- AddressVisitor Information Centre, Museums & Gallery Brolga Street, Quilpie QLD 4480
- Phone(07) 4656 0540
- Email[email protected]
- March to October
- Monday to Friday: 8.30am-4.30pm
- Weekends: 9.00am-1.00pm
- November to February
- Monday to Friday: 8.30am-4.30pm
- Weekends: Closed
So you’re planning a trip to the
Quilpie Shire? GREAT!
The friendly local staff at the award winning Quilpie Visitor Information Centre, Museum & Gallery are here to make sure you make the most out of your time in the Shire!
When you arrive in the Shire be sure to make us your first stop! Our Centre is located on Brolga Street and is stocked with maps and brochures for the local area and surrounding regions. Our knowledgeable staff can help with any enquiries and even let you in on the little known local secrets and history of the area!
While you are here, step out the back through our courtyard and wander through our Quilpie Shire Museum and Art Gallery. Our interactive museum proudly displays the history and hardship of the early pioneers. Opal mining; cattle barons and their role in developing the Outback; native flora and fauna; and hardships faced by early settlers are just a few of the interesting topics covered in the museum.
Our Art Gallery displays six exhibitions a year featuring accomplished artists from far and wide as well as local works. Next door to our Centre, you will also find our Quilpie Shire Military History Museum & Quilpie Shire Rail Museum.
Relax in comfort and catch up with family and friends by accessing our free WIFI. If you are planning a trip to a National Park in Queensland, we are now booking agents and are able to help you with this process.
If you are looking for more information on the Quilpie Shire, you are welcome to request an information pack here and we will post out relevant brochures and maps for the area to aid you in planning your trip.
We look forward to seeing you in the Quilpie Shire.
Be amazed by the panoramic view and experience the beauty of an Outback Sunset from Baldy Top Lookout!
Baldy top is a magnificent boulder formation formed naturally over millions of years and is part of the Grey Range.
Baldy Top is located approximately 7.4 km from Quilpie on the Toompine Road with approximately 2km unsealed.
A climb to the summit is a relatively easy ten-minute scramble where you will be rewarded with breathtaking landscapes that stretch as far as the eye can see.
Be sure to adventure into the many caves and crevices untouched by civilisation. You can even pack a BBQ lunch to enjoy with the new shaded structure and BBQ facilities available to visitors.
You have not seen the Australian Outback until you have seen it from Baldy Top!
St Finbarr’s Opal Altar is one of Quilpie’s most iconic attractions and the Church itself rests on the foundations of an intriguing history.
In 1976, the Priest at the time, Father John Ryan, decided to compliment the opal mining background of the area by commissioning local miner, Des Burton to install a border of opal around the carving of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour.
Instead, Des offered the Priest ‘a bit on the wall’. This turned out to be almost an entire wall, which is now installed on St Finbarr’s altar, lectern and baptismal font.
Bill Durack who was part of a Toowoomba Architectural firm who designed Quilpie’s St Finbarr’s Church and his sister Mary Durack, author of Kings in Grass Castles, donated the beautiful coloured glass windows in the western side of the church, in memory of their famous ancestors.
The Church is open daily so head on in and see this beautiful display of Quilpie’s Opal in all its glory!
Bulloo River Walk
A stroll along the Bulloo River Walk is a tranquil way to appreciate the native flora and fauna of the Bulloo River Catchment.
Signs informing you about the plant species are located along the walk or simply relax under a shady tree and birdwatch whilst enjoying the natural sounds of the bush.
Flora and Fauna lists are available at the information centre and keen birdwatchers are encouraged to identify as many species as they can.
The Bulloo River is an ideal place to cast a fishing line and catch a Yellowbelly (Golden Perch) or throw in a yabby pot and snare some delicious Yabbies (fresh water Crayfish). You could have yourself one of the freshest feeds the outback has to offer.
Lake Houdraman, or as its now known, ‘The Lake’ is a natural lake situated on the flood plains of the Bulloo River and is home to a vast array of wildlife making it an ideal location to birdwatch while sitting under one of the many shady river red gums which line the bank.
The Lake is on private property and has a number of accommodation options for you to choose from, such as Lakeside camping, powered sites and Unique Outback Accommodation.
The lake is approximately 6 km north of Quilpie; a short 10-minute drive from town and this tranquil oasis is beautiful at both sunrise and sunset. The turn off (marked by an orange caravan) is located just 4km east of Quilpie on the Diamantina Development Road and will take you to the site office where the managers will greet you with that friendly outback charm.
Be sure to grab a local bird & plant list from the information centre for your trip to the lake!
For more information, visit their website here.
Quilpie Shire is well known for the many species of birds that enjoy the Shire’s wide-open spaces and life-giving waterholes.
To celebrate its feathered fame, all but four of Quilpie’s streets are named after birds.
They are: Brolga, Quarrion, Boonkai, Jabiru, Winchu, Galah, Gyrica, Chulungra, Buln, Dukamurra, Chipu, Kookaburra, Murana, Eagle, Boobook and Rosella. Quilpie also derives its name from the word ‘Quilpeta’ that means Bush Stone Curlew.
To see these beautiful birds yourself pick up a Quilpie Shire Bird’s List from the Visitor Information Centre and head to the Bulloo River or the Lake… the best spots to see them!
Quilpie Shire Rail Museum & The End Of The Line
In 2017, to celebrate the Centenary of the Railway in Quilpie, the Quilpie Shire Council officially opened the Quilpie Shire Rail Museum located next door to the Visitor Information Centre.
The decision to construct a railway line travelling West from Charleville meant the birth of Quilpie, which up until then consisted of just a few humpies. Construction on the Charleville to Quilpie line began in 1911 and reached the site of Quilpie in 1917. The Railway Station was officially opened on 11th April 1917. The Rail Line was originally supposed to extend further west but due to wartime sacrifices, the extension never eventuated, leaving Quilpie the official “End of the Line”.
The Museum building was originally the Railway Station at Cheepie, located 70km east of Quilpie and was moved to Quilpie and restored in the Queensland Rail Heritage colours.
To learn more about the long history of the Railway in Quilpie be sure to take a look through this historic building and Museum.
You can also visit the literal “End of the Line” (or the start, depending how you look at it) located on the right hand side of the main street as you head west out of town… Just opposite the Quilpie Bowls Club.
Quilpie Shire Military History Museum
Located next door to the Visitor Information Centre is the Quilpie Shire Military History Museum.
This display features photographs, memorabilia and literature depicting Quilpie’s Military History all of which has been kindly loaned or donated by families of local War heroes.
The Museum has tables and chairs for you to take a load off and have a read through some of the wonderful stories of our local legends.
If videos are more your style then have a look through some of the wonderful photos slideshows and stories set up on the touchscreen.
Be sure to take a stroll through this amazing display and learn about Quilpie’s very long and proud Military History.
Airport Mini Museum
Did you know that in 1930 when Amy Johnson flew from England to Australia in an attempt to break the first world record of 16 days set by Bert Hinkler, she actually landed in Quilpie!
While she did not break the record setting off on May 5 1930 and landing in Darwin on May 24, she was the first woman to fly solo to Australia. After landing in Darwin she was scheduled to fly onto Brisbane via Charleville however her map was out-dated and showed that the railway line ended in Charleville, so when coming across it on her way to Charleville she thought that she had flown too far and turned around not realising that the line now ended in Quilpie and that’s where she headed. After landing in Quilpie and re-fuelling, she then flew to Charleville after sunset and continued onto Brisbane.
The wool scour site was situated on the land that is now the airport. Built and operated by Mark Hulse and Percy Thompson, the Wool Scour facility provided work for their shearers in the off-season and greatly increased the business’ profits due to the difference in prices of scoured and greasy wool. The Quilpie bore was sunk in 1933, which led to the wool scour being opened in 1935 when an application was lodged to the land office in Charleville for the land to build the scour.
This mini museum is open daily free of charge so pop on in and learn more about the Wool Scour and Amy Johnsons landing.
Quilpie was the first town to have a powerhouse as a result of a government scheme to provide electricity to small towns in rural and outback Queensland. Quilpie Powerhouse was commissioned in March 1952, followed by Richmond in June, Tara in September and Julia Creek in October 1952. Between March 1952 and December 1956, twenty-three schemes were initiated with more to follow.
1986 – 1987: 215km of 66kV transmission line built by the board runs from Charleville to Quilpie at a cost of $3,870,000
1986 – 1988: 2270kms of SWER Rural Distribution Lines are built through the Quilpie Shire at a cost of $8,017,000. There are 180 distribution substations.
The Powerhouse Museum still houses one of the original diesel engines and is open daily, free of charge.
Located at the western end of Brolga St, Quilpie’s Bi-Centennial Park offers a great play facility for children with outdoor gym equipment, tennis courts and basketball courts.
Toilets and showers are available free of charge for public use. No camping allowed at this facility. Coin operated BBQ’s and picnic tables on site.
Bob Young Memorial Park is located next to the Quilpie Cultural Society and has a painted mural commemorating the military campaigns and active service by Australians. BBQ and picnic tables are on site.
In the main street of Quilpie next to the Visitor Information Centre, you will find Mural Park. Stop and enjoy a picnic morning tea or lunch while enjoying the view.
This park features a mural created by artist Cheryl Pratt, depicting Quilpie’s history. It also has Opal inlaid wrought iron tables and overlooks the quaint Quilpie Shire Railway Station that was relocated from the town of Cheepie to this site early in 2017.
Allow the Quilpie Shire to introduce you to a radiant beauty – the exquisite boulder opal.
Australia’s official gemstone for the country is the opal and it supplies 96 per cent of the world’s commercial grade. The boulder opal of Quilpie Shire has a backing of ironstone, which makes it one of the most beautiful and durable of all opals.
Fossick to find your own gem and a lasting precious memory of your time in the Shire!
Local Fossicking: The Council’s local fossicking area, two kilometres west of Quilpie, provides a real opportunity for all ages to have a go at uncovering this pretty gemstone. Just bring your own equipment and no permit is required.
Fossicking with Permit: The Duck Creek and Sheep Station Creek designated fossicking area is 60km southeast of the Toompine township. These fields have been worked since the 1880’s and are open to the public. A fossicking permit is required. Maps and licences can be obtained from Quilpie Mining Registrar, located next door to the Police Station on Buln Buln Street, Quilpie. The registrar is open Monday to Friday and a fee for a permit is required. Phone: 07 4656 1266
Opal Shopping: At the opal shops in Quilpie, you can see opals being cut and polished and purchase a very special souvenir or gift to take home. Every opal pattern is as different as a fingerprint. However, the value of opal is largely subjective and depends on the cut, polish, body colour as well as the play and pattern. Ask at the Information Centre where to purchase some local Quilpie Boulder Opal.
St Finbarr’s Church: The late Des Burton, known as the father of the boulder Opal industry, is largely responsible for putting Australian Opals on the world stage. Des had opened many shops including Quilpie Opals in Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall. He donated a number of boulder Opal displays to St Finbarr’s Church, which is always open so you can experience these wonderful opals.
Outback Art is a real talking point as you travel within the town. Visit the Art Galleries and check out the murals and sculptures in the main street to see just how much artistic talent the locals have.
The “Lyn Barnes Gallery” is a visual delight exhibiting the paintings of gifted local artist Lyn Barnes. The arid landscape of Outback Queensland has been inspiration for artist Lyn Barnes since she began painting over eighteen years ago. Her work is recognized for its vivid depiction of not only the intense blue skies and red earth of her home, but also of the people of the area that is sometimes referred to as Heartbreak Corner. The paintings Lyn produces in her Gallery in Sommerfield Road, Quilpie are held in both private and corporate collections throughout Australia and overseas.
The Quilpie Shire Gallery at the Visitor Information Centre hosts six exhibitions per year showcasing both local talent as well as artists from far and wide. Join us for the official opening of these exhibitions and have a browse through the Gallery while enjoying a glass of wine and some nibbles.
Admire the life size sculptures of cattle and sheep, a drover on horseback and brolgas along the median strip of Brolga Street.
A collection of hebel sculptures depicting different aspects of the Outback enhance the front garden of the Visitor Information Centre.
Residing in the courtyard of the Visitor Information Centre are Bob and Madge, a pair of welded wrought iron brolgas keeping an eye on the visitors as they wander the Centre. Also in the courtyard are three Dancing Queens, upcycled ladies constructed of mini orb and other unusual materials. There is also a sheep dog keeping an eye on a mob of sheep and some friendly pigs all made of corrugated iron.
Adjoining the Visitor Information Centre is Mural Park featuring a stunning mural created by artist Cheryl Pratt. This mural depicts Quilpie’s history and is a delight to discover the various scenes. Also within Mural Park are unique locally hand crafted tables made from the rims of old wagon wheels. The tabletops are beautiful boulder opal mosaics inlaid with glass tile images.
The façade of the Quilpie Shire Library is adorned with a beaten copper and mosaic installation titled “Ancient River”…a stunning display!