6.5°C
- Population – 5,986
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander percentage of population – 5.4%
- Closest major town – Toowoomba (5.0 km)
- Distance from airport – Toowoomba Airport (0.77 km), Brisbane International (11.05 km)
- Cinemas – 0
- Restaurants – 1
- Pubs/bars – 3
- Primary schools – 1
- Secondary schools – 1
- Tertiary education providers – 0
- Max average temp – 28.1⁰C
- Min average temp – 6.4⁰C
Wilsonton is located at the northwest corner of Toowoomba; its southern boundary is the Warrego Highway.
Wilsonton’s population is slightly older than the state or national average, with a median age of 40. This is mostly due to a high number of retired people in the suburb; it also has plenty of young families. A very high percentage – 80.6 percent – were born in Australia, of whom 5.8 percent are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage.
Wilsonton traditionally belonged to the Giabal people, who settled the area at least 40,000 years ago. They were known to other indigenous people as Gooneburra, or “Those who hunt with fire”, from their practice of burning the grasslands to provide fresh grazing for game. Unfortunately, the Giabal were almost wiped out by early European settlers, and little of their culture survives.
The town of Wilsonton has a cluster of small, local clinics that supply healthcare support including Platinum Health Group, Keenan ALP, The Doctor’s on Erin Street, Bridge Medical Practice and Wilsonton Medical Centre . There is no hospital in Wilsonton and the closest ambulance service is in nearby Toowoomba. Aged care services are provided in town by a variety of facilities, the forefront of which is Bupa Aged Care.
Wilsonton’s health profile is disadvantaged. Median income is significantly below the state and national averages. Almost two in three residents have an unhealthy weight and smoking prevalence is high. Diet is poor and risky alcohol use is common.
Wilsonton is in the Darling Downs & West Moreton PHN and is rated RA2.
The town provides day care, preschools and several state schools. Both primary and secondary education are provided; the Wilsonton campus of Toowoomba State High School also has excellent sports facilities. For parents who prefer a Catholic education there’s a private primary, and of course Toowoomba itself has an extensive range of private schools. For those who wish to continue their education, the area is well provided for – the University of Southern Queensland’s main campus is in Toowoomba.
Career options for partners
57.4 percent of the residents of Wilsonton work full-time, which is about equal to the Queensland average. The biggest local employer is healthcare, followed by road freight transport. The unemployment rate is 6.9 percent, below the state average.
30.9 percent of the population work in part-time employment, mostly in retail. 15.4 percent of people have volunteered through an organisation or group in the past 12 months. Although there are none in the town of Wilsonton, there are various options for charitable work in the vicinity, such as St. Vincent de Paul and Toowoomba Hospital Foundation.
Arts and Culture
The cultural scene in Wilsonton is mostly restricted to what you’d expect in a residential suburb – music lessons and a dance class. Music classes include piano, violin, clarinet, guitar, flute and trumpet. Dance classes are held at Dance Central with more extensive classes to be found less than ten kilometres away in Central Toowoomba. While there are no art galleries or cinemas in Wilsonton, nearby Toowoomba provides these and more.
Wilsonton is a suburb of a large town, but there’s plenty of Australia’s wilderness within easy reach. Being close to the crest of the Great Dividing Range, you can be in forested high ground very quickly. Ravensbourne National Park is a favourite with bird-watchers, and has some very well preserved rainforest. Crow’s Nest National Park is also not far away, and has camping facilities if you want to take a few days away. It’s best known for its cliffs, waterfalls and spectacular views. Other nearby facilities for bush walks and other outdoor activities include:
- Airport East Park
- Stretten Park
- Boundary Road Park
- Jubilee Park
- Catalina Drive Park
- Captain Cook Reserve
- Black Gully Reserve
Toowoomba has over 70 km of recognised cycle paths, including some challenging ones. The country north and west of Wilsonton also offers some scenic rides. For those interested in organised sports, there are no clubs or venues in town but nearby Toowoomba offers many opportunities. The Fitness Works Exercise & Lifestyle Centre and the FitLab both offer a variety of sports facilities for those who want to keep fit.
Food and Drink
Just as in the pub scene, Wilsonton relies on nearby Toowoomba for dining out. There is one local fresh seafood chip shop and the local pub/hotel if you want to stay in town, within the Wilsonton Shopping Centre is a variety of fast food establishments. Otherwise, Toowoomba has plenty of options within a few kilometres.
Wilsonton’s population has fallen in recent years and that’s had an impact on house building, so many homes are relatively old. Almost all residences are separate houses. For the purchase of an averaged sized, three bedroom home you would spend on average $293,000 and for a similar property the rent would usually reach $300 a week.
The nearest railway station is Toowoomba, which is a stop on the twice-weekly Westlander service between Charleville and Brisbane. Wilsonton is covered by the Toowoomba city bus network. From Toowoomba itself, Greyhound and Murrays run services to Brisbane. The Warrego Highway runs along the southern edge of the suburb; it links to Brisbane and the rest of the state highway network.
Broadband is available via ADSL2+ and NBN Fibre cable.