52 country weekend getaways from Brisbane
Uh Oh. It’s Monday, that special day in the week when you look for the next escape and the chance to re-live that weekend feeling.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with 52 country weekend getaways from Brisbane in Southern Queensland Country and beyond.
We’re talking about the countryside that sits on Brisbane’s doorstep, with its rolling green hills, spectacular lakes and delicious wines for the tasting.
1. Climb the prehistoric boulders that formed about 250 million years ago in Girraween National Park and feel minuscule standing beside these gigantic granite rocks. If you’re more about soft adventure, check into Girraween Environmental Lodge and soak up the scenery from a hot tub.
2. Explore the best seasonal produce the Granite Belt has to offer at your own pace with a self-drive trail to delight even the most discerning foodie.
3. Take your car for the ultimate road trip with the Great Bunya Drive, a scenic route covering 390 kilometers of countryside from Toowoomba to Gympie.
4. Lions, tigers and (koala) bears – oh my! Check out the Darling Downs Zoo, home to the only pride of African Lions in south-east Queensland and the only white lions living permanently in Queensland.
5. Move over #thuglife – give farm life a go with an authentic farm stay experience. We like Taabinga Homestead because it’s old-world beautiful (built in 1846) and Bunyip Springs Farmstay for a hands-on holiday.
6. Take a James Halliday-inspired jaunt to try the many Granite Belt wineries. We promise you’ll expand your palate beyond Chardonnay and Shiraz with the Strange Bird Wine Trail where you’ll spot the difference between Viognier, Gewurztraminer and Tempranillo in no time.
7. If you like your produce organic, you’ve come to the right place – Southern Queensland Country is bursting with fresh fruit and vegetables. We’d suggest checking out the selection of vegetables, herbs and fruit at The Symara Organic Farm.
8. Take a look inside the village bank, school classroom, hotel and barber shop, for a true feeling of an Aussie country-town at the Miles Historical Museum.
9. Perk yourself up at Ground Up Espresso Bar, located down a once sleepy laneway off Ruthven street in Toowoomba.
10. Home to 25% of Australia’s watermelons, it stands to reason that Chinchilla has a festival to match its melon capital status. To celebrate all things watery and melon-y, do as the Chinchillians do and strap a watermelon helmet to your head, try watermelon skiing, pip spitting and melon rolling at the wacky Chinchilla Melon Festival. This biannual festival will take place in February 2017 so save the date!
11. In true celebration of the winter chill, head to Warwick as the locals rug up its trees at the Jumpers and Jazz Festival this July. Bring your crochet hooks, knitting needles and get in on the act.
12. Love a bit of lamb? Try the local Mallow organic lamb, noted for its tenderness and flavour. Linger longer with a stay at Mallow Cottage on the farm.
13. It you like singing and shiraz, put them together and you’ve got Ballandean Estate’s Opera in the Vineyard. What began as a popular pastime between two friends has blossomed into one of South East Queensland’s favourite cultural events, attracting almost 2,000 people each year.
14. Despite the fact that each Australian eats 8.9kg of apples a year, there’s only one place in Queensland that specialises in the popular fruit. Pick your own apples in Stanthorpe – the apple capital.
15. Take great pleasure in stepping on a crunchy leaf in Queens Park this autumn, as the trees drop their leaves in a stunning display of orange, red and gold.
16. Have your own Man v. Food experience and tackle the road train burger at the Nindigully Pub. Best to take a few friends with you to polish it off.
17. Set aside 20 minutes to walk down the gorge at Queen Mary Falls. If you go in summer, be there for sunset to see the fireflies light up the forest in a truly magical display.
18. Check out the big apple without the long haul flight with a visit to Stanthorpe‘s very own big apple. Reward your road-tripping efforts with one of Queensland’s best meat pies at Vincenzo’s, perfectly positioned under the big apple.
19. Love a salty snack? Then head north to grab a bag of peanuts from the Peanut Van in Kingaroy, the peanut capital of Queensland. It’s the perfect sustenance for driving around this pretty town.
20. It’s not all bush-bashing in the country – lay in the lap of luxury at Spicers Peak Lodge, Australia’s highest non-alpine lodge.
21. There’s more than just wine in this neck of the woods – sip the award-winning beverages at Suttons Farm, with their traditional English and French cider, fruit liqueurs, brandies and grappa made on site.
22. Brush up on heavy machinery at the Dalby Pioneer Park Museum, home to Queensland’s largest collection of working tractors and big boys’ toys like an 1800s working thresher, a 1930s model reaper and binder, and a pre-war hay baler.
23. Like a roaring fire? Try roasting a marshmallow in the fireplace at Diamondvale Bed and Breakfast – we reckon it’s one of the best fireplaces in the region.
24. Taste your way through many award-winning jams, coulis, fruit pastes, sauces, relish and pickles, all made on the premises at The Bramble Patch.
25. Join the hoards of spectators who make the trek to Goomeri to roll a pumpkin down Policeman’s Hill at the annual Goomeri Pumpkin Festival.
26. Chew with a view at Spring Creek Mountain Cottages, perched on an escarpment near Killarney. Don’t leave without trying Bev’s beef and shiraz pie – it’s so popular, the locals refuse to let her take it off the menu.
27. Step back in time at the Jondaryan Woolshed, the oldest and most original woolshed in Australia with 150 years of wool history to brush up on.
28. If soaring through the sky is more your thing, then a gliding flight is the perfect opportunity to stretch your wings. The Darling Downs Soaring Club in Bowenville, 20 minutes from Dalby, offers Air Experience Flights where you can circle 2000 feet above the Earth with a fully qualified pilot.
29. With bigger stars than the Golden Globe Awards, get behind the telescope at the Kingaroy Observatory.
30. If they were good enough to coax Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman and David Wenham into the saddle, then I’ll ride with Cowboy Up Trail Riding. Run by Peter and Gillian Gould, these horse whisperers have taught people to ride on several blockbuster films including Baz Luhrman’s Australia and operate a trail ride business in Crows Nest.
31. Check out the nick-nacks at the Highfields Pioneer Village. It’s home to large collections of 40,000 shells, antique radios and vintage machinery, alongside the Blacksmith Shop and Boot Repair Shop.
32. If 1920s art-deco architecture gets your motor running, check out The Empire Theatre in Toowoomba with its stunning facade that’s got Jay Gatsby’s name written all over it.
33. Bauple gave us the Buaple nut, Brazil gave us the Brazil nut and the Bunya Mountains gave us the Bunya Nut. Isn’t it time you discovered one of our most famous nuts?
34. Lavish yourself with lavender at one of Australia’s largest lavender farms, Pottique. This quaint Kingaroy property produces beautifully aromatic dried lavender, oil, soap and of course, their famous lavender liqueur.
35. Don’t be the thorn amongst the roses in the Newtown Park State Rose Garden with some 1500 roses planted, which come to life every spring in a flurry of colour and fragrance.
36. Pick your own strawberries and eat em’ at the Strawberry Fields Stanthorpe Farm.
37. If you’re looking for something handmade in country you’ve come to the right place, with endless boutiques stocking handmade treasures like one-of-a-kind jewelry, millinery, clothing, leatherwork, furniture and gifts.
38. Sample some of the local fare at the annual Hampton Food and Arts Festival, an event that’s all about delicious treats. Bon appétit!
39. For a fantastic display of florals check out the Carnival of Flowers, running each September in the aptly named Garden City of Toowoomba.
40. Calling all keen anglers – Southern Queensland Country has a reputation for the best inland fishing with 15 dams and seven river systems. Pack a rod, roll out the boat and you could come home with bags of Murray cod, Australian bass, sleepy cod, sooty grunter, yellowbelly, silver perch, saratoga, Barcoo grunter, jewfish and river blackfish.
41. Head to Toowoomba for Easterfest, a three-day music festival held in various venues in the Garden City.
42. Forget wandering through overpriced vintage markets and go to the belly of the beast – Crows Nest – home to the most exquisite antique stores.
44. Camp in comfort at Spicers Canopy, the glamping Spicers property set on 5000 acres of native bushland.
45. Warwick is known as the rodeo and rose capital of Queensland, so check out both with a visit to the western town.
46. Enjoy the view from Picnic Point Lookout, perched on the top of the Great Dividing Range in Toowoomba – we promise you’ll have Instagrammable photos from this perch.
47. With a name like Storm King Dam surely you are curious to visit. Choose to swim, sail or water-ski across this pretty dam, or enjoy a picnic on its grassy shores.
49. Tee off at one of the many championship golf courses.
50. Flex your muscles at the Hell of the West Triathlon which sees guys and girls battle it out across a course of a two-kilometre swim, 80-kilometre bike ride and 20-kilometre run in the western country town of Goondiwindi.
51. Take a self-guided walk around the Dalby Heritage Trail and see historical buildings, churches and memorials that bring the northern Darling Downs town of Dalby to life.
52. Give local legend Gunsynd a pat in Goondiwindi. This horse statue commemorates the legendary “Goondiwindi Grey” who was bought for a measly $1200 by a group of punters and went onto win 29 races including the Cox Plate.