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Home > Travelogues > 2009 Travelogues Index > Miles and Chinchilla

Miles recreated historic village and welcoming Chinchilla

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Miles features a re-constructed Pioneer Village, with each display shop fitted out.
Children were fishing early in the morning at Chinchilla Weir free campsite.
Outdoor displays of machinery.
One display room contains asea shell collection
One display room houses the large Norman Donpon Lapidary Museum with stones from all over the world, but mostly of local origin such as the fascinating gypsum crystals and fossilised tree fern in different colours and patterns.
 
Above left: The beautiful formations of crystallised Rose Gypsum.
 
Above left: Fascinating patterns of Gypsum crystals.
 
Right:  A fossilised piece of Tree-fern. 
 
At the Military Museum there is a display of “ships in bottles”.  These finely crafted replica sailing ships are works of art. 
Chinchilla is a town that invites caravanning tourists to stay.  We chose to stay nine kilometres south of the town at Chinchilla Weir where camping is free, but a donation is welcomed.  There are ten power outlets.  With a two day limit, those we spoke to using power were staying a second night so they could go out to dinner or patronise other businesses in town. 
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Chinchilla lays claim to being the water melon capital of Australia, producing 25% of the country’s watermelons. 
Chinchilla

Another building houses the history of the Prickly Pear (cactus) in Queensland and the battle to reclaim farmlands overrun with the plant.   Brought to Australia from South America with the early settlers, the fruit was used for jam and jelly making. There were plans to establish a Cochineal fabric dye industry.  Cochineal Mealy Bugs feed on the cactus, and yield the red dye when crushed.

 

Queensland Historical Atlas states at its peak in 1925, prickly pear covered 24 million hectares of Queensland and New South Wales.  Farms were abandoned.  Slashing, burning and poisoning did not stop the pest.   In 1899 the search began for a biological control.  Not until following World War I, in 1925 eggs of the Cactoblastis cactorum moth were imported from Argentina.  This successfully controlled the plant so farming activities could be undertaken.  Prickly Pear plants can be seen growing through south east Queensland, and it is still a declared weed. 

Condamine Power Station near Miles is powered by Natural Gas. 

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