Ringsfield House & Museum

Currently Ringsfield House is CLOSED to the public until further notice


Ringsfield House is more than just a large Queenslander; it has a link to thousands of people in the South Burnett, and home to many stories as the sunshine state’s fourth oldest town.

Ringsfield House began as a magnificent family home designed by the well-known Architect Robin Dods. From 1908 until 1942 when the family aged and moved away. When the house was first built it had open verandahs. The original owners, Mr and Mrs James William Davies Graham would attend to their children using a secret passageway through the cupboard in the main bedroom which lead to the nursery.


From 1942 to 1970, it became a four-ward maternity hospital. Some 3,000 – 4,000 births were registered at Ringsfield House. Hundreds of those people still live in the local area.


By 1973 the house was a Lifeline refuge for deserted wives and their children and continued in this capacity for a further 20 years, it then became derelict.


In 1992 to 1996, the then Nanango Shire Council, restored Ringsfield House as a Museum and Historical Centre. From November 2017, Ringsfield House operated not only as a museum but also a cafe, a tourist destination, a restaurant, and events venue, supporting both the local and the broader communities.


It continues to draw people from far and wide to experience the beauty, peace, and tranquillity that Nanango has to offer.


Discover the South Burnett – Three Free Ideas

Road trips are about discovery and freedom. Take the road less travelled and you’ll find an unexpected gem, something that sparks your interest or leads you into adventure.  And if it doesn’t add to the travel budget, all the better.

Here are a few discovery activities you can do free or for very little in the South Burnett.

WALK THE WALK                                                                      

Visitors to the Bunya Mountains can choose from 35km of walking tracks ranging from 500m to 10km through rainforest, bushland, grassy hills, nearby waterfalls and views as far as the eye can see.  Reward yourself with coffee or lunch afterwards at one of the cafes.

For a simpler outing, you can take a short drive through Murgon to Boat Conservation Park. A bird and wildlife haven, with tracks ranging from 370m to 2.2km leading to Daniel’s Lookout at its peak.

I WANT TO RIDE MY BICYCLE                                            

BYO bicycle and get out into nature on the region’s rail trails. A natural track runs from Blackbutt in the south, while the bitumen trail between Kingaroy and Kilkivan can be accessed from either end or anywhere along the way. 

Cyclists looking for more challenging rides can build their own routes between towns on country roads or highways, and mountain bikers should head to the 426-hectare Wondai Trails at McEuen State Forest, where the local mountain bike club has developed a number of trails of different length and difficulty. 

NEVER STOP LEARNING                                                                                                                                                                  

Did you know tennis legend Roy Emerson was born in the South Burnett?  Find out more at the Roy Emerson Museum in Blackbutt, Emerson’s birthplace. Further along the highway, the military display at Yarraman’s Heritage Centre includes moving stories of service and loss in wartime, while you can track the history of energy from early generators to modern power stations at Nanango’s South Burnett Energy Centre.

Did you know that some of Queensland’s best known and well-regarded wood cutters in the early 1900’s were women?  The Lynch sisters – Nell, Mary, Kate and Rose Lynch – often gave demonstrations at local shows and were invited to Brisbane to display their skill.  Find out more at the South Burnett Timber Industry Museum in Wondai.

Please call into any of our Visitor Information Centres for more details or contact Council by phoning 4189 9100 or email info@sbrc.qld.gov.au.

Things to do in South Burnett’s autumn

Experience the exciting festivities and changing colours, as the temperatures cool and the region comes alive in South Burnett’s autumn.

Join the festivities at a local show

Each year in March, the annual show season kicks off in the South Burnett. These local shows play host to a variety of agricultural activities. From rodeo, stockman’s challenge, horse jumping, rides, food stalls, trade stalls and the grand parade, there is something for everyone.

Alongside the traditional pastoral, agricultural and horticultural exhibitions, you’ll find plenty of arts, crafts, and homemade wares that show off the talent of the region.

Proston, Murgon, Nanango, Kingaroy and Blackbutt will all take part in this year’s autumn show season.

13 March 2021 – Proston Show

20 March 2021 – Murgon Show

10 April 2021 – Nanango Show

1 May 2021 – Kingaroy Show

15 May 2021 – Blackbutt Show

Take a road trip around the region

An autumn road trip through South Burnett is the perfect way to see the picturesque landscapes as the colours change before your eyes. One of the most unique experiences is the Mt Wooroolin lookout, only a short drive from the centre of Kingaroy. A delight for nature lovers and photographers, there is a short window when the sunrise captures the peanut silos in the background.  There are a range of walking tracks on offer, with some being very steep so wear a sturdy pair of shoes.

Take in the scene at a local Campdraft

Campdrafting is a uniquely Australian horse sport that puts the skills of both horse and rider to the test. Campdrafting involves two main stages; firstly “The Camp” or cutout yard where the rider selects his beast, separates it from a mob and works it, and “The Course” or arena, where the rider guides his beast in a pattern. Sounds intriguing!

If you have never seen a campdraft, you can catch all the ringside action on

19 March – 21 March 2021 Golden Spurs Campdraft (Proston Showgrounds)

2 April – 4 April 2021 Kumbia Charity Campdraft (Kumbia Showgrounds)

Legends of the South Burnett

Legends of the South Burnett – Boxing Legend: Arthur Cripps

When you think of boxing one name comes to mind… Muhammad Ali. Well sorry to disappoint but there was another boxing great who came from the South Burnett… Arthur Cripps.

Born in 1879 Arthur Cripps started his sporting career playing rugby. He played in one game for Queensland – a “dramatic” 25-11 win over New South Wales in 1901 (see even back in the early 20th century Queensland were beating New South Wales!) But footy just wasn’t meant to be for Arthur who turned to professional boxing in early 1902.

Arthur was trained by “Big” Jim Austin, who was said to be one of the cleverest trainers of the time. He claimed that because of this training he never suffered a black eye or bloody nose.

In 1903 Arthur Cripps claimed the Australian Middleweight crown. He would then win this title on and off between the years 1903 to 1909.

A property at Broadwater (Nanango) brought Arthur, his wife Mary and their daughter Violet to the region to begin a farming life. Arthur held boxing fund raising activities and assisted many young men in gaining expertise in the boxing arena such as Bill Ewart of Nanango.

In 1916 at the age of 35 (which was not the norm as the average age of men enlisting was 26) Arthur enlisted as a driver in the Engineers. This grabbed the attention of Australians with newspaper headlines reading “Arthur Cripps gone to the front!” (16 May 1917). He also made headlines again upon his return in August 1919.

After the war Arthur returned to Nanango where he was the Post Office Hotel Proprietor, Chairman of the local football club (1923to 1925) and Director of the Dairy Company (1923). However, before his daughter Violet was 21 years old he decided to move the family to Brisbane.

In 1934 Arthur Cripps passed away.

A mild-mannered man – a home lover – an ace high husband and father – and a wonderful glove fighter!

Arthur Cripps 3

Arthur Cripps with his wife Mary and daughter Violet (dress in white with pig tails)

Arthur Cripps dressed in his army uniform

Arthur Cripps dressed in his army uniform

Off and Racing!

Did you know that horse racing in the South Burnett dates back to early 1850.

Pastoral stations of Taabinga, Tarong and Nanango had their own tracks and breeding programs. The first reported race meeting was held at Nanango Station on Boxing Day 1859.

Now we know the Melbourne Cup is a two mile race. Well the Nanango Cup (formally known as the Nanango Plate) was a three mile race. Yes you read right three miles! That’s three times around the current day track. The winner of the first Nanango Cup was Pat McCallum on his horse Pilgram. Unlike the millions of dollars todays’ jockeys and trainers get, pat received a winner’s cheque of £40. Which was worth a year’s pay!

For those wondering, racing began in Wondai around 1907 and were put on hold during WW1 and WW2. In 1958 the South Burnett Race Club was formed in Wondai with the first race meeting held on 4th April 1959. Racing in Wondai continues today with three races held each year.

Sadly Kingaroy’s racing history was a short one – just like the height of a jockey. Races were conducted at the Kingaroy showgrounds for various beneficiaries including the School of Arts. Racing in Kingaroy finishes before the Second World War.

Kumbia Races began in 1922 with intervals during war years and between 1953-1956. Racing began in earnest from 1956 to present day. Would you believe that there used to be eight race meets a year. Now there is only one held on Melbourne Cup day earning Kumbia the title of “The Flemington of the Bush”.

What about Blackbutt? Well there were races held up and down the Brisbane Valley and the Brisbane River Valley Blackbutt “Timbertown” Picnic Race Club Inc. is still an active and registered group, but haven’t held races for many years.

Who can forget about the legendary Burrandowan Picnic races, which have been held since 1922. Back in the day soldier settlers would gather together and the tradition still continues today, with the races held in May of each year.

This SUNDAY 4th December, the Nanango Race Club will be holding it’s last race meet for the year. Will this become a new trend? Some places in Australia have races everyday of the week! Time will tell as racing meanders through the 21st Century. So if you’re looking for a break from Christmas shopping grab some friends, throw on your glad rags and head to the Nanango Racecourse.

The Best of Horses on the Best of Country Courses!


Horse Racing at Tarong Phot - D Clapperton

Horse Racing at Tarong
Photo – D Clapperton

Pass the finishing post at Nanango Races

Pass the finishing post at Nanango Races

Wake Up in Wine Country

There’s no better feeling than escaping the city on a Friday afternoon for a weekend away discovering the cellar doors, restaurants and cool natural places of Southern Queensland Country’s wine trails. Here is a weekend intinary taking in the South Burnett Wine Trail.

It’s so easy to wake up in wine country!


Take an early mark and hit the highway out of town. En route stop in at Blackbutt’s famous Wood-fired Bakery for some crusty bread and a sweet treat and Taste South Burnett in Kingaroy to stock up on  local goodies – olives, olive oil, caperberries and their hand-made fudge.

Check in at Crane Wines B&B overlooking the cool Booie Range. Do a cellar door tasting with winemaker Bernie and select a bottle to enjoy with dinner.

Settle in and cook your own barbecue (Crane’s BBQ packs include beef, chicken or Barkers Creek Pork, salad, potato bake and dessert).

Retire to your verandah to enjoy the twilight views over the vines. Star gazers may like to book a night sky tour with Kingaroy Observatory


Head into Kingaroy for a hearty country breakfast at  local favourite Utopia Café.

After breakfast, pop into Kingaroy Art Gallery to catch an exhibition by local artists and don’t miss their gallery shop, a hub for artisan jewellery, ceramics, textiles and woodwork.

En route to lunch, drop into local icon The Peanut Van for a range of delicious locally grown flavoured peanuts.

Lunch is 10 minutes out of town at Kingsley Grove Estate, which offers cellar door wine tastings with winemaker Simon,  delicious house-made wood-fired pizzas and delectable wine ice cream handmade by Pat – the perfect finish!

For the afternoon head back to Cranes to relax on your verandah with a good book or put on your walking shoes and head for the trails of Yarraman State Forest.

For dinner take a lead from the locals who rave about the views and food at Cassis at Booie, just a few minutes’ drive or 10 minutes walk from your cottage (take a torch if you plan to walk!)


Relax on your verandah overlooking the vineyards while you cook your own breakfast;  Crane’s breakfast pack includes country cured bacon, local sausages, eggs, tomatoes and mushrooms.

Mid-morning check out and make your way home via the northern South Burnett Wine Trail visiting the cellar doors at Clovely Estate, Moffatdale Ridge, Bridgeman Downs and Dusty Hill Wines.

On the way home:

  • Nature lovers may like to visit Wooroolin Wetland – a brilliant walking and birdwatching spot. Photographers will love the eerie stands of trees in the tea tree-stained water.
  • Ask Cranes Winery to pack you their famous Lazy Lunch Picnic Basket brimming with local gourmet goodies and a bottle of house bubbles, then make for Lake Barambah which offers peaceful waterside picnic spots and great freshwater fishing.
  • Other lunch options include a top counter meal at The Wondai Hotel, lunch overlooking  the vines at Dusty Hill’s Pendergast’s Tavern.

Take your time and savour the South Burnett.


WORDS: Jane Hodges


Nanango Show Society holds its Annual Country Muster featuring Traditional Australian Country Music on the second weekend in September. It’s four days full of country music, poetry, gospel and all those things that make the Australian Bush Lifestyle great. The committee prides itself on the choice of artists as well as the variety from year to year. In the days leading up to the festival you are entertained by “Walk Up Artists” who are itching to showcase their talent. The festival was foundered in 2003 to provide an event that encourages tourists to stop and experience the warm country hospitality of Nanango and the South Burnett. So Bring your caravan, tent, ute, or whatever you have and settle in for the celebrations of this traditional style of music. Full camping facilities available from the Monday 1 September (bookings essential). Plenty of hot showers and toilets available. A real bush atmosphere.