There are a few key ingredients that go into making a great country road-trip. Scenery is number one…and there’s no shortage of that in Southern Queensland Country.
Number two is distance – it can’t be too far away…and since this region can be reached within 90minutes of Brisbane, it ticks that box too.
And finally, there has to be a good amount of pit-stops along the way to keep things interesting….and we’ve found some great ones!
About 150k’s west of Brisbane you’ll reach the Darling Downs. It’s a beautiful drive through the patchwork of farmland, rolling plains and the African savannah?!
In the little town of Pilton, halfway between Toowoomba and Warwick, animals outnumber people. The Darling Downs Zoo is home to over 300 creatures from around the globe.
It’s here you’ll find Queensland’s only white lions. There are big cats and meerkats, reptiles, birds and primates…and then there’s the alligator that acts like a puppy! (yes, it knows its name when called). Stephanie Robinson is Mum to them all. She and husband Steve have devoted their lives to all creatures great and small. They started the zoo 11 years ago and welcomed the newest additions to the family, 2 giraffes, just a few months ago. The zoo is divided into geographical areas, so you can travel the animal world with a walk through Africa, Australia, South-east Asia and South America.
Like most zoos, it’s is all about education and conservation, and Stephanie and Steve have set up the largest Zebra breeding program in Australia. To really appreciate these beautiful creatures, visitors can enjoy a hands-on experience with many of the animals – including feeding the big cats and Zebras and playing with the adorable marmosets.
The Darling Downs Zoo is open every day except Christmas, jump online for all their latest news.
Darling Downs Zoo
Cnr Gatton-Clifton Rd & Baines Rd, Pilton
No road-trip is complete without a stop a country pub, and Rudd’s Pub in the town of Nobby is one of Queensland’s oldest.
It was established in 1893 and the walls are plastered with stories. The publican will also proudly tell you that Steele Rudd sat by the fire while writing his famous Australian “Dad & Dave” stories. It’s a classic country pub with all the essentials – memorabilia, cold ales and heart meals.
It’s the perfect place to stop and refuel the body before you hit the road again, but you can also stay a little longer, because there’s award winning pub accommodation out the back.
45 Tooth Street, Nobby
A great country road trip is as much about enjoying the journey as it is the destination. But when it does come to the final stop, it’s got to have that special country charm that makes you want to stay a while.
Gleneden Family Farm delivers country charm by the bullock load. Farmer Rohan is a Bullocky – which means he’s mastered the traditional art of using simple voice commands to drive a herd of large bullocks around the property. It’s quite a spectacle and one that Rohan’s all too happy to show off to visitors. Rohan and his wife Fiona run a sustainable farm in the beautiful rolling pastures of Maryvale, near Warwick and they also offer a variety of tours – from heritage displays, camp cooking and farm tours.
Sustainability is what it’s all about on this farm, and while Rohan loves to keep the old traditions alive, he’s also paving the way with his modern farming methods. The family are very conscious of how they’re using the land and are passionate about educating visitors. The farm’s produce can be purchased online and at the local Toowoomba Farmers Markets.
Rohan and Fiona also invite families to camp on the property and get hands on with the animals.
It’s certainly a beautiful way to connect with nature and experience a true taste of farm life.
Sitting by the fire, enjoying traditional billy tea and fresh damper is the perfect ending to a great country road trip.
Gleneden Family Farm
375 North Branch Road, Maryvale
You’ll find more great road trip ideas on southernqueenslandcountry.com.au