About This Drive
Duration: 15 days
Route: Brisbane - Winton - Longreach - Kingaroy - Brisbane (loop)
Start your events road trip at the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers during the September school holidays. There is a dedicated children's program and a food & wine festival for the adults. Head west and make a stop in Chinchilla, home of the Melon, and then onto Roma. Tonight take in the Big Rig Night Show to learn about Australia's oil and gas industry. Drive northwest to try out Mitchell's Artesian Spa and then onto Tambo and experience the Tambo Teddies being made at their workshop. Head to Winton to check out the Outback Festival also held in late September each year. After the outback fun, drive east to Longreach and take a tour of the Qantas Founders Museum, see the show at Stockman's Hall of Fame and join the Drover's Sunset Cruise to finish off the day. Continue east to Lake Maraboon, hike a kayak, go fishing and enjoy the quiet for a night or two. Carry on and make a stop at Blackdown Tableland National Park before ending the day at Biloela. Visit the local wineries and check out the peanut van in Kingaroy on your way back to Brisbane.
Day 1-2: Brisbane to Toowoomba (167km)
Head west along the Warrego Highway and get ready to Eat, Laugh & Play at the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers in the September school holidays. Ride the Park Shuttle Bus to experience a riot of colour and music on show at the Garden City’s beautiful public parks. The kids will love Sideshow Alley in Queens Park and the giant ‘caterpillar’ and ‘train’ shaped hedges in Laurel Bank Park. The dedicated children’s program at the food & wine festival is bound to be a hit. Don’t miss the spectacular floral parade to see beautiful flowery floats wind their way through the heart of the city. Drive a short distance to the Woolshed at Jondaryan’s campsite, a great country base for the kids to chill and run off some steam. Join in the rural activities, enjoy campfire dinners and download the app for a self-guided tour of the heritage buildings.
Stay 2 nights at the Woolshed at Jondaryan, (30 mins from Toowoomba).
Day 3: Toowoomba to Roma (305km)
Point your van west this morning and watch for melon paddocks as you head towards Chinchilla, home of the famous Chinchilla Melon Festival (held in February). Continue on the road to Roma, gateway to the Outback, and home to the Southern Hemisphere’s largest cattle saleyards operating free tours on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Tonight, head to The Big Rig Night Show to experience an entertaining sound and light show telling the pioneering story of Australia’s oil and gas industry.
Overnight The Big Rig Tourist Park, Roma.
Day 4: Roma to Tambo (384km)
Enjoy a relaxing dip at Mitchell’s Great Artesian Spa Complex and soak up the curative powers of this natural artesian mineral water. Drive northwest along the Matilda Way to the tiny township of Augathella, once a popular stopover for bullock teams and drovers. See a Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers Parade teddy being made at the Tambo Teddies Workshop, then stroll along Coolibah Walk with its many swimming holes and fishing spots.
Overnight Tambo Mill Motel & Caravan Park, Tambo.
Day 5-9: Tambo to Winton (492km)
Begin your drive early this morning, as there is plenty to see along the road to Winton! Visit the historic Blackall Woolscour, the only fully intact steam powered woolwashing plant in Australia. Continue along the Matilda Way to Ilfracombe and the historic Wellshot Hotel. Make sure you check out the ceiling covered in money! Last stop west is Winton, home of Waltzing Matilda, dinosaurs and the biennial Outback Festival, held in the September school holidays. Enjoy a packed family-friendly program of events to include the famous Australian Dunny Derby, Outback Ironman events, sunset dinners, Indigenous cultural program, free kids events and workshops. Explore Winton’s nearby Dinosaur attractions – Australian Age of Dinosaurs and Dinosaur Stampede at Lark Quarry.
Stay 5 nights at Outback Festival Campsite, Winton.
Day 10-11: Winton to Longreach (180km)
Say farewell to Winton and drive east to Longreach, the heart of the West. Visit the Qantas Founders Museum to join the Jet Tour, take a wing walk or test your skills in the flight simulator. Take your seat for the entertaining Outback Stockman’s lunch and show at the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame, then meet the Walkers on nearby Camden Park Station for a station tour and sunset barbeque. Board the Cobb & Co coach for an exhilarating ride through the scrub and see the Harry Redford Old Time Tent Show. Wander downtown Longreach then give the kids some well earned chill time with a refreshing swim back at the Tourist Park. Join the Drover’s Sunset Cruise (including dinner & show) on the Thomson River tonight.
Stay 2 nights at Longreach Tourist Park.
Day 12: Longreach to Lake Maraboon, Emerald (415km)
Make a pit stop in Barcaldine. Stand under the impressive Tree of Knowledge Memorial where once stood the 180-year old ghost gum, significant to the Shearers’ Strike in 1891. The kids can test their musical skills on the outdoor Thong-a-phone and Marimba, before tucking into a tasty snack at one of the local bakeries or cafés. Continue east to Lake Maraboon for a spot of recreation and relaxation. Hire a kayak, throw a line or dip your toes in the water. Tonight, make use of the free barbeque facilities or have someone else do the cooking at the Lakeside Café & Bar with Red Claw Lager on tap!
Overnight Lake Maraboon Holiday Village, Emerald.
Day 13: Lake Maraboon to Biloela (320km)
Spend a lazy morning at Lake Maraboon then make your way into Emerald. Take a ‘selfie’ at the world’s largest Van Gogh sunflower painting some 25 metres high! Travel via Blackwater to the small township of Dingo. If time permits, take a side trip to the spectacular Blackdown Tableland National Park, with its deep gorges, picturesque lookouts and scenic waterfalls (not suitable for towing caravans) before ending the day at Biloela.
Overnight Discovery Parks, Biloela.
Day 14: Biloela to Kingaroy (439km)
Visit Eidsvold, known for its beef cattle and home of the RM Williams Centre, then travel to Mundubbera, the citrus capital of Queensland. Call into the Visitor Information Centre to enquire about tours of the Golden Mile Orchards, the largest citrus orchard in Australia, which run from April to September. Taste South Burnett is a cellar door for local Kingaroy boutique wineries and a recommended stop for picking up the best in local deli treats. Tonight, see the moon, stars and planets up close at the Kingaroy Observatory.
Overnight BIG4 Holiday Park, Kingaroy.
Day 15: Kingaroy to Brisbane (221km)
Stock up on your choice of over 20 lipsmacking flavours of locally grown peanuts at the iconic Peanut Van, then visit the Lavender Farm at Pottique to sample their lavender scones! Hit the road, wind down your windows and capture the fresh country air as you make your way back to Brisbane.
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