when we were in Charleville we chose to visit the Flying Doctor centre..This is a great little museum here with so much history of this wonderful service..stop in...see the museum...watch a movie...make a donation..people that live in isolated outback Australia really KNOW what a great service that this is ..as usually this is the only way to get much needed help..As you realise when you travel out here..
There are a couple of Heritage trails in Charleville which are worth doing.
The walking trail is a great way to fill in a day. The walk will take you past some wonderful old buildings, the railway station, the court house and many other interesting buildings (a total of 18 sites are on the trail).
The driving trail is also well worth a trip. This trail will take you the local meatworks, the old brewery building, the Ross & Keith Smith Landing Memorial, the Qantas plaque, and several other interesting sites outside of the town area. There are a couple of popular swimming holes included in the trail and picnic areas as well so you can make a day of it.
I waited 4 days for the weather to clear and it just didn't happen so I didn't actually take a scenic flight. BUT, if you are in Charleville, especially after some rain, try and do a flight and see what this part of the outback is really like.
I was able to take a short private flight and just loved the views. The rivers were running, the town looked waterlogged but green and the farm lands around the area were wonderful to see from the air.
Flights vary from town flights of 20 minutes to longer flights going further into the outback areas and over local scenic areas.
You need to book and try to join up with others to reduce the cost. Flights start at $90.00 but depending on how long and how far you can spend a lot of money.
Charleville is the home of the unique Bilby Experience.
Bilbies, or rabbit-eared bandicoots, were very common throughout Australia until European settlement. Hunting by dingoes, foxes and feral cats now sees bilby populations only in the isolated arid and semi-arid areas of Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland.
At Charleville you can visit the Breeding Programme and learn all about these endearing, endangered marsupials BUT the program is only open to the public from April to October.
Go and meet a bilby and enjoy a wildlife experience that is close to our Aussie hearts. (We have Easter Bilbies instead of Easter bunnies too ) Become a part of the fight to Save the Bilbies.
The Steiger Vortex Rainmaking Guns are something you just wouldn't dream of!
"In 1902 Queensland was in the grip of a great drought. The desperation to produce rain took a unique turn. Queensland's first Government Meteorologist, Mr Clement L Wragge decided to experiment with Steiger Vortex Guns, developed to break up hail over the vineyards of Italy.
Wragge had six copies of the 'guns' made hoping they would produce much needed rain. The vertical guns were built and placed strategically throughout Charleville, their barrels pointing directly up into the sky. They were charged with gunpowder, in the hope that the resulting explosion would change the atmospheric pressure and produce rain." (Charlevile Tourist info)
There are two of these guns on display in the Graham Andrews Parklands - well worth a visit.
Charleville is in the outback - it is drought country (despite heavy flooding in 2010).
There are about five water towers around town and have been very important in maintaining water supplies to the town during major droughts.
Take a look, read the history - it is interesting.
Ross and Keith Smith, the first aviators to fly from London to Sydney, landed with mechanical problems at Charlevile in 1919. So began an aviation history in the outback town.
Amy Johnson landed at Charleville in 1920, and the first Qantas airmail flight left from Charleville in 1922.
The current airport is small but interesting. There are a couple of monuments to Qantas there. It is also above the usual flood levels so is a major evacuation site.
I wouldn't suggest this as a on-off sight to visit but as the Visitors Centre, Cosmos and Bilby Experience are all in the airpot complex it's worth a sidetrack visit.
It's well worth a visit to the Royal Flying Doctor Service Base in Charleville.
Charleville Base commenced operations in 1943 and still works as a lifesaving facility today - probably even more so as health services in outback communities have been slowly decreasing.
The services provided from the base include medical chests, remote consultations, aeromedical retrievals and primary health care clinics. Serving about 622,000 square kilometres of southwest Queensland - an area almost the size of the United Kingdom - it is one large operation.
At the base you can see a short film "A day in the life of a Flying Doctor" and wander through the museum with its collection of historical and modern memorabilia.
Entry is free but donation appreciated
I absolutely loved my visit to the Cosmos Centre. I never knew that the stars in our skies are so facinating.
2 Meade x 200 telescopes probe the distant stars, planets, galaxies and it is so beautiful out here in the outback with very little light to distort or hide views of the stars. A new (larger) telescope is on order).
You will have an expert guide to help you see the planets, stars and moon and if you are really lucky a research astronomer may be your guide.
I was there in February - not usually a good time due to the weather - but we were very fortunate. Only 8 people in our group and one clear night out of 14! It was an unbelievable experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat!
If you can't do a night visit there is a theatre and daytimeshow and sun viewing.
Bookings are essential.
This wonderful building is the former premises of the Queensland National Bank which established a branch in Charleville in 1881. It was purchased by the Charleville and District Historical Society Inc. in 1973 and is the oldest building still on its original site in Alfred Street.
"The buildings features white and black marble fire-places, high ceilings with intricately carved rosettes, cedar doors and architraves, and some white ceramic door knobs. Porcelaine key hole keepers can still be seen on some doors. Wide verandas on all sides are an essential part of the building. It is listed by the National Trust." ( Charleville & District Historical Society Inc.)
I loved this building and all of its contents - and then there are the sheds and displays out the back. There is just so much to see within and outside of this buiding.
There is a most wonderful coolibah tree out the back.
Opening hours:- Mon - Friday 9.00am to 3.00pm, Saturday 9.00 am to 12 noon, other times dependant upon volunteers. Entry is $5.00.
The historic Corones Hotels conducts tours of the hotel each day. The tour begins with listening to the story of Harry Corones,and tells how he happened to build the Corones Hotel and became such a huge his influence in this small community community. This man did so much for the community - a building I was staying in while in town was named after him.
Stories are told of the many famous guests and their exploits. There are tales of murder, decadence and love in what was a prosperous era in the region. (Hotel Corones)
The main foyer, where you meet, has a huge array of memorabilia and information about the Hotel's founder and the town in general.
At the end of the tour there is a great afternoon tea with tea, coffee and freshly made scones in the dining room where more anecdotes are told. The tour takes about 2 hours.
The hotel has a restaurant, bar and beer garden, bottle shop and accommodation.
At the Graham Andrews Parklands and surrounding the lake is a lovely designated walk which takes you amongst about 18 different species of native Australian Outback Trees ( a couple had died/drowned when I was there!)
You can get a written guide from the Visitor Centre but many of the name plates have what the tree is, how it was used by Aboriginal and early settlers and how it may still be used today.
I did find it a bit hard to follow the trail but it didnt matter, it was a lovely day and the sun was shining again!
A nice way to fill in an hour or so.
As well as being home to the amazing "rainmaking guns" and the Timber Walk there is plenty to do for the kids and quite a bit for anyone else.
You can wander around the park, there are playgrounds for kids and old engines for them to play on.
The parkland really is peaceful with a smal lake, and BBQ and camp oven sites.
There are plenty of ducks and geese (and the odd rooster) as well as native birds to feed. You’ll see plenty Galahs, Sulphur Crested Cockatoos and Red Rump Parrots.
If you have never been on a working, outback farming property this is one you should visit. Here you will experience life in the bush first hand as you see Thurlby Station.
You'll learn why 'Mulga Scrub" those dry, withered bushes and trees you see everywhere are so important to graziers in the area and you'll also see how hard it is for these people to make a living in such a harsh climate.
Price includes light refreshments and a cup of traditional Billy Tea.
Tours are usually on Monday, Wednesday & Friday morning Adults - $27, Seniors $25
The Evening Star Tourist Park is also here a nice place to experience outback life.
The Charleville School of Distance Education (incorporating Charleville School of the Air) was established in 1966 in conjunction with the Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS) Base. It was the third school of the air established in Queensland.
There are about 230 students with 30 teachers taking students from preschool, to year 10. The 'school'covers an area of 402,000 square kilometres of South West Queensland. Not a small school ground at al!!
There are daily telephone lessons for prep, primary and secondary children, and the preschoolers have two lessons a week.
Guided tours are held at 9.30am on school days - children welcome.