Historic Warwick, we’re coming your way!
Known as the ‘Rose and Rodeo Capital’, the charming town of Warwick is steeped in history dating back to a professional buck jumping competition in 1857.
While it’s a perfect spot to stop and smell the roses, a stroll around the heritage streetscapes or a visit to one of the National Parks will uncover historic experiences worth a weekend of discovering.
To help you turn back the pages of this little town on the Downs, follow our itinerary of things to see and do in Warwick.
Set off early from Brisbane and head for the Goomburra section of Main Range National Park via National Highway 15.
For lunch, pull up a stool and settle in for an old-fashioned counter lunch or a homemade pie and chat to the locals at the historic Crown Hotel. This local waterhole is a bit different to your average pub, where you curl up in a comfy chair in the pub’s library and enjoy a good book before hitting the road again.
For a cultural experience, visit Cicada Woman and Yirimbahm Gallery to be inspired by local Aboriginal art, craft and story-telling.
Keep your eyes peeled for farm gate stalls selling fresh local produce, you’ll find everything from meat and eggs to fruit and vegies – so have your esky ready!
From Maryvale, it’s a scenic 45-minute drive to the walking trails and waterfalls of the Goomburra section of the National Park, nestled in the western foothills of the Great Dividing Range.
If you’ve packed a picnic of local produce gathered along the way, take your time enjoying it on the grassy banks of Dalrymple Creek before setting off on a walk.
Walking trails range from short easy circuits to longer tracks (5–12km), traversing woodland and rainforest, creeks and waterfalls and scenic lookouts. Watch out for shy echidnas, sleepy koalas high in the eucalypts, satin bowerbirds and beautiful yellow-tailed black cockatoos.
Insider tip: If you only have time for a short walk, Sylvesters Lookout is a 940m return trail but you’ll need to be reasonably fit with some bushwalking experience. Immerse yourself in lush subtropical rainforest where fern and orchid clad trees tower over the track and enjoy rewarding views from the Main Range escarpment to the rugged peaks of the Scenic Rim.
From the national park it’s under an hour to Warwick along the Cedar Route – named after the red cedar trees felled by the area’s pioneering timber-getters.
If you like history, stop in at Glengallan Homestead and Heritage Centre – built of sandstone in 1867, it’s one of the state’s few remaining substantial 19th-century country houses. If all this exploring has you feeling tired, grab a coffee from the on-site cafe before strolling around the gardens.
You’ll find the balance is just right in Warwick – beautifully preserved sandstone buildings, the meandering Condamine River, pretty parks and gardens bursting with blooms in spring, and lashings of country town charm with all the trappings of a thriving and creative regional city.
Start your day right with a delicious breakfast and some of the best coffee in town at local institution, the Belle Vue Café.
Stretch your legs before another big day of sightseeing with a tour of Warwick’s historic houses and public buildings. You can pick up a free History & Heritage Trail brochure from the Visitor Information Centre before stepping it out around this charming town.
You can also catch the best of local and touring exhibitions at Warwick Art Gallery.
Once you’ve gotten your history fix, take the 30-minute drive to nearby towns Yangan and Killarney.
Rich in rural history, Yangan was one of the first early settlements. Sandstone was quarried in the area and sent to Warwick for the construction of magnificent buildings including the town hall and police station.
Killarney is the quintessential country town with a classic Queenslander pub, a local store selling everything from fishing rods to hot chickens and an art gallery selling the work of local artists and craftspeople.
You can venture further on The Falls Drive, just a short hop from town taking in Browns, Daggs and Queen Mary Falls.
From Killarney it’s a pretty drive back to Brisbane via Boonah, or return to Warwick for a great steak at local dining favourites the Malt House or Ruperts Bar and Grill.