I am always looking out for new experiences, wherever I may find myself.
Published March 5th 2016
The Cunnamulla Fella Centre is the biggest attraction in Cunnamulla and wouldn't be out of place in a much larger town, so it was a pleasant surprise when I found it out here. The centre includes a whole range of different things, including an art gallery and a museum.
The most important part however (or the one that's mentioned most in brochures) is the Artesian Time Tunnel. See, under this part of Australia is the Great Artesian Basin, a huge underground river; and Cunnumulla was the site of the first bore drilled down into it.
The Artesian Time Tunnel is like a ride that takes you back to when the basin was formed, through a shaking room with the year number changing. Once you've gone back millions of years, you exit into a tunnel with panels of information on the history of the basin, as well as the dinosaurs around back then and the opals that have been created in the area (this part of Queensland is known for opals and neighbouring Yowah is a hotspot).
As I mentioned, the ride is only part of the Fella Centre and before I got to experience it I was ushered into another room where I watched a DVD on the Artesian Basin. It all happened a bit suddenly actually, but the friendly staff member just wanted to make sure I did everything in the right order (though I would have at least liked to know how long I was to be in there). The movie itself was quite interesting and easy to follow. Lots of the information stayed with me and I found myself noticing things like the capped bores when I was in other towns.
Step behind the curtain to discover all about the Great Artesian Basin
Taking up a lot of the centre is the museum. There's nothing particularly unusual here, just objects from the town's past that give you an idea how people have been living in the last few centuries. There is also is information on the local Indigenous history too.
Out the front of the centre you will find a statue of the character that gives it its name; the Cunnamulla Fella. He's from a song originally penned by Stan Coster in the 1950's, since recorded by Slim Dusty and Lee Kernaghan (see Kernaghan's here).
The Cunnamulla Fella Centre doubles as the town's Information Centre, where you can shop for souvenirs and get information on other attractions in the area. One I did was the Walk along the Warrego, which was a nice introduction to the surrounding landscape.