Horseshoe Bay is on the northern side of Magnetic Island, off the coast of Townsville, and is surrounded by the Great Barrier Reef.
Horseshoe Bay is on the southern end of Magnetic Island, off the coast of Townsville, and is surrounded by the Great Barrier Reef.
Experience Queensland country living on a farmstay. Check details and book online.
Accommodation from luxury apartments to cottages to backpacker hostels in Agnes Water and the Town of 1770
Agnes Water and The Town of 1770 are on a peninsula surrounded on three sides by the Coral Sea and Bustard Bay mid-way up the Queensland coast, 50km off the Bruce Highway between Bundaberg and Gladstone. Agnes Water township and beach is eight kilometres south or the Town of 1770.
Town of 1770 is the closest access point north of Brisbane to the Great Barrier Reef, and was the second recorded landing place in Australia of Captain James Cook on The Endeavour in 1770; the first being Botany Bay just south of Sydney.
The area is rich in wildlife and natural beauty. The Joseph Banks Environmental Park preserves much of the peninsula with fauna and flora indicative of the area. (Joseph Banks was the botanist on The Endeavour.) The Town of 1770 is also a departure point for reef cruises and fishing charters to the outer Great Barrier Reef.
Escape the city to these cabins and cottages in regional Queensland. Check prices and availability. Convenient online booking with instant confirmation.
Annual whale watching season is from August to November with the Hervey Bay Whale Festival held in August. Hervey Bay is 300km north of Brisbane.
The Gold Coast Hinterland offers a good contrast to the beaches of Surfers Paradise with mountains and rainforests including Tamborine Mountain, Lamington National Park and Springbrook National Park. The hinterland region is popular for day trips and short retreats from Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
Holiday parks offer a range of self-catering accommodation with all you need to relax and unwind. They have become increasingly popular in Australia with families who want a complete package of self-catering accommodation, entertainment and activities.
These descriptions are written by BCL readers.
Allora is a pretty township nestled part way between Toowoomba and Warwick on the Darling Downs. It is home to about 900 residents who embrace the town’s reputation as “the best little town on the downs”. As you approach the town, the Anglican Church, a solitary white timber building with an almost gothic-style pitched roof, makes quite a striking impression. The town centre has some lovely historic buildings, a supermarket, a café or two, three pubs, a little museum, a swimming pool and a 9-hole golf course.
Allora offers picturesque streetscapes lined with graceful old Queenslander homes, one of which was the childhood home of Pamela Travers, the author of Mary Poppins. For history buffs, Allora has a grizzlier claim to fame. In the late 1800s, a human skull, dubbed the ‘Talgai Skull’ and thought to be around 10 000 year old, was discovered in the area.
There is also Glengallan Homestead, a majestic structure set upon vast pastoral grounds, a few kilometres out of town. Glengallan was abandoned in the 1940s and left to run down for a several decades gaining a reputation with locals as being haunted. It has since been restored and now takes its proud place as one of the major features of the region. You can tour the homestead itself or even book the grounds as a venue for functions. Seasonal farmers’ markets are held on the property and are worth a look, offering local produce, artwork, crafts, homemade cooking, preserves and flowers etc.
Goomburra Forest, a world heritage area, is also only a short drive from the town. Its walking trails and camping areas provide beautiful backdrops for spotting Australian native wildlife such as koalas.
There is an annual Apex Auction held at the Allora showgrounds on the Queen’s birthday weekend. You can pick up just about anything at this rustic local event, from old milk cans, saddles, iron gates, leadlight windows, bath tubs, gramophones and even old cars.
– Nicole Lawler
See options for accommodation nearby in the larger town of Warwick
Ayr is on the north side of the Burdekin River and Home Hill is on the south side. Ayr is approximately 88km south of Townsville; Home Hill is 1270 km north of Brisbane. The Burdekin River is very wide, prone to dramatic flooding. To ensure that Ayr and Home Hill are not cut off during the wet season, a remarkable 1097m long bridge known as the ‘Silver Link’ was constructed in 1958. Sugar cane and mangoes are grown in this region.
Ballandean is just south of Stanthorpe on The Granite Belt, south of the Darling Downs and north of the New England Tablelands in New South Wales. The region is known for its wine and wineries, and the annual Opera in the Vineyard charity event held during the May Day long weekend each year.
This map shows major roads throughout Queensland. Note that major roads outside the main city areas are of varying quality and journeys require some research and planning. Click on the red dots to go to the page for that town.
Bargara is 15 minutes east of Bundaberg and is the largest beachside township on the Coral Coast, with some breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.
Bargara suffered considerable damage from ex-tropical cyclone Oswald in January 2013.
Biloela, a thriving rural town on the junction of the Burnett and Dawson Highways is the administrative centre for the Banana Shire. Biloela is in the Callide Valley, in central Queensland, 95km south west of Gladstone.
Local agriculture includes grazing, cotton, sorghum and wheat. Coal is mined at the nearby Callide and Boundary Hill mines and the Callide Power Stations are just north of the town. Biloela also has a large abattoir.
Bowen is in the northern region of the Whitsundays, on the east coast of Queensland midway between Mackay and Townsville. It boasts incredible tropical beaches that overlook the Great Barrier Reef. Bowen is famous for its mangos. The Big Mango is home of the Bowen Tourist Information Centre, 4km south of Bowen on the Bruce Highway.
In 2007, Bowen was used to portray Darwin in the 1930s in the movie “Australia”.
Tannum Sands and Boyne Island are twin coastal towns on Central Queensland’s East Coast approx 25 km south of Gladstone. Local industry includes Australia’s largest aluminium smelter, Boyne Smelters Ltd. On the Queens Birthday long weekend each year, Boyne Island hosts the Boyne Tannum Hookup Fishing Event.
Bundaberg, a picturesque coastal town famous for its sugar production and Bundaberg rum, is approximately 385 km north (4 hours drive) of Brisbane. Bundaberg is on the Burnett River.
Hervey Bay and Fraser Island are popular tourist destinations. The Great Barrier Reef starts just north of Bundaberg at Lady Elliot and Lady Musgrave Islands.
Bundaberg and surrounding towns such as Childers are popular with backpackers who earn money fruit and vegetable picking on local farms. You can travel north from Bundaberg to Town of 1770 and Gladstone .
Charters Towers is 132km south-west of Townsville, North Queensland, on the Flinders Highway. It is a former gold-rush town.
Charters Towers is a centre for the beef industry and has boarding schools and a school of distance education which cater for remote rural families.
Childers is a small sugar town 52km southwest of Bundaberg and 310km from Brisbane at the junction of the Bruce and Isis Highway. Childers is popular with backpackers being just inland from Hervey Bay and Fraser Island. Fruit and vegetable farms provide employment to locals and backpackers.
Chinchilla, on the Darling Downs, is approximately 300 km north-west of Brisbane. Coal and gas projects as well as agriculture support the community. Chinchilla is famous for its Melon Festival held every two years.
Cunnamulla is on the Warrego River, at the crossroads of the Matilda Highway and the Adventure Way. Cunnamulla is approximately 200 kilometres south of Charleville, and 750 kilometres west of Brisbane.
The main industries within the region are beef, fat lamb and wool production, apiary, grapes, wildlife harvesting, opal mining and tourism.
Cunnamulla is serviced twice a week by Qld Rail from Brisbane and coach from Brisbane and Toowoomba.
The annual Cunnamulla Fella Festival offers country music, live entertainment and a carnival atmosphere. The song “Cunnamulla Fella” was made known by Slim Dusty (youtube) and has been more recently performed by many others including Lee Kernaghan.
Dalby, on the Darling Downs, is 83 KM north-west of Toowoomba, 210km north-west of Brisbane. It is the centre of rich grain and cotton growing on vast, flat black-soil plains. Dalby is also famous for its cattleyards.
The Darling Downs is a vast, fertile plateau on the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range. Road access from Brisbane is along the main highway to Picnic Point at Toowoomba or further west via the Cunningham Highway and through Cunningham’s Gap.
The region was named after Ralph Darling (then Governor of New South Wales) by explorer, Allan Cunningham… and Cunningham’s Gap and Highway were in turn named after Allan Cunningham.
Emerald is in the heart of the Central Highlands, 271km west of Rockhampton along the Capricorn Highway. The Gregory Highway also runs through Emerald – south to Biloela and north to Clermont. Nearby Lake Maraboon and the Fairbairn Dam is a popular for camping, for barbecues, swimming, skiing and boating. Lake Maraboon, is 3 times the size of Sydney Harbour.
Gladstone, Queensland’s largest port, is located 550 kilometres north of Brisbane and 100 kilometres south-east of Rockhampton. Gladstone is placed between the Calliope River to the north and the Boyne River to the south. Both rivers lead into the deep water harbour for which Gladstone owes much of its industrial development. The harbour is protected by Facing Island and Curtis Islands.
The popular Boyne Island/Tannum Sands twin towns are approx 25 km south. Gladstone Airport is 10km (6 miles) from town centre.
Heron Island is surrounded by reefs off the coast of Gladstone, perfect for diving, snorkeling, fishing and nature-walks. It can be accessed by a one hour helicopter flight or a two hour boat ride from Gladstone.
Goondiwindi (pronounced “gun”diwindi) is beside the MacIntyre River on the Queensland/New South Wales border, at the junction of the Newell, Cunningham, Leichhardt, Barwon, Bruxner and Gore Highways. Goondiwindi is 350km west of Brisbane and approx 800 km north east of Sydney.
Hervey Bay is often referred to as the whale watching capital of the world, with its impressive annual whale watching season from August to November. The Hervey Bay Whale Festival is held in August. Hervey Bay is 300km north of Brisbane (3 1/2 hours drive, 34 minutes flight) just north of Maryborough. Hervey Bay is also the access to Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world and Lady Elliot Island, the southern-most point of the Great Barrier Reef.
Hervey Bay whale watching season from August to November.
See Hervey Bay whale watching cruises for details and bookings.
Kingaroy is a middle-sized country town 225km northwest of Brisbane on the D’Aguilar Highway. The town with its peanut processing plant, peanut silos and surrounding peanut farms is known as the “Peanut Capital of Australia”.
Kingaroy is also (in)famous for being the home town of former Premier of Queensland, Sir Joh Bjelke-Peterson.
Things to do include visiting the Kingaroy Information Art & Heritage Precinct, Bicentennial Heritage Museum and the Bunya Mountains National Park.
You can get to Kingaroy on the Bunya Highway from Dalby or the D’Aguilar Highway from Kilcoy and Caboolture.
Longreach is on the Landsborough Highway and the Thompson River in Outback Queensland. It is right in the centre of Queensland, on the Tropic of Capricorn, 700km west of Rockhampton and 1200km north-west of Brisbane. Longreach is rural town based around agricultural and pastoral industries. The name Longreach is derived from the length of the Thompson River.
Mackay is at the mouth of the Pioneer River, on the Queensland coastline halfway between Brisbane and Cairns. It is 400 kilometres north of Rockhampton and the Tropic of Capricorn, and approx 950 kilometres north of Brisbane. The Mackay region produces one-third of Australia’s cane sugar.
Maryborough is on the banks of the Mary River, and on the Bruce Highway, approximately 250km north of Brisbane. Hervey Bay is nearby.
Note: This is Maryborough in Queensland, not Maryborough in Victoria
Moranbah is a Queensland coal mining town, established in 1969, on the Peak Downs Highway, 150 km south-west of Mackay on the way to Clermont. As well as its permanent population, Moranbah also has a large population of FIFO (fly-in-fly-out) miners.
Moranbah Airport is just south of Moranbah along Goonyella Road.
House prices and rents in Moranbah have been pushed up by the mining boom.
Mount Isa, in Outback Queensland, is a large mining community with one of the world’s largest silver-lead mines. It is the administrative, commercial and industrial centre for Queensland’s vast north-western region. Mt Isa is on the Leichhardt River. See Wikipedia for more.
see more Mount Isa Hotels & Motels
Rainbow Beach is a small coastal town approximately 239km north from Brisbane and 108 kilometres north of Noosa. Rainbow Beach it has a magnificent beachfront popular amongst surfers. and offers fishing, boating, surfing, prawning and crabbing. Rainbow Beach is a major entry point to the 41,000 hectare Cooloola National Park. A short drive north from Rainbow is Inskip Point where there’s a ferry to take you and your car across to Fraser Island.
Roma is in the western part of the Darling Downs, approximately 515km from Brisbane, at the junction of the Warrego and Carnarvon Highways.
Rockhampton, the “Beef capital of Queensland”, is on the Tropic of Capricorn. It is 40 kilometres inland from the Pacific Ocean and on Queensland’s largest river, the Fitzroy.
Rockhampton is approximately 640km north of Brisbane. Rockhampton attractions include cruises along the Fitzroy River, Botanical Gardens and Australia’s longest National Trust-classified street.
Tin Can Bay is a fishing and boating town on the Cooloola Coast just off the southern tip of Fraser Island. The old town is built on a peninsula that protrudes into Tin Can Inlet providing safe beaches for families and calm waters for recreational boating.
Stanthorpe is approximately 220km south west of Brisbane is the centre of The Granite Belt, south of the Darling Downs and north of the New England Tablelands in New South Wales.
Because of the elevation and distance from the sea, the Granite Belt is the coolest part of Queensland, with four distinct seasons and occasional snow.
The region is known for its fruit and wine, with the tourism industry hosting local events such as the Spring Wine Festival in September. Girraween National Park is 40km south of Stanthorpe and runs south to New South Wales state border.
Stanthorpe is on the New England Highway which runs north to Warwick and Toowoomba and south through Ballandean, across the border to Tenterfield, Glen Innes, Armidale, Tamworth, and down to join the Pacific Highway just north of Sydney at Newcastle.
Warwick is approximately 158km south-west of Brisbane – 2 1/2 hrs WSW of Brisbane and the Gold Coast. It is 86 km south of Toowoomba, travelling along the New England Highway. It is an attractive city with heritage and cultural drives, with nearby Leslie Dam for water activities and self-guided historical building walks. Warwick is in the southern Darling Downs.
These descriptions are written by BCL readers.
A two-hour drive south-west of Brisbane, Warwick is one of those comfortable country towns that is large enough to have all the facilities you might want and yet small enough to keep its gentle rural feel. Older gentlemen still tip their hat to you as you pass, and cosy cafes, craft and country wear shops line the wide footpaths of its neat main street. There is a modern one-level shopping centre accessed off the main street which houses a food court and major discount department and food stores. As with all country towns, there are plenty of pubs, with varying atmospheres and clientele and a selection of local musicians playing. There is even a small cinema.
You’ll see why Warwick is known as the Rose City if you take a stroll through the sprawling Leslie Park which sits opposite the traditional stone of the local police station and courthouse. At one end, Leslie Park boasts a brightly coloured modern play area and at the other, via a winding path, charming old-fashioned wooden cart swings and a roundabout. The breathtaking scenery of nearby areas such as Cunningham’s Gap, Goomburra Forest and Killarney Falls has encouraged a good selection of luxury accommodation and prestige dining to be established. It is also an easy drive from the Stanthorpe wineries.
If you visit in October, there will be no shortage of boots and cowboy hats as the Warwick Rodeo is a world famous event that brings a large crowd every year. You’ll need warm clothes from about Easter until the end of Winter (August) to combat those crisp Warwick mornings. Oh, and you’re not a local til you’ve had a Hudson pie for smoko!
– Nicole Lawler
Yeppoon, 42km north of Rockhampton, Yeppoon is a major tourist attraction along the Capricorn Coast. Long stretches of beachfront and close proximity to Great Keppel Island make this a popular holiday destination.
Queensland Regional Bed & Breakfast Accommodation
Bed and breakfasts offer a more personal experience than hotels and are more convenient than self-catering. Check prices and availability. Convenient online booking with instant confirmation. Some B&Bs require bookings of two or more nights.
Toowoomba, known as Queensland’s Garden City, sits at the top of the Great Dividing Range and is the entrance to the farming region of the Darling Downs.
The annual Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, Australia’s longest running floral event, has been running since 1950. Thousands of gardeners play their part in transforming the city for the festival which attracts more than 100,000 visitors from around Australia and overseas
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