Escape the urban grind on a perfectly seasoned autumn escape in Southern Queensland Country. Breathe, relax and drink in the good life just a stone's throw (90-minutes) from Brisbane. Fresh seasonal produce and world class wineries, stunning natural places, country hospitality and a range of events, it's all here for you to experience.
Here's some fresh ideas for your autumn getaway...
Pack a picnic and take in the hues of magnificent autumn leaves in Toowoomba's Queens Park or lakeside at Ju Raku En Japanese Gardens, then enjoy a walk through the crunchy fallen leaves. Japanese Maples, liquidambars, ginko bilobas and plane trees are a riot of Autumn colours ranging from yellow, orange and gold through to crimson and burgundy.
Fresh Local Produce
Head to the Granite Belt to breathe the fresh air and savour fresh autumn produce. Sample flavoursome just-picked fruit and vegetables - autumn apples, figs, pears, strawberries, stone fruit and olives at roadside stalls, or take home zucchinis, tomatoes, peas, pumpkin, eggplants and capsicums to cook up a storm.
Get along to one of these colourful autumn events:
Hampton Festival (May 20) - This one's a must-attend for foodies - watch celebrity chefs work their magic on the best regional produce, shop and eat to your heart's content, or simply sit and enjoy the atmosphere of this celebration of regional produce, gourmet industries and the arts and creative culture.
Opera in the Vineyard (May 6) - There can be few experiences that come close to the breathtakingly-beautiful opera in the Ballandean Vineyard, Stanthorpe. Even if you're not an opera fan, you'll be enchanted with the experience which features leading opera stars, delicious gourmet food, wine and champagne.
Toowoomba Weetwood (Apr 7) - A historical event of over 128 years in the making, this year will see the Toowoomba Weetwood make another momentous step, transforming from a great local race day to a national event. The event will also showcase some of the best racehorses, from their rising two and three-year-old track stars to seasoned gallopers vying for Weetwood and Toowoomba Cup honours.
Big Skies (Apr 28 - May 6) - A week-long celebration of the sights, tastes and unique experiences that the Western Downs region has to offer. The jam-packed program includes: a tour of the Dalby cattle saleyards, cinema under the stars, long lunch and the most amazing rock concert beneath the grandeur of Jimbour House. There's even a chance to experience the big skies up close and personal with a hot air balloon ride over the breathtaking countryside.
Allora Autumn Festival (Apr 28-29) - Celebrating the best of the Autumn season, the little town of Allora comes alive in the last weekend of April. The event features; street markets with local artisan stalls, vintage cars, tours of the historic town including the Mary Poppins house, where Pamela Goff (PL Travers) grew up, breakfast barbeques and more. Don't miss out on a ticket to 'Saturday night's special 'Dinner of Drayton' offering the chance to dine under the stars in the streets, with dinner showcasing local produce and products.
Fresh Autumn Air
Take in the fresh autumn air on one of these walks:
Bunya Mountains National Park - Wander just 500m or take on a 10km trail to see the world's largest remaining stand of bunya pines. Discover mountain scenery and grassy 'balds' and spot an incredible variety of birds.
Be amazed by the sheer size of the huge granite boulders towering above open forests in Girraween National Park or breathe in the clean air at the fern-studded Queen Mary Falls in Main Range National Park, where Spring Creek takes a spectacular 40m plunge over a sheer rock face.
Find more inspiration on where to explore, dine and relax across Southern Queensland Country.