Kilcoy is a small farming town (pop. 1,200) and the administrative centre of the Kilcoy Shire Local Government Area in South East Queensland, Australia. The township lies on the D’Aguilar Highway, 94 km north west of the state capital, Brisbane, and just to the north of Lake Somerset. Kilcoy Shire covers an area of over 1442 square kilometres with a population of approximately 3200 (2001). Most residents of Kilcoy are employed servicing the surrounding pastoral area.
Kilcoy claims to be the home of the mythical Yowie, Australia’s equivalent of Bigfoot or the Yeti, which is said to live in the hills around Kilcoy. There is a large wooden statue of the creature in town. The last reported Yowie sighting in Kilcoy was in May 2007 by UQ student Daniel Raeen.
Scottish migrants opened up the area in the early 1840s and cleared land to run beef and dairy cattle. The first settler was Sir Evan Mackenzie, who named his landholding ‘Kilcoy’ after his family estate in Scotland. Timber felling and milling was also important in the early development of Kilcoy, which was founded in the 1890s.
The town itself was originally named ‘Hopetown’ or ‘Hopetoun’ but renamed ‘Kilcoy’ after mail for the town continuously became misplaced.