In its heyday, Wowan was the dairy capital of the region. With more than 600 farmers on the job, the Dawson Valley Dairy Cooperative was topped up daily with fresh supplies of full cream milk, ready to ship off to towns and cities as far away as England. Wowan flourished as a result. The population grew and along with it came shops, churches, halls, a school, bowls club and even a golf course. Not bad for a place that started out as a rail camp!
However, in the late 1960’s the dairy industry soured. Other agricultural industries moved in, mostly beef cattle and grain, buying up the land and changing the face of commercial operations. The business centre shifted to Moura and Biloela and eventually, many of the locals did too.
But the old butter factory was left standing and today, thanks to its heritage and the humble cow, Wowan is definitely a place you’re going to want to visit.
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History rallies to the fore!
Like its exhibits, Wowan Museum has quite a history.
With the site of the old butter factory transformed into a caravan park in the 1980’s, the building had long been abandoned when its owners struck on the idea to turn it into a museum, promptly purchasing the original switch board to start its collection.
Soon to outgrow the premises, the huge stock of artifacts found a new home in the old Railway Station, with carriages, sheds and a host of relocated buildings filled to the brim with memorabilia.
With thousands of items handed over from private and public donors, Curator Dot Nutley had her hands full, cataloguing all the pieces. But she knew her stuff and was always excited when the little gems popped up.
Pride of place is the alphabet chart Dot found under a hessian bag, the movie posters featuring such classics as The Lone Wolf and His Lady, Careful, Soft Shoulders and Man About the House and the old Wowan fire truck that lives out front.
Leichhardt Highway, Wowan (Look for the red tin roof)
Museum is now open by appointment (until a new curator is appointed)
Contact Fred Eames on 0421 577 273
Mystery draws a crowd
In June, the annual Wowan Observation Turkey Rally draws a crowd for the competitive at heart. Hosted by the Wowan Progress Association, the rally is held at the Wowan Showgrounds with nominations opening at 12 noon.
Rally starts at 1.00 pm sharp with more than twenty five competitors racing to be the first to answer questions and solve the mystery that is the Wowan Observation Turkey Rally. Once all is done and dusted and everyone has returned to the starting line, prizes are awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, and of course, the best themed car. The party then kicks on with music, meals and a bar operating throughout the evening.
Wowan & District Progress & Cultural Society Secretary
Joelene Kapernick: 0429 550 079
Are there good fishing spots close to Wowan?
- The Dee River offers great fishing at Dixalea and Dululu
- The Don River at Dumpy Creek is also a top spot for fishing
- View the best fishing spots in the Banana Shire
Close by locations
- Dululu – 10.0 km (8 min) north via (A5) Leichhardt Highway