Founders Message

Charley's Place was established in 2007 for the care of our own children, whilst caring for our own children we created at Charley's Place the magical steps of play and discovery. Success comes from the combination of play and education, both structured and self-discovered, children have a natural sense of curiosity and each one has unique talents, capabilities, and aspirations. The Charley's Place family nurtures these characteristics by providing a stimulating, healthy and caring environment where children can flourish in their own development.

Charley's Place supports families in their parenting role and helps to promote their individual values and beliefs in raising their children, collaborative partnerships with families and communities are fundamental for us to achieve quality outcomes for all children. We encourage families to be active participators in the life of their children at Charley's Place as we build respectful and supportive relationships. Charley's Place reflects the needs of the local communities and families and we are inclusive of all cultures, religion, abilities and needs. We aspire to find ways to benefit each family that attends Charley's Place, success begins in the earliest years as we nurture and support this for each child through play and education.

We hope you enjoy your time at Charley's Place.

- Jason and Raschelle Hewett


Charley's Place: First Open Day

It was the Open Day of the very first Charley's Place in 2007.

The advertised businesses on each page all contributed to the successful build of Charley's Place in Chinchilla 14 years ago. 

Charley's Place has been very successful and has been going strong for the past 14 years, and continues to grow bigger and better as each year passes.


Chinchilla and District

Population: 5487 (ABS Census Data 2011)
Elevation: 313m
GPS Coordinates: 26.75oS; 150.59oE

Our area was first discovered by explorer Ludwig Leichhardt on his 1844 expeditions, however, it wasn't until 1846 when he passed through again that he named Charley's Creek and took up camp here with his party. Charley's Creek, named in honour of Leichhardt's Aboriginal guide, Charley Fisher, and the reliable supply of water that it provided prompted the development of the first white settlement in the Chinchilla District. One of the first slab huts to be built and occupied on Chinchilla Station (Wongongerra Cottage) now stands proudly at the Chinchilla Historical Museum.

A succession of good seasons from the 1850s through to the early 1860s enticed landholders to take-up properties adjoining Chinchilla Station and the number of settlers in the area grew. When bullock wagons could no longer provide reliable transport of goods and produce, the settlement looked to the railway. Owing to their short bridge crossings and ample water supply, Charley's Creek and Rocky's Creek were deemed the preferred route, and in 1876, construction of the Dalby to Roma railway line had begun. By 1877, a lawless shanty town of tents and pubs had sprung up along Charley's Creek, which would later become known as Chinchilla. Local historians will tell you that our town name could be based on the Aboriginal word 'jinchilla', which is the indigenous term for the plentiful stands of cypress pine, a fresh scented termite resistant timber that grows on the Western Downs.


A Great Camping Spot for your Youth Group!

This story about Chinchilla’s Coolibah Challenge was written by Deirdre Fagan Pagliano.

Chinchilla’s hidden secret, there are lots of accommodation options available for church camps, but one hidden secret is Clover Hill Ranch at Chinchilla. The ranch is set in the beautiful Australian outback with rambling creeks and billabongs surrounded by endless bushland. The options are never ending with canoeing, team games and exercises, cultural trails and tours. Farm visits and long walks are just some of the things you & your group can experience. 

Think of puddles, ropes, mud, tyres, lateral thinking, eucalyptus trees and a lazy creek. Put it all together and you get the Coolibah Challenge at Chinchilla, one of the first Project Adventure Australia Centres in Queensland. Put on your lateral thinking hat, plan ahead and book your spot to celebrate the 2002 Year of the Outback. It is the brainwave of Ivan and Valerie Hewett involved with youth for over 20 years, who on looking out into their 50 acres of land knew there was something additional to be done while growing flowers and breeding Boer goats. They wanted to provide a space where groups could gather and have fun while at the same time develop their personalities and their awareness of the importance of thinking of others. But it is not only the children and the youth who are challenged at Coolibah. 

“After many years with the district Scouting and churched based activities we saw the outcomes from emergent and cooperative leadership through having fun and learning, so decided to diversify from farming life and offer a place for school groups, youth camps, corporate groups and volunteers no matter what age”. “

Recently, this year Queensland has played host to a meeting of Uniting Church, Presbytery Officers with representatives from Presbyteries throughout Australia gathering to talk about the future direction of the Uniting Church at the James Byrnes Centre – Toowoomba. The Presbytery Officers coordinated by Rev Allan Kuchler, visited Clover Hill Ranch for a day. 

“It proved a great place for the Presbytery Officers to take part in team building exercises in an environment away from the centre – a time and place to learn together and have fun. A Moderator Elect (no names mentioned) however refused to enter the mud hole”. 

Coolibah Challenge is an outdoor multi-site challenge area spread over 7 hectares comprising of 17 separate activity sites. These include a huge mud hole/slide (bring old clothes and expect to get muddy) a 3 part water challenge course, 3 metre high wall scaling, low ropes course and a large balancing platform.

Other onsite activities include orienteering, bush hut building, evening bonfire and goat feeding. 

Ivan and Val are proud Australians. 

Each of the 17 self-designed and built challenges are named in a truly dinky di manner. From the Jumbuck Water Hole to the Billabong Crossing, The Waltzing Matilda Log, the muddy water holes, the Australian Flags and the corrugated iron dining shed. 

“It is a great opportunity for city youth and those further west to travel to Chinchilla and have challenging fun at a fantastic location. And of course adults can have just as much fun and are never too old to realize the importance of communication and logical thinking”.

The ranch has camping facilities and promised unlimited hot showers! For further information, contact your hosts Ivan and Val Hewett on (07) 4662 7848 or visit them on the web 

get in touch

Get in contact with Charley’s Place
  • Head Office
    158 Margaret Street, Toowoomba
    07 4639 5784
  • Charley's Place: Toowoomba City
    317A Margaret Street, Toowoomba
    07 4599 9055
  • Charley's Place: Toowoomba Range
    2 Burnage St, Toowoomba
    07 4548 0608
  • Charley's Place: Springwood
    232 Springwood Road, Springwood
    07 3462 8222

Charley's Place Contact

Charley's Place Contact


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