Towns in Australia

Exploring Australia, town by town

Allora QLD


Postcode: 4362

Allora is a town in Queensland, Australia, on the Darling Downs 161 km south-west of the state capital, Brisbane. The town is in the Warwick Shire. The township is located on the New England Highway between Warwick and Toowoomba.

The region surrounding this small farming community was first explored by Europeans in the 1840s; the town was surveyed in 1859. Its name is believed to derive from an Indigenous word “gnarrallah”, meaning waterhole or swampy place.[1] Following European settlement, the history of the area is entwined with two famous pastoral homesteads in the vicinity of Allora: Glengallan and Talgai. Both properties ran sheep. The original ‘Talgai’ run was taken up by E.E. Dalrymple in 1840. The creek that runs through Allora is named in his honour. Built in 1868 for the Clark family, Talgai homestead stood on 300,000 acres (1,200 km²). The homestead is built of sandstone and covers sixty squares. It is now a bed and breakfast. In 1884 the first fossil evidence of early human occupation, the Talgai skull, was found on the station, embedded in the wall of Dalrymple Creek. Radiocarbon dating suggests the Talgai skull is between 9,000 and 11,000 years old.

From the 1870s, red cedar, pine and beech logged from the Goomburra valley were milled at Allora.

The area round the small Darling Downs town of Allora sprang to international prominence in 1886 with the discovery of an ancient cranium. The find challenged the conventional scientific wisdom that the Aboriginal occupation of Australia was relatively recent. Rigorous tests revealed that the Talgai skull was ‘at least 15,000 years old’. A model of the skull is the centrepiece of the Allora Museum’s collection.