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Miles and District Experience the vibrancy of our district by joining us at our Beef, Bells and Bottle Tree Festival, a month long showcase. Walk the ‘main street’ of the unique Miles Historical Village and Museum and immerse yourself in culture at Dogwood Crossing.

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we invite you to explore the region we are proud to call our home...

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From Brisbane via Toowoomba


The Miles District

Welcome to the Miles District, we are a scenic expanse of varied landscapes in the centre of Queensland’s south-west. Part of the Western Downs Region, the Miles district has several towns, including Condamine, Dulacca and Drillham. Our district has various industries, enviable tourist attractions and a significant history waiting for you to explore. …All great adventures start at your Local Visitor Information Centre... Nature lovers are treated to an incredible array of wildlife in the natural splendour of our district with rock rimmed gorges, pine and eucalypt forests, meandering rivers and creeks, and the captivating rare and endangered pink waterlilies (Nymphea Neorosea) of Chinaman’s Lagoon. Situated about 4 hours drive west of Brisbane and sitting at the cross-roads of the Warrego

and Leichhardt Highway’s is the principle town of our district, Miles. Here you will find our Visitor Information Centre – the perfect place to start your stay. Our friendly staff equipped with boundless local knowledge can assist you in your adventure into the heart of the Western Downs Region and the small towns of our district that give us our relaxed country character. Miles Visitor Information Centre is situated on the Warrego Highway, at the eastern entrance of the town. Staffed by skilled and knowledgeable locals, the Miles VIC can provide local advice on the things to see and do. Open 7 days 8am to 5pm its a one stop shop for travel information including maps, brochures and fact sheets Ph: 07 4627 1492 3


Miles • 1,450 MILES – population 1450 Originally named Dogwood Crossing in 1844 by explorer Ludwig Leichhardt after the prolific Dogwood shrubs in the area, Miles was given its present name with the coming of the railway in 1878 in honour of William Miles, Minister for the Railways at that time. The township, which sprang out of delays in construction of the railway over the Dogwood Creek, started out as a teamster’s camp and the wide streets of Miles are a legacy of the time when bullock wagons turned here. Present day, Miles is a vibrant rural township with an active arts and cultural community; an ideal stopping place for travellers to explore a region rich in history and natural attractions. Miles is home to one of the finest historical museums in Australia where the history of Miles comes to life in a remarkable streetscape of 4

authentic buildings from the pioneering era. The history of the district is also celebrated in Dogwood Crossing Miles, the cultural hub of our community. An architecturally stunning building with 7m tall stylised bottle trees forming a colonnade down its centre, Dogwood Crossing provides a comprehensive display of the town’s social history and gives rise to a wealth of local and visiting displays that are a credit to the Miles community. Close to town, nature lovers can absorb the wonder of the Miles area that was first bestowed on Leichhardt and his team over 150 years ago. The iconic Dogwood, or Jacksonia Scoparia, and other native trees and shrubs can be seen along the relaxing Dogwood Creek Walking Track and the rare pink form of the native waterlily produces a spectacular display on Chinaman’s lagoon during the summer and autumn months.


Miles Attractions Miles Historical Village & Museum The Miles Historical Village & Museum is a big talking point amongst all who have travelled this way before. The museum was first established back in 1971 by dedicated volunteers with an amazing vision for preserving local heritage of the pioneering era. Here you literally step back into history when you explore the many buildings within this turn-of-the-century village. There are more than 30 buildings, including a hospital, café, bank, post office and bakery. In addition to these buildings, you’ll find a number of other fantastic displays. You’ll see the amazing shell collection – it’s one of the largest privately owned collections in Australia. There is also the world class lapidary display, including many fine examples of local petrified wood. The extensive collection of war uniforms and memorabilia in the War Museum is a big attraction on its own. Perhaps one of the most significant collections is that of the Condamine Bells that were made locally in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The Miles Historical Village offers a wide range of activities and options such as: coach groups, special interest groups, school excursions, weddings and functions and volunteer programs. ...The Miles Visitor Information Centre is conveniently located at the Historical Village...

Chinaman’s Lagoon Chinaman’s Lagoon puts on a splendid display of rare pink water lilies during the late summer and early autumn months. The pink water lilies (Nymphaea gigantea var. Nervosea) are a form of the native waterlily (Nymphaea gigantea) which normally produces blue or white flowers. Originally from Undulla Creek on “Undulla Station” in Glenmorgan, this species was transferred to Myall Park Botanic Gardens in 1968, and from there some 40 tubers were transplanted in Chinaman’s Lagoon in 1983. All waterlilies have now disappeared from Undulla Creek and the collection at Myall Park Botanic Gardens and their descendants are reportedly the only surviving plants of the pink colour form and therefore classified as rare and endangered. Sam Ah Sun a Chinese gentleman arrived in Miles around 1880 and after learning to “booze up” became such a nuisance that he was hunted out of town and made camp at the lagoon where he grew a market garden of vegetables. Sam was charged with possession and supply of opium, he received 12 months and never returned to the area. Here derived the name Chinamans Lagoon. Learn more of this local larrikin’s story on the interpretive panels located at Chinaman’s Lagoon. 5


Dogwood Crossing Miles Dogwood Crossing, Miles is a vibrant arts and cultural facility owned and operated by Western Downs Regional Council. Offering a cultural experience like no other, this multi disciplinary award-winning facility provides an opportunity for locals and visitors to connect, interact, and express their ideas, views and feelings, all in a meaningful way through avenues of literature, technology, arts and cultural activities. Dogwood Crossing, Miles, encompasses a wide range of products and services, including a Regional Library Service, A-Class Regional Art Gallery, Information Technology Services and Social History Information.

...Hub for Community, Creativity and Inspiration...

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The IT Centre offers the public an opportunity to connect, research and skilldevelop with reasonably priced internet access, printing, scanning, and copying services. As you peruse the remarkable information panels flowing through the building you will discover tales of our pioneering past – struggle, ingenuity and a vision for the future, the spirit that made the Miles District what it is today. Settle in at the interactive touch screen to hear stories of the past as told by some of our local characters. The John Mullins Memorial Art Gallery is an A-class regional gallery with the facilities to host national standard touring exhibitions. The gallery is co-ordinated by a group of local art enthusiasts who develop an ongoing calendar of local and touring exhibitions each year. Take the time to browse the latest exhibition – local or touring, you will not be disappointed!


Dogwood Creek Walking Track Enjoy the tranquillity of the Dogwood Creek by taking this low intensity 3km circuit walk from Chinaman’s Lagoon to Moraby Park located at the western entrance to town. The walk will take you along the waters edge of the peaceful Dogwood Creek and past the original town cemetery. This small cemetery dates back to the 1800s and is the earliest identifiable cemetery in Miles. The site contains the graves of several local pioneering families. ...Miles welcomes you to get fit and improve your health by taking advantage of our modern facilities... Murilla Fitness Centre Miles swimming pool is a beautiful, modern, and clean swimming facility that services people of all ages. We are blessed to have a 6 lane 50 m outdoor swimming pool and a 10 m (approx) toddlers wading pool with water features. Our swimming pool has a fully qualified manager to ensure your visit to the pool is enjoyable and safe. Murilla Fitness Centre Gymnasium and multipurpose Hall has a fully functional gym with modern equipment and facilities. Our centre currently offers fitness classes catering for all ages. A host of fitness programs currently available include kids fit box, mother’s circuit, ladies and men’s over 50’s classes and Boot camp.

Gil Weir Gil Weir, south of Miles, is part of the Dogwood Creek and the primary water source for the town. In the early days, water was pumped for the railway from a hole in the creek to a high tank, but no source existed for gardening. After World War II, the Department of Water and Irrigation built a weir on the Dogwood Creek with the vision of establishing a soldier settlement for growing citrus. The scheme did not come to fruition and the former Murilla Shire Council was successful in purchasing the weir in 1949 for $13,500. Today Gil Weir is a popular fishing spot with serene picnic areas. Wildflowers The Miles district is renowned for its native wildflowers, at their best after the first spring rains in September. The natural wonder of these wildflowers in bloom can be experienced by taking time to drive the self-guided tour beginning from Dogwood Crossing, Miles. The wildflower trail includes 7 sign-posted sites along the way where visitors can learn about the flowers common to the region. Each sign highlights the native beauties found close by. Ask the friendly staff at our Visitor Information Centre about publications for purchase that can assist the interested amateur in identifying our native flora.

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Miles Events Beef Bells & Bottle Tree Festival A biennial festival that truly captures our living history and celebrates the relaxed country lifestyle of the Miles District, the “Beef, Bells & Bottle Tree Festival” has evolved out of past Miles festivals and is named after three iconic symbols of the district. The cattle industry has long been an important part of our economy, and the famous Condamine or “Bullfrog” Bells is significant of the working bullocks that helped to shape this region. Bottle trees are a distinctive feature of our landscape and can be seen amongst the paddocks of cattle and fields of ripening crops as you pass through our communities. The Beef, Bells & Bottle Tree Festival is held in the month of September, showcasing the vitality of our district through a range of arts and cultural activities, entertainment, bull sales, rodeos, and a vibrant street 8

parade meandering down our main street ending with a carnival style family fun day. Coinciding with the spring flourish of wildflowers, this is a perfect time of year to visit and explore a unique neck of the woods. ...Celebrating our relxed country lifefstyle... World Tea Cosy Competition An initiative of M.A.I.D., (Moving Arts Into Dogwood), with a partnership between the Miles Regional Arts Council Inc and Western Downs Regional Council, this event has gone global. Entries in previous years have come from as far abroad as England, Scotland, Ireland, U.S.A., South Africa, New Zealand, and France. The World Tea Cosy Competition comprises of 4 categories, with the proceeds of all tea cosies sold after the competition being donated to charity.


Annual Theatre Performances Directed and produced by the Miles Regional Arts Council with local amateur theatre performers, the Miles District community plays host to wonderful theatre performances each year. The shows always welcome group bookings and guests are invited to bring along a picnic dinner for a night of fun and entertainment. Christmas Street Carnival A community event held annually in early December, hosted by our local Chamber of Commerce with the invaluable support of local businesses. Bring along the whole family to truly experience our community atmosphere. Art Exhibitions Six to eight touring and local exhibitions each year are held in the A-class, John Mullins Memorial Art Gallery at Dogwood Crossing, Miles. Come and enjoy the splendour of the architectural bottle trees light up on opening night, share a glass of wine with friends and locals, and have an exclusive sneak peak of the latest exhibition. The John Mullins Memorial Art Gallery is a climate controlled gallery which is accompanied by a fully climate controlled collection storage space to ensure the protection and longevity of works. It is an open plan L shaped gallery with a moveable wall system and adjustable wire hanging system. The floor area is 137 sq metres, and the ceiling height is 3.5 metres.

Miles Amateur Picnic Races A big event in February/March each year drawing crowds from across our region. A great day out of fashions on the field, frenzy in the punters section, and live entertainment into the early hours of the morning‌ Miles and District Show Our annual Miles & District show is an amazing event packed full of fun, food, and entertainment for all ages. The show provides a platform for the displays and competitions of local farmers, schools and the community. General entertainment features high on the draw card along with the competitions for horse, cattle, and sheep events and the local Arts and Craft movement. Our show brings our local people together, to socialise and compare their produce, experiences and learning over the past year. It is seen as a premier event on the annual calendar of events for our district. This spectacular event highlights our friendly country hospitality which is a big part of our district and makes visiting here enjoyable, safe and social.

... celebrate the relaxed country lifestyle of the Miles district... 9


Condamine • 135 Condamine is a strong rural community with rich soils, superior grain production and is home to many large feedlots. Located 33km south of Miles on the banks of the meandering Condamine River, Condamine is home to the famous Condamine or ‘Bullfrog’ Bell which was first fashioned by local blacksmith Samuel William Jones in 1868. ...The famous Condamine or “Bullfrog” Bell which was first fashioned in 1868 could be heard up to seven miles away... The bell was tied around the necks of working bullocks to ensure stockmen could locate them when left to roam or graze. A large replica of the condamine bell with the history of the township inscribed onto its side is located in the Condamine Bell Park. 10

Condamine Bell Park Located along the highway as you pass through town, the Park pays homage to the Queensland icon that was born here – the Condamine “Bullfrog” Bell. A large replica bell standing 2m high is found here, with a history of Condamine (the third township in Queensland) inscribed on its side. In the early pioneering days when bullock teams were the only method of heavy transport and large tracts of land were unfenced, bullock bells were a necessity in locating the bulls after being unyoked over-night. Samuel Jones’ famous bells were fashioned out of cross-cut or pit saw blades, the metal being responsible for the great carrying sound of the bells. The heaviest bells allegedly weigh 7lb, thought to be the most a bullock could carry. In 2004 The Condamine bell was named a Queensland Heritage Icon A range of original bells can be seen at Dogwood Crossing Miles and the Miles Historical Village.


Attractions Caliguel Lagoon Approximately 7km south of Condamine is the attractive Caliguel Lagoon, “Caliguel” being the name of an early pastoral run in the area. In good seasons the lagoon presents a fine stretch of water and is a favourite location for locals and visitors to enjoy water-skiing, boating, swimming, fishing and bird-watching. Free camping is permitted and barbeques, picnic facilities and amenities are available. Condamine Rodeo & Campdraft Hosted by a small community, the Condamine Rodeo and Campdraft is a huge event drawing crowds and competitors from across the state – one of the most popular events on the circuit. Held in October each year, the weekend program includes a rodeo and campdraft followed by live entertainment that goes well into the night! Camping facilities are available for those wanting to camp on site.

Drillham • 70 Twenty kilometres west of Miles and once a thriving metropolis, Drillham was closely linked to the railway. A railway weir on the creek provided water for steam locomotives and reminders of these times can still be seen by the creek and roadside. Grain crops, livestock farms and a strong visible history of railway activity give the community of Drillham its rural character. Today the area is renowned for its quality grain crops and boasts some of the finest cattle studs in Queensland.

Dulacca • 120 A further 22km west along the Warrego, Dulacca was established in 1879 with the coming of the railway. The town’s name originates from a pastoral run called “Doolackah” (an aboriginal word for “emu tracks”), later known as “Dulacca Station” and owned by the honourable William Miles. Cattle and grain farming remain the town’s key industries today. Dulacca was also the site of the first push to eradicate the prickly pear, an environmental scourge of the region’s farming land that at one stage covered an area of fifty million acres throughout the state. The cactoblastis moth which eventually controlled the epidemic is known as the most successful biological control in Australian history. A history of the town and its strong community contribution to the war can be found in Roy Henderson Park. The Dulacca Hotel, known as the Waterhole on the Hill, dates from 1908 and still operates today.

...Dulacca derives its name from Doolackah Station – “Doolackah” being the aboriginal word for emu tracks... 11


What to do in a day...

Things to See and Do

Miles to Drillham – 20 km

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Drive to Drillham. View the Drillham Creek Historical Sites Drillham to Dulacca – 22km Travel on to Dulacca. See the Dulacca War Memorial at Roy Henderson Park Dulacca to Condamine - 75km Drive to Condamine via Dulacca South Road. See the big bullock bell standing tall in Condamine Bell Park. View the Condamine Flood Boat Historical Site Condamine to Miles – 33km Drive back to Miles. Enjoy a relaxing time alongside Chinaman’s Lagoon. Take a walk on the Dogwood Creek Walking Track Experience everything on offer at Dogwood Crossing Miles. Spend an afternoon at Miles Historical Village & Museum 12

Step back in time at the Miles Historical Village and Museum

o Acquaint yourself with our local characters via the interactive touch panels at Dogwood Crossing o

Absorb the latest art exhibition in the A-class John Mullins Memorial Art Gallery

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Be captivated by the splendid display of rare pink water lilies at Chinaman’s Lagoon (seasonal)

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Enjoy the tranquillity of Dogwood Creek by walking the Dogwood Creek Walking Track

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Follow the Gurulmundi Wildflower Trail and see native wildflowers in bloom (seasonal)

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Grab a picnic and spend the afternoon fishing at Dogwood Creek or Gil Weir


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Explore the townships of Miles and Condamine by taking one of our recommended Self Drive Tours

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See the large replica of the famous Condamine ‘Bullfrog’ Bell at Condamine Bell Park

o Camp overnight at Caliguel Lagoon and enjoy a spot of fishing o Drop a line in at the Condamine River o

See the monument commemorating those lost in past Floods of Condamine

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Stop and rest at Roy Henderson Park and visit the Dulacca War Memorial

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Delve into Drillham’s past and visit the Drillham Creek Historical Site

Did you know? o

Miles was originally known as Dogwood Crossing before it was changed in 1878.

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1st August 1878 - The railway is opened to the camp at Dogwood Crossing, prompting the development of a township

o The 1907 shire revenue totalled about $700, collected from just 160 ratepayers o

The last flight of a DC3 aircraft on a commercial run in Australia was from Brisbane to Miles in 1968

Historical Monuments Paddy’s Creek Historical Site: a short drive West of Miles, to the left of the road-side is the Paddy’s Creek Historical Site. This site marks the graves of a number of fettlers and their families who were engaged in building the railway line westward of Miles. The cause of death for many of them is reminiscent of symptoms associated with the typhoid outbreak in the area at the time. Condamine Flood Boat Historical Site: resting on the banks of the Condamine River in Progress Park, this original flood boat was used to ferry mail and supplies across the swollen river during times of flood. The memorial beside the boat was erected in memory of those who lost their lives in the Condamine River. Drillham Creek Historical Site: located on the banks of the Drillham Creek, this monument marks the graves of the four children of a railway lengthsman and his wife, who accidentally drowned in the Railway Weir in 1893. ... The Miles Historical Village & Museum is home to over 30 authentic and replicated buildings from a bygone era... 13


Road Conditions

Useful Websites

The main arterial roads leading to our major towns are sealed, however, due care should be taken noting the number of heavier vehicles which share our roads. Some of our rural roads can be slightly narrower to other highways, with a number of tributary roads being gravel and difficult to navigate in wet weather. Visitors are encouraged to drive safely and to the conditions of the road at the time.

To find out more about our region, here are some websites you might find useful.

If you are seeking advice on road conditions contact the Department of Transport and Main Roads on 13 19 40 or one of the local Visitor Information Centres listed.

...Some of our rural roads can be slightly narrow, and difficult to navigate, visitors are encouraged to drive safely... 14

Western Downs Regional Council www.wdrc.qld.gov.au www.library.wdrc.qld.gov.au www.advancewesterndowns.com Attractions & Destinations www.dogwoodcrossing.com www.mhv.org.au Regional Tourism Organisation www.westerndownsholidays.info Median temperatures Miles and district has a temperate climate with average annual rainfall of approximately 630ml. Highest rainfalls occur during the summer months. Our summers average a comfortable mid 30’s, peaking to low 40’s: with December and January being the warmest months. Our cooler times of the year are June to August, with some overnight temperatures registering slightly lower than zero!


SUSTAINING THE FUTURE Once a primarily agricultural and cropping region, Miles and District is fast becoming known for the mining and clean energy resources which exist alongside its farming industries. Global investment and major projects are pushing growth into the region, driving the balancing act between agriculture and industry, and presenting boundless opportunities for investors….

...Global investment and major projects are pushing growth into the region...

THE HEART OF THE SURAT BASIN With a population of 2800, Miles and its surrounding communities are in the heart of what is known as the “Surat Basin”, a burgeoning energy province rich in coal deposits and coal-seam gas. The abundant natural resources found here have prompted the birth of major investment projects including the QGC and Origin gas fields, Condamine Power Station, Wandoan Coal Project, and Surat Basin Rail Joint Venture to name a few. The community investment and employment opportunities arising from these projects promise to see the continued development of Miles and District well into the future. Rail links to port facilities at Brisbane and Gladstone are increasing the industrial potential of the region, further diversifying the area’s economy from its staple of agriculture and grazing.

GRAZING & AGRICULTURE The grazing, agricultural and timber sectors have always been prosperous industries for local families. The area is particularly strong in beef cattle production, with a number of outstanding stud cattle, feedlots and commercial enterprises. The quality grazing country predominantly consists of buffel, blue grasses and improved pastures. Farming is diverse with various crops grown under both dry land and irrigated practices, including wheat, barley, sorghum, cotton and oats. The seasons and weather conditions play a vital role in successful productivity and when favourable seasons prevail the agricultural industry is a significant contributor to the economy. Did you know? o

Chinaman’s Lagoon was named after a local larrikin Chinese Market Gardener, Sam Ah Sun who resided at the lagoon in the late 1800s

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Early sheep-runs of the Miles District were followed by dairying in the early 1900s – Miles had a Butter Factory from 1911-1968

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Dulacca is known as the site of the first push to eradicate the Prickly Pear. 15


Miles Region.... The place to live, laugh and Experience beauty !

Dalby Visitor Information Centre Thomas Jack Park Drayton Street (07) 4679 4461 dalby.vic@wdrc.qld.gov.au

Chinchilla Visitor Information Centre Warrego Highway (07) 4679 4491 chinchilla.vic@wdrc.qld.gov.au

Miles Visitor Information Centre Murilla Street (07) 4627 1492 miles.vic@wdrc.qld.gov.au

Disclaimer: All reasonable measures have been taken to ensure the information contained in this publication is accurate and current at the time of publication. Western Downs Regional Council accepts no responsibility for information that is inaccurate or outdated. This publication is a guide only. Any information provided should be viewed as information only and the user accepts sole responsibility and risk associated with the use of this information. Western Downs Regional Council accepts no responsibility or liability for loss or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of information in this publication. Reference to third parties and associated services and activities are provided only as a convenience, and as such, Western Downs Regional Council does not endorse any associated organisation, product or service.

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Miles Local Brochure  

Our Western Downs Miles Local Brochure, Western Downs Regional Council

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