8 things to do these school holidays in Southern Queensland Country
From spring flowers and face painting to bush damper-making and cookie decorating, there’s plenty of hands-on activities on the calendar to make Southern Queensland Country the destination of choice during school holidays!
1. Flower power
The Carnival of Flowers is one of the biggest events on Toowoomba’s calendar each spring and with dedicated kids’ spaces and family-friendly events, the focus isn’t all about the blooms! While the Grand Central Floral Parade is undoubtedly the star make sure you check out the special kids’ zone, the Cubby House, running cooking classes and DIY flower leis. With all the action there will be barely enough hours in the day to jump into the super-sized sandpit. Activities blossom into the night with dazzling night-time lights display transforming Queens Park along with fireworks over Sideshow Alley.
2. Bush tucker
Head to Millmerran for the Australian Camp Oven Festival held during early October – an entire weekend dedicated to Australian bush heritage. Get hands-on with damper making, damper throwing and a billy boiling competition. Watch the horseshoeing and sheepdog demonstrations or just check out the old working machinery.
Escape the holiday frenzy and get out into the country to see huge granite boulders in Girraween National Park outside Stanthorpe. There are 30 kilometres of walking tracks to choose from. Camp at Castle Rock or Bald Rock Creek and explore the nearby rock pools and waterholes.
4. Work the land
Load up the wagons and visit The Woolshed at Jondaryan for an authentic Aussie outback adventure these holidays. Watch a live shearing demonstration, take a horse and cart ride through the property and say hi to all the cute animals in the nursery. Stay the night and roll out the swags under the stars or live it up in the self-contained cabins. Forget the bedroom pigsties at home and hit the Woolshed Open Weekend held each September or limber up for the New Years Eve Bush dance.
5. Made of metal
If dinosaurs are in favour explore Queensland’s megafauna including the Megalania a 500kg gonna at the Cobb & Co Museum. Other permanent displays also highlight the use of wagons and carriages in the development of Queensland, and they are keeping the old crafts alive with hands-on workshops. Check the online events program during holidays for the blacksmithing for teens workshop, amongst others. It’s perfect for those that want to bend metal to their will.
6. Day at the Zoo
Get up close and personal birds, baboons and a boa constrictor at the Darling Downs Zoo. Book in for big cat encounter for some alone time with an African lion or maybe help give a Zebra a new hairdo. Open from 9 am every day except Christmas day there is no need to book a plane ticket to see a Brazilan Tapir.
7. Yee haa
Saddle up for a horseback trail ride, roping lesson or whip-cracking lesson and set your inner cowboy or cowgirl free at Cowboy Up. The friendly quarter horses are well trained and love stretching their legs through the working cattle property. As you ride, you might be lucky enough to spot wallabies, wild deer and native birds. The hardest part is handing back the reigns at the end of the ride!
Take a road trip to Stanthorpe and tick off one of Queensland’s ‘Big Things‘ from the bucket list. Line-up the kids for a snap with the iconic Big Apple at Vincenzo’s (try and position them so they are about to take a bite) then let them tuck into some locally made apple pie while you wind down with a cider or Verdelho at the cafe.
Where are you headed these school holidays?
*This post was first published in 2014 and updated in July 2018