Charleville, 683 kilometres west of Brisbane and as the crow flies directly west of the Sunshine Coast.
Turns out this small town, with a population of just over 3000 people is a hub of activity. Charleville acts as a gateway to many locations, including Longreach to the north, Quilpe and Birdsville in the west, and down towards Cunnaulla to the south.
We were not sure what to expect from such an isolated outback town, but were pleasantly surprised.
The landscape of course, as expected was quite barren, but we had been warned.
Although not as drought-affected as some of the surrounding towns, the effects of very little rain over the last few years were quite evident. Large expanses of brown dusty country, scattered with mulga, and wildlife, Kangaroos in particular, both dead and alive. But the landscape had its own unique beauty, especially with its sunsets.
Stark dry beautiful landscape
Arriving in town we were surprised at how well serviced it was, it is one of the largest regional centers for this area. There were no elaborate shopping centers in these parts, instead, the streets were lined with good old fashioned iconic buildings of the past. Including some majestic old pubs.
Hotels & Main Street of Charleville
The streets were built like they used to be, so wide that in some cases, we could manage a U-turn in our 18m long rig without any effort. The locals were friendly to visitors, happy to say hello and stop for a chat.
As the town was well serviced, we managed to stock up on some well need food supplies. The bakery in the main street was highly recommended to us and did not disappoint with some very tasty pies for lunch. There was also a great little camping store in the main street, which was well stocked with camping and fishing gear. We even managed to get Henry a long awaited haircut at the local hairdresser.
Local business in Charleville
Things To Do
For a small town, there was definitely lots to keep us entertained.
There are some beautiful parks to visit, including one with Vortex Rainmaking Guns which were introduced in the early 1900’s in anticipation the blast would change the atmospheric pressure and entice the rain.
The Visitor Information Centre lies just south of town and houses the Cosmos Observatory with many tours to choose from including, Introduction to the Night Sky, Aboriginal night time stories, Astronomy by day and Bilby experiences, there were even camel rides out the front.
Cosmos Centre & Camel Rides
There are also many other tours including the Heritage, Flood and Fire Tour, WII Top Secret USA Base Tours, The Historic House Museum, Scenic flights by Outback Air Tours, and some Tag Along Tours to the outback.
Locally we went to the local weather station for an insight into how they predict the weather. We were just in time to see a weather balloon take to the sky. Our visit to the Royal Flying Doctor base was informative. We also checked out the Charleville branch of the School of Distance Education.
Things to see around Charleville
Places To Stay
As there are so many things to see and do in Charleville, we would recommend a few days in the area. For the RV-er there are several places to stay dependent on what it is you require.
There are caravan parks, low-cost alternatives or a free camp approximately 12km east of town. These sites are all listed in our directory.
Bailey Bar Caravan Park
The Bailey Bar Caravan Park is for the travellers who want to enjoy a real outback experience. With country meals, and friendly country hospitality and service.
Cobb & Co Caravan Park
Cobb & Co Caravan Park is conveniently located in town making it only a short walk to the shops, yet it is still set in the beautiful natural bushland surrounding Charleville.
Charleville Bush Caravan Park
Located just 2 km from Charleville’s town centre, and set upon 62 acres in a beautiful quiet bush setting, you are sure to enjoy a friendly welcome at Charleville Bush Caravan Park.
Evening Star Tourist Park
Evening Star Tourist Park is located on Thurlby Station 8km west of Charleville in the heart of Outback Queensland. Thurlby Station is a 33,000 acre working cattle station owned and operated by Col & Kristy Cornford.
Red Lizzard Camp Ground
Operating since April 2012, the site offers an authentic bush experience for travellers of all kinds. With large sites, they can easily accommodate caravans and trailers of any size.
Charleville Bush Camp
This campground is a great little place to stay if you want to explore Charleville. It’s a basic bush camp on a large open level block with scattered trees.
Rock Pools Free Camp
This site is located approximately 12km east of Charleville. It is a large site consisting of gravel and dirt areas which are mostly flat.