If Outback Queensland was a game of bingo, Charleville would be the winning number.
Ticking off every box of ‘things to do’ on the outback bingo board, this is one town that covers all its bases.
Sitting pretty at the crossroads of the Warrego Way and the Matilda Way, this small town makes up for its size with big experiences.
From exploring outer space to stepping back in time, you’ll be shouting Bingo! with this list of things to do in Charleville.
1. See it from the sky
Start your Tour De Charleville on a high with a scenic flight over the land.
On South-west Air Services’ 20-minute journeys, you can spread your wings and see Outback Queensland from above.
Be warned: Prepare for your jaw to meet the floor – these views of the outback are something special.
2. Meet the Bilbies
Canberra may be our nation’s capital, but Charleville is the Bilby equivalent.
But the endangered species needs our help, so be sure to see a Bilby Show during your time in Charleville and get an education on their conservation.
It’s a feel-good experience too – your ticket price goes straight to saving these furry fellows.
Hot tip: Visit Charleville in September, for the National Bilby Day Festival.
3. Check out the twinkle twinkles
If your weekly horoscope is missing the mark, get the real astronomy deal at the Charleville Cosmos Centre and Observatory.
The Centre offers experiences sure to leave a twinkle in your eye, with day sun viewing sessions to nightly star-gazing, using high-tech meade telescopes. Learn about the galaxy from the experienced guides, and spot stars, planets, milky ways, and the moon from the world’s greatest sky viewing platform (aka the outback’s clear night skies).
Psst, read up on all things outback and outer space here.
4. Keep the doctor’s flying
The Royal Flying Doctor Service do Grey’s Anatomy, outback style, and these guys have been practising their craft for a lot longer than Derek Shepherd.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service celebrated its 90th birthday of providing life-saving medical services to Outback Australia in 2018.
At their Visitor Centre, you can get a dose on this iconic piece of history, with old-school medical equipment and supplies to check out.
5. Take a trip down memory lane
Double the history fun and pay the Historic House Museum a visit. Like a cat with nine lives, this building has lived through its fair share of different personalities.
In 1877 it was purpose built as Charleville’s first national bank, before becoming a boarding house, and later being purchased by the Charleville and District Historical Society.
Now the museum houses historical artifacts from the town, photographs and stories of how the town (and the building itself) has evolved.
6. Pack a picnic
Graham Andrew Parklands puts Charleville on the botanical map, with an Outback Native Walk, Vortex Guns, Working Windmill, watercourse and an adventure playground.
Throw a snag on the free BBQ’s, roll out your picnic blankets, and kick back on the grass for an afternoon of outback serenity.
7. Take a history lesson
Floods and fires make up a fair share of Charleville’s history. Get the inside scoop on tour as to why the south-west hub was once almost washed away and why so many of the town’s early buildings have been rebuilt.
Book in for the two hour history tour with Travel West Tours.
8. Listen in on a secret
Want a piece of America without the 12-hour flight?
In 1942 Charleville airport was handed over to the States as a top-secret base during World War II, and today you can take in a hush-hush guided tour from the comfort of your own car. Bookings are essential via the Visitor Information Centre.
9. Head trackside
The crowd goes wild every Wednesday at Bailey Bar Caravan Park in Charleville, but it’s not thoroughbreds that come pounding down the track. It’s hobby horses.
Get on board with the sport just like the Scandavanians have for an evening of guaranteed laughs alongside a hearty outback barbeque.
10. Dine On the Rocks
It’s a good thing the Royal Flying Doctor’s Service isn’t far away, because you might find yourself entering a food coma at On the Rocks. This restaurant serves up its wild sea caught barramundi with hand-crafted bush salt, which features a herb or spice for every month of the year.
When you’ve eaten so much you’ve had to let your belt out a notch, roll on over to your room at The Rocks Motel, where they’re out to prove that you can sleep in style wherever you go.