Capella

A service town to the local coal mining and mixed agricultural activities (sorghum, wheat, sunflowers and beef cattle) of the surrounding district. It is also the headquarters for the Peak Downs Shire Council.

Location: 51 km north of Emerald; 241 km from Rockhampton; 705 km north of Brisbane.

Events

The Capella Pioneer Village annual Old Machinery and Craft Fair is held on the second Saturday of September at the Village grounds at the northern end of Capella’s main street. The fair has craft stalls, entertainment, food, fashion parade, blacksmithing and vintage engines and tractors rallying.

Places of Interest

Peak Downs; Lilyvale waterhole; village of Tieri (38 km east, mining town); Gregory coal mine (guided tours available Tues & Thurs.); Capella Pioneer Village and historic homestead (1869); remnants of the village of Lilyvale.

Brief history

The first European explorer through the area was Ludwig Leichhardt on his journey through Central Queensland to Port Essington. Apart from discovering the coal deposits in the area Leichhardt was the first European to see the dramatic volcanic plugs of the Peak Range. The Peak Downs area was settled by graziers in the early 1860s and the town of Capella came into existence in 1883.


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Origin of name

Prior to 1883, the main town in the area had been Lilyvale (supposedly named after the lilies in the local waterhole) which had been surveyed in 1862. However, when the railway line bypassed Lilyvale it was supplanted by Capella. That name was derived from the name of a nearby creek that appears to have been named by Charles Frederick Gregory (1825-1870), surveyor, in 1862, after the star Capella.

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