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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Six Queensland Country Towns Worth a Day Trip from Brisbane

Picture perfect shopfronts, country pubs and apple pies to die for.
By Molly Glassey
June 07, 2016
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Six Queensland Country Towns Worth a Day Trip from Brisbane

Picture perfect shopfronts, country pubs and apple pies to die for.
By Molly Glassey
June 07, 2016
  shares

Oi, don't be an inner-city brat. If it's been a while since you left the lights of Brissie, it's time to go out and discover the great outdoors outside of your usual metropolitan orbit. Check out your own backyard. Get the fresh air inya. Make John Williamson proud, see it for yourself — and so on and so forth.

Queensland is home to some of Australia's most beautiful country towns, brimming with A+ parmigianas, out-of-this-world views and even the trendy café or two. Australia wouldn't survive without these little plots, so go out, say thanks and learn for yourself that this state extends beyond Queen Street Mall. Here are six country towns perfect for a day trip from Brisbane.

Bluebird Kitchen

Bluebird Kitchen.

WARWICK

Something exciting is going on in this little rural pocket, and if you've got a stomach (and the appetite) for brisket, you'll want to take the trek southwest for a bite. We wouldn't go as far as to call Warwick culinary crux of regional Australia, but hoo boy is it showing off some strong game. Bluebird Kitchen is the newest edition to an already solid cafe scene in Warwick, and they're going above and beyond to produce food worth making a day trip for. Potato hash and brisket, homemade bagels, brioche French toast, pasture eggs and beans — their menu compares to (and beats) some of Brisbane's best. They're combining local produce with American-style cooking to produce plates that'll have you checking out the local rental scene.

Road trip time: two hours. 

Toowoomba CT

Queens Park. Image credit: Tatters via Flickr

TOOWOOMBA

Quite honestly, Toowoomba has spent a good deal of time on Queensland's grubbiest list (I can say it, I grew up here), but in the last decade or so Toowoomba has done a 360. It's embraced the fact it's a) beautiful, b) a viable tourist hotspot, and c) homes some of the richest people in Queensland who don't mind putting a bit of coin back into the town. Toowoomba is known for its gardens and flowers, so be sure to check out all the parks in the area; Laurel Bank, Queens Park and Picnic Point are the top three. Ground Up Espresso is king of the café scene, showing off an insane eggs Benedict and Toby's Estate coffee. The Spotted Cow is the top pick for a craft beer or Saturday night gig.

Road trip time: one and a half hours. 

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Suttons-Farm-apple-pie-Stanthorpe

Apple pie at Sutton's Farm. Image credit: fujitake95 via Instagram.

STANTHORPE

Stanthorpe is a like the Wholefoods version of a small town. The main street — and even the highway leading in to town — is littered with delis, fresh fruit barns and coffee shops. There's a vineyard on pretty much every corner and apple trees seem to grow on the street. Go to a café and you'll be spending over $15 for a bowl of muesli, but it will be the damn freshest muesli you've ever tasted as everything is sourced from within a five-kilometre radius. Sutton's Farm boasts the best apple pie around — and when we say 'around', we mean on a national scale. The property is accessed by a slightly hidden turnoff from the New England Highway, and you'll have to venture into the creepy looking shed to find their café. They make their own apple juice and cider, so just order anything and everything with apple in it.

Road trip time: two and a half hours. 

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Kilcoy-Queensland-Flickr

bertknot via Flickr.

KILCOY

Besides a lake filled with really friendly turtles, this 1700-person town doesn't offer much else... except the best bakery in Queensland! We're not talking artisan sourdoughs, cronuts or macarons here. Coff & Co is a real bakery that is known for (and gets away with) boasting the best pies in Queensland — and offers up a pretty mean lamington to boot. You won't always have to wait in a line, but be prepared to join the queue because this is a popular little spot. And tomato sauce doesn't cost extra, so how's that for real Aussie service? Kilcoy also claims to home a Yowie. Read up on it here.

Road trip time: one and a half hours. 

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DALBY CT

Mary's Commercial Hotel. Photo credit: Matt via Flickr.

DALBY

Once upon a time Dalby used to be the town you wouldn't even thing to stop at, locking your doors and looking straight ahead as you drove through. But now it has all the trappings of a bustling country town — a Stella Ross, a Coffee Club and three Indian restaurants — and holds its own on the Queensland tourism map. Check out Dalby for it's pub scene (there's close to a dozen of them), as well as Katty Cakes, which is home to some of the best cupcakes in the Western Downs. Maybe have a feed in Dalby, then check out some of the cute, little towns that surround it — Warra, Jandowae and Brigalow all home at least one heritage-listed something. And if none of that wows you, just go for the wild parakeets, cockatiels and cockatoos.

Road trip time: three and a half hours. 

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crows nest falls CT

Crows Nest Falls. Image credit: Tatters via Flickr.

CROWS NEST

This is one you may not have heard of. It's an offshoot of Toowoomba of sorts, but homes some of the most majestic forestry and water habitats in Queensland. Lake Cressbrook offers fishing, canoeing, sailing and swimming for anyone who is game. Most spectacular of all though is Crows Nest Falls. It's a tucked away secret that's frequented mostly by locals on the weekend, rather than the usual hoards of tourists. It's beautiful. Let's just say, it's the kind of untouched, rarely populated scenery that would have Baz Luhrmann in a frenzy.

Road trip time: two hours. 

Top image: bertknot via Flickr. 

Published on June 07, 2016 by Molly Glassey

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