Expect fruity skiing, slipping, sliding and spitting for the Chinchilla Melon Festival with four days of quirky watermelon festival fun in February. A three and a half hour drive from Brisbane, Chinchilla is Australia’s melon capital. When you finish melon skiing, there’s melon bungee, melon throwing and cracking open dozens of melons with none other than your own melon to try!
So much fun at Chinchilla Melon Festival
The streets ran red when I visited Chinchilla Melon Festival for the weekend along with thousands of people who really love watermelon. Held every two years, it’s on again from 16 to 19 February 2023.
Chinchilla is the ‘Melon Capital’ of Australia, and they really know how to have crazy, squishy watermelon fun. The watermelon festival draws crowds more than 10,000 who travel to the Queensland town, located 308 kilometres north west of Brisbane, to join in the watermelon-themed festivities.
Crowd favourites include melon skiing, melon Ironman, pip-spitting championships, melon power-punching, melon eating competitions, the big melon weigh-in (previous winners tipped the scales at a massive 87.5kgs) and the melon food hall.
First held in 1994 as a celebration of the town’s melon growing prowess, which accounts for almost a quarter of Australia’s watermelons, the one-of-a-kind festival has steadily grown in size and popularity over the years.
Top Chinchilla Melon Festival highlights
The Big Melon weigh in
Watch carefully as the big melon often has been stolen or hidden. That’s country humour, but not everyone is smiling. The biggest melon was recorded in 2007 and weighed in at 87.5kgs.
From 7.30 am on Saturday, Chinchilla’s CBD is filled with over 150 stalls. Expect to discover an interesting range of watermelon-infused items to eat and buy.
Chinchilla’s strong community spirit comes forward in the Chinchilla Melon Festival street parade, which seems to involve almost everyone in town. It is a real old-fashioned country parade with lots of exciting floats to see.
There is pip spitting, melon bungy, melon skiing and more. You’ll need to be prepared to get very messy with these events, but you will surely have lots of fun. There is even a Melon Dash for Cash down Heeney Street (they spelt that wrong!). It is a real fitness test as you must carry a watermelon the whole way.
Free melon feast
When you are over sliding and skiing in melon, there are free slices to eat too.
Melon chariot race
What’s a festival without a silly chariot race? At Melonfest, your chariot must be made from melon packing cartons.
Here’s how long it will take you to drive to the Chinchilla Melon Festival from various locations – Brisbane 3.5 hours, Gold Coast 4 hours, Gympie 3 hours, Lismore 5 hours, Miles 30 mins, Roma 2 hours, Sunshine Coast 3.5 hours, Toowoomba 2 hours.
Find out more at Chinchilla Melon Festival
Looking for more food festival fun?
- For oyster lovers, the Stradbroke Island Oyster Festival is a must. It is held annually in November.
- Tasmania’s Huon Valley Mid Winter Fest is another great event. Don’t forget your beanie, as you will need it for this festival.