By Chelsea from @ameriaus
In search of an indulgent weekend escape?
Look no further than the High Country Hamlets, just 90-minutes’ from Brisbane or a quick scoot north of Toowoomba.
The Hamlets, as they’re known, are a string of villages nestled along a pretty stretch of the New England Highway, from Highfields to Cooyar. Two beautiful national parks, Crows Nest and Ravensbourne, fall within the footprint, which is also home to some pretty amazing restaurants, gift shops, wineries, and B&Bs.
The High Country Hamlets is a very beautiful, scenic ride for the senses – there’s no shortage of things to see.
Speaking of Ravensbourne, you can’t leave this area without catching a sunrise at Gus Beutel Lookout.
Seeing those vibrant blue layers of hills and mountains gleaming in the early morning light is definitely worth getting out of bed for.
The burgers at McCoy’s, in the little town of Cooyar, are best described as city meets country. This general store in a former life, has been transformed into a motorcycle burger haven by former pro-bike racer Garry McCoy. Burgers and bikes are an awesome combination, so you’ll find assorted memorabilia from his racing days adorning the walls. The place has a great vibe and the burgers and loaded fries are incredible.
You can’t go to the country without visiting a pub, and this is one of the best around. ‘The Dan’ is famous amongst the locals for their ridiculously oversized meals.
In fact, you might want to fast before visiting! Not only are the meals large, they’re very tasty too.
Oh, and don’t forget to say hello to the camels out the back before you go!
It’s dinner time and you’re definitely going to want to make a reservation at Rosalie House Cellar Door Restaurant.
New to the region, Rosalie House has already made quite the name for itself thanks to a drool-worthy lunch/dinner menu. What better place to wine and dine than a vineyard?
Hot Tip: Book ahead and order the ‘Feed Me’ banquet – it’s a feast that really showcases what this pleasant restaurant overlooking the vines has to offer.
Here a few of our Hamlets ‘must dos’, while you’re filling in time between meals!
Bunnyconnellen Cellar Door & Gift Store
Lounging around on the grass, sipping on local wine, and enjoying conversations with friends. Bunnyconnellen is the perfect place to visit – just make sure you phone ahead to make a booking.
If you’re feeling peckish, select from a tasty menu of platters, which feature Bunnyconnellen olives and pair nicely with their wine list.
Don’t leave without exploring the rustic store to browse beautiful homewares, jewellery, clothes and many more treasures inside.
Crows Nest Soft Drinks
This iconic soft drink company has been operating for more than 100 years and has become somewhat of a tourist attraction.
The factory makes an extensive range of old-fashioned flavoured soda and syrups using Bundaberg sugar. The big sellers are sarsaparilla, ginger beer, and creaming soda.
Owners Murray & Tanya Rosenberg are more than happy to give a quick behind the scenes tour of the factory to visitors. For a more in-depth tour you’re best to call ahead.
Hot Tip: The ice-cream spiders using Crows Nest Soft Drinks at McCoy’s are a must try!