Immortalised in Slim Dusty’s song by the same name, Charleville is the largest town in Queensland’s south west and is a hub for visitors and pastoralists alike. In the heart of ‘mulga country’, Charleville and surrounding pastoral properties are rich in history, flora and fauna. Meander along the Charleville Heritage Trail to see some impressive examples of pioneer architecture and learn about the history of the town. The Save the Bilby Fund, at the National Parks Research Station, is worth a visit for an up close and personal experience with Australia’s most famous endangered marsupial.
Speaking of up close and personal, the Cosmos Centre provides an intimate look at the night sky, and with the outback’s low residual light, there’s no better place to do so.
If you time your visit with the Charleville Campdraft, one of the region’s largest, you’ll be able to see skillful demonstrations of timeless bush horse skills as riders and their horses work together to guide cattle through a timed course. Charleville also holds a rodeo, where cowboys and girls conquer their fears to ride wild and powerful beasts.
Gazetted in 1868, Charleville was named after a town in Ireland where the government surveyor of the day once lived. Rail transport from Brisbane reached the town in 1888 and is still in use as a passenger line today.
Cobb and Co, the famous coach company, based their largest coach making factory in Australia in the township of Charleville in 1890. The factory was moved to Charleville because the wood used in coaches made in factories closer to the coast would split and crack in the dry, dusty conditions of Western Queensland. On the subject of transport, Qantas scheduled its first fare paying passenger service from Charleville to Cloncurry, via Longreach and Winton, back in 1922.
Charleville is home to south west Queensland’s largest Royal Flying Doctor Service base that serves remote communities as far afield as Birdsville, 900 kilometres to the west.