The first European to travel through the area now known as Nebo was Ludwig Leichhardt in 1845, followed in 1856 by William Landsborough who named most of the surrounding features.
The town was surveyed in 1865, the official name at that time being Fort Cooper, however the name was changed in 1923. The origins of Nebo’s place name were thanks to William Landsborough who explored the district in 1857. He named Nebo after a well-known god of the Babylonians and Assyrians. Nebo had great power over learning and letters in which in those biblical times was called science. He was patron of the art of writing and a god of vegetation.
During the early decades Nebo’s primary production was sheep, however when the area proved unsuitable for sheep, they were replaced by cattle. Until the 1940s cattle were taken by drovers to market in Mackay. This trip took several days, and overnight camps were located along the route which is roughly where the Peak Downs Highway is now.
Many a fine race, stock and thoroughbred horse were bred in and around Nebo and in the earlier years many were exported to the Indian army. The strong connection with horses and horse sports continues today with the Nebo Showgrounds being the host venue for many events such as the Nebo Rodeo, camp drafts, cutting, barrel racing, polocrosse and pony club events throughout the years. Historical sites include Homevale National Park home of spectacular Diamond Cliffs, Marling Spikes, Sydney Heads and Moonlight Dam, the Mount Britton gold mining site, and the intrepid traveller can find the site where Leichardt camped as he explored the region in 1845.
- Visit the heritage-listed Nebo Hotel for great food and a cool ale.
- Immerse yourself in history and culture by visiting the 260-metre murals which depict significant people and events in Australian history at the Civeo camp.
- Visit the historic Nebo cemetery.
- Walk along the Bill Bruce Nature Walk and take in the tranquil sights and sounds of the Nebo Creek.
- Enjoy the Nebo Rodeo annually in May, the largest one-day rodeo in Queensland.
- Discover Mount Britton and the old town site.
- Bushwalk and camp at Homevale National Park and Moonlight Dam.
- Spin a yarn and practice one of Australia's well known art forms at the Nebo Bush Poet's Smoko held annually in October.
- Walk part of the Bicentennial Trail.
- Picnic at Lake Elphinstone.
The Origins of Nebo and its cattle industry
Explorer William Landsborough ventured into the Nebo district in 1856. He came in search of good pastoral country and was accompanied by James Britton and Bobby Chinang.
On 9 July 1856, they set up a depot very near the present location of Landsborough Station Homestead and ranged in all directions from this camp marking out sheep runs.
Landsbrough accomplished a great deal of surveying, pegging, recording, and naming in less than three weeks and he was back on the Connors River by 27 July and down on the coastal plains on 30 July. In all, he surveyed 21 blocks of which 18 were combined into one holding - Fort Cooper Lease - and most of which he kept for himself, not re-selling until the 1860s. The Oxford Downs run was sold to J.W. Stuart in 1861.
Landsborough named most of the landmarks and features in the eastern portion of the Nebo district including Mount Britton and the Marling Spikes, Mount Fort Cooper, Denison Creek and Nebo Creek.