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Charleville, Queensland facts for kids

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Charleville RFDS DSC03284.JPG
The Royal Flying Doctor Service visitor centre at Charleville
Charleville is located in Queensland
Location in Queensland
Population 3,335 (2016 census)
 • Density 5.4360/km2 (14.079/sq mi)
Established 1865
Postcode(s) 4470
Elevation 293.5 m (963 ft)
Area 613.5 km2 (236.9 sq mi)
Time zone AEST (UTC+10:00)
LGA(s) Shire of Murweh
State electorate(s) Warrego
Federal Division(s) Maranoa
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
28.0 °C
82 °F
13.9 °C
57 °F
497.4 mm
19.6 in
Localities around Charleville:
Ward Gowrie Station Gowrie Station
Ward Charleville Sommariva
Bakers Bend Bakers Bend Riversleigh

Charleville is a rural town and locality in the Shire of Murweh, Queensland, Australia. In the 2016 census the locality of Charleville had a population of 3,335 people.


Located in south western Queensland, Australia, Charleville is 683 kilometres (424 mi) west of Brisbane (the Queensland capital). It is the largest town and administrative centre of the Shire of Murweh, which covers an area of 43,905 square kilometres. Charleville is situated on the banks of the Warrego River, and is the terminus for the Warrego Highway.


The first European exploration of the area was conducted by Edmund Kennedy in 1847. A hotel was built in 1865, and a town began to grow to service the region. It was situated near Gowrie's Crossing, a permanent waterhole, now on the outskirts of the modern town. Gowrie Station had been established around the crossing along a natural stock route, for the grazing of sheep and cattle. The town was gazetted in 1868 with very wide streets to enable bullock teams of up to 14 pairs to turn with their wagons. It was William Alcock Tully, then government assistant surveyor, who laid out the town's streets. An Irishman, Tully probably named the town after the town of Charleville, County Cork, Ireland. Members of the Roma-based Skinner family established a store in the town in 1872 that became known as the Warrego Stores.

Charleville Post Office opened on 1 August 1865.

Cobb and Co, the legendary Australian stagecoach company, established a coach building business in the town in 1886, however, the railway arrived in 1888, beginning the long demise of coach transport in the area. Charleville station was the terminus for the Western railway line for more than a decade. Facilities included a locomotive depot, cattle and sheep yards, a 50-ton weighbridge, a booking and telegraph offices, goods shed, stationmaster's house, and guards, enginemen and firemen's cottages.

In 1902 Charleville was the location of an unsuccessful attempt by Clement Lindley Wragge to fire cannons into the clouds in order to break a drought. The cannons used remain on display in Charleville today.

StateLibQld 1 198719 Aerial view of Charleville, 1947
Aerial view of Charleville in 1947

In 1922, Qantas established an airmail service between Charleville and Cloncurry. At the same time, this was Qantas's first regularly scheduled route and the second scheduled air route in Australia.

On 9 October 1924, the Charleville War Memorial was unveiled by Sir Matthew Nathan, the Governor of Queensland.

Charleville was also one of the compulsory stop over/check points during the London to Melbourne MacRobertson Air Race in 1934. The winners of the great race were Tom Campbell Black and C. W. A. Scott. Their triumph was reported in Time magazine as:

"Scott and Black, keeping up their sensational pace, flashed into Charleville, refueled, sped toward the finish where waiting thousands cheered their progress, reported over loudspeakers. With one motor dead, with only two hours sleep since leaving England, the Britons triumphantly set their scarlet torpedo down in Melbourne at 3:34 p.m. In 71 hr. 1 min. 3 sec. – Just under three days – they had flown halfway around the world."

Proximity to the Warrego River has been problematic. In April 1990, major floods hit western Queensland, with Charleville being badly affected. Floodwaters peaked at 8.54 metres, over 1,000 homes were inundated, and almost 3,000 people evacuated. More recently, the district suffered flooding again in 1997, 2008 and March 2010. Flooding also occurred in February 2012.

There is a children's book called The Flood Grungies; it is written by Michelle Sheehan and illustrated by Donna Reynolds. It is about the notorious Charleville floods and features the Cosmos centre, the water tower and other famous landmarks.

In the 2006 census, Charleville had a population of 3,278 people.


Charleville has a warm climate, with maximum temperatures ranging from 35 °C (95 °F) in summer to 20 °C (68 °F) in winter. Rainfall is mild and distributed patchily throughout the year, with a peak in summer. Severe flooding events are usually caused by monsoon troughs and the remnants of tropical cyclones dumping large amounts of rain over the area; however rain normally falls in the form of thunderstorms and light showers after hot summer days. Extremes have ranged from 46.4 °C (115.5 °F) to −5.2 °C (22.6 °F). The highest rainfall total recorded for one month was 316.0 millimetres (12.44 in) in March 2010.

Climate data for Charleville (1942–2013)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 46.4
Average high °C (°F) 34.9
Average low °C (°F) 21.7
Record low °C (°F) 11.1
Rainfall mm (inches) 74.4
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2mm) 7.7 6.4 5.3 3.7 3.9 3.9 4.0 3.4 3.6 5.6 6.1 7.4 61
Source: Bureau of Meteorology


Charleville has several tourist attractions, including a museum of the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia, a historical museum, wildlife sanctuary (including a bilby reserve), and the Cosmos Centre.


Charleville has a range of facilities for the community including a golf course (located in May Street), swimming pool, bowling green, speedway, racing course, and the Gowrie sporting oval as well as a public library open to the general public.

The Charleville Golf Course has eighteen sand greens and a licensed clubhouse.

North of the town is VMC, a marine weather transmitter operated by the Bureau of Meteorology.


Charleville railway station2007
Charleville Railway Station in 2007

Charleville Airport is on Qantas Drive (26°24′57″S 146°15′44″E / 26.4159°S 146.2621°E / -26.4159; 146.2621 (Charleville Airport)) approximately 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) south-west of the town centre. It has two runways, both sealed. One is 1,524 by 30 metres (5,000 ft × 98 ft) and is lit, while the other is 1,067 by 23 metres (3,501 ft × 75 ft) and is unlit.

The Westlander rail passenger service links the Charleville railway station (26°24′23″S 146°14′39″E / 26.4064°S 146.2441°E / -26.4064; 146.2441 (Charleville railway station)) to Brisbane. Charleville would have been the southern end of the Transcontinental railway proposed in the 1880s, connecting to Point Parker on the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Prior to December 10, 2021, Charleville was serviced by Bus Queensland who operated daily coach services to and from Brisbane via Toowoomba, Dalby, Chinchilla, Miles, Roma, Mitchell and Morven and vice-versa. Charleville was also a scheduled stop for Bus Queensland's daily services from Brisbane to Mount Isa and vice-versa.

Since December 11, 2021 Charleville has been serviced by Greyhound Australia who operate the following services which it regained from Bus Queensland under a contract from the Queensland Government:

Service Destination and Intermediate Stops
Gx493 Brisbane to Mount Isa via Toowoomba, Miles, Roma, Charleville, Augathella, Blackall, Longreach, Winton and Cloncurry
Gx494 Mount Isa to Brisbane via Cloncurry, Winton, Longreach, Blackall, Augathella, Charleville, Roma, Miles and Toowoomba
Gx495 Brisbane to Charleville via Toowoomba, Oakey, Dalby, Chinchilla, Miles, Roma, Mitchell and Morven
Gx496 Charleville to Brisbane via Morven, Mitchell, Roma, Miles, Chinchilla, Dalby, Oakey and Toowoomba
Preceding station Queensland Rail Following station
towards Brisbane
The Westlander Terminus

Heritage listings

Charleville has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:

as well as a number in nearby localities:

In Popular Culture

  • An eponymous country music song about Charleville was written by Don Walker and recorded by Slim Dusty on his album Ringer from the Top End and later by Walker's own band Catfish on the album Ruby.
  • The asteroid 13933 Charleville is named in the town's honour .


According to the 2016 census of Population, there were 3,335 people in Charleville.

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 15.3% of the population.
  • 83.6% of people were born in Australia. The next most common country of birth was Vietnam at 3.3%.
  • 87.6% of people spoke only English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Vietnamese at 3.5%.
  • The most common responses for religion were Catholic 34.1%, Anglican 24.1% and No Religion 17.2%,


Charleville State School is a government primary (Early Childhood-6) school for boys and girls at Wills Street (26°24′17″S 146°14′32″E / 26.4048°S 146.2423°E / -26.4048; 146.2423 (Charleville State School)). In 2018, the school had an enrolment of 205 students with 20 teachers (19 full-time equivalent) and 22 non-teaching staff (16 full-time equivalent). It includes a special education program (certified through the National Disability Insurance Scheme).

St Mary's School is a Catholic primary (Prep-6) school for boys and girls at 66 Watson Street (26°24′13″S 146°14′35″E / 26.4036°S 146.2431°E / -26.4036; 146.2431 (St Mary's School)). In 2018, the school had an enrolment of 117 students with 9 teachers (8 full-time equivalent) and 9 non-teaching staff (4 full-time equivalent).

Charleville State High School is a government secondary (7-12) school for boys and girls on the corner of Partridge & Hunter Streets (26°23′51″S 146°15′27″E / 26.3974°S 146.2574°E / -26.3974; 146.2574 (Charleville State High School)). In 2018, the school had an enrolment of 246 students (including students from Augathella, Morven and Wyandra) with 36 teachers (34 full-time equivalent) and 21 non-teaching staff (16 full-time equivalent). It includes a special education program (certified through the National Disability Insurance Scheme).

Charleville School of Distance Education is a government primary and secondary (Early Childhood-10) school for boys and girls at Parry Street (26°23′42″S 146°15′31″E / 26.3950°S 146.2586°E / -26.3950; 146.2586 (Charleville School of Distance Education)). In 2018, the school had an enrolment of 200 students with 25 teachers (24 full-time equivalent) and 12 non-teaching staff (10 full-time equivalent). It is a School of the Air, providing distance education by a combination of postal services, telephone and Internet to children who are unable to attend a regular school due to their remote location.

Notable people

  • Davida Allen (born 1951), painter, film maker and writer
  • Daryl Beattie (born 1970), former professional Grand Prix motorcycle racer and television motor sports commentator
  • Richard Bell (born 1953), artist and political activist
  • Cameron Boyce (born 1989), first-class cricketer
  • Kurt Capewell (born 1993), Premiership winning National Rugby League footballer with the Penrith Panthers. Now with the Brisbane Broncos
  • Luke Capewell (born 1989), former National Rugby League footballer
  • Andrew Dutney (born 1958), President of the Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia
  • Peter Everett, television presenter
  • Richard Graham (born 1972), Australian Rugby Union coach
  • Rhan Hooper (born 1988), former professional Australian rules footballer
  • Chelsea Jane (born 1992), rapper and songwriter
  • Matthew Mott (born 1973), former first-class cricketer and coach
  • Libby Munro (born 1981), actress
  • Billy Rogers (born 1989), former National Rugby League footballer
  • Neil Turner (1934–2011), politician
  • Adrian Vowles (born 1971), former National Rugby League footballer

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