Chinchilla Museum offers insight into the unusual - a fascinating glimpse into a district rich in cattle, grain, dairying, sheep and timber, and more recently melons, grapes, stone fruits and vegetables.
Chinchilla Historical Museum is dedicated to the natural resources of the Chinchilla area and the history of their use. It offers a glimpse into farming and local industry with key
displays including: the ‘Cypress Pine Centre’, which tells the story of the saw milling industry that established the town of Chinchilla (it is believed that the town name comes from the
Aboriginal word ‘Jinchilla’ which means Cyprus Pine); the ‘Green Plague’ exhibit, explaining the devastation caused by the Prickly Pear cactus and the development of the local cactoblastus moth breeding program; and, the Melon Festival display, celebrating Chinchilla as the ‘melon
capital’ of Australia, and telling the story of this important industry and its contribution to the economic and tourist growth in the town.
The museum has strong social history collections and buildings on site include Chinchilla’s very first homestead ‘Wongongera Cottage’ (built in 1880) and Goombi Hall. Once the hub of community life, the Hall captures the atmosphere of country social life: the dances, weddings, kitchen teas, balls, meetings and sporting events that were central to the cultural and social life of many small country towns.
The museum also interprets the area’s natural history. Highlights include: living tree specimens,
the Chinchilla White Gums; the Field Naturalists Display, of the indigenous botany and wildlife in the area; Beneath Chinchilla’s Soils - an extensive display of petrified wood, some unique to the area, such as Chinchilla Red; and, the Jurassic Mural and Garden – developed in conjunction with local TAFE students.