Chinchilla is a town in the Darling Downs region of Queensland, Australia. The town (approximately 300 kilometres NW of Brisbane) was established in 1878. As the railway pushed west across the Darling Downs from Toowoomba and Dalby, the banks of Charlie’s Creek seemed an ideal place for a town.
It is the centre of the Chinchilla Shire Local Government Area. The economy of the Shire is largely reliant on primary production. Agriculture is the mainstay of the community, with beef and pork production, wool growing, and horticulture traditionally underwriting the local economy. The new Kogan Creek Power Project has begun to inject welcome cash into the town. House prices in Chinchilla have boomed as a result of the need to house workers developing the Kogan plant.
Chinchilla plays host to a Melon festival in February every second year and the Australian home of Polocrosse.
Two hours west of Toowoomba on the western fringe of the Darling Downs, Chinchilla celebrates its standing as the nation’s melon capital with a festival every odd February.
A major town of 5,820 people, Chinchilla is a service centre for grain, fruit and vegetable growers, pastoralists and timber-millers. Nearby fossicking fields turn up the odd valuable gemstone and petrified wood.