|Trip Length: 3 days Total Distance: 656 km Road Conditions: All sealed roads|
Take the back roads from Brisbane to Bundaberg and you will be rewarded with a trip back through time to the pioneering life of the South Burnett and Wide Bay Country.
Travel north along the Bruce Highway and take the Beerwah exit where you will meet a family of ancient volcanic lava mounds, affectionately named The Glass House Mountains by Captain Cook. According to the Aboriginal legend, the mountains form a family with Tibrogargan being the father at 364 metres and Beerwah being the mother at 555 metres.
Be sure to stop off at Landsborough and visit the Landsborough Historical Museum to see a display of over 4,000 items reflecting local pioneer history. Relax and take a walk along the emerging heritage trail and stop by the charming railway station building.
Maleny is less than 15 minutes drive up the range. Visit Mary Cairncross Park on the way, a living nature museum, where you can experience one of Queensland's best panoramas and stretch your legs on a stroll through 50 hectares of untouched rainforest. Maleny offers many Bed n' Breakfasts, and in such a location, the views are spectacular.About the Drive
|Duration:||1 hr 45 mins|
This morning head north-west along the Maleny-Kenilworth road which passes through the Sunshine Coast hinterland towns of Witta and Conondale. Spend a while inspecting the Kenilworth Cheese Factory and taste the local produce, before heading towards Gympie, 'Queensland's Golden City'. A range of cultural as well as historical exhibits are located here, such as the Gold Mining Museum, Lighthorse Museum and the Andrew Fischer House. The Mary Valley Heritage Railway and Woodworks Forestry and Timber Museum provide outstanding links to the region's railway and timber history.
About 50 km west of Gympie on the Wide Bay Highway, is another gold mining township of Kilkivan. The century old lure of gold has been replaced with the temptation of locally grown olives, redclaw crayfish and healing properties of lavender.
Further west is Murgon a diverse farming area that, among a range of crops, boasts the largest vineyard in the State. There are six vineyards and cellar doors within a 15 km radius of the town. Boat Mountain (approximately 10 km from Murgon) has one of the best panoramic views in the south east of Queensland and a scenic drive will get you to the best vantage points.
Also worth a look is Cherbourg, an Aboriginal community located 4 km past Murgon. Visitors can purchase a variety of crafts including intricately carved Emu eggs, learn more about native food plants in the Cherbourg Botanical Garden and enjoy amazing views over the Bjelke Petersen Dam.
Head north from Murgon through the tiny township of Cloyna. 'Rockhounds' can search for jasper, agate, crystal, amethyst, bloodstone and pertrified wood at the privately owned Jasper Fields, (turn off the main road at Cloyna School, going past the sawmill to the 'Gemfields' sign).
At the heart of Queensland's Citrus Country, Gayndah, settled in 1849, is the oldest town in Queensland and was once in the running at the state capital. To get a good perspective of the town drive to the Thomas and Charles Archer Lookout on the top of nearby Duke and Duchess Mountain. For a taste of local produce you can join a free tour of The Ellendale Orchard on Old Mundubbera Road (operate between mid April and mid July). Hotel and motel accommodation is available in town.About the Drive
From Gayndah follow the Burnett Highway to Mundubbera, home of the BIG Mandarin, where you can stop and arrange a tour to nearby Golden Mile Orchard. This is a great place to stock up on the plentiful supply of locally grown fruit and nuts.
Eidsvold is about 30 minutes down the Burnett Highway. Stretch your legs and wander through the Eidsvold Historical Complex, which incorporates a large collection of minerals, gems, bottles, antiquated tools, seven heritage buildings, a railway siding with old rolling stock, and interesting memorabilia.
Turn off the Burnett Highway at Ceratodus and head east along Kerwee Road through Mount Perry. About 12 kms out of town on the road to Gin Gin, take 'Tourist Drive 6' (follow the tourist drive signs) which passes through two gates before winding up the side of a hill and into the remarkable Boolboonda Tunnel, extending 192 m into the rock, it is the longest unsupported tunnel in the Southern Hemisphere. It was constructed over 120 years ago, between 1883 and 1884.
Some 28 km from Bundaberg on the Gin Gin Highway, are the fascinating Mystery Craters, an unusual geological formation of moon-like craters formed in solid rock.
As you drive through Bundaberg look out for the 'Whaling Wall' a 7-storey landmark mural celebrating the annual whale migration. For history buffs you can learn about Bundaberg's favourite son, pioneer aviator Bert Hinkler at the superb Botanical Gardens Complex in which Bert Hinkler's English home and the local museum are located.About the Drive
|Duration:||3 hrs 15 mins|