48 hours in Kingaroy
We’re massive fans of the humble peanut, so a foodies’ escape to the farm trails around Kingaroy – some 210km north-west of Brisbane – is proof that we haven’t gone bananas. Or is that nuts?
After all, there’s more to Australia’s peanut capital than one cracked premier, one superstar cricketer (Matthew Hayden) and the largest peanut processing plant in Australia, and we think this post will have you nibbling for more.
2:30PM: HIT THE ROAD
(Drive time Brisbane to Kingaroy via D’Aguilar Highway 2hrs, 42mins)
Sunglasses on, bags packed, and an open road to 48-hours of escape ahead. TGIF! Crank up the tunes and enjoy the drive to farm central.
5:30PM: CHECK-IN & ENJOY A COUNTRY FEAST
Deshons Retreat is surrounded by mother nature’s version of a patchwork quilt and friendly “hellos” from hosts Jayne and Frank and their four-legged concierge, Miss Sheba, set the tone for the weekend ahead.
We’ve pre-ordered the Barbecue Banquet so dinner is served right to our room. We fire up the barbie to cook our local beef, and gobble it down with creamy potato bake and a fresh salad plucked straight from the Deshon kitchen garden.
Bonus: Deshons Retreat is dog-friendly! Simply register your fur-baby when you book your room.
With a belly full of home-cooked deliciousness, it’s time to spend the night under the stars. Just down the road, the Kingaroy Observatory will transport you to the moon and back – via The Milky Way and a few little planets.
The night show takes in the beauty of outer-space, and with high-tech telescopes, astronomer, James Barclay (who has over 60 years’ experience in astronomy), will channel your inner astronaut. Hope for a cloud-free night!.
Tip: Bookings are essential and are subject to weather. There is no night show four days prior to, and four days after, a full moon.
8AM: BREAKFAST INCLUDED
Open your eyes, breathe in the fresh country air and prepare to attack a breakfast basket filled with the freshest South Burnett produce! Whether you’re up for a big brekkie (think local bacon, sausages, eggs and fresh baked bread), something sweet (honey with Greek style yogurt and granola) or want to keep it simple (with a slap of famous Kingaroy peanut butter on toast), this is essentially your own personal smorgasbord.
10AM: MORNING TEA – LAVENDER FARM
Get this; lavender is an essential oil known for its relaxing effects on the body and just outside Kingaroy you’ll find Pottique Lavender Farm, which makes the claim of having the largest lavender shop in Australia.
Think of lavender anything and these farmers will most likely have it. Whether you like it dried, in liqueur form, flavouring your honey, or infused in a cake of soap, this is the shop to stock up on the heady purple plant.
The signature experience is an ‘all-of-the-lavender’ morning tea; a lavender scone, smothered in lavender jam with a side of lavender tea. Feel the stress melt away.
12PM: LAZY SATURDAY LUNCH
Nothing spells ‘lazy Saturday’ like an afternoon of wine-tasting starting with a glass of red, white or sparkling (or non-alcoholic beverage for the DD) plus a wood-fired pizza at Kingsley Grove Estate.
The Berry family grow all the grapes used in winemaking onsite, and while they make traditional tipples, they also experiment with a few innovative styles that are designed to suit the Queensland climate.
Note: Kingsley Grove’s cellar door is open for wine tastings seven days from 10am-5pm, and tours of this family owned and run vineyard are available upon booking.
2PM: PICNIC PREP
Pop by Taste South Burnett in Kingaroy to stock up for a picnic feast for Sunday. This deli cafe is well-stocked with gluten-free goodies and is also a cheerleader for local produce and hard-to-source products (like camel milk!).
Pick up local wines, cheese from just down the road in Woombye, some of Richard’s Country Kitchen chutney, Ben’s beef jerky, fresh fudge in a rainbow of colours, and boozy duck pate by Brisbane’s Stella May Fine Foods.
Tip: You can pre-order online via the Taste South Burnett website.
2:30PM: WINE TASTING
How does an afternoon of wine tasting, cheese grazing and breathtaking valley gazing sound? With an invitation to ‘relax on the porch’ and do all of the above, Crane Wines Boutique Winery is a gentle way to take in the last rays of sunshine before heading back to Deshons to glam up for dinner.
4:15PM: HONESTY BOX PIT-STOP
Honesty boxes are scattered all over Southern Queensland Country, so keep an eye on the roadside while meandering around the region.
Proferring peanuts, fresh fruit and veggies, barn fresh eggs, homemade preserves and even fresh flowers – when you buy from a roadside stall, you know it’s as direct from the farmer as you can get!
7PM: DINNER TIME – Cassis at Booie
It’s time to do some serious fine dining. Just a four-minute drive from your digs is the mansion-esque restaurant, Cassis at Booie. Get set for an impressive local foodie secret, showcasing a seasonal menu with the best South Burnett has to offer.
Hot tip: By day, this place offers stunning views, so next time you may want to book in for a lazy lunch.
8AM: EASY LIKE SUNDAY MORNING
Breakfast is included with the stay (yippee!), so early birds and sleepy heads can both ease into Sunday, stress-free. Today you have a picnic planned, so it’s time to stock-up on some scrumptious supplies for the basket.
10:30AM: KINGAROY PEANUT VAN
No trip to Kingaroy is complete without a pit stop at the famous Kingaroy Peanut Van. The Van (as its name suggests) stocks peanuts – duh – and #PeanutButterLovers rejoice, they also sell large tubs of the most peanut-buttery goodness ever! Whether you love smooth or crunchy, this stuff is the real deal, made of 100% Kingaroy peanuts!
Just like Harry Potter’s Every Flavour Beans they have every flavour peanuts! Horseradish (wasabi) is a top seller but they offer both savoury and sweet style nuts from Mussaman Curry to Sweet Chilli & Lime, and Butterscotch & Caramel to Chocolate Coated. After a few taste-testers, if you still can’t decide, grab a Peanut Van Sample Bag.
Picnic basket now complete, it’s time to chase waterfalls.
11:30AM: GRAZING AND LAZING AT COOMBA FALLS
Maidenwell’s Coomba Falls, a scenic 30-minute drive away, is an idyllic spot to unpack your picnic and graze. Pack your cossie (swimming costume) if it’s a warm day as this is one of the region’s best waterholes, perfectly chilled for a quick dip.
If Coomba Falls inspires you, here are nine more waterfalls and waterholes in Southern Queensland Country to help plan your next trip!
4PM: HONEST STOPS ON THE HOMEWARD BOUND
While the homeward road is calling, it’s good to remember you’re driving through a region full of the freshest produce! Support local and keep your eyes peeled (no pun intended) for mountains of mandarins and oranges (or other in-season fruit/vegetables) at roadside stalls. Orange you glad you read this blog?
Have you been to Kingaroy? Share your memories and tips in the comments below.
Visiting in May? Butternut miss the Goomeri Pumpkin Festival!
Kent you tell? It’s the most pump(kin) event in Southern Queensland Country! The Goomeri Pumpkin Festival is centred around just that, the humble squash. Rolling into Goomeri on the last Sunday in May, this event pays homage to the versatile veggie and comes in all shapes, sizes, dishes and events, including pumpkin shotput!
For one weekend you can eat like a (pump)king and indulge in pumpkin everything – we’re talking pumpkin scones, pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup and pumpkin lattes! You may just turn into a pumpkin at the end of it all, but like our friend Cinderella, this ball is also worth it.
Last tip – You can’t go to the Goomeri Pumpkin Festival and miss the Great Australian Pumpkin Roll. So pick a pumpkin and get rollin’!