Explore The Western Downs Region Guide
An experience in the Western Downs Region is an experience not to be forgotten. The region is rich in history backed by heartwarming local characters and big skies with spectacular sunsets.
Discover the top attractions the Western Downs Region has to offer as we detail the ones you won’t want to miss.
The Big Melon
Snap a picture with the iconic Big Melon as you enter the watermelon capital of Australia – Chinchilla. Responsible for a quarter of all melon exports in Australia, melons are certainly a big business here, with many visitors saying they have never tried a sweeter melon than in Chinchilla.
Time your visit right and take part in the biannual Chinchilla Melon Festival that sees a small town attract a staggering crowd of over 20,000 people in humble celebration of melons. More than 15 tonnes of watermelon are smashed in fun and games while an approximate of 5 tonnes is consumed during the festival. Attendance at the festival guarantees a lot of watermelon clothes, costumes, accessories and references.
The Chinchilla Botanic Parkland
The Chinchilla Botanic Parkland was awarded Park of the Year at the National Parks & Leisure Awards in 2020. Incorporating prehistoric flora and fauna, the new parkland offers various exploration areas that reflect the town’s railway heritage, Aboriginal culture, and its melon industry.
That said, a visit to the botanic parkland is well worth your while with the guarantee of feeling a sense of calm and serenity as you immerse yourself in nature.
Fossicking in Chinchilla
Regarded as the best petrified wood in Australia for quality and colour, the Chinchilla red is a piece of history that has won the hearts of many fossickers and gem enthusiasts.
So if you’re looking to get your hands dirty, it’s time to grab a fossicking permit at the Chinchilla Visitors Information Centre and head to the licensed sites for some good old fashion fossicking fun.
If you’re out of luck and come back with your hands empty, you can always purchase smaller pieces of petrified wood at the Visitors Information Centre for keepsake.
The Chinchilla Museum
For the curious, learn about the history of the region including its natural resources and get some insights into the industries that support it. Museum displays include equipment and tools used to support the hard work of cypress pine milling, melon farming, and more.
Walk in the footsteps of pioneers, as you explore the many exhibits and old buildings that resemble history. From old jails to old blacksmiths and old dancing halls, other attractions include the Anzac Memorial exhibition, workshops and homesteads.
Where to eat and stay in Chinchilla
With so much happening in Chinchilla, staying the night or two will help you make the most of your exploration here.
And what better place to stay than the Club Motor Inn, Chinchilla’s favourite accommodation establishment, which is also home to the Club Hotel, a local favourite dining establishment that also has its own beer garden.
The establishment features superior food that has patrons raving and exceptional customer service that will have your needs met. Not to mention, the steaks are to die for – having been awarded a top Queensland contender at the 2015’s Pepperjack – Battle of the Steaks. Plus, the skills and experience of the chefs have improved since then. Even if you aren’t a resident at the Club Motor Inn, you simply can’t pass on a meal at the Club Hotel – it’s just that good.
Book your Chinchilla accommodation at the Club Motor Inn online here or call the team on 07 4669 1100 instead.
The Jimbour House
An iconic heritage listed homestead in Jimbour, the establishment is a short 15 minute drive north west of Dalby. Restored to its former grandeur, an experience here will take you down historical times as you admire the big skies of the Western Downs.
If you’re a fan of opera, you’ll want to make it to the Opera at Jimbour, one of Queensland’s premier music events, which is hosted every second year in the Jimbour House.
The Condamine Bell
The original Condamine Bell is an absolute classic of history with the claim of being heard 11.2 kilometres away. Built in 1868 by Samuel Williams Jones and named after the town of Condamine, the bell was designed for Australian conditions and is Condamine’s top attraction, albeit a replica stands in its place.
For the adventurous and not the faint of heart, pack your bags ready for a drive to the Bunya Mountains and witness the towering ancient Bunya pines above countless hiking trails waiting to be explored.
It’s a spectacular wilderness range located around 2.5 to 3 hours from Brisbane. Dense with lush rainforest, eucalyptus trees and woodlands that are home to the majestic Bunya pines. The high altitude grasslands include rare grass species that have attracted international attention.
An exploration to the Bunya Mountains is worth the experience, and needs to be planned properly given the vast expanse it covers.