The picturesque town of Bell is a village in the western foothills of the Bunya Mountains of Queensland, 39 kilometres north of Dalby.
Bell lies between the agricultural areas of the Darling Downs and the South Burnett. Looking out over rolling hills of quilt-like patterned farmland, Bell is known for its traditional country arts and crafts as well as rural-based activities. Along with horse racing, Bell hosts a rural show, rodeo and camppdraft competitions. The local show, which celebrated its 50th consecutive year in 2008, is held annually on the first weekend in March. The show features wood chopping, displays of the area’s livestock (including milking goats), and working cattle dog ‘trials’. The area’s main industry is farming of beef cattle, grain, sheep and pigs.
Originally the area around Bell was part of a large land holding called Jimbour Station. In the 1870s the area was opened up for closer settlement and Angus & Christina McPhee from Scotland became the first settlers nearest to what would become the village of Bell. Over time other families – including Bellingham, Bradley, Edwards, Ensor, Rush and Walker – settled in the vicinity of Cattle Creek and in 1878 a school was established at Maida Hill to cater for these families. In April 1906 the railway line was extended from Dalby and the first land sales in Bell were in May 1906. The village was named after Sir Joshua Peter Bell who, at that time, was owner of Jimbour Station.
The Railway Heritage Parkland, built on the site of the original railway terminus, features an early model diesel locomotive and a vintage passenger carriage as well as a historical mural painted on the shed wall. A number of Bell’s early buildings were constructed from locally sourced sandstone – an example is a stone house which was built in 1913. The Roman Catholic Church hosts a mural painted by local artists showing a history of Salvation. The art gallery holds displays of local artists’ works.
Bells ‘n’ Whistles Accommodation Park
40 Cedarvale Road, Bell
(07) 4663 1265
29 Dennis Street, Bell
(07) 4663 1211
Rice’s Holiday Cabins
501 Bunya Mountains Road, Bunya Mountains
(07) 4668 3133