As winter approaches and nights grow cooler, it’s time to trade in singlets for cosy winter wear, drink hot chocolate without overheating and snuggle up by the fireplace.
While the rest of Queensland might enjoy an endless summer, there’s one region doing things differently – Southern Queensland Country.
The cooler climates found in Southern Queensland Country, thanks to its elevation on the Great Dividing Range, call for curling up in front of some of the cosiest fireplaces the Sunshine State has to offer.
If the thought of spending the night listening to the crackle of a roaring fire warms your heart, read on to discover eight of the best fireplaces in Southern Queensland Country.
1. Vacy Hall, Toowoomba
For a fireplace that crackles with authenticity, pay a visit to Vacy Hall.
As soon as you step through the doors of this historic hotel, prepare to be transported back to 1873.
Almost every room inside this 10-room guest house features a fireplace at the foot of a four-poster bed.
Forgotten your fireside essentials? Vacy Hall’s central location puts Toowoomba’s shopping district (and these cafes) a short walk from the heath, making it easy to stock up (think: hot chocolate and marshmallows) for a fireside evening.
2.Hazelmont Cottage, Ravensbourne
Tucked away in Ravensbourne, just 40-minutes drive from Toowoomba, a warm fireplace awaits in an equally welcoming cottage, Hazelmont Cottage.
Before settling in for a night beside the orange glow, soak up some sun with the complimentary Hazelmont walking trails map in hand in Ravensbourne National Park.
In the evening, bask in the glow of the region’s stunning sunsets, swap to the twinkle of fireflies at the nearby Gus Beutel Lookout, and end the day’s adventure by the hearth.
Whether you kick back in the lounge, flop into a chiropractic bed, or cook up a storm, the open floor plan of your cottage ensures the warmth finds all corners of the homestead.
On the balcony overlooking the 12-acre property, crank up the Webber BBQ and pizza oven for a serving of heat with a side of tasty food. Don’t forget to enquire about a pizza kit when booking.
3. The Laurels of Chinchilla, Western Downs
In a place like Chinchilla where winter temperatures spend plenty of time in single digits, choosing accommodation with a fireplace isn’t just atmospheric, it’s recommended.
In the evening, spark the fireplace of the communal indoor lounge to share the warmth with friends or book into Charley’s Place building to have an outdoor fireplace all to yourself.
Here’s a tip: if marshmallows, smores or a fireside chocolate fondu takes your fancy, you’ll find all your necessary supplies between the fresh strawberries, bananas, and berries at Chinchilla Farmers Markets right next door and sweet essentials from the town centre, just a 15-minute walk away alongside the creek.
4. Bell Bijou, Bell
Listed in Airbnb’s iconic Tiny Home range, you’ll find a stay at the Bell Bijou to be a winning trifecta of country charm, stunning sunsets, and fireside comfort.
The fireplace is the centrepiece of the Bell Bakery turned B&B – built in 1912 and restored into a quaint sandstone home, for those who favour simplicity and style over space in their holiday lodgings.
Take advantage of the short 40-minute drive to the Bunya Mountains and explore Queensland’s second oldest National Park by day.
Offering 35km of walking tracks and over 120 species of birds to spot, bring your hiking boots and binoculars for your Bunya Mountains excursion.
After a day of hiking, spend the afternoon on the front porch watching a burnt orange sunset, before migrating inside to an armchair beside the flickering flames with a cheeseboard at the ready.
The open living area also means warmth from the fire reaches all corners of Bell Bijou, keeping you cosy throughout cool winter’s nights on the Downs.
5. Spicers Peak Lodge, Southern Downs & Granite Belt
There are fireplaces, and then there are fireplaces – the latter of which come with a World Heritage-listed view, chef-hatted restaurant at its heath and accommodation that’s received a TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Award in 2021 (and a slew of awards just about every year since it opened).
The two-hour drive from Brisbane, or two and a half from the Gold Coast to reach Spicers Peak Lodge feels worth it, once you emerge from the rainforest to lush fields and a hardwood, architectural, alpine-inspired accommodation that beckons.
Not only will you find a fireplace in the main lodge, closer to home, each room’s fireplace is built from heat-resistant bluestone and you’re supplied a fire kit to keep it stoked.
For those with a luxury spa suite booked, get warm beside the mantle, and stay warm in the outdoor spa overlooking the Great Dividing Range.
To complement your evenings by the fire, pick up a bottle of locally produced wine from the onsite Peak Restaurant and see why this property is worthy of a place in this list of luxury stays in Southern Queensland Country.
6. Murphy’s Creek Escape, Upper Lockyer
If your favourite memories include campfires, marshmallows, tents and guitars, raise a glass and relive those special moments at Murphy’s Creek Escape.
This bush camp offers a nature escape overlooking Murphy’s Creek, with all the facilities to keep you comfy and cosy – including the winter essential, a firepit.
Fold out the camping chairs and pitch the tent in their powered and unpowered sites and fight off the cool at the communal fireplace or cosying up to your own brazier.
The more luxury inclined campers (aka glampers) can enjoy the same fireside festivities, only instead of returning to sleeping mats and swags, try king-sized beds in safari glamping tents and see why Murphy’s Creek Escape was named one of the best glamping sites near Brisbane.
Can’t BYOB(razier)? Not to worry, Murphy’s Creek Escape offers brazier hire for $10 the first night and $5 every night after.
During your stay, tick off these 10 things to do in the Lockyer Valley.
7. Rachels Cottage, Texas
This quirky cottage is the full package – a homely interior, convenient location and large open fireplace.
The Cottage was originally built in 1898 and refurbished in 2004, blending historic charm with modern comfort.
Prefer to unwind in the homely building? Try these three S’s on for size – stoking the fire, soaking in the claw foot bath, and snacking while doing both.
No need to pack food, save car space and pick up all your favourite nibbles, snacks and locally-sourced seasonal fruit and veggies from Foodworks (which doubles as your neighbour).
8. Gumnut Cottage, Goondiwindi
For a holiday HQ that feels more like home, check into Gumnut Cottage in Goondiwindi.
Situated in the heart of town, this cottage is better described as a fully-furnished, stylized home, with rooms, office spaces, lounging areas, and gardens to spare.
The minimalistic and modern fireplace can be found in the living room, conveniently situated beside long couches primed for cosy nights.
Settle in close to the fireplace, have a yarn and a glass (or two), then take your pick of the three bedrooms (all with double beds) to retire to.
While it may be a four-to-five-hour drive from the hustle and bustle of Brisbane and the Gold Coast, there are still plenty of activities to keep you entertained. Check off these activities while staying in Goondiwindi.