Welcome To Kalbar.

Trudee Hunter @trudeehunterMay 2019 · 6 min read

Welcome To Kalbar.

The small township of Kalbar is located in the Scenic Rim, South East Queensland, Australia. It is close to the Cunningham Highway and directly north of Mount French in the Fassifern Valley. The town is part of the Scenic Rim Region local government area.

Kalbar is an aboriginal word meaning, ‘Bright Star.’


Kalbar is situated only 10 minutes from Boonah and is only one hours drive from Brisbane or conversely one hour in the opposite direction to the Gold Coast. The picturesque Tamborine Mountains and Beaudesert areas are popular tourist spots along this route. Other interesting places to visit nearby are the Templin Historical village, the Moogerah Dam, Mount Greville, Willowbank Raceway, the Queensland Raceway and the Ipswich Show Society.

Here is a typical country residence surrounded by a sugar cane plantation.


Early settlement began in 1876 and by 1890 a small town had developed. This place was once known as Fassifern Scrub and then Engelsburg after the first settler of the town. Kalbar has a rich German history, due to the fact that it was originally established “almost exclusively” by German settlers.


This is reflected by the numerous Anglo-German road and street names and also by the many local German settler descendant surnames. The name was changed to Kalbar in 1916 because of anti-German sentiments at the time, but the Engelsberg School of Arts did not change to the Kalbar School of Arts until July, 1918.


This is the impressive Wiss Bros Store. It is evident from its external appearance that once inside, one will experience a ‘moment of history.’ Mr. Wiss was the quintessential pioneer, from a time where the only tools available were hand tools. Many buildings of this era were made using quality timber logged from local forests surrounding this district.

Today’s Emporium is apparently six times larger than its predecessor. It was developed as an early 20th Century ‘department store.’ Over the years, customers have brought products such as newspapers, sweets, groceries, hats, boots, shoes, furniture paint, drapery, farm machinery, household insurance, tractors, milking machines and even petrol and kerosene.

Careful research and meticulous planning went into the restoration of the Wiss Bros Store and is listed by the National Trust of Queensland due to its rich heritage. There is quite a contrast between the grandeur of this large and beautifully crafted building to the quaint workers cottage which sits adjacent to it.



There is a plaque erected on the building about the Wiss Bros Store. It reads:

“Heritage Precinct of Wiss Bros Store c. 1909
& Dwelling c. 1890
These two buildings stand as tangible evidence of our past when Kalbar was first settled in the 1870`s predominantly by German immigrants and was then called, "Engelsburg", (the town of the Angels).
In 1890 a small store and dwelling were commissioned together. The store was for two brothers, Campbell and Lionel Wiss. The dwelling was the first home for Lionel Ainger Wiss and Maria Elise Wiuff, his bride.
The two Wiss Brothers established one of the most important businesses in the town which was emerging as a district centre. In 1909 a larger store replace the smaller one. This was built for Lionel Wiss only as Campbell had by now moved to Tasmania, but the general store still traded under "Wiss Bros Universal Providers". Said to be one of the largest stores in West Moreton and one of the best country stores in Queensland it was known as the "Wiss Emporium".
Today in 2009 the Wiss Emporium is 100 years old and this plaque celebrates the century-old landmark building and our pioneers of the Fassifern Scrub.”



The Wiss Cottage wasn't open on the day I visited and I'm not sure if it is open for public viewing. I hope it is, as I'd love to take a look inside when I am in the area again.


I love the roses featured on this plaque.


This is a photo of the Chapel on the main road.

The Kalbar State school was opened in 1897 and the original Engelsburg Post Office was opened on July 7th, 1897. Prior to that, it operated as a receiving office and this was opened in 1878. For five years it was called Engels but in 1916 it was renamed, Kalbar Post Office.


The Fassifern Christain Church in George Street. In February 1987 Pastor David Janes became Pastor of the Church.


White Chapel:

This beautifully maintained chapel combines the romance of the country with modern day luxuries. It is the perfect venue for intimate, and elegant country weddings.


Black Hall, Kalbar.

Black hall is the reception hall located behind White Chapel. What was once a humble ‘Sunday School,’ is now a sophisticated and sought after wedding and functions venue. It caters for up to 70 guests at a time.

The large outdoor pergola area is adorned in fairy lights at night and here is also a welcome fireplace to cater for the cooler months of the year. Once inside the large barn doors , you will admire the restored timber floors, the panelled walls, the fire place built of stone and the unique antler chandelier.


The country ambience is accentuated by the long, rustic timber tables and oak cross-backed chairs.


A hair salon, beauty and massage business share the premises in this building in the centre of town.

The Kalbar State school was opened in 1897 and the original Engelsburg Post Office was opened on July 7th, 1897. Prior to that, it operated as a receiving office and this was opened in 1878. For five years it was called Engels but in 1916 it was renamed, Kalbar Post Office.


Interesting Facts about Kalbar;

The Mount Edwards railway line reached the town in 1916.

During the 1899 referendum to decide if Australia should become a federation, Kalbar registered the highest number of votes from any town in Queensland.

Half of the businesses in the township were burnt down in 1920 which included the Kalbar School of Arts.

Kalbar hosted an annual celebration called, The Fassifern Potato Festival from 1961 to 1990. Street parades included motorised floats which led to the show grounds where a variety of activities were organised. Artifacts from this era are now on show at the Templin Historical Museum.

Kalbar has celebrated a Country Day Festival since 1991 and this event occurs in late October. They also hold an annual agricultural show which takes place in June.

Here are two images of a very attractive, Queensland styled home.



And in contrast, I am including a couple of abandoned old buildings which are dotted around the country side in this area.



As we depart Kalbar, we see a group of cows passing the time of day in a farm paddock.




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That looks like an interesting little town. Nice history lesson about the store, too. "Black Hall" sounds a little foreboding, though!

Those 1800's Germans really got around, didn't they? I wonder what was pressuring so many people to emigrate at that time... The town of New Ulm, about 1/2 hour from where I live, was also founded by Germans. It even has a huge monument to Herman (Arminius).


Thank you @fotosdenada for your support. Interesting about Germans settling not far from you, many years ago.


I have never been to Australia and photos that I normally see are mainly of nature so I'm surprised to see this kind of architecture and I wouldn't know to which country I should compare them.. but it looks interesting 😊 and your photos are great. I wish we had such beautiful blue sky here now 😊

Thank you for sharing and have a lovely day!


Thank you @delishtreats for your comments.I'm sorry for the late reply. I hope some day you will be able to visit Australia, as there is so much to see.


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Thank you @travelfeed and @smeralda for your upvote and resteem. Much appreciated.


This was mentioned in @steemitworldmap. What an interesting place. It does have a very historical feel to it like a movie setting. It's great that these structures are well preserved. It does retain its culture and heritage that way.


Thank you @leeart for your visit and comments. Glad you liked it.


What a pleasure to read and view this post what a beautiful and in some ways fascinating area, thanks for all the info it makes me feel like I was there with you



Thank you JJ for your comments and also thank you for your tip and support.Much appreciated


My Pleasure have a great day


You too JJ. Thank you. 🌼


MOst welcome :)


That was such an interesting tour of Kalbar. Wiss Bros. store is fantastic looking and a nice historic landmark, Trudee.
Love the design of the Queensland style home.
Nice goodbye to the area with the cattle. 😊 💕


Thank you Jo for your comments and support.


Howdy Trudee! So we could say that you are the Kabar of Steemit! lol. These are such wonderful photos of a picturesque area, my gosh. It looks like all the buildings have metal roofs, is that what I'm seeing?