How to make the most of a weekend in Chinchilla after the Melon Festival

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Calling all Chinchilla Melon Festival attendees, keep the good times rolling in the watermelon capital with an extended stay, making the most of your time in region for the biennial event. From watermelon-themed water play areas to fossicking for ancient petrified wood, and of course plenty of places to explore outdoors, the party only begins at the Melon Festival.

Snap your selfie with the Big Melon and explore the best of Chinchilla with this guide.

Experience the best of Chinchilla with country hospitality
If camping is your preferred accommodation of choice – you’re in luck. Chinchilla Weir is located along the serene Condamine River just nine kilometres south of the town centre. Find free camping for a maximum of two nights in designated areas beside the river, perfect for pitching a tent or set up a caravan or motorhome at one of the powered sites available.

For those who prefer hotel and motel accommodation closer to town, the Chinchilla Motor Inn has an abundance of rooms to choose from on landscaped lawns, equipped with a 24-hour gym, a pool, and BBQ facilities.

Eat, stay and play at The Commercial Hotel or The Club Hotel – one of the town’s oldest pubs serving up tasty pub meals, true country hospitality, and cold beers on tap at the bar. After your meal at the Commercial Hotel, grab a cue and head to the beer garden for a game of pool with your mates or the friendly locals.
Please note: Accommodation availability around the Melon Festival can vary. Please check individual accommodation operators for availability.

Camp at Chinchilla Weir

Snap a selfie at the Chinchilla Visitor Information Centre
Not only is the Chinchilla Visitor Information Centre the best place to source travel information, maps, brochures and itineraries, it’s also a one-stop-shop for local, handmade and farm-fresh goodies. You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to their range of locally-made treats and produce straight from the farm – think jam, chutneys, and local honey perfect for a picnic. Not to mention the iconic Big Melon is located next door to the centre, making for the perfect selfie opportunity.

Go fossicking
You don’t have to be an archaeologist to uncover items from the Jurassic era. Simply make your way to the Chinchilla Visitor Centre to secure a fossicking permit, arm yourself with a pick, shovel and bucket and you’re all set to dig for a piece of petrified wood. Petrified wood in Chinchilla can date back to the Jurassic period with cycads, conifers, and ferns being fossilised by volcanic ash and mudflows with the rare “Chinchilla Red” drawing lapidary enthusiasts from all over the world to this corner of the country.

Explore the Chinchilla Historical Museum
Enjoyed your time fossicking? Learn more about your discoveries at the Beneath Chinchilla Soil exhibit at the Chinchilla Historical Museum. Take a step back in time and lose yourself in old-time wonders. Learn about the rich history of Chinchilla and surrounding districts through a fine collection of historical relics including non-working replicas of historical farming machinery, vintage cars, and buildings from early village times.

Pack a picnic and head to the Chinchilla Botanic Parkland
A nod to the town’s watermelon fame, native flora and fauna to the area, and the region’s Aboriginal cultural history, the Chinchilla Botanic Parkland makes for the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing family picnic. Throw down a blanket on the beautifully maintained lawns across the 4.2 hectares of parklands or head to the barbeque area and set up at a picnic table.

Looking to beat the heat? Curated gardens aren’t the only thing you’ll find in the park. The watermelon-themed water play area empties a splash of amusement with the showpiece watermelon bucket filling up with water and tipping over the custom-built play area.

Cool off at the water play area at the Chinchilla Botanic Parkland

Cool down at the Chinchilla Weir
Whether you’re camping at the weir or simply dropping by for a visit, this freshwater playground is a local hub for outdoor activities. Located on the Condamine River the Chinchilla Weir is the perfect destination for water sports, fishing, free camping, bushwalking, bike riding and bird watching. There’s even a few barbecues available to cook dinner as you watch the sun dip below the watery horizon!

Shop local at the Chinchilla Showgrounds
Secure locally-made goodies at the Chinchilla country markets held at the Chinchilla Showgrounds. Held on the third Sunday of every month from 7am until 12pm, be sure to loop in a visit aligning perfectly with the weekend of the Melon Festival 2023.

Eager for more? Learn more about Chinchilla and plan your stay here.

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