Collinsville is located 85km west from Bowen, at the foothills of the Clarke Range. Collinsville is a quaint country town, far enough away from the tourist hubs to be a country retreat, and always offers a friendly and warm welcome to its many visitors.
Primarily a mining town, one of the main highlights for history buffs is a visit to the Coalface Museum, with the new Pit Pony Tavern nearby. Features of the region include stunning hinterland, a large dam for fishing and watersports and excellent outback four-wheel-driving.
The Collinsville region also plays host to the Bowen River Rodeo and Campdraft annually, on the long weekend in June. On your way to Collinsville you may even spot some wild emu’s, buffalo or camels !!
The Collinsville area was opened for grazing in early 1861, with Strathmore Station established as the first property.
During the 1880s several gold mines were operated at Ukalanda, Mt Wyatt, and Normandy and later at Mt Coolon.
In 1865, reports of a large coal deposit at Moongunya (the aboriginal word for coal) resulted in extensive testing, and the area became known as the Bowen River Coalfield. Railway construction from Bowen to Collinsville started in 1916, with the first mine established in 1919; full scale coal production started in 1922, following the railway’s completion.
The area was officially renamed Collinsville in 1921, whilst the main township was established in late 1922, when 20 homes were built. The state school and police quarters were already operational, as were a general store and butcher.
A hospital opened in the town in 1926, and in 1967 a powerhouse was built. The powerhouse was closed in 1988, yet later reopened under private ownership in 1997, only to close its doors again in 2013.
Things to do and see
Whilst in Collinsville you can stroll around and check out the historical mining murals and heritage signs that will provide an insight into the lives of the district’s early settlers.
The Town Reservoir Hill offers spectacular sights of Mt Devlin to the north, the Leichhardt Ranges to the east, and Sonoma and Collinsville mines to the south and west.
The Reservoir Hill at Scottville offers a spectacular night-time view of the Collinsville Coal Mine, Collinsville Power Station and Sonoma Coal Mine.
Visit the Collinsville Bakery for the famous fresh bread and delicious baked goods, stroll downtown and delight in locally made arts & crafts or simply enjoy a delicious cup of coffee.
There is a pleasant walkway that leads from Collinsville to Scottville, at 3.7 kilometres long, it provides easy walking or cycling for those who want a bit of exercise.
Located adjacent to the Collinsville Hospital is the refurbished “Old Hospital” that now houses the Information Centre, Community Hub, local Centrelink agency and Historical Society.
Bogie River Bush House
Nestled on 25 acres of virgin bush land, a short drive between Bowen and Collinsville, is a tranquil little gem, known as the Bogie River Bush House. Surround yourself with abundant wildlife and birdsong, have lunch at the poolside café, take morning tea on the verandah, take a dip or walk in the bush. Don’t miss a close encounter with the furry local residents, whilst being treated to home-style cooking and hospitality; a delight for children and adults alike.
Day trippers are welcome- please call ahead.
Bowen River Hotel- Strathmore Pub
Originally established around 1860, the Strathmore Pub, resting on the banks of the Bowen River, was donated to the National Trust of Queensland in 1974 by Ted Cunningham, of Strathmore Station. It lay abandoned for many years until 2003, when it was rebuilt, using traditional timber preparation and carpentry methods. The pub is comprised of two buildings, connected by a covered walkway and is a wonderful example of bush carpentry and jointing with wooden pegs. The hotel has a licensed bar, an informal beer garden that is family friendly, and serves lunch and dinner, with accommodation also available. There is also a wonderful collection of photographs, paper clippings and memorabilia from bygone years.
Free camping is available down by the river, caravans are welcome and asked to contribute a small fee to cover the cost of power.
Every May-Day long weekend, a fishing competition is hosted at nearby Terrible Creek, a junior competition is held there ever October, the Bowen River Rodeo and Campdraft is held annually on the June long weekend.
Bowen River Weir
Bowen River Weir is roughly a 20-minute drive from Collinsville. Take the Mt Coolon Road out of town, when you reach Sonoma Mine, the turn-off to the Weir is on the left-hand side, opposite the mine entrance. Mt Coolon Road is a dirt road, and can be rough, so care must be taken. The weir is a popular fishing and camping spot and the local fish stocking association restock the weir with barramundi each ear. Beware of crocodiles.
Coal Face Museum
Collinsville’s mining heritage centre, the Coal Face Museum, is dedicated to the history of Queensland’s coal mining industry and showcases the rich mining heritage of the region. Stories of struggle, strife and mateship are played out at a range of interactive displays, audio-visual exhibits, two theatrettes and historical records, presenting visitors with a great interpretation of the past, present and future of Queensland’s coal mining industry. The museum also shows visitors what life was like for the coal miners, both above and below ground in the 1950s.
The museum’s opening coincided with the 50th anniversary of the town’s biggest underground mining disaster, in which seven men were killed in an underground gas explosion on October 13th1954. It honours those men, and 19 others who have also lost their lives on the Collinsville coalfield.
Collinsville Scottville Historical Society
Collinsville and Scottville and District Historical Society Inc. opened its Historical Display Centre in May 2014, at 81 Garrick Street. The rooms are filled with local photographic history, historical items, an impressive bottle display and much more. The small band of volunteers works tirelessly to preserve local history and items for public viewing. The Historical Display Centre is open every Wednesday, 9 am to 1pm. Out of hours opening can be arranged if volunteers are available. Phone: 0429 431 414
3 Mile Creek:
3 Mile Creek is part of the Pelican Creek System and is located 15 minutes west of town as you travel through Scottville and out along the Myuna Road. It’s a great little swimming hole and picnic area.
Pelican Creek is a nice little creek that runs from the north east of town around to the western area. It’s easily accessible from several locations.
40 Foot is nestled up in the heart of Mt Devlin and in the wet season puts on a lovely waterfall display. A 15 to 20-minute hike up Mt Devlin will see you at the waterfall.
Terry’s Creek is a 15-minute drive along the Peter Delemothe Road towards Bowen. It is another popular picnic and swimming place in the wet season.
The beautiful Bowen River can be accessed in many places from Collinsville out along the Bowen Development Road, on Strathmore Station, or along the Mt Coolon Road. Just after crossing the Bowen River bridge there is a turn left onto Exmoor Road, which takes you to Eungella Dam (Mackay Region). There are many tracks that turn off along this road that lead to the river. There are many lovely spots to picnic, fish and swim. However, be aware that salt water crocodiles and fresh water crocodiles inhabit these waters.
Fossil shells, opalised wood and petrified wood, hornblende, agate, perhnite, clear crystal clusters, jasper and calcite can be found in the Collinsville area. Fossickers need to get permission from property owners. For the best places to seek the local gems, contact the Bowen Lapidary Club on 07 4785 6312. A well-equipped clubhouse is located on the Queens Beach Esplanade, Bowen.
Mt Coolon Hotel
The Mt Coolon Hotel is a great, old pub with heaps of character and memorabilia. The pub offers big burgers for lunch, as well as a dinner menu, and has rooms from the weary driver. Mt Coolon is situated about 124 kilometres south-west of Collinsville, 200 kilometres north of Clermont, and is known for its gold mining history and the infamous Tom Coolon murders. A jackeroo called Luke Reynolds, from the Yacamunda Station, discovered gold there in 1913. Thomas Coolon was the first to peg a claim there in 1914. Today the town boasts an array of old buildings and ruins to capture the imagination.
The Pit Pony Experience
Bowen River Rodeo and Campdraft
Where to stay
|Bogie River Bush House – Bush Bunks||Collinsville Motel|
|Bowen River Hotel||Motel Opal Ridge|
|Cargal Apartments||Mt Coolon Hotel|
|Century 21 Property Specialists||Pit Pony Tavern|
Collinsville offers free camping to self-sufficient travellers. Caravans and motorhomes with their own facilities may stay up to 72 hours at the Town Common, located by the Showgrounds. A dump point is also available.
Travelling on the Bruce Highway (A1)
Collinsville is just over 80 kilometres inland from the Bruce Highway; turn off the Bruce Highway onto the Bowen Developmental Road, about 5 minutes north of Bowen. The Bowen Developmental Road is sealed and well maintained.
Bowen Transit provides twice-daily return services to Collinsville, from Monday to Friday. The journey takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes, and includes stops at the Normanby Road turn off and the BP Rio Don
Bowen to Collinsville: bus departs Bowen Bus Stop- William Street at 7.00 am and 4.15 pm,
Collinsville to Bowen: bus departs Collinsville Bus Stop at 8.15 am and 5.30 pm