During the 2011 Queensland floods, Dayboro, a mere 45 kilometres north-west of Brisbane, was cut in half by flood waters but united by an enviable community spirit. It typifies the place.
“We had raised money for a local whose house had burnt down and when the floods came she insisted the money be shared equally,” says Doreen Spillman, a volunteer on the small community newspaper, The Dayboro Grapevine.
Ms Spillman has been on the receiving end of this Dayboro spirit herself when she suffered serious injuries in a 2002 car accident.
“I was in hospital for four months and locals raised money so I could buy food at the local supermarket and they even sealed my driveway.”
What’s to love
Aside from the tight-knit community of locals looking out for each other, Dayboro has many natural charms, not least of which is the traditional Queensland homes and buildings, with their sprawling verandas. Outside of the town lie avocado and pineapple plantations, fertile dairy country and rolling hills.
There is no rail access (the line closed in 1955), but many locals drive the 19km to Petrie Station and get the train in to Brisbane, or they drive the 50 minutes into the city.
Our researchers found Dayboro to be slightly more affordable than Brisbane, with a median house price of $508,000. The town’s employment opportunities rated highly too, with a jobless rate under 5 per cent, which is impressive for a country town.
It is also close to the Sunshine Coast (50 minutes’ drive), the Moreton Bay coast line (30 minutes) or the Gold Coast (90 minutes).
Locals swear by the quality of the local bakery, which is “one of the nicest places to sit and look out at the world” according to Ms Spillman, and there is a wide range of cafes and restaurants for daytrippers and locals.
To really get a sense of the town’s history, another local, Carmel Bond, recommends the Historical Dayboro Walk.
“Dayboro is often referred to as the town of yesteryear,” says Mrs Bond, who is the president of the local historical society.
And it isn’t hard to see why. Many of the town’s historic old Queenslanders and colonial wooden buildings are still standing, but instead of housing butchers and bootmakers they now service accountants and pharmacists.
Finally, visitors should quench their thirst in the public bar of The Crown hotel — an iconic Queensland pub.
What the locals say
Ms Spillman wasn’t surprised to learn Dayboro scored so highly with our researchers.
“It’s an amazing place to live, and I feel very safe and secure here,” she says. “I moved here when my marriage broke up and it turned out to be an incredible place to raise children.”
Mrs Bond agrees with our researchers that the town has a “certain x-factor to it”.
“We get so many people coming to the information centre and they stand on the verandah and look up the street and say, ‘There is such a lovely feel to this place’.”
Young families will lap up the town’s numerous sporting clubs and activities. The council, most recently, has committed $300,000 to upgrade the tennis court, and there are soccer, football and junior rugby league teams, as well as a ballet school and two childcare centres.