Q U E E N S L A N D
A U S T R A L I A
V I S I T O R S
Q U I L P I E
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A D A V A L E
G U I D E
TO O M P I N E
C H E E P I E
Welcome to Quilpie Shire! Supercharge your Outback adventure in Quilpie Shire. Fishing, 4WDing, dinosaurs, opal fossicking and outback station visits... it’s all here! From the Shire’s central hub of Quilpie, you’ll discover Cheepie to the east, Adavale to the north, Toompine to the south and Eromanga, the furthest town from the sea, to the west. Uncover remarkable stories of true grit and determination that epitomise the multi-generational pioneering families Discover Quilpie’s flourishing art scene Stay on a working station and meet the folk who call Quilpie Shire home S idle up to the bar of a quirky outback pub where the hardy publicans are keeping it real And, marvel at the dramatic terrain of Hell Hole Gorge National Park. If you’re keen to embrace matchless moments of genuine discovery, then head straight to our ‘how to get here’ page – you won’t be disappointed.
WELCOME TO COUNTRY We acknowledge the traditional owners of this land, all whom have a deep attachment to the Quilpie Shire. As a guest in our shire we wish you a safe journey and ask that you respect this land and its traditions, past and present, by leaving country as you find it.
www.visitquilpieshire.com #visitquilpieshire Many thanks to the Quilpie Shire community for their wonderful stories and contributions in the creation of this guide and associated web content.
Hell Hole Gorge National Park
CONTENTS How to Get Here 4 Take a Road Trip 6 Our incredible National Parks 8 Our Ancient Discoveries 10 Our Outback Stations 12 Quilpie 14 Eromanga 18 Adavale 20 Toompine | Cheepie 21 Explore the Great Outdoors 22 Natural Sciences Loop 24 Queensland South West Adventure 26 Family fun 28 Quilpie Events 29 Directory 30
T E R R I T O R Y N O R T H E R N
How to get here
DRIVE TO QUILPIE
The Quilpie region is well serviced by fully sealed roads, whether travelling from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Longreach or the popular Natural Sciences Loop.
DRIVE DISTANCE FROM QUILPIE
Charleville – 212km via the Warrego Highway
Cunnamulla (via Eulo) – 300km via Mitchell Hwy/A71 and State Route 14 Longreach – 515km via National Route 79 & State Route 14
Sydney – 1301km via the Mitchell Highway Melbourne – 1527km via Kidman Way and Michell Highway
FLY TO QUILPIE
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Queensland Rail’s Westlander Service operates twice weekly between Brisbane and Charleville with a rail/bus connection to Quilpie.
REX Airlines operate twice-weekly flights between Brisbane and Quilpie. The Quilpie Airport has Avgas and Jet A1 for refuelling. QantasLink operate regular flights between Brisbane and Charleville or Longreach. Hire car facilities are available in Charleville and Longreach.
RAIL TO QUILPIE
Brisbane – 956km via the Warrego Highway
QUILPIE VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE
51 Brolga Street, Quilpie Qld 4480 Ph: (07) 4656 0540 Email: email@example.com www.visitquilpieshire.com CENTRE FACILITIES INCLUDE Quilpie Shire Gallery & Museum | Free Wi-Fi National Park Bookings | Driver Reviver Site
OPENING HOURS: March – October: Monday to Friday: 8.30am – 4.30pm Weekends: 9.00am – 1.00pm November – February: Monday to Friday: 8.30am – 4.30pm Weekends: Closed
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Take a Road Trip The Quilpie Way
Photo: Aaron Kent
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DAY 1: CHEEPIE
Photo: Aaron Kent
The friendly ‘ghost town’
The pub without a town
As you travel west from Charleville, take a detour to the friendly ‘ghost town’ of Cheepie. Once a Cobb & Co Change Station, Cheepie became a township when the railway came through in 1914. Just one long-time resident remains in town. The butcher, baker and blacksmith, to name a few, have since left. Picnic beside the tranquil Beechal Creek before driving another 77km east to Quilpie.
Head south via Quilpie to the pub with no town on the Dowling Track – Toompine. The Toompine Hotel is all that remains of this once bustling frontier opal town. There’s at least 120 years of stories linked to this local watering hole. It’s an ideal base for fishing and opal fossicking at Duck Creek or Sheep Station Creek (fossicking licences are required)
Set up camp at The Lake, a working sheep and cattle station or stay in town for 2 nights.
DAY 2: QUILPIE
Rich in colour & art Start the day with a freshly brewed coffee at a Brolga Street coffee shop, a great starting point to appreciate the local art scene. Discover more of the region’s flourishing art movement with visits to the Lyn Barnes and the Quilpie Shire Gallery. Try your luck at the free opal fossicking area or ask at the Visitor Information Centre for where you can purchase locally sourced opal jewellery. Be sure to take a peek at the incredible opal altar at St Finbarrs Church. Late afternoon, toast the sunset from Baldy Top Lookout. Photo: Aaron Kent
DAY 4: TOOMPINE
Multiple accommodation options available.
DAY 3: ADAVALE
Gateway to Hell Hole Gorge Before starting your drive to Adavale, be sure to check road conditions and purchase a National Park camping permit from the Quilpie Visitor Information Centre. Keen ‘anglers’ and ‘twitchers’ will relish the fishing and birdwatching opportunities in Adavale. History buffs will enjoy the historical walk and outdoor mini museum. From Adavale it’s just under 11/2 hour’s drive to the spectacular Hell Hole Gorge National Park.
Set up camp around the pub grounds (basic facilities only)
DAY 5: MOBLE HOMESTEAD
An Outback Station experience Travel via the unsealed Tobermory Road to the delightful Moble Homestead. Hosts, the Rutledge family are proud wool producers and keen environmentalists with a shared interest in great seasonal food and good company. Wander the beautiful garden, follow tranquil creek walks and simply relax. Choose to stay in traditional shearers quarters, cosy cottages or homestead rooms (bookings essential). Minimum stay 2 nights.
DAY 6: EROMANGA Land of the Giants
Drive north west to Eromanga, the furthest town from the sea and home to Australia’s largest dinosaur. For a chance to touch a 95 million year old dinosaur bone, join the Australian Dinosaur Giant’s Tour at the Eromanga Natural History Museum. Tuck into a hearty pub meal at the Old Royal Hotel, built in 1885 and follow the town’s historical walk. Set up camp at Eromanga Caravan Park or stay in 4 star comfort at Cooper’s Country Lodge.
Set up camp at the Hell Hole Gorge campsite (4WD access only. Camping visitors must be self-sufficient). Photo: Aaron Kent www.visitquilpieshire.com
Our Incredible National Parks HELL HOLE GORGE NATIONAL PARK
Hell Hole Waterhole
Picture rugged gorges framed by cliffs carved out over millions of years by the Powell and Spencer creeks. There are two popular swimming holes, Hell Hole Gorge and Spencers Gorge. Explore around the waterholes or stroll along the top of the plateau high above the creek. You may even spot wildlife resting in the cool gorge below. The park is one of a few places where you may see the elusive Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby.
76km from adavale
Access to Hell Hole Gorge is via working pastoral properties. Take care to avoid stock on unfenced roads and leave gates as you find them. Take the Adavale-Blackall Road then turn left and follow the Milo-Gooyea Road to the park. Roads within the park follow old seismic lines and boundary fences. Bush Camping is allowed near Hell Hole Waterhole Camping permits and bookings are required
Approx 73km from adavale
1.2km to spencers waterhole
Visitors must be self-sufficient. Bring at least 7 litres of water per person per day
Hell hole gorge National Park Map
Roads are unsealed. Access via 4WD only. Check road conditions before travel
Top activities: 4WDing, hiking, birdwatching, swimming No phone coverage
Entrance gate to Park 69km from adavale
Hell Hole Gorge National Park (Photo: Aaron Kent)
Photo: Aaron Kent
MARIALA NATIONAL PARK
Soft mulga grows on deep red soils in the park’s east and hard mulga grows on the ranges. Early morning heralds the melodic sounds of butcher birds, Hall’s babblers and flocks of spiny-cheeked honeyeaters. Old man emu can often be seen strolling through the thick mulga shrublands. With some 140 species of birds and 27 mammals, Mariala is a popular park for nature-based activities. Access is via the Charleville-Adavale Road, 128km west of Charleville and 59km east of Adavale. The road dissects the park with entry points well signposted from the Charleville side. Bush Camping suitable for 2WD and 4WD access Camping permits and bookings are required Visitors must be self-sufficient. Bring at least 7 litres of water per person per day Roads are unsealed. Access via 4WD only. Check road conditions before travel Top activities: Nature observation, photography, hiking, birdwatching No phone coverage
Idalia National Park
IDALIA NATIONAL PARK
Explore the gorges and rock formations of Idalia’s Gowan Range tablelands. As you emerge from the dense mulga, catch surprise views of rugged escarpments, home to yellow-footed rockwallabies. You may also see other macropods grazing along the creek flats. Visit innovative stake stockyards built between the 1920s and the 1950s to hold up to 300 cattle during muster. While Idalia National Park is in the Quilpie Shire, the access point is 113km south-west of Blackall. Take the Isisford Road from Blackall for 42 km then turn left into the Yaraka Road. Bush Camping suitable for 4WD access. Pit Toilets Camping permits and bookings are required Visitors must be self-sufficient. Bring at least 7 litres of water per person per day Roads are unsealed. Access via 4WD only. Check road conditions before travel Top activities: Bush walks & drives, photography, wildlife & birdwatching No phone coverage www.visitquilpieshire.com
Our Ancient Discoveries ONCE UPON A TIME
Around 100 million years ago during the Cretaceous period, the Australian continent was covered, in part, by a shallow Inland sea. Fine marine sands rich in silica were deposited around the shoreline. The Great Artesian Basin formed when the sea receded. What followed was a series of very special geological, climate and biological events leading to today’s incredible ancient discoveries, specifically dinosaurs, megafauna and opals!
It’s rare, beautiful and found right here in the Quilpie Shire! Quilpie’s opal story began with this precious gem’s discovery in 1872. Boulder Opal occurs in a 700km long ‘belt’ stretching between Winton and Quilpie. Today, Quilpie is the largest producer of opal in the world. Be sure to call in to the Visitor Information Centre to eyeball some impressive collections. They’ll connect you with a local expert to learn more about how these beauties are formed and maybe find your forever treasure!
SUPER SAUROPODS Not just any sauropod - around here you’ll discover the mighty titanosaur sauropod. At the Eromanga Natural History Museum, you’ll meet a couple of local lads called Cooper and George who hit their peak some 95-98 million years ago. These last remaining sauropod groups from the Cretaceous Period were huge. In fact they are known as the hugest land-dwelling animals… ever! The bones of Cooper and George are the largest bones of any dinosaur so far discovered in Australia.
MIGHTY MEGAFAUNA If you’re not sure what Megafauna is, then picture giant kangaroos and wombats, huge birds, snakes and lizards. Australian megafauna evolved after dinosaurs became extinct some 66 million years ago. These ‘giants’ were at least 30% larger than their modern day cousins. Some ten species of Megafauna have been found in the remote south west town of Eulo. See them at the Eromanga Natural History Museum.
Our Outback Stations
OUTBACK STATION EXPERIENCES FOR TOURING GROUPS Ray Station was settled in 1874 and has direct links to the famous Patsy Durack from the book ‘Kings in Grass Castles’. Today the property specialises in offering authentic station holidays for touring groups. One to three night packages are offered to coach groups, tag-along 4WD tours, car rallies and fly-in groups. The property does not cater to individual day trippers or caravanners. www.raystation.com.au
CHANNEL COUNTRY HOSPITALITY
SWITCH OFF AND RELAX
What could be better on your outback adventure than a chance to meet local graziers and stay on their stations. Just outside Quilpie in heart of the red gibber landscape you’ll discover Moble Homestead which has been in the Rutledge family for five generations. Stay a few nights in your choice of private hut, cottage or ensuite room at the family homestead. Enjoy their fabulous hospitality and stunning gardens framing a tranquil waterhole. The family delight in sharing their special part of the Channel Country with the more ‘active explorers’ too. They offer a selection of guided packages and workshops which will appeal to walkers, riders, photographers, artists and bird watchers alike. If sleeping under the stars is on your ‘to do’ list, then be sure to ask about their authentic camping experience at Bannerman’s Camp too!
Discover The Lake Quilpie, a beautiful natural expanse of water set amongst shady gum trees. Seasonally, an impressive display of water lilies eloquently edges the banks in the shallow water. Native birds flock to this lush oasis, taking pride of place on a 2,500 acre sheep and cattle property that was originally surveyed in the late 1800s. Owners Dan and Louise Hoch have owned the property for the last four years running Merino sheep and Droughtmaster cattle. If a campsite with a lake view appeals, you’re in luck! There are loads of open flat shady camp sites to choose from. Campers can opt for powered or unpowered sites. There’s also a couple of self-contained cottages and traditional shearers quarters. Fish, swim, birdwatch or simply relax. Make sure you bring the marshmallows for cosy campfires under a blanket of stars.
Moble Homestead is 64km from Quilpie and Toompine, and 106km from Eromanga. Bookings essential. www.moblehomestead.com.au
The Lake is located along the Diamantina Developmental Road around 4km east of Quilpie. Bookings essential. www.thelakequilpie.com www.visitquilpieshire.com
Quilpie OTHER FAVOURITE THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN QUILPIE Join a guided tour from the Quilpie Visitor Information Centre (groups only) Visit the Amy Johnson Museum, Powerhouse Museum & Military History Museum Enjoy a soak in an Artesian Spa at the Channel Country Tourist Park COMING in May 2021! The Story of Quilpeta – a night show that interprets the Quilpie story
Just like the unique Australian bird that is Quilpie’s namesake, there’s a sense of authenticity and downright ‘realness’ when you roll into town. It’s overflowing with Aussie heritage, a vibrant local art scene and outdoor activities.
RICH IN COLOUR
The sun in Queensland’s far south west beckons like a drop of burning gold for curious road-trippers. If you’re looking for colour, you’ll find it in the opal town of Quilpie, specifically the Boulder Opal. Unique to Queensland the formation of this beautiful gemstone dates back one hundred million years ago, at the end of the Jurassic (dinosaurs) period. While in town, try your hand at fossicking, and see the fascinating opal altar at St Finbarrs Church. Quilpie also has an impressively colourful pioneering history. Listen for early settler names such as Tully, Durack and Costello. At the Quilpie Local History Museum, discover the link between the Durack family and what some say is the best saga of pastoral Australia ever published – Kings in Grass Castles. “Cattle Kings ye call us, then we are Kings in Grass Castles that may be blown away upon a puff of wind.” – Patsy Durack 1878
BIRTH OF A RAILWAY TOWN
100 odd years ago in April 1917 the Great Western Railway Line came to Quilpie and changed the course of history. The youngest settlement in the Quilpie shire became the biggest and main business centre. Prior to the rail line, Quilpie was no more than just a few humpies and Adavale was considered the main centre. Grand plans to extend the service further west were abandoned due to wartime restrictions making Quilpie the official ‘end of the line’. Locals tell the story of ‘The Flying Flea’, so named because it was the fastest rail time in Queensland connecting Charleville with Quilpie. Find out more at the Quilpie Rail Museum and take a selfie at the End of the Line!
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE Photo: Aaron Kent
What better way to celebrate the incredible colours and stories of the Outback than through artistic expression? Outback Queensland’s arid landscape has been the inspiration for local artist Lyn Barnes since she began painting over eighteen years ago. Her signature style with its vivid interpretation of intense blue skies and rugged red earth, features in private and corporate collections worldwide. Discover Quilpie’s flourishing art scene with visits to the Lyn Barnes Gallery, the Quilpie Shire Gallery plus a whole host of outdoor sculptures and murals. Round off your art trail with a freshly brewed coffee and tasty delight at town coffee shops which regularly showcase local artists’ work.
ROCKING THE SUNSETS
Picture yourself perched atop a rugged rocky summit with nibbles and drinks ready to toast the glorious outback sunset. Located around 7.4km from downtown Quilpie, it’s an easy 10 minute climb to the crest of Baldy Top Lookout. Feeling energetic? Consider following the scrambling trail to explore loads of ancient caves and crevices. Also rocking the sunsets is nearby Lake Houdraman aka ‘The Lake’. Home to masses of Aussie birdlife, this privately owned lake is popular for birdwatchers and serenity seekers alike. Hot Tip: You can purchase pre-packed nibbles platters from the Quilpie Brick Hotel.
e) centr town
To Eromanga 106km and Quilpie Golf Club 4km (from town centre)
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Quilpie Swimming Pool Bulloo River Nature Walk The Lake Caravan Park Quilpie Butchery Paulsens Friendly Grocer St Finbarrs Catholic Church Lake Houdraman Powerhouse Museum Quilpie Hardware Quilpie Club Inc Quilpie Motor Inn Channel Country Tourist Park Lowes Petroleum & Fuel Depot Puma Energy Depot (unmanned 24hr card service only) Kev Richardson Welding Bicentennial Park RV Dump point End of the Line Lyn Barnes Gallery Cattle Yards Airport Mini Museum & Amy Johnson landing site Opal Fossicking Area and Mulga Walk Baldy Top and Table Top Lookout Quilpie Golf Club
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Mural Park (45 metre mural) Military History Museum CWAATISCH The Opal Hunter Nutrien Offshears Bakery Elle’s Newsagency National Australia Bank (NAB) 27 Gallery Coffee Quilpie Country Collections Quilpie Community Gym Quilpie Cultural Society RSL Park Quilpie Shire Hall Elders Quilpie Shire Library Quilpie Shire Council Mining Registrar & Court House Imperial Hotel Mary McKillop & Sisters of St Joseph Memorial Plague Quilpie Pharmacy Outback Hair Studio Quilpie Brick Hotel Railway Museum Hewson Hall Electrical Grant Daniel Long Old Empire Cafe Meads Foodworks G&T Mechanical
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To Toompine 78km and Baldy Top 6½km (from town centre)
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© mapuccino 2021 www.mapuccino.com.au Note: map not to scale
Brisbane Quilpie Train Station
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Bulloo River Walk
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Eromanga Eromanga is famous on several counts, firstly for being Australia’s furthest town from the sea and secondly for the significant palaeontological discoveries of Australia’s largest dinosaurs on a local property.
90 Million years ago dinosaurs stalked this expansive outback land. In fact, the skeletal remains of Australia’s largest dinosaur were found here on a local station. Plunge into the world of dinosaurs and megafauna from the Cretaceous period at the Eromanga Natural History Museum. If you’re not familiar with the term ‘megafauna’, picture giant kangaroos, wombats, huge birds and more. By giant we mean at least 30% larger than their modern day cousins. Be sure to book in for the Australian Dinosaur Giants tour, Fossil Preparation Experiences and Digs. You can even overnight at the onsite Coopers Country Lodge – it’s 4 star! While in town, be sure to get a photo of the life-size art sculpture of a Sauropod and her two babies at Knot-a-Saurus Park!
A CENTURY OF HISTORY
coaches, this century plus year-old hotel was crafted from locally made bricks. In its heyday it had to compete for business with two other hotels, but today it’s the only pub in town; probably one of the longest continually operating hotels in the outback. Don’t be put off by the Royal’s advanced years either. You are guaranteed a hearty meal and icy cold drinks with a helpful serving of local yarns. The hotel offers ensuite and shared accommodation and caravanners are welcome at the Eromanga Caravan Park, Motel and Cafe. Learn more about Eromanga history at the Eromanga Living History Centre.
Feel the clock wind back to 1895 as you step inside the historic Eromanga Royal Hotel. Once a staging post for Cobb & Co
Eromanga is located 106km west of Quilpie (fully sealed).
Recent dinosaur discoveries are certainly putting Eromanga on the map. But did you know that the Cooper-Eromanga basin is Australia’s most prolific oil and gas basin which continues to yield new discoveries? It’s hard to imagine that this remote outback town’s IOR Refinery is responsible for refining 1250 barrels a day of crude oil into automotive distillates, jet fuel and specialty chemicals. No worries about fuel for your car in Eromanga, that’s for sure!
OTHER FAVOURITE THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN EROMANGA Eromanga Living History Centre Town Historical Walk Opalopolis Park Kyabra Creek Eromanga Motel Cafe Life-size Dino Sign Photo Opportunity Knot-a-saurus Park
GATEWAY TO HELL HOLE GORGE & MARIALA NATIONAL PARK
It’s probably not too much of a stretch to say that you could fit the entire population of Adavale into a Toyota Coaster minibus. With just under 20 permanent residents, this traditional Australian boom town’s prospects dramatically changed when the railway went to another town. A once flourishing town, Adavale like all boom towns, settled quickly and at its peak housed a population of around 300 residents. First gazetted in 1878, it opened its first hotel a couple of years later. If you draw a straight line between Charleville and Windorah, you’ll find Adavale about halfway along; ideal for a Cobb & Co Change Station. Remnants of the old coach road can still be seen in town. In late 1800s, the Adavale streetscape would have looked very different; Six pubs, a Police Station, Chinese Market Gardens, Baker shop, General Store, School,
THE NAMING OF ADAVALE Rumour has it that a woman named Ada lost her veil in a freak gust of wind as she and her Government Surveyor husband, William Tully crossed Blackwater Creek.
Hospital and Post Office. With the help of the Adavale Town Interpretive Walk you can get a pretty good idea of town life in busier times. Locals have also created a quirky Outdoor Mini Museum from an old meat-house. It’s filled with relics that could best be described as intriguing and unusual. Definitely worth a look. Complete your town history tour with a visit to the Police Hut Museum and the photographic display at Adavale Shire Hall. If you find yourself in need of a new handbag or a decadent High Tea, then the Elegant Emu needs to be on your itinerary. Treat yourself to a selection of yummy home baked bread, biscuits, cakes and pastries. Relax on the breezy verandah of what was once the Adavale doctor’s residence. Other town services include the Adavale General Store/Pub. Coin operated BBQ, toilets, showers and free camping at the Adavale Shire Hall. There is no fuel available in town.
Adavale is located 96km north of Quilpie (74km is sealed).
Toompine THE PUB WITHOUT A TOWN So how does a pub end up minus a town? The South Western Hotel (circa 1893) is all that remains of what was a once bustling frontier opal town. This old Cobb & Co staging post became the stomping ground for dusty miners and pioneering pastoralists following the discovery of opal in the 1860s. By the turn of the century Toompine had a Police Station, several houses, hotel, butcher, blacksmith and stables.
Cheepie ONCE A TOWN, NOW HOME TO ONE
Years of drought may have taken its toll on this remote outback town, but at the South Western Hotel, the beer is cold and the yarns are gold. Excellent fishing and yabbying spots are just a stone’s throw from the pub. Fossick for opal at nearby Duck Creek and Sheep Station Creek Opal Fields.
Toompine is located 80km south of Quilpie (fully sealed).
THE CEMERY The local ‘Cemery’ is just one kilometre down the road, ask for directions and the story behind its name
If you travel east from Quilpie for about 77km you’ll stumble across the remote town of Cheepie. It would be pretty hard to strike up an argument in this town as it’s home to just one long-time resident! In another, more prosperous life, Cheepie served as a Cobb & Co Change Station and later a Railhead from Charleville. Turn back the clock to the early 1900s and you’d find a butcher, baker, blacksmith and town policeman. Locals of that time could quench their thirst at the Royal Mail Hotel. Sadly, little more is known about the hotel except that it burnt down in 1987. Given that the town was a railhead, it naturally housed a railway station, which still stands today - although no longer in Cheepie. It was relocated to Quilpie in 2017 to become what is now the Quilpie Rail Museum.
Cheepie is located 77km east of Quilpie (fully sealed).
Explore the great Outdoors Walk, swim, fish or 4WD to experience our dramatic landscapes, abundant wildlife and ancient heritage. Discover our favourite outdoor experiences.
BULLOO RIVER BLISS
Nothing could be finer than an early morning or late afternoon stroll along the Bulloo River Walk. Pause along the walk to read native plant interpretive signs or perhaps to rest beneath one of our magnificent Red River Gums. Keep an eye out for our feathered friends too. Perhaps spy a silvery grey brolga performing it’s elaborate, wing flapping dance or marvel at a graceful Pelican gliding serenely along the watercourse. Pick up a Quilpie Bird list from the Visitor Information Centre for a full list of native birds. If you’re more of a hunter-gatherer type, then this might be the perfect spot to catch a Yellowbelly (Golden Perch) or snare some delicious Yabbies (fresh-water crayfish). Dinner alfresco tonight?
Access the River Walk from John Waugh Bridge, a 2km drive from town. 22
BALDY TOP TO TABLE TOP
Take yourself to higher ground with the choice of two favourite local lookouts. Begin with a relatively easy 10 minute scramble to the summit of Baldy Top. It’s pretty straight forward to pick which of the two red rocky formations is Baldy Top – very few trees on the summit. The curious might like to explore the many caves and crevasses of this impressive, ancient boulder formation. But, those seeking a more sensory experience might prefer to indulge with sunset nibbles and 360 degree view awesomeness. There’s no prize for guessing which formation is Table Top either due to its flat, table-like summit. The vista from Table Top is no less splendid than Baldy Top, so the choice is yours.
Baldy Top is around 7.4km from town on the Toompine Road with approximately 2km unsealed.
LAKE HOUDRAMAN AKA THE LAKE
Around a 10 minute drive north-east of Quilpie you’ll happen upon the lush natural oasis of Lake Houdraman. Now known as The Lake, this natural depression in the Bulloo River floodplain retains water even in drought years. Seasonally thousands of resplendent water lilies frame the edges of the lake like a Monet painting. It’s also a haven to masses of native birds. Swim, fish or simply revitalise in this beautiful expanse of water set amongst shady gum trees. The Lake is on private property and has a number of accommodation options should you wish to stay awhile and enjoy the serenity. Day visitors welcome.
Ask for a local bird list from the Visitor Information Centre.
THE DOWLING TRACK
The Dowling Track is a 4WD adventure experience spanning some 567km from Bourke to Quilpie. Other towns along the track include Hungerford, Thargomindah and Toompine. Explore the Quilpie section of the famous Dowling Track, travelling in the footsteps of early pioneer Vincent James Dowling. This track is not for the novice and is suitable for 4WD/AWD vehicles only. You’ll need to make sure that your vehicle is fit for the trip, carry plenty of water and make sure somebody knows where you are. Photo: Aaron Kent
Photo: Aaron Kent
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Natural Sciences Loop DAY 1 - CHARLEVILLE Welcome to Charleville and the start of the Natural Sciences Loop. This is a mind-boggling itinerary packed with some of our most intriguing natural science phenomenon. What better place to begin our journey uncovering the mysteries of natural science than the Cosmos Centre? By day you can view the Sun, our most important star, through the Hydrogen Alpha Sun Telescope. Bring your smart phone to capture your own Sun image. On the Night Observatory Tour, the entire roof of the Observatory rolls off to reveal stars, planets and the Milky Way shimmering with incredible clarity against dark night skies. Stay 2 nights in Charleville
DAY 2 - CHARLEVILLE Fancy a rain dance? The Vortex Rainmaker guns in the Graham Andrews Parklands have definitely made an impact on the town. Trialled in Charleville in September 1902, the six guns were fired at two-minute intervals. It was hoped that the vibration caused by the discharge of gas in the clouds would cause rain. Sadly no. But it’s an interesting story. If you are keen to
learn more about our weather patterns, you might visit the Charleville Bureau of Meteorology and watch the release of a weather balloon. Find out why you should join the Easter ‘bilbies not bunnies’ campaign on a visit to the Bilby Experience. The work carried out by volunteers to save the Bilby from extinction is nothing short of inspirational. Be prepared to be impressed on a guided tour of the facility with an experienced Bilby Keeper.
DAY 3 - CHARLEVILLE TO CUNNAMULLA (APPROX 200KM / 2HR 6MIN)
If you would like to know more about the world’s largest underground river, then Cunnamulla is a good place to start. The Great Artesian Basin covers one fifth of Australia and is the life blood of our rural communities. A novel way to learn the story is at The Artesian Time Tunnel in the Cunnamulla Fella Centre. Discover the link between the Artesian Basin, Australia’s largest dinosaurs and the Eromanga Inland Sea. It’s a good story! Continuing the water theme put on your walking shoes and follow the 2.5km River Walk at sunset to capture the last colours of the day from the
viewing deck. Alternatively, you may like to hire a kayak or take a guided kayak tour of this natural wonderland. Overnight Cunnamulla
DAY 4 - CUNNAMULLA TO THARGOMINDAH. (APPROX 197KM / 2HR 5MIN)
The Artesian water story turns a bit muddier a further 68 kilometres west in Eulo. Enormous underground pressure from the Great Artesian Basin has forced century old mud through fissures in the ground resulting in Eulo’s Artesian Mud Springs. Giant Megafauna fossils have been found in Eulo and you can take a photo with the life-size Diprotodon statue. Spend time exploring Yowah’s ‘living gallery’ with its distinctive opal galleries dotted around town. ‘Thargo’ as the locals call it, was the first town in Australia, and third in the world, to produce hydro-electric power for street lighting. You can discover the story for yourself courtesy of a self-tour Code Card from the Visitor Information Centre. Overnight Thargomindah
DAY 5 - THARGOMINDAH TO EROMANGA (APPROX 280KM / 3HR 6MIN)
Today you’ll travel to Eromanga, reputedly Australia’s furthest town from the sea. It’s located on the edge of the ancient Eromanga Inland Sea. The Eromanga Basin has been explored and developed for petroleum production with the area producing an astonishing 1.5 million barrels of oil each year. Another ancient discovery in Eromanga is dinosaurs. See skeletal remains from one of the largest animals to have walked the earth at the Eromanga Natural History Museum. Picture a large plant-eating sauropod dinosaur, 30 metres long and 6.5 metres high and you’re getting the idea. On the guided Australian Dinosaur Giants tour you can touch a 95 million year old dinosaur bone, watch fossil preparation in action and see the incredible Eulo megafauna fossils. There’s also a number of scheduled dinosaur and megafauna digs open to visitors at selected times throughout the year. Overnight Eromanga
DAY 6 - EROMANGA TO QUILPIE (APPROX 106KM / 1HR 16MIN)
Travel east along the fully sealed Cooper Developmental Road to Quilpie. On arrival, make your first stop the Visitor Information Centre, Museum and Gallery. Quilpie is home to the exquisite boulder opal. While in town you can try your luck in the free opal fossicking area and see the stunning Opal Altar at St Finbarr’s Church. Quench your thirst and enjoy a great pub meal at the Imperial Hotel. Late this afternoon, drive about 7.4km from Quilpie to take in a spectacular sunset from Baldy Top, a magnificent boulder formation, millions of years old. The relatively easy ten-minute climb to the top will reward you with breathtaking panoramic vistas, the perfect sunset photo stop. Stay 2 nights in Quilpie
DAY 7 - QUILPIE
Uncover the geological mysteries of Hell Hole Gorge National Park with its rugged cliff-lines, deep gorges and rockpools. It’s a 2.5 hour drive from Quilpie, so you’ll need to start early. There are a number of unsealed roads, so a 4WD is essential. Take a break in Adavale along the way and be sure to check road conditions before visiting the National Park.
DAY 8 - QUILPIE TO CHARLEVILLE (APPROX 211KM / 2HR 30 MIN)
Today you’ll visit Cooladdi, one of the smallest towns in Australia to retain is own postcode. Call into the Fox Trap for smoko before continuing your drive back to Charleville. Continue east along State Route 14 to Charleville. Your Natural Sciences Loop concludes here today. www.visitquilpieshire.com
Queensland South west Adventure DAY 1 - BRISBANE TO ROMA (APPROX 504KM / 5 HR 20 MIN
Point the car west and travel along the Warrego Highway to Queensland’s Garden City, Toowoomba. Stop for morning tea at Picnic Point, best known for its expansive views across the Great Dividing Range. If time permits, call into the Cobb & Co Museum, before following the tracks of these original people movers to Chinchilla, the Melon Capital of Queensland. Relax on the banks of Charley’s Creek with a picnic lunch. Next stop is Roma, home of the Big Rig and the gateway to cattle country. At the Big Rig you can choose from a selection of guided and self-guided tours including the popular Night Show Sunset Experience. Join an experienced ‘Roma Rigger’ guide at the base of the towering EMSCO rig to hear stories of intrigue, drama and sabotage. Learn how the events that occurred in Roma threatened to destroy the Australian oil and gas industry - before it even began. Overnight Roma
DAY 2 - ROMA TO CHARLEVILLE.
(APPROX 267KM / 2 HR 52 MIN) For a fascinating insight into life on the land, a visit to the largest cattle selling centre in Australia is a must. On most Tuesdays and Thursdays (may vary due to seasonal conditions) you can join a retired farmer or grazier for a guided tour of the Roma Saleyards. Imagine the first-hand stories they will share! While there, visit the new multi-media Interpretive Centre (open daily). Grab some refreshments from the onsite canteen (open on sale days) before you travel further west to Mitchell. See the original courthouse where local bushrangers, the Kenniff Brothers were committed to stand trial then head to Arrest Creek, where they were captured. Cool off with a refreshing swim in the natural artesian water at Mitchell Great Artesian Spa, your last stop before Charleville.
The universe is calling you tonight on the Cosmos Centre Big Sky Observatory Tour. The entire roof of the Observatory rolls off to reveal stars, planets and the Milky Way shimmering with incredible clarity against dark night skies. Stay 2 nights in Charleville
DAY 3 - CHARLEVILLE
Do you want to know a secret? During WWII the Charleville Airfield was a Top Secret Base for the USAAF. Locals were sworn to secrecy about the 3500 American airmen and ground crews who took over this western Queensland airfield in 1942.
Find out much more and take a peek at the newly uncovered secret sites on a 1.5 hour guided tag-a-long tour. Head into town to the historic Hotel Corones for the Stories and Scones tour. The hotel was completed in 1929 during Charleville’s wool boom. With its jazz hall, embossed plaster ceilings and en suite bathrooms it’s not hard to imagine why it was the hotel of choice for graziers, woolbuyers and the odd celebrity! Be prepared to be impressed on a guided tour of the Bilby Experience with an experienced Bilby Keeper.
DAY 4 - CHARLEVILLE TO QUILPIE
DAY 5 - QUILPIE TO EROMANGA
Today you’ll visit one of the smallest towns in Australia to retain its own postcode. Cooladdi, taking its name from an Aboriginal term for ‘black duck’, was once home to 270 residents. Now only four remain. Call into the only business in town, the Fox Trap, a pub, post office, restaurant and motel rolled into one.
See skeletal remains from one of the largest animals to have walked the earth at the Eromanga Natural History Museum. Picture a large plant-eating sauropod dinosaur, 30 metres long and 6.5 metres high and you’re getting the idea. On the guided Australian Dinosaur Giants tour you can touch a 95 million year old dinosaur bone, watch fossil preparation in action and see the incredible Eulo megafauna fossils.
(APPROX 211KM / 2HR 30 MIN)
On arrival in Quilpie, make your first stop the Visitor Information Centre, Museum and Gallery. Quilpie is home to the exquisite boulder opal. While in town you can try your luck in the free opal fossicking area and see the stunning Opal Altar at St Finbarr’s Church. Quench your thirst and enjoy a great pub meal at the Quilpie Brick Hotel or Imperial Hotel. Late this afternoon, drive approximately 7.4km from Quilpie to take in a spectacular sunset from Baldy Top, a magnificent boulder formation, millions of years old. The relatively easy ten-minute climb to the top will reward you with breathtaking panoramic vistas, the perfect sunset photo stop. Overnight Quilpie
(APPROX 106KM / 1HR 16MIN)
While in town, visit the Living History Centre and one of Australia’s iconic outback pubs, the Eromanga Royal Hotel est. 1885. Once a Cobb and Co staging post the hotel was built from locally-made mud bricks, some were kiln fired and others were air dried. As you tuck into your perfectly cooked steak and cool ale in the hotel dining room spare a thought for the travellers of old. The pub would have been a welcome sight indeed for weary Cobb and Co passengers after a hot and bumpy trip to the furthest town from the sea. Overnight Eromanga
DAY 6 - EROMANGA TO THARGOMINDAH
Eulo is well known for its local honey and bees wax products. Take a photo with the life-size Diprotodon statue. Fossils of these giant Megafauna have been found in the Eulo area and are on display in the Eromanga Natural History Museum. Overnight Eulo
(APPROX 280KM / 3HR 6MIN)
Drive around two hours along the Cooper Developmental Road as it skirts the edge of South West Outback, then take the turnoff for the historic Noccundra Hotel. Look closely at the sandstone walls of this 1882 construction. The sandstone was quarried in New South Wales and transported by Camel Train to its present location. You have to ponder the logistics of this! Grab a bite to eat, hire a canoe or do a spot of fishing along the river.
DAY 8 - EULO TO CUNNAMULLA
(APPROX. 69KM / 45 MIN) Before you leave Eulo this morning, visit the Artesian Mud Springs. Built up over centuries these Mud Springs were the original release valves for the Great Artesian Basin. Arrive in Cunnamulla and enter the Artesian Time Tunnel at the Cunnamulla Fella Centre to learn about the world’s largest underground river journey. Just outside of town is the majestic Warrego River, a birdwatchers paradise. Follow the 2.5km River Walk at sunset to capture the last colours of the day from the viewing deck. Alternatively, you may like to hire a kayak or take a guided kayak tour of this natural wonderland. Overnight Cunnamulla
From the hotel it’s then about 1.5 hours to Thargomindah on the banks of the Bulloo River. It was the first town in Australia, and third in the world, to produce hydroelectric power for street lighting. A ‘smart cookie’ came up with the idea to use the water pressure from the Artesian Basin. Collect a swipe card (for a small fee) from the Visitor Information Centre so you can access the Hydro Power Plant, Old Hospital, Old Jail and Leahy House. Once inside the attractions, use the card to activate some interesting videos and lifelike holograms – you’ll really feel as though you are part of the story. Overnight Thargomindah
DAY 9 - CUNNAMULLA TO ST GEORGE
DAY 7 - THARGOMINDAH TO EULO
(APPROX. 293KM / 3HR 14MIN)
The family owned and operated sheep station Charlotte Plains can be accessed on the drive between Cunnamulla and St George. It’s worth calling in to see the 1890s station bore pond but many travellers choose to stay a few days to enjoy the station activities. Continuing east make a stop in Bollon for a walk through the Heritage Centre. Arrive in St George and visit Riversands Wines for a wine tasting and vineyard tour. If you’re in town on a Thursday, you can book a tour of a fully operational cotton farm as well. For something a little different, call into the Unique Egg to see the humble emu egg carved into a stunning illuminated piece of art. It’s a world first.
(APPROX 129KM / 1HR 22MIN)
Start your day with an easy stroll along The Bulloo River Walk beginning at the old Cobb & Co Crossing and ending at Pelican Point Picnic Area. It’s the perfect spot for a quiet barbecue breakfast and the perfect time to glimpse local birdlife. Head east along the Adventure Way and take the short drive to Lake Bindegolly National Park, a wildlife refuge featuring salt and freshwater wetlands. The park is home to more than 195 species of birds, 80 other kinds of animals and 300 species of plants. Travel through sheep and cattle grazing land to Eulo.
Late afternoon is the ideal time for a relaxing two-hour sunset cruise on the Balonne River. Sandytown River Cruises is an accredited Ecotourism Australia Nature Tour, so you can expect to learn much about the river, local birdlife and native plants. Overnight St. George
DAY 10 - ST GEORGE TO BRISBANE
(APPROX 551KM / 5HR 59MIN) Travel south east along the Carnarvon Highway to Nindigully and the famous Nindigully Pub, the longest continually licensed pub in Queensland. Pack your appetite as the challenge of the ‘road train’ awaits – a whopper 5kg burger, big enough to feed you and 10 of your closest mates. Continue east along the Barwon Highway to Goondiwindi then take the Gore Highway to Bundaberg Toowoomba. From there you’ll re-join the Warrego Highway back to Brisbane.
SCALE 50 25 75
Family Fun Bring the kids to Quilpie
FOSSICK FOR TREASURE
Introduce the kids to a real-life treasure hunt in the opal fossicking area, just 1.5kms west of Quilpie. No need to organise a permit for this opportunity to strike it rich either! Now, if you’re wondering what tools are needed, look no further than the Quilpie Brick Hotel. You can hire a fossicking pack with all the essential equipment for under $20. You’ll be amazed at how engrossed the kids will be as they sift through the offcuts to find their forever treasure.
CATCH & COOK YABBIES
Whilst most country kids are familiar with catching yabbies in rivers and farm dams, it’s likely that this is something new to city kids. A popular method involves tying a piece of meat as bait to a few metres of string or fishing line. A net is used to quickly scoop up the hungry yabby as it takes the bait. If they are lucky, they might just catch enough for dinner. With Mum and Dad’s help, the yabbies can be cooked over the campfire for a delicious finish to the day.
DIG FOR DINOSAURS
Learn how to prepare fossils at the Eromanga Natural History Museum as part of their Family Fossil Preparation program. Children under the age of 18 can learn the basics of fossil preparation. On the included Australian Dinosaur Giants tour they’ll observe the processes around digging, discovering and preserving fossils. Then after a short induction, they’ll get hands on into fossil preparation. Definitely a story to tell their science teacher back at school.
Quilpie Events JANUARY
AUSTRALIA DAY AWARDS
EROMANGA RODEO AND CAMPDRAFT TOOMPINE GUNSHOOT ADAVALE MUSTER IN THE MULGA ANZAC DAY
BASH BREAK ON BROLGA OUTBACK QUEENSLAND GOLF MASTERS 2021 TOOMPINE POLOCROSSE
GOLF CLUB OPEN WEEKEND KANGARANGA DO
QUILPIE & DISTRICT SHOW & RODEO PRIDE OF THE WEST QUILPIE BIKE GYMKHANA & ENDURO
QUILPIE 2 DAY BOWLS CARNIVAL
ST. FINBARR’S SCHOOL FETE CHRISTMAS IN THE GALLERY
Quilpie ACCOMMODATION Channel Country Tourist Park Chipu Street, Quilpie 07 4656 2087 The Lake Diamantina Developmental Road 0418 947 955 Quilpie Heritage Inn 34-36 Brolga Street, Quilpie 07 4656 1427 Imperial Hotel Motel 42 Brolga Street, Quilpie 07 4656 1300 Quilpie Bungalow 43 Chipu Street, Quilpie 0408 328 877 Quilpie Motor Inn 80 Brolga Street, Quilpie 07 4656 1277 Moble Homestead 3176 Tobermory Road, Quilpie 07 4656 4731
DINE IN & TAKEAWAY Quilpie Heritage Inn 36-38 Brolga Street, Quilpie 07 4656 1427 Imperial Hotel Motel 42 Brolga Street, Quilpie 07 4656 1300 Offshear’s Bakery 41 Brolga Street, Quilpie 0488 055 655 Quilpie Bowls Club Inc Brolga Street, Quilpie 07 4656 1388
The Old Empire Café 24 Brolga Street, Quilpie 07 4530 1016
TYRES, MECHANCIAL & HARDWARE
Elle’s News Quilpie 31 Brolga Street, Quilpie 07 4656 1166
27 Gallery Coffee Brolga Street, Quilpie 0417 082 454
Quilpie Hardware & Tyre Service 80 Winchu Street, Quilpie 07 4656 2050
Springall’s Mechanical 57 Sommerfield Road, Quilpie 0427 820 386
Meads Foodworks 21 Boonkai Street, Quilpie 07 4656 1188 Paulsen Bros Friendly Grocer 19 Buln Buln Street, Quilpie 07 4656 1377 Quilpie Butchery 9-11 Buln Buln Street, Quilpie 07 4656 1126
BANKS NAB 29 Brolga Street, Quilpie 07 4656 0200
ATMS Meads Foodworks 21 Boonkai Street, Quilpie 07 4656 1188 Paulsen Bros Friendly Grocer 19 Buln Buln Street, Quilpie 07 4656 1377 Imperial Hotel Motel 42 Brolga Street, Quilpie 07 4656 1300
Outback Auto & Communications Quilpie 0409 370 169 Kev Richardson Welding Quilpie 07 4656 1600 Gilby & Tonkin Mechanical 8 Chulungra Street, Quilpie 07 4656 2380
Quilpie Country Collections Brolga Street, Quilpie 07 4656 1271 Elle’s News Quilpie 31 Brolga Street, Quilpie 07 4656 1166 Hewsonhall Electrical Centre Brolga Street, Quilpie 07 4656 1311 Quilpie Hardware & Tyre Service 80 Winchu Street, Quilpie 07 4656 2050
Lowes Petroleum & Fuel Depot 50 Sommerfield Road, Quilpie 07 4656 1134
Outback Hair Studio 38 Brolga Street, Quilpie 0429 977 718
The Old Empire Café 24 Brolga Street, Quilpie 0499 915 586
Helen’s Hair & Beauty Brolga Street, Quilpie 0481 295 607
Puma Energy Depot (Unmanned 24hr card machine) Lot 59 Sommerfield Road, Quilpie 07 4742 8700 or tech help 1800 24 88 66
The Opal Hunter Brolga Street, Quilpie 07 4656 2777 Lyn Barnes Outback Art 17 Sommerfield Road, Quilpie 0428 561 461
Quilpie Bowls Club Inc Brolga Street, Quilpie 07 4656 1388
IOR (for account holders only) Brolga Street, Quilpie 1300 457 467
Containers for Change Chipu Street, Quilpie 0408 617 878
Quilpie Licenced Post Office 44 Brolga Street, Quilpie 07 4656 1147
Quilpie Hardware & Tyre Service 80 Winchu Street, Quilpie 07 4656 2050
Allan Kisiel Opals Brolga Street, Quilpie 0407 741 665
Mobile phone coverage: Telstra only within town area.
Please note there is no fuel available in Adavale.
Phone coverage: Telstra only within the township.
Eromanga Royal Hotel Deacon Street, Eromanga 07 4656 4837 Eromanga Motel & Caravan Park & Cafe Webber Street, Eromanga 07 4656 3276 Cooper’s Country Lodge 2 Dinosaur Drive, Eromanga 07 4656 3084
DINE IN/TAKEAWAY Eromanga Royal Hotel Deacon Street, Eromanga 07 4656 4837 Eromanga Motel & Caravan Park & Cafe Webber Street, Eromanga 07 4656 3276
RURAL AGENTS & REAL ESTATE
Quilpie Golf Club Eagle Drive, Quilpie 0476 166 378
Grant Daniel Long (GDL) 26 Brolga Street, Quilpie 07 4656 2550
Quilpie Gym (Quilpie Sport and Recreation Inc.) firstname.lastname@example.org
Elders Rural Services 56 Brolga Street, Quilpie 07 4650 0600
Nutrien Ag Solutions 43 Brolga Street, Quilpie 07 4656 1155 Adcock Partners 27 Brolga Street, Quilpie 0428 020 289
MEDICAL & PHARMACY Quilpie Medical Practice 30 Gyrica Street, Quilpie 07 4656 1158 Quilpie Pharmacy 38 Brolga Street, Quilpie 07 4656 2254 Quilpie Hospital 30 Gyrica Street, Quilpie 07 4656 0100 CWAATSICH 49 Brolga Street, Quilpie 07 4656 1391
SPORT AND RECREATION All about Aquatics (Quilpie Swimming Pool) 10 Brolga Street, Quilpie 0402 402 980 or 07 4656 1201 Quilpie Bowlers Brolga Street, Quilpie 07 4656 1388
Quilpie Airport 07 4656 1203 Quilpie Cemetery 07 4656 0500 Mining Registrar & Court House Buln Buln Street, Quilpie 07 4656 1266
Eromanga Natural History Museum 2 Dinosaur Drive, Eromanga 07 4656 3084
ACCOMMODATION Camping is available at the Adavale Shire Hall
DINE IN & TAKE AWAY Adavale Pub and General Store Shepherd Street, Adavale Elegant Emu Nelson Street, Adavale 0408 296 404
Toompine Please note there is no fuel available in Toompine. Phone coverage: Telstra only within the township. Toompine Pub – South Western Hotel 07 4656 4721
IOR – Diesel and Unleaded Webber Street, Eromanga Please note this is 24hour card only.
OTHER Eromanga Natural History Museum 2 Dinosaur Drive, Eromanga 07 4656 3084
Quilpie Swimming Pool 07 4656 1201 Quilpie Shire Library 07 4656 0550 Quilpie Shire Council 51 Brolga Street, Quilpie 07 4656 0500 PAYPHONE Corner Jabiru & Chipu Street, Quilpie. Quilpie Licenced Post Office 44 Brolga Street, Quilpie Please note Quilpie Shire only has Telstra phone service.
EMERGENCY SERVICES Quilpie Police Station Buln Buln Street, Quilpie 07 4656 8181 Quilpie Fire Station 61 Pegler Street, Quilpie 07 4656 5802
Q U I L P I E
E R O M A N G A
A D A V A L E
TO O M P I N E
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