Summer holidays mean only one thing – there’s cause for connection with what really matters, friends and family.

At this time of year, office autoresponders are switched on and the busyness of work-life switched off. What are you doing to make the most of the break?

If you’re looking for a holiday destination that sooths the soul, come to our country to bask in the wide-open spaces, taste our salad bowl and take part in seasonal summer activities.

Read on for our best picks to help you soak up summer – Southern Queensland Country style.

 

For the best places to cool down 

Waterskiing at Coolmunda Dam

It wouldn’t be an Aussie summer without going for a dip, or 10, attaching the tube to the dingy and enjoy a big day out on the water.

For a peaceful paddle, take the leisurely drive out to Leslie Dam, Caliguel Lagoon, or Condamine River and wade away any remnant work worries.

Got a need for speed? Take the boat and your favourite water toys out to the Natural Heritage Water Park, the Chinchilla Weir, Lake Dyer or Lake Cooby for all your favourite adrenaline-inducing water sports.

If you’re keen to fresh seafood for supper, cast the rod and catch an iconic Murray cod, Yellowbelly and Silver Perch, in the Coolmunda Dam or Glenyon Dam.

 

For the best spots to eat and drink

Full case of baked goods and pastries at Baker's Duck, Toowoomba

Let your tastebuds lead you on a journey through Southern Queensland Country this summer, through mouth-watering, fresh and local seasonal produce on offer.

Make like a foodie to The Baker’s Duck (Toowoomba) and Zest Pastries (Stanthorpe) and celebrate your sweet tooth, the Southern Queensland Country-way.

Pick up your fork and dig into our paddock to plate Wagyu at Clover Hills Meats, taste the fresh and flavoursome prawn salad at The Larder (Goondiwindi) or dine alfresco at Gardens Galore (Warwick), which is as loaded with character and quirk as its menu is with burgers, bagels and sweet treats.

To really experience flavours brought to you by the farmers and producers of the region, drop by Coolmunda Organic Olives (Goondiwindi) and sample freshly picked produce or fill up with delicious dairy goods from Awassi Cheesery (Lockyer Valley).

Be sure to allow time in your itinerary to make pit stops at farm gates, pick your own produce patches, or for produce all under the one roof Chinchilla Farmers Markets or the Toowoomba Farmers Markets.

 

For the best summer family fun experiences

Woman standing in Ravensbourne National Park

Whether you like to spend your holidays adventuring, exploring, or learning, you won’t run out of things to do on our side of the Great Dividing Range.

Keep the money in your back pocket and go on a priceless journey through one of our lush national parks, taking your pick of Ravensbourne National Park, Girraween National Park, Bunya Mountains National Park, or Glen Rock National Park.

If you’re keen to explore but don’t want to dirty the walking shoes, saddle up at Fordsdale Horseback Adventures and let your stead do the hard work as you soak up rustic farm scenes and bush surroundings.

Prefer keeping cool inside? Go back in time and marvel at the historic gems hidden away at the Cobb + Co Museum, Crows Nest Museum and Historical village, and at the Miles Historical Village & Museum.

Art lovers should make a beeline for Toowoomba’s vibrant laneway artwork or drive by the Yelarbon Silo Art, part of the Australian silo trail, sprawled over giant silos in the Goondiwindi region.

 

For the best places to pitch the tent

Camping under the stars

Ready to switch off completely?

Digital detox the Southern Queensland Country way and get back to nature by pitching the tent or parking the caravan at one of these camp sites.

Murphy’s Creek Escape ticks the boxes for thrill seekers wanting nothing short of an adventure-filled summer, thanks to off road tracks, trails, and motorsport facilities.

For campgrounds with more family-friendly facilities, BIG4 Toowoomba Garden City Holiday Park and the Gleneden Family Farm in Maryvale keep the young and young-at-heart entertained.

If you’re keen to hit the trails and stay the night, our national parks replace the five-star accommodation rating system with a galaxy full of the real kind, as you choose between camping in the Bunya Mountains National Park, Crows Nest National Park, Goomburra Valley Campground and Main Range National Park.

 

For the best places to call home for the night

Dog laying on verandah at Bestbrook Farmstay

If you’re more into creature comforts than camping, read on for farm stays and boutique accommodation primed for soaking in the summer serenity.

Rest easy in restored Queenslanders, quaint B&Bs and luxurious lodges, nestled within grassy banks and farms between national parks.

Out here, there’s a good chance your only neighbours will be the local fauna.

Settle into farm life (without the hard work or hassle) at Bestbrook Mountain Resort, relax and unwind at Ravensbourne Escape, learn about the charming Rubern Lodge’s rich history or kick your feet up and bask in the beauty of Branell Homestead.

If you’re all about experiencing the farm without the commitment, check out our 7 best farm stay accommodation in Southern Queensland Country.