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These days wellness means more than treating yourself to a spa day and manicure. Properly replenishing the body and mind now involves taking time out of life to seek wellness activities and places to unwind.

Spending time in nature has become a necessity for lasting replenishment. Enter the fresh air and abundance of natural scenery in Southern Queensland Country, a region that embraces the slow, whether it be slow food, slow travel, or the unexpected surprises you find by simply slowing down.

With authentic country escapes, tranquil waterways, and national parks a plenty, a journey west of the Great Divide promises a conscious way of travelling, core memories and nourishment that you’ll feel from soul to skin.

Read on to discover wholistic wellness secrets awaiting travellers in Southern Queensland Country.

Goondiwindi Region

Made of one-part charming country towns and two parts tranquil nature scenes, Goondiwindi Region is the G.O.A.T (greatest of all time) when it comes to long river walks, scenic sunsets, and forced relaxation.

Found a four hour drive from Brisbane and the Gold Coast, begin charging your wellness batteries in Goondiwindi with a a stroll along the Macintyre River Walk. Spanning 3km, wander at your own pace and stop intermittently to read the signs, spot birdlife and ground yourself in mother nature.

There’s no better feeling than leaving swarming thoughts in your dust while cruising along open roads – and a moving meditation along the you to do just this. Pop on your favourite wellness podcast, settle in behind the wheel and leave the intrusive thoughts behind, all while checking out the work of local makers and creators.

If you’re chasing a slow and simple lifestyle change, picture accommodation set on 50 acres of fields purposely manicured for picnic rugs on the banks of a tranquil creek. Now open your eyes and plug into the GPS.

Your activity list will include soaking up sun, splashing paint onto canvas under shady foliage, taking time to finish that book you love, and finding a favourite picnic spot amongst its rolling lawns. Don’t forget to order a cup of liquid refreshment from the on-site café and stock up the picnic basket with local produce and dishes.

Have you got a free weekend coming up? Here’s more inspiration for a relaxing weekend away in Southern Queensland Country.

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Lockyer Valley

Serenity is always found by those who seek it, and good news, there’s plenty to be found in the Lockyer Valley when you know where to look.

Found less than two hours’ drive from Brisbane, park up at Lake Dyer, where wellness looks like fishing on the water, wandering the trails around its perimeter or setting up a camp chair in one of the lakeside campsites.

For food that will warm your senses, don’t leave the Lockyer Valley without a visit . From their pastries through their homemade meals, you can expect quality, flavoursome foods, and classic country hospitality. Grab a snack or secure one of their picnic boxes and take your pick of nearby waterside parks or lookouts to lay out the picnic blanket.

Looking for more places to grab some picnic supplies? Check out these bakeries in Southern Queensland Country worth driving for.

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Southern Downs & Granite Belt

Meditation and wellness go hand in hand, so ground yourself and engage all five senses with a 5-Senses Discovery dining experience found in the Granite Belt, two and a half hour’s drive from Brisbane.

Starting with a walk through a vineyard, tick fresh air and a dose of vitamin D off the wellness checklist. Post nature immersion, return from the fields to a seven-dish dining experience accompanied by five-star wine and live music from a String Quartet Ensemble.

After four hours of savouring each sound, drop, sensation and mouthful, you’ll find yourself happily replenished and returning to local accommodation for a peaceful night’s sleep.

Discover the ultimate definition of luxury with a booking at Spicers Peak Lodge. Perched atop a secluded mountain, Spicers Peak Lodge promises nature immersion with no skimping on the creature comforts. Enjoy the private and personalised lodge (accommodation numbers are capped at 60 guests) and make the most of the plunge pool, tennis court, and 10,000 acres of surrounding rainforest that calls for nature bathing.

Nourishing the mind, body and soul is taken to new heights here, whether it be trying carefully curated chef-tasting menus each night or booking into the onsite Spa-Anise spa whose treatments are every bit as award-winning as the restaurant.

Interested in more luxury places to stay with a touch of romance? Check out these must-stay places with your partner.

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Toowoomba Region

The art of wellness lays in the hands of whitespace – those opportunities for downtime and brain breaks throughout the day. The same can be said for the pace of holidays and how willing you are to slow down and let the magic unfold.

Swap your go-go-go itinerary for one with blank spaces, wandering the Garden City with no commitments, stress, or niggles in sight.

Situated one and a half hour’s drive from Brisbane, Toowoomba City embodies both country charm and city warmth, with a quirky side found in the giant murals, art pieces and colourful paintings dotted onto the walls of its laneways. It’s up to you whether you want to discover them all – but if we could make a suggestion? Make your laneway crawl progressive with stops at coffee shops, cafes and restaurants along the way.

For authentic Japanese Zen, make for the University of Southern Queensland, where a garden purpose-built to encourage natural connection and peace of mind awaits. Ju Raku En Japanese Garden (the name translates to peace and longevity) is a 4.5-hectare Japanese stroll garden that looks like it stepped out of a Japanese postcard and into Toowoomba.

All the elements of this garden are designed to foster simplicity and tranquillity in the mind. While pacing the 3km of pathways and drinking in the serenity, we challenge you to try tree bathing – the practice of immersing yourself in the trees and natural surroundings and consciously being mindful of the environment.

There’s plenty more gardens to explore on a journey west, check out more picnic perfect gardens.

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Western Downs

Two hours beyond the Brisbane worry line, you’ll find the Western Downs – a region that specialises in helping its visitor’s shoulders drop with their own brand of country hospitality.

For those who adopt the motto of “keep calm and go fishing”, cast a line into Chinchilla Weir, Caliguel Lagoon or Gill Weir and enjoy an angler’s mindful moment. While you’re likely to hook a Silver Perch, Murray Cod or yellowbelly, you’re just as guaranteed to catch a case of contentment on the water.

Wellness and recharging take time and the right surroundings. Get serious about your mental health and book a rustic country stay at the Laurels of Chinchilla. This green homestead blends all your creature comforts with an authentic and homely country aesthetic, removing distractions and bringing you back to simpler times.

Based beside the flowing Charleys Creek and walking distance from the town centre, slow down and smell the flowers in Laurel’s private gardens, kick back to a firelit evening and absorb the tranquil ambience, creating core memories that will linger longer than your holiday lasts.

Wellness is often derived from time with those you love, so disconnect the kids from their devices and reconnect them to nature with a stay in an authentic country escape. Peppered throughout the Western Downs find country cottages where you can spend uninterrupted time with the family in a homely and relaxed environment.

For a true digital detox, roam where the reception doesn’t by booking into the Bunya Mountains. Up here, a 11,700-hectare expanse of National Park offers shelter from the sun, stress, and a bucketload of serenity. After the relaxing country drive, delve into 30-million-year-old rainforest and get back to the basics of walking and picnicking while hearing the birds sing.

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Acknowledgement of Country

Southern Queensland Country Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the lands and waterways that run through these regions. We pay our respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past, present and emerging.