Explore Chinchilla – Things to do in the Western Downs Region
Chinchilla is a small town located in the Western Downs region of Queensland. It is situated approximately 290 kms west of Brisbane, and it is a popular destination for tourists looking to experience the beauty and history of the Australian outback. Despite its small size, this regional town has plenty to offer visitors who are looking for a relaxing and enjoyable holiday or weekend away.
Well-known for its rich agricultural history, natural beauty, and vibrant community spirit, if you are planning to visit Chinchilla, there is no shortage of things to do and see. In this article, we will explore some of the top attractions and activities that you can enjoy while visiting this beautiful town.
Experience the Chinchilla Melon Festival
The Chinchilla Melon Festival is an event that celebrates the town’s melon-growing heritage. The Melon Festival is a biennial event that features a wide range of events and activities, including melon skiing, melon bungee, and the popular melon-eating competition. The festival also includes live music, food stalls, and a carnival. The next Melon Festival will be held in February 2025, so be sure to plan your visit accordingly.
Take a selfie with the Big Melon
Stop and take a selfie with the Big Melon. This giant watermelon statue stands at over three meters tall and nine meters wide and is a tribute to the town’s history as a melon-growing region. The Big Melon was created by an on-line travel company who hosted a competition to build a new “Big Thing” in Australia. The Big Melon submission beat three other finalists for an over-sized tourist attraction.
Visit the Chinchilla Historical Museum
If you have an interest in history, a great place to explore is the Historical Museum. The museum is located in the old railway station building and showcases the rich history of the town and the surrounding area. The museum features exhibits on the area’s Aboriginal culture, early settlement, and agricultural history where you can find exhibits featuring everything from old photographs and newspapers to antique farm equipment and vehicles. You can also learn about the history of the railway, the timber industry, and the agricultural practices that have made Chinchilla what it is today. The museum is open daily, and admission is free.
Explore the Chinchilla Botanic Parkland
The Botanic Parkland is a beautiful little oasis, right in the middle of the town. It is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including native animals, birds and insects. The parkland features walking tracks, picnic areas, a kids playground, and a water park which is open from 8am to 5pm.
Image via Western Downs Regional Council
The parkland has 3kms of walking trails ranging from easy to moderate, with sacred trees estimated to be over 170 years old dotting the area. The parklands are the perfect place to spend a day with family and friends.
Visit the Lapunyah Art Gallery
The Lapunyah Art Gallery is a community-run facility that showcases the work of local artists. The gallery features a range of artworks, including paintings, sculptures, and ceramics. The gallery is open from 10 am to 4 pm on weekdays and from 9 am to 12 pm on Saturdays. The art gallery holds an annual visual arts competition in February. Entry is free to all.
Explore the Chinchilla Weir
The Chinchilla Weir is a beautiful spot to visit and relax. The weir is located on the Condamine River and provides a perfect setting for picnics, swimming, kayaking and fishing. There is also a walking track that follows the river and provides stunning views of the surrounding countryside and a children’s playground which overlooks the water. The weir is located approximately 10 kms south of Chinchilla and is accessible by car.
Explore the Barakula State Forest
The Barakula State Forest is a popular destination for bushwalking, picnics, and birdwatching. Approx 45kms from Chinchilla, the forest covers an area of approximately 33,000 hectares and is home to a range of wildlife, including koalas, kangaroos, and wallabies. There are several walking tracks in the forest, ranging from easy to challenging, that provide stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Here you can find the Dingo Barrier Fence, Charley’s Creek and Wongongerra Creek, which are ideal for fishing and Barakula which is a fantastic area for birdwatching. The Barakula State Forest is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Visit the Chinchilla Pioneer Cemetery
Situated opposite the Visitor Information Centre, lies the Pioneer Cemetery where you can delve into Chinchilla’s history with a wander through the graves, with burials dating back to at least 1892. The cemetery is the oldest of three cemeteries in Chinchilla and is located in the centre of town on the Warrago highway.
There are two interpretive panels located in the cemetery which provide information about symbolism represented in the grave ornaments, as well as a layout map of the area. You will also find the Leichhardt Monument in the cemetery, which celebrates the travels of explorer Ludwig Leichhardt through the region in the 1840’s, but disappeared without a trace on his attempt to reach the Swan River in 1848.
Accommodation in Chinchilla
Southern Cross Motel Group has 2 motels located in Chinchilla, which both offer comfort, convenience and a warm welcoming atmosphere.
The Palms Motel:
The Palms Motel offers a delightful retreat for both business and leisure travellers by providing a welcoming and comfortable environment for guests to unwind and rejuvenate after a day of exploring the sights and attractions of the area. The Palms Motel has an on-site restaurant with breakfast and dinner options, as well as a swimming pool and a range of rooms to suit single travellers or large families.
Comfortable beds adorned with crisp linens ensure a restful sleep, while the well-appointed bathrooms offer rejuvenating showers and plush towels. For those who wish to stay connected, high-speed internet access is available, allowing guests to work or stay in touch with loved ones effortlessly.
Chinchilla Downtown Motor Inn:
One of the standout features of the Chinchilla Downtown Motor Inn is our proximity to the town’s main street. Within walking distance, you’ll find a variety of local shops, cafes, and restaurants, allowing you to immerse yourself in the vibrant Chinchilla community.
Our 4-star Chinchilla accommodation has modern amenities, including comfortable beds, spacious en-suite bathrooms, and complimentary toiletries, ensuring that guests have everything they need for a comfortable stay. There is also undercover parking, making it convenient for those exploring the region by car. Relax and enjoy a cup of coffee on the balcony of your private room or enjoy a dip in our swimming pool on those hot Summer days.
Chinchilla is a beautiful town that offers visitors a wide range of activities and attractions. Whether you are interested in history, nature, or adventure, there is something for everyone in Chinchilla. So, pack your bags, book your accommodation and head to Chinchilla for an unforgettable outback experience!