Chinchilla might be the watermelon capital of Australia but it is also the home of Charleys Creek parkrun.
The vibrant country town is on the edge of the Darling Downs in Barunggam country, about 280km west of Brisbane. It is also the home of the “the big melon”, which sits next to the visitor information centre and the host of the biannual melon festival which attracts more than 15,000 people.
Charleys Creek parkrun is a mostly out and back course along the creek which is shaded, undulating, has plenty of varied terrain and is well suited to dogs and prams.
While many think Charleys Creek itself is the most famous part of the course, the man-made hill which is the bridge over the rail line is maybe the most unforgettable landmark, according to Event Director Greg West.
Being a “C” course, Charleys Creek attracts plenty of would-be “parkrun pirates” and indigenous paintings on parts of the path make it a unique place for other keen tourists to visit.
Charleys Creek parkrun launched in mid-2019. About 50 runners and walkers take part each week, but the event team expect numbers to grow as the weather warms up.
Greg said he loved parkrun as it gave people the ability to get out and about on a Saturday morning. “I also love the great coffee conversation,” he said. “One of our early adopters has now become a stalwart after doing his first run during the lead up to our launch, mainly driven by the fact his partner came regularly and now is keen volunteer, RD and driver of the event.
“We now see many people coming and walking or running who had not done so before, as they have a safe place to come and enjoy it,” Greg said.
The post parkrun coffee at Charleys Creek is held at Downtown Cafe with a 10 per cent discount for parkrunners. “If it looks like we are going to have larger numbers, a quick text to them gives them time to get ready,” Greg said.
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