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Population: 12 299 (ABS Census Data 2011)
GPS Coordinates: 27.18oS; 151.26oE
Located 170km north-west of Brisbane, Dalby originated as a simple crossing of the Myall Creek (a tributary of the Condamine River) in 1841. A slab-built pub was erected near the crossing by the proprietor of nearby Cecil Plains Pastoral Run and within a decade the town was surveyed and proclaimed. Dalby derives its name from 'dal' meaning dale and 'by' meaning town, perhaps after a village on the Isle of Man. Being surrounded by rich black soils and spurred by powerful local pastoralists, the area became a prosperous, regional service centre with flourishing grain and livestock sales. After establishing a rail connection to Toowoomba in 1868, Dalby continued to expand and has developed into the thriving regional centre of 12,000 residents that it is today.
Our main street, Cunningham Street, now boasts a number of cafes and coffee shops where you can sit back and enjoy good food, great coffee and the laid-back atmosphere of a country town. Not far from our main street, history buffs will appreciate our Pioneer Park Museum which features one of the largest collections of working tractors and agricultural machinery in Queensland. The museum also houses an impressive rock, mineral and fossil collection. Of notable interest is the handwritten letter by Ned Kelly asking authorities to allow his mother to visit him in prison.
Reminiscent of our heritage, the local saleyards continue to flourish with one of Australia's largest single cattle sales taking place here every Wednesday; the experience of fast paced auction selling is one not to be missed. If you are interested in horses, we host Australia's largest Stock Horse Show and Sale every December. We also have one of the oldest horse racing venues in Queensland; Dalby hosted its first race in 1859 and we now host up to nine exuberant race meets a year.
A favourite local walking spot is along our founding Myall Creek, which runs through town. The well-sealed track follows the creek bank through beautiful parklands to the CBD. We also have a self-guided Heritage Trail walk which highlights prominent buildings and significant locations from our early European history. Call into the Dalby Visitor Information Centre in Thomas Jack Park on the Warrego Highway for a map of the Heritage Trail and other attractions of our town. While you are there, browse the range of products for sale by local artisans and producers for a truly unique purchase from our region.