Looking for colour? In these parts there’s plenty of it, to be found both in the stories relating to the early settlement of the region and also that precious ‘colour’ of boulder opal, which is sought from beneath the surface of the bush earth. Quilpie is best known as an opal town. It is often referred to as the home of the ‘Boulder Opal’ as the area is the largest producer of this type of opal in the world.
Queensland is the world’s only producer of ironstone boulder opal and the Quilpie mining district is the largest boulder opal producer in the State with approximately 200 leases currently being worked. Opal produced in the Quilpie Shire finds its way to not only jewellery houses in Australian capital cities, but also to stores in Tokyo, Osaka, New York, Hamburg, Paris, London and Geneva.
Located 980 kilometres west of Brisbane and 208 kilometres west of Charleville, Quilpie is the commercial and social centre of the Quilpie Shire. The name of the town was derived from the Aboriginal word ‘Quilpeta’ meaning Stone Curlew.
Relatively young, Quilpie was declared an official town on 29 April 1917. In the same year the railway line from Charleville to Quilpie was completed. Quilpie is rich in grazing history beginning with the pioneering efforts of families such as the Costello’s, Tully’s and Duracks.
Quilpie is located on the banks of the Bulloo River in the famous Channel Country of western Queensland. The shire is supported through primary industries such as sheep, cattle grazing, oil, gas and opal mining. Apart from these main industries Quilpie Shire houses a keen and talented artistic community.
Activites and Experiences at Quilpie
- Birdwatching Along the Bulloo River and Lake Houdraman.
- Bushwalking Take a stroll along the River Walk on the shady banks of the Bulloo or climb to the top of Baldy Top Lookout.
- Farm/Station activity
- Fossicking Duck Creek Designated Fossicking Land and Sheep Station Creek. Duck Creek is located about 100 kilometres south east of Quilpie (Sheep Station Creek is in the same vicinity). Boulder Opal can be found in this area within ironstone concretions (boulders) or as chips and fragments. Small scale hand mining under mining claims is currently carried out in this area. Camping is allowed but regulated. A Fossickers camping permit is required.
- Airport MacAir Airlines.
- Automatic Teller Machine
- Banking Facilities National Australia Bank and Commonwealth Bank.
- Bottled Gas
- Service Club
- Coach Stop Queensland Rail Westlander service to Charleville twice weekly with coach connections to Quilpie.
- Electronic Funds Transfer at Point Of Sale
- Public Bar
- Mechanical Services
- Medical Facilities
- Post Office
- Public Telephone
- Rail Terminal Coach connection for Queensland Rail’s Westlander service to Charleville.
- Supermarket General goods and services available.
- Swimming Pool
- Takeaway Food
- Visitor Centres Quilpie Museum and Visitors Centre.
- Places of Worship
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
- Aussie Lifestyle
- Caravan and Camping
- Fishing Great yellowbelly and yabby fishing spots in local waterholes and channels.
- Industry/Mining, Agriculture Opal mining.
- Pub Stay
- Soft Adventure
- RTN, QH and National Distributors (TQ)
- Empty Nesters
- Gay and Lesbian
- Outback Queensland Tourism
Nearest Airport: Quilpie