Go beyond the beach this summer; discover the cooler side of summer in the country.
Here’s our top 7 ways to enjoy the season right here in Southern Queensland Country:
1. Fresh food trails
Toowoomba’s food trail takes in farmers’ markets, cool CBD laneways and city bars and restaurants then heads north through the farmlands of Cabarlah, Hampton and Crows Nest. Visit farmers markets and on-farm stalls.
Start the Southern Downs food trail in Warwick – try Bellevue Café and Bluebird Kitchen, detour to Killarney’s Spring Creek Café before discovering the wineries, regional eateries and local producers between Thulimbah and Ballandean.
In the Western Country try The Purple Bean in Chinchilla, Urban Paddock in Dalby, Pips and Cherries in Bell, The Creek Café in Miles, Delicate in St George.
Local tip: Make sure you savour just picked summer berries at Ashbern Farms and Hampton Blue!
2. Cool Waterfalls, Waterholes, Camping and Fishing
Discover refreshing waterfalls and waterholes around the region – great for a swim, a paddle or the perfect picnic spot.
In Western Country find a shady river camp or caravan site and take out the kayak or cast a line for cod, yellowbelly or perch – try your luck at Tara Lagoon, Gil Weir, Miles, Chinchilla Weir or many other spots on the beautiful Condamine River. The little ones will love catching yabbies for bait!
In granite country, make your base Girraween or Sundown National Parks and fish at Leslie Dam or in the pretty Severn River to hunt for Murray Cod.
3. Breezy Bike Rides
Bring your own bike to explore Toowoomba’s parks and bikeways or hire a mean machine from Johnny Sprockets; ride the Stanthorpe to Ballandean cycle trail or join a guided half-day tour of wineries, granite countryside and local foodie hotspots with Granite Belt Bicycle Tours (who can also supply a bike if you need one).
4. Swingin’ Summer Events
We’ve got a swag of laid back Summer events in store from the folky Festival of Small Halls Summer Tour to a rollicking New Year’s Eve Bush Dance at the Woolshed at Jondaryan and the food and fun of the Granite Belt’s Apple & Grape Harvest Festival. Don’t miss Allora Heritage Weekend and the sublimely serene Summer Tunes live music in Toowoomba verdant parks
5. Breezy Mountain Highs
Relax on the edge of the Great Dividing Range with a picnic at Picnic Point overlooking Tabletop Mountain; tick off three waterfalls in one day on Killarney’s Fall’s Drive; stay a few days to walk amid the world’s largest stand of Bunya Pines on the verdant mountain trails of the Bunya Mountains; or traverse creeks and climb the cool granite Pyramid to catch the lofty breezes in Girraween National Park.
6. Summer Wine
Set out on the Granite Belt Wine Trail from Stanthorpe to Ballandean – pop into wineries, walk in the vineyards, talk to the winemakers and sample their vintages at the cellar door. You’ll also discover local providores, top regional restaurants and national parks along the way.
In Crows Nest drop into Holland Wines and in Toowoomba visit Preston Peak Wines to taste their méthode champenoise Serisier, while enjoying the breezy mountain views.
7. Country Cool
In Toowoomba stroll around Australia’s largest outdoor street art gallery, catch some laneway coffee culture, mix it up with a summer cocktail at the rooftop bar at Muller Bros, or pull up a stool at local craft masters 4 Brothers Brewing to sip a tasty brew.
In Stanthorpe check out Market in the Mountains and Stanthorpe Art Gallery then settle in with a beer paddle and stay for dinner at Granite Belt Brewery or get seriously scientific in your pursuit of cool at Viscosity Bar.