Southern Queensland Country Destination Guide
Southern Queensland Country Holidays
Stand in awe at the stunning view from the granite escarpment towards the summit of the giant monolith that is Bald Rock – centre stage of just one of this region’s multiple national parks – and you understand in an instant why this part of Queensland is treasured by thousands of visitors each year.
Look forward to historic towns with the warmest country welcome, magnificent walking tracks through pristine parks, hillside country cottages, lodges and resorts, freshwater dams stocked with fish, and food and wine trails to revive even the most jaded palate. What’s more, it all starts within 90 minutes of the heart of Brisbane.
People love Southern Queensland Country for:
- Scenic drives, heritage towns, pristine national parks.
- Fruit, dairy and deli providores and wineries.
- True seasonal changes through the year (log fires in winter!).
It’s the perfect place for that great escape to the country, with clean air, magnificent national parks, unsurpassed views, and a Bunya Mountain range that boasts the largest stand of Bunya Pines on the planet. But it’s not all about the scenery. The regional centres that form the boundary of Southern Queensland Country – Toowoomba to the east, Kingaroy to the north and St George to the west – offer their own special brand of great hospitality and local attractions.
Linked by a chain of other historic and picturesque villages and towns, such as Warwick, Stanthorpe, Goondiwindi and Chinchilla, you will find plenty to keep you occupied: food and wine trails, intriguing local museums, and – depending on the time of year – unique festivals. Look out for the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, Warwick’s Roses and Rodeo, the Goomeri Pumpkin Festival, and Snowflakes in Stanthorpe.
Southern Queensland Country is tops for:
- The award-winning wineries of the Granite Belt.
- The dramatic landscape of the Bunya Mountains.
- Bush walking, camping and freshwater fishing.
Eat & Drink
There are few places in Australia packed with more farm gate to plate options than Southern Queensland Country. Part of the road to discovery of this diverse region is taking in the superb artisan produce and the sheer number of providores eager to share their wares – and their expertise. From first-class specialty food shops in villages and towns to roadside fruit stalls, delis, and pick-your-own farms, you will never be far from somewhere to stock up.
What’s more, this is Granite Belt country, home to wine labels that have carved a national and international reputation for the quality of varieties such as Verdelho, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. There is nothing like gathering everything you need for a mountain picnic topped off with a glass of Queensland’s finest.
Top taste tips
- The apple pie, juice and cider at Sutton’s factory, Thulimbah.
- Taste South Burnett – the one-stop-everything deli shop in Kingaroy.
- The Queensland College of Wine Tourism restaurant, Stanthorpe.
Where to Stay
Be spoiled for choice depending on the type of getaway that takes your fancy. You will find everything from the ultimate in 5-star luxury in mountain lodges and resorts to a square of bush to pitch your tent in one of the national parks. In between, think glamping, hillside and country cabins, B&Bs, guest houses, historic hotels, modern motels, farm stays and vineyard cottages.
You can be as remote as you like, with wide-open views from the deck of a spa cottage in the Bunya Mountains, or as close to company as you like in one of the key centres with their shops, delis, bakeries and restaurants. There are numerous options in Toowoomba (which now has airport connections to Brisbane and the southern states), Warwick, Kingaroy and Stanthorpe, if you prefer a town base from which to explore.
Where to stay for what:
- The national parks for a sense of peace and isolation.
- Towns and villages for local attractions and festivals.
- Vineyards for an insight into what makes a great drop.
Southern Queensland Country Like a Local
This is not only get-away heaven for city slickers, but also a great focal point for lovers of Australian history. Locals in the know will point you towards some unique cultural attractions, among them the humble but amazingly insightful regional museum in Stanthorpe, to the sophisticated Cobb and Co coach museum in Toowoomba, the flying museum at Oakey, and the historic working woolshed at Jondaryan.
For far more humble pursuits (and something to put on the table if you are lucky) this region boasts both well-stocked fishing impoundments and fish-rich rivers. Among other hot spots, you can fish Lake Barambah near Murgon, Lake Coolmunda near Inglewood, Glenlyon Dam near Texas, and the Condamine River as it weaves its way across the Darling Downs.
Southern Queensland Country locals know:
- The heritage-listed, Art Deco Empire Theatre in Toowoomba is event central.
- The Wallangarra station has a unique place in Australian railway history.
- There are spectacular waterfalls along the Falls Drive out of Boonah.