Childers is a small town situated at the junction of the Bruce and Isis Highways in southern Queensland, Australia. The township lies 325 km north of the state capital Brisbane and 52 km south-west of Bundaberg. Childers is the administrative and main population centre of the Isis Shire Local Government Area. The Shire covers an area of 1,677 km² and boasts a population of approximately 6,000.
The township is set on a ridge overlooking fields of rich volcanic soil. Childers is renowned for its heritage character and is classified a National Trust town. The historic colonial buildings of the main street (Bruce Highway) are set amongst large, shady leopard trees. The sugar cane industry features prominently in Childers and has sustained the town over the years. Fruit and vegetable cropping is common on the lands around town. Tourism is a growing industry in Childers, with a number of the preserved historic buildings in town becoming tourist attractions.
The railway line to Childers opened in 1887 and was pivotal in the early development of the area. The line closed in 1964. Childers has seen a number of serious fires over the years. The 1902 fire destroyed much of the town centre. The town made international headlines in June 2000, when a fire destroyed the Palace Backpackers Hostel, claiming the lives of 15 tourists. The hostel reopened in 2004, and includes a memorial to those lost in the blaze. It now acts as an art gallery exhibiting works from local artists.
Childers acts as a major economic centre in the Wide Bay Region and is undergoing considerable growth.
Childers retains much of its historic significance, although many of the streets were redeveloped under a ‘Streetscape’ project that continues today.