Discover the Charm of Early Aussie Hit Film at the Augathella Experience - Western Queensland's Newest Attraction


A new vibrant and captivating outback tourist attraction, the Augathella Experience, has opened its doors to the public in Western Queensland. Drawing in holidaymakers, grey nomads, devoted Bee Gee fans, and aficionados of early Australian cinema, the experience pays homage to the beloved Smiley tales and the rich history of Augathella.


From interactive touchscreen displays to engaging stories on the walls, this unique attraction offers a journey through time that will delight both young and old. The Augathella Experience showcases interactive displays that transport visitors into the heart of the storytelling process. Adorned walls are filled with captivating tales, narrating the town's historical significance and the impact of its early hit films.


long-time dream for the Augathella Progress Association, the Augathella Experience serves as a window to the past, offering a deep view into the life and times that shaped Augathella and its cinematic success.


The Augathella Experience showcases the success of the critically acclaimed 1956 Australian film about Smiley, a cheeky, mischievous, imaginative boy – often called Australia’s answer to Huck Finn – and is originally based on a fictional 1945 book by novelist and screenwriter Moore Raymond, who was raised in Augathella and drew inspiration from his childhood for the book and movie. Emphasising its success, the first movie was nominated for British Bafta, and a sequel quickly followed, titled Smiley Gets a Gun.


“The Augathella Experience is a spectacular attraction and very significant for our region,” said Mayor of Murweh Shire, Shaun (Zoro) Radnedge.  “It really captures the magic of the town and shows how good Augathella was and still is.” Interestingly, Colin Petersen, the boy who played Smiley in the film, went on to become a drummer for the Bee Gees.


Visitors can watch the Smiley movies but can also view a collection of short film documentaries, curated in collaboration with the Bidjara people, the traditional owners of the land. These films shed light on the rich cultural heritage and profound connection the Bidjara people have with the Augathella region.


“You’d be mad not to put Augathella on your outback itinerary,” said the Mayor. “It’s a top destination and I’m sure it brings back many great memories for older Australians and a real treat for the younger ones.”


The Augathella Experience is located at the back of the Augathella Library in Main Street.


Funding for the Augathella Experience was secured from part of the Murweh Shire’s $7.94 million received from the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Program to rejuvenate and enhance Tourism within the Shire.