January is the perfect month to get the kids outdoors into nature and reward them (and yourself) for a what’s most likely been a big year. Embrace a change of scenery as you drive a few short hours and discover the clean green countryside full of possibility. Now’s the time to disconnect and go off-line, so dig out the camping gear or book a country-style room or two, loading up the car for a summer holiday with a difference. It’s time to explore less coast and more creek and critters!

 

What’s on this January – family friendly dates for the diary 

Cobb and Co Museum

These family holidays get everyone out of the house and into some unique kids activities out in the bush – the perfect way to keep kids busy for the month of January! We’ve rounded up the best holiday activities, workshops and holiday programs from across our country region to help you:

  • Under the Sea holiday program, Cobb + Co Museum, Toowoomba
    Monday 10 January to Friday 14 January – $10 per child, for kids aged 3-12. 
  • SteamUp Saturday at DownsSteam Tourist Railway & Museum, Drayton Toowoomba
    Saturday 15 January from 9am to 3pm – $5 per person 
  • Pioneer Village Australia Day, Highfields Toowoomba
    Wednesday 26 January 
  • Texas Rabbit Works A museum showcasing the history of the rabbit industry on the Southern Downs
  • Inglewood Heritage Centre and Australian Tobacco Museum
  • Meandarra ANZAC Memorial Museum where you’ll see a real Canberra Bomber on display

For more to do in Southern Queensland Country, here’s our guide to hitting the heritage trail.

 

Family fun adventures and activities

Family holidays on the Southern Downs

Out here there’s plenty of free countryside activities and things for the whole tribe to do, so you won’t spend a fortune filling your days. We’ve done the hard work for you so if it’s art and culture or food and fun you’re after, look no further. 

Here’s some of the best free Art trails to explore

  • Toowoomba laneway art trail- various streets and laneways in the CBD
  • Lockyer Valley laneway art – in Gatton on Railway and Spencer Streets
  • Stanthorpe art and sculpture trail – in the town centre and at Weeroona Park 
  • Warwick mural trail – near Town Hall and various locations around town
  • Goondiwindi Region Art Trail plus Bowen Lane and river walk sculptures
  • Yelarbon Silos – Queenslands largest mural silo artwork near Goondiwindi

Summer is also sunflower season on the Southern Downs and Granite Belt, and Toowoomba Region, so get your camera ready for some insta-worthy family snaps! Make sure you tag us #sqcountry and share your pics of art, sunflowers, scenery and more!

 

For the adventurous at heart

Feeding the birds in the Bunya Mountains

Surprise the troops with an experience they’ll remember for years to come. No matter what age, family and friends will delight at some of the attractions on offer in our region, so get inspired and discover what real adventures await you these holidays!

  • Granite Belt Maze – a traditional hedge maze to riddle your way out of, with putt putt golf on site
  • Visit a bushrangers hideout – Donnelly’s Castle on the Granite Belt
  • The big watermelon – take a family selfie at this gigantic slice of watermelon in Chinchilla 
  • The Big Apple at Stanthorpe  – opposite the biggest apple pie you’re likely to eat at Suttons Orchard 
  • Hand feed the lorikeets at Queen Mary Falls, Main Range Southern Downs
  • Fossicking for gold at 7 Mile Diggings, Thanes Creek, Durian State Forest and Talgai State Forest
  • Head to Kings Royal for some high speed excitement at Kingaroy Speedway 21-23 January 
  • Check out the bucking bulls at the Goomeri New Years’ Eve Rodeo
  • Sleep in a real wartime bunker underground at Possum Park near Miles

 

Join in with the locals for some summer fun

Fishing on the Western Downs

Discover any number of local fishing spots to try your hand at some inland catch. The high rainfall so far this summer means our waterways, rivers, creeks and dams are full to the brim and ready for you to cast a line. Try your hand at Caliguel Lagoon, Condamine for Yellowbelly; Coolmunda Dam at Inglewood for Murray Cod, Glenlyon Dam at Stanthorpe for Golden Perch and Lake Barambah at Moffatdale where you can camp and fish.

If swimming without a sinker is more to your liking, take the kids to one of these SwimFit Family Fun Days which will be held throughout late January and February across the Western Downs at the following towns pools: Bell, Chinchilla, Dalby, Meandarra, Moonie and Wandoan. With large inflatables and a discounted entry of only $2 per person, its the perfect way to cool off in the country this summer. 

Special event: Sunday 24 January. Head west to the “Dive-In” at the Moonie Pool activity day with an outdoor movie night.

Finally, if you’re keen to shed some post-Christmas kilos get the whole family out into a local park run. https://www.parkrun.com.au 

Join the locals every Saturday in Goondiwindi, Warwick, Toowoomba, Stanthorpe, Pittsworth, Dalby, Oakey, Highfields, Gatton, Ros Gregor Trail, Charleys Creek and Miles. 

 

Fuel their bodies with local fare and fun food

Suttons Apple Orchard and Cafe

High adventure needs lots of fuel so wherever you are in the region, check out the amazing selection of local produce and home style cooking which is sure to keep hungry tummies at bay. Here’s just a small selection of some unique kid-friendly places to feed the troops these holidays. For more on eating in Southern Queensland Country check out our food and wine pages here.

  • Blue Topaz Caravan Park and Diner, Stanthorpe  – a retro diner straight out of Fonzie! Burgers and shakes the old fashioned way.
  • The Curly Carrot Crows Nest – home made pizzas the way grandma used to make them
  • Suttons Juice Factory – take on their monster apple pie (pictured) – you’ll be in pie heaven!
  • Awassi Cheesery –  every Thursday to Sunday is a great all round family day trip to taste cheese and watch the sheep and their lambs around the property.
  • Highfields Chocolate Cafe just outside Toowoomba 

Of course all of this will be so much more fun if you can bring your four-legged family member along too! Our countryside region is bursting at the seams with dog-friendly cafes, places to stay and attractions, so if you want Fido in on the family action this summer, check out our best pet-friendly campsites, the best pet-friendly cafes and the best hikes to take your pooch on in our region.