At its very heart, agriculture is part of the daily fabric of Western Downs’ life. The fertile plains of the Darling Downs are ideally suited to cattle and crops. Also part of our story is a burgeoning energy industry. Why not watch the cattlemen at the massive cattle sales or join in the fun of the world’s biggest melon festival to understand what drives our local industry.
The rich soils and wide-open plains of the Western Downs are an ever-changing tapestry. Depending on the season, you’ll pass the rusty red fields of sorghum, golden wheat, barley, chickpeas, soy, mung beans or harvesters busy with vast cotton crops, the fluffy white balls lying by the roadside.
Our region is proudly one of Queensland’s most significant agricultural areas, with an early history forged by the fortitude of early explorers like Ludwig Leichhardt, followed by drovers forging stock routes.
There are proud legacies to our early pioneers, such as the heritage-listed Jimbour House. This gracious homestead stands on a station which was one of the first settled on the Darling Downs. A station once so vast it covered 313,000 acres and ran a quarter of a million sheep.
Visitors are welcome at the Dalby saleyards, Australia’s second largest. Join the dozens of Akubra-wearing cattlemen at the sales held every Wednesday. More than 200,000 cattle are sold through the yards annually, and attending the sales is an experience not to be missed.
Chinchilla celebrates its famous melons with the town’s Melon Festival, every two years. Be sure to grab a fresh juicy watermelon from one of our roadside stalls during the summer season. The Western Downs is also rapidly cementing its position as the Energy Capital of Australia with more than 40 projects totalling more than $140 billion earmarked for the region. These exciting energy developments including coal seam gas, power stations, solar, wind farms and water projects, combine with our agriculture sector to create a truly diverse environment.
• 25% of Australia’s melons are grown in Chinchilla
• 4,600 cattle properties in the Western Downs
• 194,000 pigs are produced in the region annually
• Western Downs produces 38.2% of Queensland’s cereals and legumes
• Dalby is home to Australia’s first grain-to-ethanol facility
• Dalby is home to Australia’s second largest sale yards
• Western Downs has 68 feedlots