The gateway to the Western Downs region from the east, Dalby, packs a big city punch when it comes to art, culture, and heritage that far belies its 4405 post code.

Just over 80 kilometres from Toowoomba and 200 kilometres from Brisbane along the Warrego Highway, this thriving hub is the perfect stop on your next journey west.

If you find yourself taking one of these Big Country Sky Drives, discover what to see and do in Dalby with this guide.

 

1. Hit the Heritage Trail

Step it out along Dalby’s historical footprint.

Stop by the Visitor Information Centre to grab a brochure to help you along the way for this self-guided tour of Dalby.

From an old police station dating back to the mid-1860s to a church built in the 1920s and one of the oldest pubs in the Western Downs region, get to know Dalby’s history, one building at a time.

 

2. Visit Pioneer Park Museum

Take a walk through Dalby’s treasure trove of history at Pioneer Park Museum.

Considering this town’s strong agricultural history – from cattle to cotton – you’ll want to get up close to one of Queensland’s largest collections of working pioneer tractors and agricultural machinery.

Wander through the machinery shed and other colonial buildings that make up the museum, showcasing heritage items from hospital equipment to an antique firearm collection.

 

3. Enjoy some retail therapy

If you thought boutique clothing and gift stores were reserved for the main shopping strips of the big smoke, think again.

Sharing the space of a renovated Queenslander with Urban Paddock Café, Milli & Robe has you covered with everything from a frock for the upcoming country race meet to a gift to take to a friend’s baby shower.

 

4. Grab a pub meal

Is there anything better than tucking into a steak or parmi at a country pub?

Head to the Criterion Hotel (the Cri as known by the locals) for one of their lunch or dinner specials – whether it be Wednesdays parmi night or Thursdays steak night.

Don’t think you’ll be stuck with only XXXX Gold to wash it down, either – choose from the selection of craft beers or order a drop from the extensive wine list.

 

5. Take a drive

Twitchers and water sports lovers, we’re looking at you.

Drive 32 kilometres from Dalby’s CBD to Lake Broadwater Conservation Park to experience Dalby by water.

While you’ll need to BYO boat to enjoy water-skiing or windsurfing, there’s still plenty to see and do along the water’s edge.

Take a walk along the two-kilometre track connecting the two camping grounds and keep your ears and eyes alert for the 230 species of birds who call this park home.

Pack a picnic and throw down the picnic blanket under the shade of river red gums, while you appreciate the wildlife and wildflowers of the region.

Pick up a copy of the Birds of the Western Downs guide from the Visitor Information Centre for some tips on birdwatching in Dalby.

 

6. Have an insta-worthy feed

Get your phones and your tastebuds ready and stop by Urban Paddock Café for breakfast, brunch, or lunch.

Serving the likes of bao buns, gourmet burgers, and flavourful salads – your followers will be double-tapping with envy and stalking your geo-tag location.

Grab a table along the front verandah of this low-set Queenslander or soak up the sunshine in the backyard with a children’s playground – this is one meal stop you won’t want to rush.

 

7. Have a cultural experience

Admire the brushwork skills of local and touring artists at Dalby’s MyAll 107 Gallery.

Experience art and culture in this local hub, complete with cinema, library, and the local radio station.

With exhibitions updated regularly throughout the year, make sure you stop in even if you’ve visited before, to see what’s new.

 

8. Take a walk

Put on the sneakers, tie up the laces, and step it out along Myall Creek.

Keep your eyes peeled for local birdlife and read about the historical events that took place along Myall Creek through plaques erected along the pathway.

Regardless of your pace, enjoy a quiet walk along the shared pathways hugging the creek.

If you find yourself in Dalby on a Saturday, make sure you join the locals for the weekly parkrun using the same tracks.

 

9. Plan a playdate at Thomas Jack Park

Travelling with little ones?

Head to Thomas Jack Park behind the Visitor Information Centre to let your kids run off some steam in this adventure park.

Complete with a wooden train, fort, and flying fox – make sure you BYO snacks and a barista-made coffee to enjoy while they work their way through the different slides and swings.

 

10. Catch an event or festival

See the streets, showgrounds, or racetrack come to life at one of Dalby’s events.

Whether you’re visiting in the summer or winter, make sure you check out Dalby’s events calendar before packing the car and heading west.

From the Dalby show in April to the Picnic Races in May and its popular Delicious and DeLIGHTful Festival in August – there’s a festival or event that will give you new reason to stay one night longer.