Who said a road trip should only be confined to just a long weekend?
With a diverse landscape to explore within Southern Queensland Country, swap a few days in the car for a two-week getaway and put national parks, historic towns and the local arts scene on your holiday agenda.
Whether you prefer to BYO your accommodation on wheels, pitch a tent or check-in to a hotel, motel or farm stay – there’s no shortage of options at each stop along the way.
Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered with this two-week itinerary through Southern Queensland Country.
Day 1 to 3: Lockyer Valley
Ease into your 14-day road trip by setting your GPS to the Lockyer Valley, an easy 90-minute drive from Brisbane CBD.
Head straight to Cunningham’s Crest Lookout to get the lay of the country land, with views stretching across Laidley Plains.
Follow the Laidley Heritage Walk to learn about the region’s history, with 42 historical stops to tick off – from a hotel built by an immigrant to a heritage-listed bakery.
Take a drive to Spring Bluff Historic Railway – home to over 150 years of railway history. Pack a picnic and relax on the landscaped gardens surrounding this heritage-listed attraction.
Day 4 to 6: Toowoomba Region
Head to higher ground, 700m above sea level on the Great Dividing Range and explore Queensland’s largest inland city next on your road trip.
Known as ‘The Garden City’, put Queen’s Park and Botanic Gardens as your first stop to stroll through the city’s most visited greenspace. If you’ve timed your road trip for spring, you’ll be spoilt with thousands of blooms for the annual Carnival of Flowers Festival.
Just because you’re on holiday, doesn’t mean you should forgo your daily piccolo, long black or latte. With a well-established café scene, where to stop for breakfast, lunch and coffee in between becomes just as important as what to see and do in this destination.
Spend time wandering the streets and laneways to catch the growing list of street art and murals covering local buildings walls or head indoors to one of regional Queensland’s oldest public art galleries.
Day 7 to 9: Bunya Mountains, Jandowae, Jimbour and Bell
Swap city streets for ancient Bunya trees at Queensland’s second oldest national park, a heritage listed french-style country home, Jimbour House and garden dedicated to plants and trees from the bible during your next few days on the road.
Step-it-out along one of the ten walking tracks covering over 40km in Bunya Mountains National Park and enjoy the cacophony of birdsong from over 200 species of birds who call this region home.
Put Jandowae as your next stop, just over 80km drive from the Bunya Mountains to see historical landmarks of the Western Downs region, such as a section of the 5,614km Dingo Barrier Fence and a slab hut filled with pioneering memorabilia dating back to the 1890s.
Join the locals for a coldie and pub meal at one of the two watering holes in town or top up the caffeine levels at Jandowae Garden Café.
As you hit the road to Bell, detour to Jimbour House – a historical French classic home dating back to the late 1800s. Take a self-guided tour of the landscaped gardens or book a tour of the residence (bookings essential, open by appointment only).
Continue your art and culture tour at the Bell Bunya Community Centre, which is home to the local Visitor Information Centre, library and art gallery and before sitting down to lunch at Pips ‘n’ Cherries – serving homemade dishes made with local produce.
Day 9-10: Goondiwindi
You’ll want to have a few Spotify playlists ready with close to three hours on the road, as you navigate your way to the next stop on your extended road trip: Goondiwindi.
Book a town and farm tour for a behind-the-scenes look at the cotton industry – from farming to production.
Go beyond the Goondiwindi town border and add a drive to the nearby towns of Yelarbon, Inglewood and Texas to see silo art, explore local birdlife and learn about the rabbit plague that took over the region in the 1930s.
Day 11-14: Stanthorpe, Warwick, and Killarney
Combine nature with a vino or two as you explore Girraween National Park, sip and swirl your way through Stanthorpe wineries and catch cascading waterfalls in Killarney during your final leg of your family road trip.
As one of Southern Queensland Country’s most instagrammable locations, you’ll want to allow time to walk through the 11,000-hectare Girraween National Park, where massive granite outcrops are combined with dense eucalypt forest and wetlands.
Whether you’ve only got 30 minutes to explore or the whole day, there’s plenty of trails to ensure you don’t go home without a granite encounter.
For walking of a different kind, stretch the legs and test the minds at Australia’s highest maze sitting over 900m above sea level, with a giant chess set and mini-golf course – perfect for when travelling with kids.
Home to some of Australia’s highest vineyards, Stanthorpe is best known for its alternative varieties aka Strange Bird wines. Follow the Strange Bird Trail to taste the likes of Petit Verdot, Fiano, Verdelho as you explore the local wine scene.
With Warwick as your base, explore the nearby town Allora to see the Mary Poppins House – the childhood home of the famous children’s book author dating back to the late 1800s.
If your road trip falls between December and March, you’ll be spoilt with a spray of yellow as sunflowers fill the fields surrounding Allora.
For a water experience of a different kind, head to Queen Mary Falls, a short 45 minutes’ drive from Warwick.
If you want to extend your waterfall experience, follow the Falls Drive to wrap up your Southern Queensland Country road trip.