Chinchilla is one of those rare towns that capture your heart as soon as you drive in, especially if it’s during the months of October and November when the streets are lined with stunningly gorgeous Jacaranda trees. There is something very special about this town that simply gives off a warm & fuzzy feeling.
Located approximately 300km west of Brisbane, in the Western Darling Downs, Chinchilla is a wonderful place to live and raise children.
I remember, back in early 1998, going to see the epic movie Titanic in what was then the Cultural Centre, filled with many rows of chairs with a big white screen at the front of the room.
That same Cultural Centre held its last function in December of that year before closing for 12 months and being re-opened in December 1999, after a fabulous refurbishment. The new Chinchilla Cultural Centre is much grander and includes the Ironbark Theatre (a real cinema), the White Gums Art Gallery, and a library any town would be proud of.
Speaking of libraries, I remember going to an internet education session at the old library (where the White Gums Art Gallery is now) and walking away saying to my husband that we’ll never have any real use for that “internet thing”. Ha!!!!
In those days, Four Square (which is now part of Chinchilla Central’s car park) and IGA in Heeney Street (where Betta Electrical extended into) were our major supermarkets. Both were locally owned and both happily carried groceries out to our vehicles, which always had keys in their ignition. Even locking our homes was something that was a foreign concept.
With the announcement of the Kogan Creek Power Station came the start of massive growth. Over the next decade Chinchilla saw the arrival of:
- A 25m indoor pool and gym at the Chinchilla Aquatic & Fitness Centre;
- Chinchilla Central, incorporating Supa IGA and Target Country;
- New motels – the White Gums Motor Inn and Chinchilla Palms Motor Inn;
- Domino’s Pizza;
- Kogan Creek Power Station, which started the mass influx of fluro shirts;
- The Stayover Camp for 900 single men;
- The Married Quarters Camp in Windmill Road; and, in the two year period alone;
- A Woolworths Supermarket;
- A Reject Shop;
- An Indian Restaurant;
- An Asian Restaurant;
- A Thai Restaurant;
- The long talked about McDonalds;
- Max Fitness Chinchilla;
- Curves Chinchilla;
- Jamaica Blue;
- Subway; and
- Sunshine Kebabs.
An abundance of new mining-related businesses, numerous new housing estates, and a population explosion also ensued. At the 2011 census, Chinchilla had a population of 5,487. Yet, despite the growth, we still don’t have traffic lights.
At some point during that time of growth, it became law to take the keys out – and actually lock – our vehicles when not in use. That certainly took some getting to!
Not long later, most of us started locking our homes as well.
With the recent opening of Toowoomba’s Wellcamp Airport, the turn-around drive-time to a domestic airport has been cut by 5 hours. Very exciting indeed 🙂
As the launch of this blog neared, and the questions asked, the most common reasons people love Chinchilla became clear. They include:
- We are now only 2 hours from a domestic airport;
- Plenty of parks to take the kids to play;
- Great sporting facilities;
- Fabulous place to raise children;
- No matter which part of town we live in, we’re close to everything;
- Almost no traffic;
- Always find a car park extremely close to where it is we want to go;
- No parking meters;
- Good selection of dining options;
- Far enough away from the “big smoke”, yet close enough to visit for the weekend – and even for a day, if necessary; and
- Going to the coast become a break away… a holiday… thus is always really appreciated.
Whatever your reason for visiting, we welcome you and trust you will enjoy your stay. We look forward to capturing your thoughts as to why YOU love Chinchilla. 🙂