Things To Do


Food & Wine

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Food and wine enjoyed with family and friends, especially on weekends and holidays, are often the cornerstone of our memories, anchoring our stories and reminding us of celebrations. The oaky scent of a wine barrel, a child’s grin as they taste cream fresh from the churn, the crunch of an apple enjoyed at the farm gate are memories that bring us joy throughout our lives. And Southern Queensland Country is filled with places where food and wine are more than something to eat and drink; they are grown, prepared and served to create the moments that become memories.

1. Book a table at Myrtille Bistro, Toowoomba Region

In the heights of the Great Dividing Range, Myrtille Bistro at Crows Nest is a little pocket of Paris in the mountains. Myrtille shares the lovingly restored Nolan’s Block building with a bakery, vintage homewares shop and botanics store, all worth a wander. Myrtille itself presents an elegant fine-dining menu, bringing seasonal Queensland ingredients together with European techniques to make any dinner or lunch a special occasion.

2. Enjoy a long lunch at The Peak, Southern Downs and Granite Belt

The signature restaurant of Spicers Peak Lodge at Maryvale, The Peak provides a dining experience that reaches new heights in more ways than one. With jaw-dropping views to the Great Dividing Range and the valleys below, you’ll feast on innovative dishes created from the best Australian produce such as Red Gum lamb rack, marron from Kangaroo Island and Abrohlos Island scallops prepared with locally grown fruit and vegetables as well as native herbs and spices.

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3. Make it progressive with our wine trails, Southern Downs and Granite Belt

Wine enjoyed on holiday is all lovely, but how do you know which one you’re going to like best? Following the Southern Downs and Granite Belt wine trails is the best way to experience Queensland’s thriving viticulture scene.

The Granite Belt has a fast-growing reputation as one of Australia’s top producers of alternative variety wines known as ‘Strange Birds,’ made from fewer than 1% of the country’s vines. Meet the makers at their Cellar Doors and learn how to best enjoy these rarities. Although it’s easy to explore the wine trails in your own car, why not consider a cycle tour or leave the driving to someone else and relax on a personalised tour?

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4. Taste the Mediterranean, Goondiwindi Region

If you’re looking for something to nibble as you sip, you’re on the right country road. Decades ago, clever farming families noticed the hot, dry climate of the Goondiwindi region is very similar to that of central Italy, Greece and Spain and had a brilliant thought: olives. Their forethought is paying off, with groves across the south-west of Southern Queensland Country now producing world-class olives. Family owned and run Coolmunda Olives at Inglewood is just a pit’s throw from Goondiwindi; drop into sample dozens of varieties of organically grown table olives and taste their extra virgin olive oil.

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5. Feel gin-dulgent, Toowoomba Region

While some might say distilling is having a moment, the Pechey family of the Darling Downs have been working towards it for six generations. In their distillery just north of Toowoomba, the descendants of Charles Pechey use Australian sugar, grain and locally sourced botanicals to craft gins of great character, with whiskey production launching in 2023. The Distillery Door is open on Saturdays for tastings.

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6. Sample a slice of apple pie you’ll never forget, Stanthorpe

In Stanthorpe, you’ll naturally want to experience the apples, and one of the best places to do it is at Sutton’s Juice Factory Cidery & Cafe. Easy to find beside the New England Highway and diagonally opposite The Big Apple, you’ll discover more ways to enjoy the region’s apples than you knew existed, from handcrafted juices and ciders to syrup and preserves. You’ll want to try Sutton’s legendary apple pie – made entirely by hand, with real butter pastry and locally grown apples. Pies are available whole to take away or enjoy a warmed slice with ice-cream in the café.

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7. Shop local at farmers markets, Lockyer Valley

If you love a farmers’ market, why not try some within coo-ee of actual farms in the Lockyer Valley? Just west of Brisbane, it’s known as Australia’s salad bowl. On Fridays, visit the Laidley Village Markets or browse the Mulgowie, Laidley, Murphy’s Creek or Plainland Country Markets over the weekend. Look for homemade jams and preserves as well as fresh vegies, eggs and flowers. And while you’re exploring the valley, keep an eye out for stands of produce at the end of lanes and driveways, and when you see something you can’t resist, drop a few dollars into the ‘honesty box’.

8. Dine right from the source, Western Downs

If you care where your food comes from, you’ll find plenty of producers who share your ethos in Southern Queensland Country. Charleys Creek Campground near Chinchilla, for example, epitomises the paddock to plate philosophy as growers of Wagyu beef, and makes a point of using local businesses at every stage of production. Owners Steven and Ursula Keating encourage visitors to camp on the banks of Charley’s Creek and offer guided tours of their remarkable property. And everyone is welcome to their Friday night barbecues – with their Wagyu as the star – just be sure to book.

9. Swill, swirl and sip, Southern Downs and Granite Belt

Wine lovers serious about different wines will be excited to learn Bent Road Wine recently opened their Cellar Door to offer a deep dive into old-school Georgian Muscats known as Qvevris. Another different but equally individual winery is Ridgemill Estate where you can meet the resident goats; or indulge in the Vine + Dine Journey over lunch at Heritage Estate Winery.

There’s only one question left, which are you going to try first?

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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.