There’s no denying that Queensland is a beautiful place. With its stretching coastline, tropical rainforests and charming small towns, it’s no wonder so many people flock to the Sunshine State every year to soak up the sun.
If history is your thing, you’re in the right place because Toowoomba is where you can find Cobb+Co Museum. Wander through the National Carriage Collection or walk away with a new skill after taking part in a hands-on workshop. You never know, maybe blacksmithing, leadlighting or silversmithing is your calling! Rest up for the night at the Jolly Swagman Accommodation Park in the heart of Toowoomba, and don’t forget to snap a picture with the park’s statue of the Jolly Swagman himself.
Toowoomba to Kingaroy – 150 kilometres
Hit the road and make your way to Kingaroy. This trip will only take a couple of hours, but who doesn’t love a good pit stop anyway? We recommend stopping at Crows Nest to stretch your legs and get your caffeine hit. Wander around the village green and enjoy some of the local cafés, antique shops and galleries. Or, if you have adventure on the mind, pay a visit to Crows Nest National Park, where you’ll find bushwalking trails and plenty of local wildlife to satiate the adrenaline junkie in you.
Kingaroy to Chinchilla – 150 kilometres
Today’s drive will take you past the Bunya Mountains National Park, a section of the Great Dividing Range named after the tall bunya pines of the region. The mountains are popular among birdwatchers, with 215 species calling the area home. Back on the road and you’ll find yourself in Chinchilla, a rural town known as the melon capital of Australia. Home to the biannual Melonfest, Chinchilla comes alive for one weekend every second February, when more than 12,000 people flock in to celebrate everything watermelon.
Chinchilla to Rolleston – 450 kilometres
Today’s drive is a little longer, but trust me, it’s worth it. The drive up to Rolleston should take around 4.5 hours. Early on in the drive you’ll pass through Miles – home to the Miles Historical Village, where visitors can experience life in the early 20th century. Rolleston, around four hours north, is a small town that acts as a gateway to Carnarvon Gorge and Carnarvon National Park.
Rolleston to Roma – 260 kilometres
Savour the views of the Carnarvon National Park as you leave it behind on the drive down to Roma. Embrace being in the outback by visiting the biggest cattle saleyard in the Southern Hemisphere at Roma Saleyards. Or, have an equal-parts entertaining and educational night at the Big Rig Night Show, where you can learn all about the history of gas and oil in Roma. While you’re in town, be sure to check out the 3D mural located at the Roma Cultural Centre. The 18-square-metre mural contains 17 elements, and gives insight into the history and culture of the region.
Roma to St George – 200 kilometres
Heading south again, you’ll find yourself in the riverside town of St George. Nestled on the banks of the Balonne River, this town is a true celebration of country life. Relax on the water with a Sandytown River Cruise, where you can choose between a one- and a two-hour jaunt down the river. Or, pay a visit to Riversands Winery, where you can enjoy a wide range of local wines, as well as delicious grape jams and chutneys.
St George to Stanthorpe – 400 kilometres
The last destination on our trip is Stanthorpe, this trip will take about 4.5 hours and around halfway you’ll find yourself in Goondiwindi. This small town rests at the junction of five major highways, and is the ideal place to stop for a rest and the chance to bask in its heritage buildings, eateries and small-town charm.