Compare Cheap Car Hire Chinchilla
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Chinchilla, Queensland is located in the region of Darling Downs. As of the 2006 census, there were 3,681 people residing in the town. Chinchilla lies on the banks of Charleys Creek, as it empties into the Condamine River. Both names were derived from the 1844 expedition by Ludwig Leichhardt. Charley was his guide and ‘jinchilla’ was the native language word for the numerous cypress pine stands. In less than two years after Leichhardt’s expedition, pastoral stations entirely enclosed the present town. In 1848, the altered spelling was filed with the New South Wales Land Office. Construction of the railroad line brought a temporary construction camp to the area in 1878. The small community developed from there, with a railway depot and maintenance yards employing a number of residents. Three churches opened between 1899 and 1904. Settlers easily cleared the timber in the area, but prickly pear cactus were another question entirely. They were an everlasting struggle to keep clear of land used for dairy cow grazing. In 1910, a dairy factory opened near Charleys Creek. Progress continued into the 20th century, with dairy farming giving way to farming of fruit, especially grapes, melons, and strawberries.
The Chinchilla Museum gives visitors a glimpse of the past and the way life was lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. There are stories of cattle grazing, timber cutting, grain growing, and more. There are replicas of steam engines and steam sawmills. Authentic antique vehicles, both automobiles and farm equipment, are on display. In addition to the main museum, there is a blacksmith shop and an old jail. The original Chinchilla School has been added to the grounds.
Another name for Chinchilla is “Melon Capital of Australia.” Every second year, a Melon Festival is held in the town to celebrate rockmelons, watermelons, and honeydew grown throughout the area. The next scheduled festival is in February of 2013. A May Day Festival is held every year, showcasing the rural background of the town. There are events such as tug of war, bag-a-sheep, a rodeo, fireworks and more. Visitors are always welcome at the town’s festivals.