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Highlights along the Adventure Way: Queensland edition

Highlights along the Adventure Way: Queensland edition

The Adventure Way touring route is a captivating journey that spans 1400 kilometres, connecting Brisbane in Queensland to the iconic town of Innamincka in South Australia. This road trip offers an immersive experience through diverse landscapes, from vast plains to red sand dunes. Travel the historical route of the Cobb & Co coaches, experiencing the captivating beauty of the Australian outback. Along the way, adventurers can explore Indigenous culture, witness unique wildlife, and enjoy the solitude of remote landscapes. We’ve rounded up the top things to do along this leg of the epic journey.

Toowoomba

Toowoomba, otherwise known as the ‘Garden City’, is home to more than 150 parks and gardens, and a definite highlight along the Adventure Way. Here is your opportunity to crunch through knee-deep autumn leaves and snap hundreds of ochre-hued seasonal photos.

Start your tour at Ju Raku En, the largest traditionally designed Japanese garden in Australia. Complete with a mountain stream and waterfall, a central lake, a dry garden and three kilometres of paths – along which you can admire 230 species of Japanese and native Australian plants – Ju Raku En will keep you entertained for a whole morning.

Afterwards, head to Picnic Point, which overlooks the valley and lends itself perfectly to, you guessed it, a picnic! Sit right at the top of the Great Dividing Range and enjoy the views over the Lockyer Valley while you enjoy your lunch. There are also play areas and graded trail walks, as well as a cafe for that mid-afternoon caffeine hit to see you through.

Make time to explore the Cobb+Co Museum to discover how horse-drawn vehicles helped develop the state of Queensland. The collection of 50 horse-drawn carriages, wagons, buggies and carts is Australia’s finest, and provides excellent insight into the transport that kept the economy moving in times gone by. The Coach Stop play area is a great addition for kids, where they can pretend to be shopkeepers in the old Museum General Store, dress up in old-timey fashions or ‘ride’ the life-sized replica horse.

St George

Sitting on the banks of the picturesque Balonne River, St George is the perfect place to unwind. It’s also the gateway to the Queensland outback, which gives it a magical atmosphere of impending adventure. Start your visit off right at the Balonne Artesian Thermal Hot Springs, where you can soak away the tension of the road (and the past 10 years!). The pool is filled with artesian spring water at a comfortable 34 degrees Celsius, which, it is said, will heal what ails you.

One you’ve soothed yourself from the outside, soothe yourself from the inside, too, at the Riversands Vineyards. Wander the lush grounds and quaint country garden, and stop for a free wine-tasting to showcase the flavours of the region – from bold and rich reds, to crisp and dry whites. Take your time soaking up all the pleasures that St George has to offer, and make sure you discover the Unique Egg before you leave! In a small brick building in the main street, this humble carved and illuminated emu egg is a memorable icon of the town.

Thargomindah

Arriving in town, you will feel like you’ve truly made it to the outback – expect vast skies, red soil and expansive sunsets. Here, you are in close proximity to Cameron Corner, where three Australian states meet, so take the opportunity to hop, skip and jump between all three, just to say you did it!

Next, head to Leahy House, which was built around 1885 from local Bulloo River mud bricks. The house was owned by the Thargomindah Newspaper Company, which was run by the Leahy brothers, John and Patrick, who arrived in Queensland from County Cork, Ireland. The home was later sold to cattle baron Sir Sidney Kidman in 1912. It was a residence until 1995, when the council purchased it, restored it, and handed it over to the Thargomindah Historical Society. Visitors can explore four rooms featuring permanent displays on the Leahys and local history.

For more insight into early settlement of the Thargomindah region, visit the Old Thargomindah Hospital, built in 1888 of mud brick, just like Leahy House. When you arrive, take a look at the brick walls and you might spot the prints of dogs, cats, and emus who stepped on the drying mud bricks and left their marks for 135 years! Take an automated tour of the hospital, and see the rooms set up as they were towards the turn of the century.

Pictured: Cobb + Co Museum. Image © Tourism and Events Queensland

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