Riddle us this: name a town which sits on the border of Queensland and New South Wales, whose name was put on the map thanks to a grey racehorse and plays home to a large portion of Australia’s cotton industry? Welcome to Goondiwindi.
Located on the banks of the Macintyre River 220 kilometres south-west of Toowoomba, the Goondiwindi region offers visitors lakes, lagoons and nature reserves to explore with a side of culture, history and art.
If you’re exploring Southern Queensland Country’s south-west, make sure you add these 10 things to your Goondiwindi itinerary.
1. Go camping
Prefer to BYO your accommodation when travelling? Good news, Goondiwindi has you covered with everything from free camping to paid powered sites.
2. Follow the art trail
Who said street art and murals were reserved for the laneways of Toowoomba?
Goondiwindi has plenty to offer, too. Starting at Bowen Lane in the town’s CBD, you can see the brushstrokes of local and interstate artists, like Kate Owen, along the streetscape.
If you prefer an art exhibition within four walls, head to the Goondiwindi or Texas Art Gallery.
3. Enjoy a cold brew
Did you even go to the country if you didn’t chew the fat with a local?
Pull up a barstool, grab a coldie and admire the Victoriana and Early Colonial architecture at the Victoria Hotel on Goondiwindi’s main street.
With 12 pubs to tick off your list, make sure you find a designated driver or spread them over a few days.
Start planning your pub crawl.
4. Take a town and farm tour
Want to learn about the history of cotton farming in Goondiwindi as well as farming in the 21st century?
Book a visit to ‘Alcheringa’ for a guided tour of a 2,500-acre working cotton farm.
See how the industry has evolved from traditional machinery to now using modern technology to make the perfect cotton t-shirt today.
The Alcheringa farm tour also takes you on a town tour to see Gunsynd’s Memorial and the Natural Heritage and Water Park along the way.
5. Visit Lake Coolmunda
Looking for a place to combine fishing, hiking, and birdwatching? Head to Lake Coolmunda.
Take a walk through the nature reserve or launch your boat to experience the lake from the water.
If you’ve BYO’d your accommodation, check in to Lake Coolmunda Caravan Park to enjoy access to the lake 24/7 and enjoy waterfront sunrises and sunsets.
6. Get back to nature
Wilderness enthusiasts – we’re looking at you.
From bushwalks to birdwatching, the Goondiwindi region has over eight nature walks and over 200 species of birds to discover, including the rare Regent Honey Eater.
Take a walk through the 25-hectare Botanical Gardens and surround yourself with native flora and fauna or head to the Natural Heritage Water Park and step it out along 6.6 kilometres of scenic walking trails.
Prefer to explore the local streets of each town? Take a stroll along one of the eight designated loops with interpretive signs in Goondiwindi, Inglewood, and Texas.
Learn more about nature trails here.
7. Explore Goondiwindi’s nearby towns
While Goondiwindi may be the most well-known town of the Goondiwindi Council Region, the surrounding towns from Talwood to Texas also pack a punch when it comes to things to see and do.
For a taste of the broader region, visit the Australian Tobacco Museum, Coolmunda Olives or Lavender Farm in Inglewood, the Rabbit Works in Texas, or explore the Desert Jewel Biodiversity Walk in Yelarbon.
8. Catch a movie
Want to put your feet up for a few hours during your visit? Settle in with a bucket of popcorn and a choc top at Goondiwindi Cinema.
Originally built as the Town Hall and Civic Centre in 1937 and used as a cinema between 1950 and 1978, you can once again catch a blockbuster movie in the restored cinema.
Check what’s showing during your stay here.
9. Visit Gunsynd – The Goondiwindi Grey
You’ve got to love a town who celebrates a famous horse. In Goondiwindi’s case, the statue of Gunsynd.
Voted Horse of the Year in 1972 and the only grey horse in Australian racing history to be immortalised by song and statue, no trip to Goondiwindi is complete without a visit to this racing champion whose statue welcomes visitors to the town on the Main Street.
While Gunsynd did not set a hoof in Goondiwindi during his racing years, the magic handshake to purchase the horse between four local graziers was said to be done at the local pub.
Pay a visit to the Visitor Information Centre to view a tribute to the Hall of Fame inductee with the memorabilia, trophies and photographs adorning the walls.
10. Join an event
Before you start planning your visit, it pays to check Goondiwindi’s events calendar.
Whether you like to participate or prefer to spectate, the region welcomes several events throughout the year.
From Hell of the West, a half-ironman distance race, to the Gundy 400 Offroad Rally, with V8 Trophy Trucks and high powered 4WDs travelling at top speed – this regional town’s events calendar is high-octane and action packed.
Make sure you check ahead to ensure you don’t miss out on accommodation, which has been known to sell out as thousands of people descend on the town.
11. Visit the Texas Rabbit Works
Learn about the leading industry in the Goondwindi region in the 1930s with a visit to the Texas Rabbit Works.
No longer in operation today after closing its doors in 1992, this industry was credited to saving this Queensland town during the depression years, with families earning up to the equivalent of $900 a week.