Road-Trip: Western Country
Road tripping is the best way to do Western Country.
Set out for a week or more to enjoy the beauty and wide open spaces of the Western Downs and Balonne. Take your time exploring the highways and the roads less travelled and you’ll find friendly towns, country pubs, tranquil camp spots, great birdwatching, freshwater fishing in rivers and lagoons, and some unexpected gems on the edge of the outback.
Tick off these Western Country Must-Sees:
From Toowoomba set off via the Warrego Way to Chinchilla. Fish or picnic at the picturesque Chinchilla Weir. Stay the night at The Palms Motel or Chinchilla Downtown Motor Inn and return to the weir for dawn birdwatching or another fish before continuing on to Miles.
Miles Historical Village
Walk the streets of Miles Historical Village to experience history frozen in time. Authentic shopfronts and displays of machinery and memorabilia bring to life stories of the town’s colourful past. Plan your trip to catch Miles Back to the Bush Festival held every two years – next in September 2018.
Continue along the Leichhardt Way through Condamine. Stop for a picnic and to throw in a line or go birdwatching at Caliguel Lagoon - also a peaceful place to light a campfire and pitch a tent for the night or park your van.
Peel off at Route 74, then turn right onto Surat Development Rd – more affectionately known as the Sunset Way Tourist Drive – which leads you to Glenmorgan’s famous 1940’s style Monty’s Garage. This automotive time capsule is a 12-year labour of love for car collector, panel beater and self-taught mechanic John Haken.
Myall Park Botanic Garden
Image credit: Jonah Scott
Go for a bushwalk and take a picnic to Myall Park Botanic Garden – a native plant collection like you’ve never seen!
Set your course for St George on the banks of the beautiful Balonne River. Renowned as Queensland’s capital of freshwater fishing there are many spots to camp and fish along the gumtree shaded banks, or book a cabin or park your van at Pelican Rest Tourist Park.
St George Town Tour
See the town in style with local baker Trent Challenger on his Model T Ford town tour. To book on the tour - pop in and see Trent at the bakery (97 Victoria St, St George) and see when he is available.
Hint: Do it before lunchtime as Trent is up all night baking and he needs his beauty sleep!
While you’re in town don’t miss a winetasting and lunch at Riversands Winery and if you’re visiting on a Saturday pick up a souvenir made by a local artisan from Handmade St George on Henry Street.
Head south on the Carnarvon Highway to tackle the famous road train burger at Nindigully Pub – you’ll swear you’re in the outback here!
You can stay at the pub or park your van on the banks of the Moonie River.
William the Wombat and Thallon Silos
Make a short detour to the tiny town of Thallon to see the beautifully painted silos, have a beer and a yarn to Guppy the publican at the Francis Hotel and meet William the Wombat – a larger than life character the kids will love.
From Nindigully head out on the Barwon Highway to Goondiwindi. Overnight at Goondiwindi Holiday Park or the Best Western Ascot Lodge and make an early start for the last stop on the journey - an overnight stay and tour with Peter and Rochelle Jesser at Ballancar Station, near Inglewood - a cultural centre that preserves the indigenous and colonial heritage of this region.
Travel the pretty country route via Millmerran and the Gore Highway back to Toowoomba.
Western Country done!
For more inspiration on where to explore across Southern Queensland Country, check out our handy guide or head to our blog.