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