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The distinct Peak Range, a succession of gigantic dome-topped mountains north of Capella, is a photographer’s delight and dominates the surrounding downs.
The town’s modern Cultural Centre offers up to 500 seats for conferences, meetings, workshops or visiting shows and movies.
Capella also boasts an excellent Aquatic Centre, with themed mini golf, and an interesting Agricultural Museum. The Capella Pioneer Village contains over 5,000 items grouped into exhibits, including: Settlers, the Wool Industry, Railway, Wartime and Grain Farming. Here you will also find the restored 1869 ‘Peak Downs’ Homestead. Capella has also recently received the 2013 Queensland Tidy Town Award.
The first European explorer through the Capella 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. He described them as ‘a range of noble peaks’ and proceeded to name them after members of his expedition. The Peak Downs area was settled by graziers in the early 1860s and the town of Capella came into existence in 1883.
Local lore has it that the first time Australian troopers wore the now famous emu feathers in their slouch hats was in the Peak Downs area during the Great Shearers’ Strike of 1891. The legend goes that a group of soldiers guarding non-union shearers slipped away to a creek when things were quiet. There they shot an emu and each grabbed a handful of its feathers and stuck them in their hats.The locally constructed Lighthorseman monument is a striking token of the local area’s contribution to the history and tradition of Australia’s forces.
Don’t miss the wall and pole murals in Peak Downs Street. The pole near the pub commemorates the fact that the placing of emu plumes in the Australian Light Horse Brigade hats began at Capella during the Great Shearers’ Strike of 1891. Stretch your legs and enjoy the 30 historical murals painted on the light poles along Capella’s main street.
In order to see the most of Capella and surrounds, make sure you participate in a self-drive tour. There are four scenic drive trails throughout the Peak Downs District, covering the Peak Range, Coal Mining and the Sapphire Gemfields - look through the journeys listed below.