Tara is a town and locality in the Western Downs Region, Queensland, Australia.[2][3] At the 2016 census, Tara had a population of 2,297.[1]


Tara is on the Darling Downs. The town is at the centre of the locality. Immediately surrounding the urban area of Tara, there are a number of rural subdivisions of 'lifestyle blocks'. The blocks are usually between 13 and 40 ha in area. The population of the 2000 Rural Subdivision blocks exceeds that of the town itself.

The Glenmorgan railway line traverses the locality from east (Goranba) to west (The Gums). It passes through the town which is served by Tara railway station.[4][5]


Baranggum (also known as Barrunggam, Barunggam Parrungoom, Murrumgama) is an Australian Aboriginal language spoken by the Baranggum people. The Baranggum language region includes the landscape within the local government boundaries of the Western Downs Regional Council, particularly Dalby, Tara, Jandowae and west towards Chinchilla.[6]

The town was surveyed in May 1910 by Leonard Shield. The name Tara was used as the name for a pastoral run on 25 March 1852. It is assumed that it is a reference to the Hill of Tara in County Meath, Ireland.[3]

Tara Provisional School opened on 23 January 1911 but was renamed Laurndel Provisional School in 1912. In 1915 it was renamed Burrowes Provisional School. In 1923 it became Burrowes State School. It closed in 1946.[7] It was located to the south-west of Tara just north of the Glenmorgan railway line at 27°17′29″S 150°21′05″E / 27.2914°S 150.3515°E / -27.2914; 150.3515 (Burrowes State School).[8]

Tara State School opened on 21 August 1912. On 28 November 2004, it was renamed Tara Shire State College.[7]

St Joseph's School opened in 1964.[9]

Tara Library opened in 1987 and had a major refurbishment in 2009.[10]


Important industries in the area around Tara include wheat, beef, wool and gas.

On 14 March 2011 a blockade against coal seam gas development began at a property called Kenya near Tara. The following day a woman was arrested after she stopped the movement of a bulldozer working for Queensland Gas Company.[11] The next month Bob Irwin was arrested and fined for participating in a rally at the same location. He was protesting against plans to build a coal seam gas pipeline.[12] Local landowner Dayne Pratzky, now an anti-coal seam gas activist, features in the 2015 movie-length documentary Frackman.


Tara Shire State College is a government primary and secondary (Early Childhood-12) school for boys and girls at 22 Binnie Street (27°16′48″S 150°27′32″E / 27.2799°S 150.4588°E / -27.2799; 150.4588 (Tara Shire State College)).[13][14] In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 359 students with 37 teachers (36 full-time equivalent) and 30 non-teaching staff (23 full-time equivalent).[15] The school also includes a special education program.[13]

St Joseph's School is a Catholic primary (Prep-6) school for boys and girls at 3 Fry Street (27°16′30″S 150°27′37″E / 27.2751°S 150.4602°E / -27.2751; 150.4602 (St Joseph's School)).[13][16] In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 26 students with 5 teachers (4 full-time equivalent) and 4 non-teaching staff (2 full-time equivalent).[15]


Tara has a library at 31 Day Street operated by the Western Downs Regional Council.[17]


Attractions near Tara include Southwood National Park, a remnant area of the southern brigalow belt.

The Commercial Hotel has two murals painted by artist Hugh Sawrey, from nearby Kogan. Painted in 1960, they are You’ll come a waltzing Matilda with me and Clancy’s gone to Queensland droving.[18][19]

See also


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Tara (SSC)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 30 November 2018. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "Tara - town (entry 33316)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Tara - locality (entry 47749)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  4. ^ "Queensland Globe". State of Queensland. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  5. ^ "Tara - railway station in Western Downs region (entry 33318)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  6. ^ "Baranggum". State Library of Queensland. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  7. ^ a b Queensland Family History Society (2010), Queensland schools past and present (Version 1.01 ed.), Queensland Family History Society, ISBN 978-1-921171-26-0
  8. ^ "Queensland Two Mile series sheet 2m47" (Map). Queensland Government. 1939. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  9. ^ Queensland Family History Society (2010), Queensland schools past and present (Version 1.01 ed.), Queensland Family History Society, ISBN 978-1-921171-26-0
  10. ^ "Public Libraries Statistical Bulletin 2016-17" (PDF). Public Libraries Connect. State Library of Queensland. November 2017. p. 16. Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  11. ^ Lisa Martin (15 March 2011). "Great-granny arrested in gas blockade". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 15 March 2011.
  12. ^ "Bob Irwin fined over gas protest". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 18 May 2011. Archived from the original on 22 June 2011. Retrieved 25 June 2011.
  13. ^ a b c "State and non-state school details". Queensland Government. 9 July 2018. Archived from the original on 21 November 2018. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  14. ^ "Tara Shire State College". Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  15. ^ a b "ACARA School Profile 2017". Archived from the original on 22 November 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  16. ^ "St Joseph's School". Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  17. ^ "Tara Library". plconnect.slq.qld.gov.au. State Library of Queensland. Archived from the original on 22 January 2018. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  18. ^ "Oil town has". The Australian Women's Weekly. 29 (42). 21 March 1962. p. 4. Retrieved 20 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  19. ^ Cooke, Glenn R (2009). "Hugh Sawrey: Biography". Design & Art Australia Online. Archived from the original on 19 January 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2017.

Further reading

  • A History of Tara and District with Addenda 1840-1960 by Hector M Ferguson.
  • Tara Shire History 1840-1988 by Tara & Districts Historical Society.

External links

Media related to Tara, Queensland at Wikimedia Commons