Duaringa was previously the administrative centre of the former Duaringa Shire Council, which became a part of the Emerald-based Central Highlands Regional Council upon amalgamation in March 2008.
Although small in size, the town has a police station and courthouse, ambulance station, a hotel, post office and newsagency, a primary school, three churches, a sports complex, and a library.
Duaringa previously had a general store and butcher shop, but both closed down in the mid-1990s. There was also a railway station but apart from the platform, it hadn't been used for years and it was removed in 2007. After the removal, Queensland Rail upgraded the platform facilities for local passengers wishing to use the Spirit Of The Outback rail service which operates between Brisbane and Longreach.
The Dawson and Mackenzie Rivers flow to the east and north of the town respectively. Duaringa suffers from periodic droughts and floods, and experiences summer temperatures as high as 45 degrees Celsius.
Duaringa is a significant centre for Aboriginal peoples and there is a former reservation at Woorabinda. Indigenous people were granted small parcels of land under Queensland native title legislation. There are Aboriginal rock art sites at Carnarvon National Park, south-west of Duaringa.