Toowoomba’s historic Picnic Point offers breezy views from the top of the range. Its eponymous café serves up a picnic tasting plate featuring fresh local produce. Being the Garden City, Toowoomba has plenty of shady, leafy parks – including two new additions to the west of the city. Head towards Crows Nest on the New England Highway to find Peacehaven Botanic Garden and Davidson Arboretum – two pleasant green spaces at Highfields. Both were donated to the people by generous green-thumbs. Adjoining Davidson Arboretum are two quaint guest cottages named for the original property of “Homewood”. One has a cosy English feel, the other an Australiana touch featuring beautiful timbers.
To the south-west is the Scenic Rim where you’ll find Australia’s highest non-alpine lodge. Award-winning Spicers Peak Lodge is a luxury escape set in a lofty landscape, with stunning mountain views. Among the guest activities is a Bush Tucker walk with experienced bush guide, “Jacko”. The walk ends with morning tea at Spicers Canopy – the lodge’s sister property where glamping is elevated to a whole new level.
The Granite Belt is the highest, coolest part of Queensland and its unofficial capital, Stanthorpe, offers a low-humidity escape in summer months. The region is best known for its fruit of the vine but if a more refreshing beverage appeals, then Granite Belt Brewery at Happy Valley Retreat will hit the spot. Take a tour of this boutique brewery, sample some of its 7 signature beers up at the bar or take part in a degustation lunch or dinner where beer is perfectly matched to fabulous dishes.