Famous for its melons and a renowned spot for fishing, bushwalking and camping, the colourful town of Chinchilla is an easy 81 kilometre drive west Dalby along the Warrego Way.
Having once produced 25 per cent of the country’s watermelons, rockmelons and honeydew melons, Chinchilla is the undistributed melon capital. So if strapping on a pair of melons and racing for glory sounds like your kind of fun, Chinchilla Melon Festival (next in 2019) is your kind of event. Perhaps nothing captures the strong community spirit of this town better than the biennial festival.
Named from the Aboriginal word jinchilla, meaning a termite resistant Cypress Pine, Chinchilla is a peaceful and pretty town. Its beautiful tree-lined main street is just off the highway. Head to the Cultural Centre, the pride of the street. Its award-winning design includes a cinema, library and the Lapunyah Art Gallery.
Well worth a visit is the Chinchilla Historical Museum. Its collection features many important transport pieces including a steam driven sawmill and the first-ever ticket issued by Qantas for the first flight from Longreach to Cloncurry. There’s also an excellent display of petrified wood and a prickly pear exhibit celebrating the saving of local and national farmlands from prickly pear by the introduction of the cactoblastis moth and larva from South America.
Chinchilla Weir is popular for fishing and water sports. Good fishing can be had on the Condamine River too – pick up a map and some local tips at the Visitor Information Centre.
You can soak up the country atmosphere at one of many local events including Chinchilla Races in March, Chinchilla annual show in May, and the equestrian highlight, the Grandfather Clock Campdraft, a traditional three-day event held in October.
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