Historic Warwick, we’re coming your way!
Set off early from Brisbane and head for the Goomburra section of Main Range National Park via National Highway 15.
On the way stop in at the little town of Maryvale where you can:
- Settle in for an old-fashioned counter lunch or a delicious homemade pie and chat to the locals at the historic Crown Hotel…or sink into a comfy chair with a good book in the pub’s library (bit different to your average pub!)
- Drop into Gleneden Family Farm for a billy tea and damper and a look at how a traditional bullock team works.
- Visit Cicada Woman and Yirimbahm Gallery to be inspired by 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 pretty 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, 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. Keep an eye out between Freestone and Warwick and you’ll see a patchwork of oats, sorghum and wheat growing on some of the most fertile land in the area.
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. You can also grab a coffee here and stroll 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.
For dinner try the American-style smoked barbecue menu at Bluebird Kitchen and Bar.
Start your day right with a delicious breakfast and some of the best coffee in town at local institution, the Belle Vue Café.
If Warwick’s historic houses and public buildings are of interest, pick up a free History & Heritage Trail brochure from the information centre and take a walk around town. You can also catch the best of local and touring exhibitions at Warwick Art Gallery.
Head to the Sandy Creek Pub (a proper old-school country hotel), 10 minutes out of town, for good food, icy cold beer and a warm welcome.
Spend the afternoon taking high tea in the gothic elegance of the Abbey Boutique Hotel, once a convent it’s now a stately B&B.
Or take the 30-minute drive to nearby 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 favourites the Malt House or Ruperts Bar and Grill.