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History

Allan Cunningham was responsible for the exploration of the region in 1827, and this was followed by European settlement in the 1840s. Established in 1848, the town of Chinchilla was named after Chinchilla Station which was an extension of Wongongera Station.

The name chinchilla is believed to be derived from the aboriginal word “tintinchillla” or “Jinchilla” indicating cypress pine possibly recorded by an explorer Ludwig Leichardt.

Agriculture is the dominant industry, along with beef and pork production & wool growing drive the economy. In recent times, resource projects with coal and gas have driven further growth in the region.

Chinchilla’s tourism is centered around its historical museum, fishing and fossicking for petrified wood. ‘Chinchilla red’ petrified wood is unique to the area and known for its colour quality.

The area is well-known for its production of watermelon, in fact, there’s a bi-annual festival dedicated to the fruit. Known as the Chinchilla Watermelon Festival, the event typically draws crowds upwards of  15,000 people. From melon skiing to melon chariot races, it’s a bucket list event for anyone living in the region.

Aside from being famous for watermelons, Chinchilla is the birthplace of Australian musician, Pete Murry and Australian Wallabies player, John Gleeson.

Commercial Hotel circa 1905

The history of the Commercial Hotel dates back to 1877, and since that time the hotel has been reconstructed four times due to fires. The first took place in 1904, after just 27 years of trading.

One of four fires that destroyed the hotel

In 2020 Waymark Hotels, a privately-owned Australian hotel and property group, acquired the Commercial Hotel Motel Chinchilla. Built over a period of more than 60 years and with a heritage originating in the Northern Territory and Queensland outback, the group has been leading projects that have brought vital infrastructure and amenities to communities since the 1950’s. ​

The style of the Commercial Hotel logo encompasses a contemporary edge for an otherwise historic venue, and its chosen colour palette draws on earthy tones from the Chinchilla region including petrified wood.