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Tara and District Tara and District

Population:  2211 (ABS Census Data 2011)
Elevation:  311m
GPS Coordinates:  27.28oS; 150.46oE

Named after one of the earliest pastoral runs in the area, the Tara District began as a series of pastoral stations in the second half of the 19th century. Many of the stations were subdivided for closer settlement under the Queensland Government Group Settlement Scheme from 1906 to 1913, and a reserve was set aside for what would later become the township of Tara. In 1909, this tiny settlement boasted two boarding houses, a surveyor's camp, a few stores and a community of tents for new arrivals. A provisional school was opened in 1911 and the coming of the railway brought the promise of expansion and prosperity. By the 1920s, however, the area was plagued by prickly pear and experiencing the devastation of drought. It wasn't until the 1930s, when the prickly pear was eradicated, that new tracts of land were opened up, grazing prospered and Tara began to come to life.

Nowadays, we are still known for our quality grazing country and the land surrounding us provides a picture of quintessential farm life. Likewise, you can tap into an authentic country lifestyle experience at our campdrafts, gymkhanas, polocrosse meets, show days or sheepdog trials. But if you are after a more unique experience, you cannot go past our Tara Festival of Culture and Camel Races, held every second year. Get amongst the crowd with roving entertainers and walk-up displays of cultural dance and martial arts. Wander through market stalls, wait for the dust to settle after a frenzied camel race, listen to live music and taste the orient with a range of multicultural cuisines lovingly prepared by local residents.

Escape the excitement of our country celebrations at the Tara Lagoon Parklands, our little slice of paradise in the outback. Take a casual stroll along the footpaths, which parallel the water's edge, where the pioneers of the 1900s used to gather. See the native birdlife scouring for food amongst the lilies and reeds on the lagoon and learn some of the lagoon's stories on the interpretive panels as you relax into the calm of an evening in the country.

Discover our history at the Tara and District Historical Museum which houses vintage items ranging from a 1929 fire engine, to shearing memorabilia, original picture theatre projection equipment and a 1912 slab hut. Learn about our social history by taking the Tara Yesteryears by Shanks' Pony self-guided tour where you will discover different eras of architecture in our buildings and infrastructure. More information on the history of our town can be found in the Tara Shire History Book 1988-2008, available at the Tara Customer Service Centre.

Before departing town, it is well worth arranging a viewing of original artworks by internationally renowned wool artisan Barbara Geisel, who called Tara her home. During her life, Barbara created many unique and beautiful pictures reminiscent of her local region and Australian beauty - "I have enjoyed the challenge of creating wool pictures using wool straight from the sheep's back, depicting scenes of the early days of Australia, with the earliest product of Australia".  Her coloured wool pictures were created using natural wool and dyes derived from local sources such as Brigalow leaves.  Barbara passed away in 2013 however her son Bill welcomes your company and viewing of his mother's pieces can be arranged by appointment - Ph: 07 4665 3285.