This journey commences in Toowoomba and follows an old Cobb and Co road through the Lockyer Valley towns of Helidon, Grantham, Ma Ma Creek, Gatton and Forest Hill where many war memorials demonstrate the sorrow of mothers who lost sons during the Great War. Drive north east to Esk in the Brisbane Valley where a large marble edifice commemorates the war service of locals in this district. From here, travel north through the dairy towns of Toogooloowah and Moore to Linville where a rather unusual war memorial can be found, designed by a local returned serviceman. Climb the Blackbutt plateau and head into the South Burnett District towns of Nanango and Kingaroy, and on to Murgon and Goomeri. Goomeri has a memorial clock and a memorial hall, as does Gayndah further north.
|Duration||4 Days||Itinerary Type||Land
|Distance||417 Kilometres||Itinerary Route||One Way
|Mode of Travel||Car||Level of Difficulty||Unrated|
Departing Toowoomba, take Warrego Highway down towards Helidon and then the Cobb and Co Tourist drive through Helidon to Grantham, a town devastated by the 2011 floods. Drive south to Ma Ma Creek to visit its WWI soldier's memorial, located in the town cemetery. This memorial was privately commissioned by Fleurine Elsie Andrews who lost three sons in France.
Drive north to Gatton where the 'weeping mother memorial' in Littleton Park provides a sobering reminder of the 68 local men lost in WWI.
Nearby Forest Hill's soldier statue memorial is in a park adjacent to the old railway station. Enjoy a cool drink at one of Forest Hill's heritage listed hotels.
Travel north through Coominya and join the Brisbane Valley Highway towards Esk. Call into one of the many picnic areas on Lake Wivenhoe en route. The Esk War Memorial is stunning. It comprises a sandstone plinth topped with inlaid marble tablets encased with copper ionic pilasters, with name plates set in bronze. Its locality in the landscaped gardens on the main street is framed by Mount Esk to the east.
There are hotel, motel, caravan, camping and bed and breakfast options in and around Esk for an overnight stay.
The road north from Esk to Toogoolawah travels through the grazing country of the Brisbane Valley. Toogoolawah developed around a condensed milk factory founded by the McConnell family in 1898. Local dairymen who went to fight in WWI are commemorated on the war memorial in McConnell Park. This was the second war memorial erected in Queensland and the first outside of a cemetery.
Drive north past the Colinton War Memorial and turn at Moore to the tiny town of Linville. Its memorial was designed by a local returned soldier, Tom Cross, an artist and photographer. This unusual pagoda-styled memorial was designed for a community that lost eight of the 24 young men who enlisted.
Backtrack on the Linville Road to the D'Aguilar Highway and up to the Blackbutt plateau past Yarraman to the Nanango soldier statue and on to Kingaroy. The memorial rotunda in Kingaroy Park is an outstanding landmark memorial dominated by a domed roof. Adjacent is a stone of remembrance designed to replicate those found in Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemeteries world-wide. Kingaroy's Old Butter Factory is a great place to break the journey and enjoy the local produce including wine, cheese and peanuts.
The road north of Kingaroy traverses farming and grazing country through Wondai to Murgon. Pause at the soldier statue memorial in Lamb Street Murgon. The old South Burnett Cooperative Dairy Association building in Macalister Street is now a winery for Clovely Estate. Vineyards can be visited around Kingaroy and south of Murgon.
Drive on to Goomeri where the town's memorial clock graces the junction of the South Burnett and Wide Bay highways. Take a short walk along the Wide Bay Highway to the corner of McGregor Street to see the Hall of Memory, built in honour of locals who volunteered for war service. There are a number of cafes in town to enjoy lunch before heading on to Gayndah, the home of the citrus industry.
The Gayndah War Memorial is located in a public square between the post office and the former council chambers. This outdoor honour board includes a mixture of Australian and British symbolism, and was donated by local grazier Harold H Wilson. There is a memorial hall incorporated into the council chambers. You may choose to stay overnight, or take the Isis Highway back towards Childers and the Bruce Highway.
|Start from:||64 Annand Street, Toowoomba QLD 4350, Australia|
|End at:||Brisbane Valley Highway, Esk QLD 4312, Australia|
|Duration:||1 hour 3 mins|
|Start from:||Brisbane Valley Highway, Esk QLD 4312, Australia|
|End at:||20 William Street, Kingaroy QLD 4610, Australia|
|Duration:||1 hour 37 mins|
|Start from:||20 William Street, Kingaroy QLD 4610, Australia|
|End at:||25 Anzac Parade, Gayndah QLD 4625, Australia|
|Duration:||1 hour 57 mins|