Enjoy a day trip from Toowoomba through the townships of Maclagan, Haden and Goombungee and get a glimpse into the varying picturesque landscapes in the region. Explore the Australian Army Flying Museum at Oakey, the Muntapa Tunnel near Peranga, take a walk through the remnant rainforest at the Palms National Park near Cooyar. The return trip through Haden, Goombungee and Kingsthorpe allows wine buffs to do more tasting at the Rosalie House Cellar Door & Restaurant.
Toowoomba to Oakey
Toowoomba to Oakey 34 mins | 30.9 KM
Start your trip in Toowoomba, there is something for everyone to be enjoyed here. Experience Toowoomba’s rich history by making your fest stop at Cobb and Co Museum. You will find an outstanding collection of horse- drawn vehicles and the story of the natural and cultural history of Toowoomba and the Darling Downs. Stroll the streets of the CBD and you will get a glimpse into Toowoomba’s wealthy beginnings with beautiful buildings such as City Hall, the Caledonian Estate and many heritage listed examples on Russell St. While you are out an about be sure to take in the many colourful murals scattered throughout the CBD. Indulge in one of the many café hot spots in the CBD, or enjoy a coffee whilst marvelling at the street art at one of the many café’s to be found down an alleyway, such as Ground Up on Searles Walk.
Once you are fuelled up and ready for your day ahead, jump in your car and head West to Oakey. Here you will find the town’s most popular drawcard, the Australian Army Flying Museum where you will see every kind of aircraft flown by the Australian Army since World War II, including the latest high-tech military helicopters. Other remarkable flying machines include a replica of the Bristol Boxkite as used to train pilots in World War I.
Oakey to Cooyar
Oakey to Cooyar 1 hr 14 mins | 86.8 KM
Take a detour and check out Muntapa Tunnel near Peranga, Queensland’s longest straight railway tunnel (287m). to see a bentwinged bat colon living within. The park near the entrance has picnic tables and barbeques, a viewing platform and toilets. Check out the interpretative signs which detail the history of the rail, and take a walk into the tunnel.
Next up is Cooyar, a tranquil country village. The wide verandahs of the Cooyar Hotel offer a friendly spot for a drink and the lowdown on what to see and do around town. Another great place to stop by is McCoys Café, the newest foodie addition to Cooyar. McCoys Café is a motorcycle themed café owned and operated by MotoGP racing legend, Garry McCoy and they are already well known for their impressive burgers, so make sure to drop in and try one yourself!
You’ll have to be up early or wait (what) patiently at dusk to spot a platypus in Cooyar Creek, with the best vantage spot from the suspension bridge in Swinging Bridge Park.
Right near Cooyar is the tiny Palms National Park which preserves remnant rainforest and a stand of piccabeen palms in a spring- fed gully. You can hear or catch a glimpse of birds, frogs, bats and other wildlife when you picnic or take a short rainforest stroll.
Cooyar to Goombungee
Cooyar to Goombungee 43 mins | 55.6 KM
Be sure to check out the beautiful hidden gem lookout just outside of Haden overlooking the Great Diving Range, which not too many people know about!
Heading South of Haden you will find the quaint town of Goombungee, famous for their Jacaranda Trees which they celebrate annually with the Jacaranda Day Festival in early November. Drop into the Pioneer Arms Hotel, which dates back to 1897 is known to be a great lunch destination serving up hearty country fare and a warm welcome. The Rosalie Gallery hosts an ever- changing display of works by the region’s artists. If you happen to have your clubs in the car you’re welcome at the local, challenging nine- hole golf course.
Goombungee to Kingsthorpe
Goombungee to Kingsthorpe 18 mins | 21.1 KM
Further South towards Toowoomba you will find Kingsthorpe. Stop at Mt Kingsthorpe Park lookout just outside of town, where a graded walking track from the car park to the summit provides you expansive views across the Darling Downs.
If you are up for some wine tasting and are keen to try some more local produce, be sure to detour off track on your way to Kingsthorpe and try out Rosalie House in Lilyvale. Make sure you book ahead as it is a popular spot amongst locals!
Kingsthorpe to Toowoomba
Kingsthorpe to Toowoomba 30 mins | 22.5 KM
Enjoy the last bit of your drive back to where you began in Toowoomba, finish your day relaxing in one of Toowoomba’s stunning parks such as Laurel Bank Park or Queens Park, or get your Zen on at the Japanese Gardens at USQ.
FARMERS COUNTRY DRIVE