The town of Charleville is located in South Western Queensland, Australia, 758 kilometres by road west of the state capital, Brisbane. It is the largest town and administrative centre of the Murweh Shire, which covers an area of 43,905 square kilometres. Charleville is situated on the banks of the Warrego River, and is the terminus for the Warrego Highway.
The first European exploration of the area was conducted by Edmund Kennedy in 1847. A hotel was built in 1865, and a town began to grow to service the region. It was situated near Gowrie’s Crossing, a permanent waterhole, now on the outskirts of the modern town. Gowrie Station had been established around the crossing along a natural stock route, for the grazing of sheep and cattle. The town was gazetted in 1868 with very wide streets to enable bullock teams of up to 14 pairs to turn with their wagons. Members of the Roma based Skinner family established a store in the town in 1872 that became known as the Warrego Stores.
Proximity to the Warrego River is sometimes problematic. In April, 1990, major floods hit western Queensland, with Charleville being badly affected. Floodwaters peaked at 8.54 metres, over 1,000 homes were inundated, and almost 3,000 persons evacuated.
Charleville has several tourist attractions, including a museum of the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia, a historical museum, wildlife sanctuary (including a bilby reserve), and the Cosmos Centre. It was also enshrined in music by Slim Dusty in his country music song “Charleville.”