Thargomindah, Queensland – a little town with an Aussie first!

Do you know the FIRST place in Australia to produce hydro electricity? It wasn’t the Snowy Hydro Scheme, or near a city. 

Thargomindah – a tiny town in the south west corner of Queensland claims it was not only the first town in Australia, impressively, it was third in the world! Drilling began in 1891, with the bore struck in 1893. Hydro-electric powered the street lighting from 1898-1951 by using the water pressure from the Artesian Basin.

This Artesian Hydro Power Plant is believed to be the oldest working unit in Australia, and possibly the world! You can see close up a windmill and a decommissioned oil “donkey”. You can take a self-guided tour of Australia’s first hydro-electricity system – visit the Visitor Centre for a swipe card to hear the stories. 

The swipe card guides you on automated tours of the Old hospital – complete with a ghost…

And the Old Jail.

What else to see and do in Thargomindah?

Riverwalk – it was raining on the Bulloo River when we were there. But you could still appreciate all the work gone into the riverwalk with signage

and lovely seating under the river gums.

Collect a tick sheet from the Visitor Centre with local things to do and people to meet like Dogga Dare at the Caravan Park

and Surly Shirley at the pub. We found the hotel very friendly – and the lunch was fantastic! 

Town Walk You can explore right around the town, and see the attractions on the way. See the old and new cemeteries, Thargomindah Town Hall, the Post Office with its interesting history and Leahy House, a Historical House Museum.

Public Art Look out for the beautiful murals.

Back to nature Lake Bindegolly and Currawinya National Parks have amazing birdwatching and camping.

Events Their annual event is the Shearers Shindig in May. Space is being cleared for a brand new SPA GAZING Centre, so keep an eye on that in the future! It will include group bath, single bath, 2,3 and 4 bath as well as Foot Baths with Wheelchair access.

New SPA GAZING Centre, Thargomindah, QLD
Image from: Bulloo Shire Council

Outback history  Check out the old stone Cobb & Co river crossing east of town. Go further on the Adventure Way to Noccundra Hotel and only 20 kilometres of unsealed road to the historic Burke and Wills ‘Dig’ Tree

You can check out Hungerford and the pub, close to the border. Or travel the circuit to Eromanga and the Natural Science Loop

Where to stay?

We camped at Thargomindah Explorers – and in the wet, the camp kitchen was our saviour. There is an overflow caravan park and a free camp. Kilcowera Station is south of town

Find these sites and more nearby in the CAMPS guide booksnew CAMPS Pendium boxed set and CAMPS AUSTRALIA WIDE App.

If you would like order your own CAMPS Pendium, here is a special coupon code for you:


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