The centrepiece of the Murilla Shire on the Western Downs, Miles stands at the crossroads of the Warrego and Leichhardt highways. The original settlement of Dogwood Crossing was established on a trail blazed by explorer Ludwig Leichhardt in 1844 and was renamed in 1878 in honour of local MP and Railways Minister William Miles. Crowning glory in an attractive town is the District Historical Village - a magnificent open-air museum containing 21 authentic period buildings, including a smithy, bakery, hotel, general store, bank and cafe. The village also features a world-class shell collection and displays reflecting local Aboriginal culture, while the War Museum has been formally recognised as an official repository for historic military items and memorabilia. The Artesian Basin Centre, too, captures its share of the audience with displays that plot the rise ands fall of the prickly pear menace and an informative model of the artesian basis which waters so much of the Australian bush. The annual Wildflower Festival in September includes self-drive tours through part of the state's largest state forest.