Quilpie

An outback township in far western Queensland, that is an administrative centre for a shire which covers 67,482 sq. km.

Location: 980 km west of Brisbane; 208 km west of Charleville

Toompine (77 km south) is a pub with no town. Toompine was once a stopping point for Cobb & Co. and the centre of a thriving mining community. Opals are still found at Duck Creek and Sheep Creek Station Opal Mines.

Places of interest: Opal Fossicking (Creek and Sheep Creek Station; Dueces Wild Opal Mine; Greek Mine); Baldy Top; The Church Altar (Roman Catholic Church) made out of opal rocks; Brick Hotel; Ray Station (now a museum)

Eromanga

(103 km west): one of the oldest opal mining areas in Queensland. The town lies on the edge of what is called the Eromanga Inland Sea, which existed in the Early Cretaceous. The Eromanga region has abundant oil wells, and opal mines. There are also agricultural industries such as cattle and sheep as many pioneering property owners came and took up land in the 1860s. Dinosaur fossils, including Australia's largest dinosaur a titanosaur species of sauropod, have also been found here making it an area of interest for palaeontologists. Eromanga has been touted as the town in Australia located the farthest from any ocean. However, this claim does not stand up to scrutiny. The town of Eromanga has a population averaging from 30-40.


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Brief history

Quilpie came into existence in 1917 with the arrival of the railway through the area. The town was surveyed in 1915 by Surveyor G. Drane. Today, as then, it is a service centre for the local pastoralists.

Origin of name: the locality was was originally mistakenly named 'Quillpill' by Railways Department for its terminus of the Western Line. The town and station's name were changed to Quilpie in June 1917. Quilpie is reportedly an Aboriginal word indicating curlew, although its more correct pronunciation (from Warrego people resident at Taroom 1917) is probably 'Queechee'. The name was probably suggested originally by pastoralist James Hammond of Tenham Station.

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