|Trip Length: 3 days Total Distance: 797 km Road Conditions: All sealed roads|
This 3-day drive will take you from Brisbane across the Great Dividing Range to Warwick then down through the valleys of the Border Ranges before heading back across the border to the villages of Tamborine Mountain. Mountainous views, ancient trees, wildlife, waterfalls and fresh creeks are the order of these three days. Bring the camera and a spare memory stick!
From Brisbane follow the Ipswich Motorway to Ipswich. Ipswich is the State's oldest provincial city and is renowned for its architectural, cultural and natural heritage. This is a city where you can literally drive around and marvel at the magnificent and imaginatively designed old houses. Grab a copy of the Ipswich City Heritage Trails pamphlet for a useful guide to 78 buildings in town.
After a fascinating tour around Ipswich's stately homes, you can clear your head with a relaxing drive through the 'Valleys of the Scenic Rim', one of the most picturesque areas in South-East Queensland, to Boonah. Local history buffs should keep a look out for the Templin Historical Museum on the Boonah-Fassifern Road (between Boonah and the Cunningham Highway). The museum contains a collection of artefacts and memorabilia chronicling the history of the local area.
Hop onto the Cunningham Highway at Aratula and prepare yourself for the steep incline of Cunningham's Gap! In 1828, Allan Cunningham officially discovered this pass over the Great Dividing Range, between the Darling Downs and Brisbane. You can stop at the top to marvel at the views, looking back towards Brisbane and Moreton Bay.
Arrive for a night in the city of Warwick where, during the spring months, the city showcases wonderful roses throughout its parks and gardens. Warwick Shire boasts some of Queensland's finest historical sandstone buildings, which were made from local sandstone and now stand today as reminders of their pioneering past. The Post Office (built in 1891) and the Town Hall (1888), both in Palmerin Street, are two fine examples.
You can choose from a wide range of bed & breakfast, motels, hotels and caravan park accommodation in town.About the Drive
|Duration:||2 hrs 30 mins|
Today's drive will take you south of the border ranges into New South Wales. On the way you will pass through the tiny township of Killarney where, on weekends, you can drop into the Heritage Centre (located at the RSL Hall in Acacia Street) which specialises in researching local family history.
Just a couple of kilometres out of town is the spectacular Queen Mary Falls, one of Killarney's most famous attractions. Queen Mary Falls is nestled in the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range. With a wall of glistening rock as a backdrop, the water plummets to the rocks below, before continuing its journey down the valley floor to join the Condamine River's upper reaches. Tables, wood fire places, toilets and water are provided in a spacious picnic ground. Allow about 40 minutes for the 2 km circuit walk.
Now heading east, you will pass through the village of Woodenbong and township of Kyogle before arriving at Murwillumbah, which sits in the shadow of Mt Warning. This 1156 metre high mountain is the ancient core of the largest extinct shield volcano in the Southern Hemisphere. For most of the year, the peak of the mountain is where the sun's first rays touch the Australian mainland. The 8.8 km (return) rainforest walk to the summit of Mt Warning will reward you with a fantastic view, but is recommended for people with good fitness.
Follow the Nerang-Murwillumbah Road back across the state border, through the Nunminbah Valley and into the World Heritage listed Springbrook National Park, home to the famous Natural Bridge waterfall. Time to stretch the legs on the short rainforest walk (1 km circuit) to see the Natural Arch over Cave Creek.
Drive north through the small township of Advancetown, the original of which is now sitting below the water at the bottom of nearby Hinze Dam. Follow the signs from here to Tamborine Mountain.
Tamborine Mountain is a haven for talented artists who love to share their passions with passers-by. Stroll along the Gallery Walk and be enthralled by the eclectic range of galleries and craft shops. There are plenty of antique shops along Gallery Walk, throughout the village and surrounding areas. The locals have even put together an Antique and Collectibles Trail to help you find them all. A wide range of Bed & Breakfast accommodation is available on the mountain.About the Drive
|Duration:||6 hrs 15 mins|
This morning, head down the mountain to the old sawmilling town of Canungra. You can take a walk through the sawmill's old tramway tunnel which is cut through sandstone or just wander through the many art and craft shops in town. From here take a scenic drive up to O'Reillys Plateau in Lamington National Park.
Lamington is part of the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves Australia World Heritage Area along the Queensland-New South Wales border ranges. The Park's beautiful rainforests include the largest subtropical rainforest remnant in the world and one of the most extensive Antarctic Beech cool temperate rainforests in Australia. You can choose from over 300 km of walking tracks, including O'Reilly's Tree Top Walk.
Canungra Valley Vineyards, just outside Canungra, is an excellent stop for a bit of Platypus spotting on your return journey to Brisbane.About the Drive