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Explore Bowen & the Whitsundays here...

Collinsville is the heart of the outback in the Whitsundays. Located a scenic drive 85km west from Bowen, travelling through orchards and farmland to grazing cattle country, at the foothills of the Clarke Range. Far enough away from the tourist hubs to be a country retreat, the close-knit community always offers a friendly and warm welcome to its many visitors.

Features of the region include stunning hinterland, beautiful creeks and camping spots, a large dam for fishing and watersports and excellent outback four-wheel-driving. Journey a short distance to discover a unique part of outback heritage at the Bowen River Hotel, reputedly frequented not only by visitors and locals, but by ghosts as well!

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Primarily a mining town, one of the main highlights for history buffs is a visit to the Coalface Museum, housed at the Workers Club. Delve into the rich history of an industry that has been vital for so many regional Aussie communities. Straight across the road from the Coalface Museum you'll discover an excellent visitor info centre and free-stay area at the Showgrounds. Well worth staying the night, enjoy some country hospitality and a yarn with the locals while enjoying a coldie at the Pit Pony Tavern.

For a real taste of the outback, pencil in a visit to the region in June for the annual Bowen River Rodeo and Campdraft!


History


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


Have you ever wondered what a working mine is like? Collinsviille gives you a unique opportunity to check out working operations with exceptional lookouts, as well as discover the history of the industry through art and display. Stroll around town 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.

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Always a winner when visiting a country town, you can't go past calling in to the local bakery! Locals and regional visitors are clued in on the best bread around, and you should be too - 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.
In need of working off those local goodies? 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 is now home to Collinsville Lions Club.


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.

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While you are wandering the rooms, keep an ear and an eye out for 'other' visitors from by-gone eras. Legend has it that ghosts of time gone by still frequent the pub! Ask the barstaff to tell you the stories - if you dare!

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 with a junior competition is held every October, the Bowen River Rodeo and Campdraft is held annually in June.


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.

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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 13th 1954. 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


Creek picnics


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

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

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

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.

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Bowen River

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 saltwater crocodiles and fresh-water crocodiles inhabit these waters.


Fossicking

Fossil shells, opalised wood and petrified wood, hornblende, agate, prehnite, 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 for 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 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

The Pit Pony experience is a community project launched to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the last working pit ponies in Australia; Mr. Ed and Wharrier were much loved members of the community.
On the 28th of November 2015, the Collinsville community unveiled a life size bronze pit pony statue in the centre of town to honour the lives of the pit ponies and recognize the strength of small communities.

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Events

No one parties like an outback town - come and join the fun:

Bowen River Rodeo and Campdraft
Pit Pony Festival
Bacon Busters Event
Terrible Creek Fishing Comp
Weetalaba Campdraft
Mt. Coolon Campdraft
Collinsville Rodeo
Mock Melbourne Cup
Melbourne Cup Fair


Where to stay

There's several great places to stay in Collinsville – for more information contact the team at the Big Mango Information Centre or Collinsville Info Centre to recommend an option to suit you. Contact Brett at Collinsville: 0418 556 560

Free Camp 

Collinsville has free-camping facilities at the Collinsville Showgrounds. Caravans, Motorhomes, trailers & tents are welcome to stay up to 72hrs; please check in at the Collinsville Info Centre and support the community during your stay. Facilities include dump point, showers & toilets with disabled access, grassed areas and nearby hotels for meals.

Getting there

Self-Drive

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.

Bus 

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 Delta, Mt Dangar turn-off & Binbee (Normanby Rd turn-off). Ticket prices one-way start under $20 per person with concession fares available.

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

Tickets can be booked via the website or direct phone 07 4786 4144

More information? The team at the Big Mango Info Centre on the Bruce Hwy at Bowen can help you plan your journey, and make sure you pop in and see Brett at the Collinsville Info Centre for excellent firsthand information!