Cast out amid wildflowers in Miles, a river town first named Dogwood Crossing by Ludwig Leichhardt on his exploration of the region worthy of camping stay.
Central to Chinchilla and Roma, it sits crossroads on the Warrego and Leichhardt highways and is easy to access from all directions.
You can easily lose a day or two wandering the Miles Historical Village Museum, then dose up on culture at the regional museum.
This small, well-serviced community offers almost everything you need to top up, tune-up or tune-out ahead of your outback journey.
CAMPING IN MILES
Rolling into town late? The local supermarket is open until 7pm seven days a week. Cool off with the kids at the Olympic-size swimming pool.
A popular touring route, the local mechanics here know caravans and will visit local caravan park if you fall into strife.
Dine on stew and scones by the communal fire at the friendly caravan park in town, or indulge in a bush retreats a little beyond its borders.
MILES HISTORICAL VILLAGE MUSEUM
The most famous attraction in town is the Miles Historical Village Museum, containing more than 30 beautifully-restored 19th Century buildings. For almost 50 years, the community has sourced, donated, built and restored the buildings and the artefacts within it.
You’ll find a steam train pulled into its own station; a coach house and stables; blacksmith workshop; hotel and barber shop among the broad streets.
Browse once-daily essentials on chemist shop shelves, uncover inner workings of vintage cars and trucks at the Motor Garage and Machinery Shed or immerse yourself in the financial rigmarole of yesteryear at the bank. Spine-tinglingly instruments within the hospital exhibit.
But it’s not all pioneering here. You’ll also find incredible gemstones and rare rocks sourced locally and abroad at an amazing lapidary display within the village. And thousands of rare and beautiful shells from all over Australia and the Pacific region within the shell house, another quirky display.
Plus, a tribute to the Artesian Basin with plans for expansion underway.
WHAT WAR MEANT TO MILES
One of the newest installations within the historical village is the world war memorial display. Here, volunteers contributed more than 1000 hours sifting through lovingly-preserved and donated personal treasures. In one installation, service medals of fallen soldiers rest alongside haunting ‘dead man’ pennies.
Handwritten letters shed light on the struggles Miles’ locals experienced abroad. While relics demonstrate Miles role in upholding the Brisbane Line.
Comprehensive, the What War Meant to Miles permanent exhibit encompasses conflicts predating the 1900s through to the Vietnam War.
For a dose of modern culture in a pleasing rural setting, head to the Dogwood Crossing, John Mullins Memorial Art Gallery.
Here, browse casual and formal exhibit spaces for inspiring works of emerging, local and renowned artists. In-house curators regularly rotate exhibitions.
BACK TO THE BUSH
With so much history preserved, it comes as no surprise that this plucky Southern Queensland community celebrates in fine tradition. Once every two years, Miles’ nod to the bush splashes across town and spilling into the historical village. Here, Brisbanites and travellers beyond can learn all about 4WDing, fishing.
Here, glam up your camping trip in Miles with gala balls, marvel at beards and grit teeth over obstacle courses and tractor pulls. Local residents open their doors showcasing their own quirky vintage memorabilia.
Twice a year, rare pink lilies bloom within the Chinaman’s Lagoon, within pleasing reach to town via the flat Dogwood River Walk. Here, enjoy local fare on its grassy shaded banks with room to kick a ball and run around.
If you’re hankering for golden perch or Murray cod, try your hand at Gil Weir which is regularly stocked and just 5km south of Miles. Here, the waters are just deep enough for small boats, setting you up for a lazy easy afternoon.