Like so many outback settlements, the small, Peak Downs town of Capella began as a coachstop on the trails linking mining and agricultural producers with the coast and developed in rhythm with the dictates of the market.
These days, Capella’s lifeblood are the black soil graziers and pastoralists and the regional coal fields. The pioneering squattocracy was attracted to the down country by explorer Ludwig Leichhardt’s glowing assessment of the agricultural potential of the grasslands he traversed in 1846.
Pioneer Village on the town’s northern outskirts traces Capella’s role in the fluctuating fortunes of the Peak Range and Peak Downs corner of central Queensland. The village displays include Peak Downs Homestead, a shingle-roofed cottage built in 1869 by artisans using adzed and pit-sawn local timbers.
The town takes its name from the reddish, eighth brightest star in the southern sky, while visitors are also attracted to sparklers of another kind on the gem fields just half an hour out of Capella.