The area was named Kulnura by a meeting of early settlers and is believed to mean “in sight of the sea”. There was some confusion as to whether it was Kulnura or Kulnurra and in 1914 the PMG determined it was to be known as Kulnura.
Initially mail came via Yarramalong on Tuesdays and Saturdays and a post office was opened in 1914. It wasn’t until 1935 that there was a daily mail service. The Memorial Hall was opened in 1922 but was burnt down in 1938. A school was also started in the early 1920s, using the Hall for a time, and it wasn’t until 1928 that it had its own premises.
As was common to the whole area, citrus farming predominated followed by chicken farming, but tomatoes were also an important produce for Kulnura. “Kulnura Tomatoes” were highly regarded.
George Downes made a major contribution to the development of Kulnura. He became a Councillor on what was then the Erina Shire Council and was able to get the roads in the area improved. What was originally called Singleton Road is now known as George Downes Drive. He died of gas injuries he sustained in WWI.
The Kamilaroi Oil Company began drilling for in Oil Bore Road (now Kyola Road) in 1935. The oil derrick was 136ft high, and more than 25 tons of firewood and 60,000 gallons of water were consumed daily by the boilers. Needles to say, the project was not a success.
In the 1940s, the Sydney based food processor and soft drinks manufacturer, Cottees, bought a large area of land on George Downes Drive. This was when passionfruit growing was at its height, and Cottees needed passionfruit for their popular ‘Passiona’ drink. This was the first larger scale operation in the area. The property has changed hands several times since then, and is now called ‘Teralba’.