LEGENDAIRY CAPITAL OF THE SUBTROPICAL REGION
Dairy farming and tourism, bi-annual Dairy Festival, mining.
Monto lies 120 km west of Bundaberg and 340 km north-west of Brisbane in the Subtropical dairy region. Dairying was prominent in Monto long before the town became an official settlement and the Post Office opened in 1924. In 1926, the state government designed the Monto township, adopting a 'garden city' layout with roads radiating from a civic hub toward the railway reserve. In 1929, the Port Curtis Dairying Co opened a factory encouraging a growing dairy-farming population, which had moved away from cotton, and included fodder crops and general grazing. Butter production grew eight-fold during the subsequent decade.
The Upper Burnett Agricultural, Pastoral and Industrial Society held its first dairy show in Monto in 1929 as a week-long celebration, and the elaborate field shows soon became a popular attraction, with the Dairy Festival Ball, crowning of the Dairy Queen, and a huge street party and parade that ran down the main street and into the showgrounds themselves. The inaugural Monto Dairy Festival was first held in 1964 and is now held once every two years. This is the only dairy festival in the Southern Hemisphere and still attracts strong support from the 8 working dairy farms in the region. Monto has proudly retained its local show society, and the Monto Historical and Cultural Centre and the Old Butter Factory continue to keep the historical prominence of dairy very much alive.