Ok, so we’ve totally fibbed about the start point of this one – it’s actually designed to start in Sydney and be an almighty weekend trip, or better yet, a week away. We’ve started in Tenterfield partially because we love it, and partially because that’s really as far as you’d want to drive in a day.
We definitely recommend the full run though – it’s called the Australian Country Way and runs right from Sydney to Rockhampton. You can take in Tamworth, beautiful New England, the fertile and welcoming Granite Belt, come up through Kingaroy and see the Bunya Mountains, check out a thousand unique arts and craft shops and then keep going through the farming belts of the Western Downs and the Banana Shires.
Leg 1 - Tenterfield to Toowoomba (2hrs 20mins)
Get a good leg out of the way early and make it to Toowoomba for morning tea. You can refresh in this beautiful garden city – Toowoomba is known for its 150+ parks and gardens, as well as its famous annual Flower Festival.
Grab some morning tea – there’s some great cafes on the fringe of parks around Toowoomba – especially east park – but we’ve heard you can actually get a cracking scone with Devonshire tea at Cobb and Co. Cobb+Co Museum is part of the Queensland Museum and is home to the National Carriage Collection which features nearly 50 horse-drawn vehicles.
Leg 2 - Toowoomba to Chinchilla (2 hours)
It’s time for lunch!
Option 1: Chinchilla.
In pulling into Chinchilla, you’ve arrived in the melon capital of Australia – this friendly town produces 25% of the country’s watermelons, rockmelons and honeydew melon.
Snap a sweet selfie with the giant melon (one to cross off the bucket list!) and head on.
Option 2: Drive a bit further and stop in Miles. Miles is a tiny bit sleepier than Chinchilla, but features the excellent Historical Village, if you fancy a wander after lunch. It’s an accurate recreation of a Queensland country town’s main street at the turn of the century and contains over thirty buildings including a bootery, post office, a general store, bakery, the Union Hotel, a butcher’s shop and a dairy. The complex also features the old Australian Bank of Commerce, the Dalwogan siding with a steam locomotive, the Red Rose cafe (a replica of the first Greek cafe in the town which opened in 1925) and Andersen’s Smithy where the famous Condamine Bell was first made.
Leg 3 - Chinchilla to Taroom (2 hours)
Stop here for a cup of tea and check out the rare windmill. It has an extremely unusual design and located on the banks of the Dawson River. It was produced by the Steel Wings Company, in North Sydney between 1907 and 1911 and one of only six models ever erected. Along with a twin in the Riverina region of NSW, it’s one of the only known working models in the world.
Before you leave, head up to Gilbert’s Lookup. There’s a great view of town to catch the breeze to.
Leg 4 - Taroom to Theodore (1hr)
Theodore is like no other town in Australia. Although it lies on the eastern side of the Great Dividing Range it is almost tropical. Get your best Hawaiian shirt out and wonder down the main street to enjoy the palm trees.
Leg 5 - Walk Down To the Hall
Come on down! We’ll be there for a great community BBQ early. Doors open at 6.30pm with the show starting at 7pm