Alison and Greg from Toowoomba have asked us for inspiration for their maiden 8 day trip, close to home. We lived in lovely Toowoomba, and Heatley grew up on the Darling Downs, so we know it well! We took our firstborn camping into a few of these, and then back again with our youngest two more recently!
There is sooo much to see and do around Toowoomba. ! From Great Dividing Range views to the patchwork fields of the Darling Downs, here are 10 road trips we have selected for you:
1. Ravensbourne – Yarraman
You could do a loop north! Camp or picnic at Chapman Park, beautiful this time of year at Hampton Visitor Centre – after a stop off at the cafe at the Cuckoo Clock. Turn here for Ravensbourne, where we had a very peaceful night and gorgeous views at this free site! There is a national park next door.
Cressbrook Dam is down the road. Continue on the Hampton Road to Esk and RV friendly Toogoolawah. There are lots of smaller towns to stop or camp at on the way to Yarraman, with heritage, rail trails and forests. Crows Nest has a caravan park and national park campgrounds.
2. Nobby – Warwick
Closer still, visit Nobby with its classic Rudd’s Pub across the road from the donation camp, Nobby Town Park. The town has Saint plus Dad and Dave history. Onto Clifton, which also has great free and budget camping. Pubs, polo, sunflowers and I didn’t know that it was the backdrop for Thornbirds! This is where Heatley grew up – not far from the golf club camp.
Allora is another pretty town with plenty to see and do – and a free overnight camp spot on the creek and showgrounds.
You might want to check out Glengallon Homestead if it is open. Sandy Creek Pub is also close to Warwick and another wonderful free camp.
Leslie Dam was so full when we visited! There are picnic areas, lookouts and two places to camp.
You are right on the lake at Washpool Camping Reserve, and close to the wildlife!
Another lovely drive – time it right and there will be sunflowers and you can free camp at Passmore Reserve. This site is west of Clifton, creek and fireside. 18 km on is another free, waterside camp at Leyburn Rec Ground (pictured above), but with toilets and showers.
A lovely spot, easy walking to the store, birdlife everywhere and you can play tennis! Leyburn is known for the Leyburn Sprints – a historic car race. Ask about the heritage trail and pop into Queensland’s oldest continually licensed pub, or so they say. Bring a book, you’ll want to relax for more than a night at these spots.
Gordon Country, Goomburra Scrub – it has a few different names. It was my very first camping adventure! We’ve been back a couple of times to the Main Range National Park sites – Poplar Flat (swimming) and Manna Gum. Private pet friendly camping is at Goomburra Forest Retreat and Gordon Country. The area offers plenty of bushwalking, swimming, 4WDing and birdwatching.
5. Spicers Gap – Scenic Rim – Queen Mary Falls
Our first camping expedition with our baby was at beautiful Spicers Gap, on the Great Dividing Range. You drive through Cunninghams Gap (walks on offer) and the campground is accessed from the Aratula side. We should go back for an easier night – how were we newbie parents to know he was teething. Also memorable for all the child free friends we camped with!
Boonah and the beautiful Scenic Rim isn’t far away. Lake Moogerah and Lake Maroon, Mount Barney and Moogerah Peaks National Parks are all close by.
Return visiting Killarney and the spectacular Queen Mary Falls in the Main Range National Park. A caravan park is onsite. There is a 2km circuit to see the 40m falls, tackle it clockwise.
6. Stanthorpe – Tenterfield
We recently drove from Stanthorpe to Tenterfield NSW – via Bald Rock and Boonoo Boonoo National Park – AMAZING! Plenty to, eat and sip in Stanthorpe too. Don’t miss the fruit and vege stalls.
You could come back north from Tenterfield via new campsites at Girraween National Park.
7. Texas- Goondiwindi
I love Texas – it has a beautiful riverside camp. Stop off at Lake Coolmunda and Cunningham Highway the Pocket Reserve on the way – visit Yelarbon’s painted silos and stay at their recreation ground – onto Goondiwindi’s beautiful free camping east of town with lots of public art in town.
8. Chinchilla to Yuleba
Also we loved free camping around Chinchilla – Round Waterhole and recently revamped Chinchilla Weir. Stop at the big watermelon for a photo.
Condamine has a beauty at Caliguel Lagoon and Judds Lagoon at Yuleba (make sure you drive the Old Cobb and Co route – you can free camp at The Maryanne).
Roma, Surat, Meandarra, Miles and Wallumbilla are all great spots to add to your list in this area.
9. Bunya Mountains
The Bunya Mountains are beautiful. They are also part of the Great Dividing Range and so much cooler up here in summer. There are lookouts, history, hiking and waterholes. Our kids loved the pony rides and bird feeding – we have had special times up here with family and friends.
Watch out for the eels at Coomba Falls – a gorgeous swim hole on the way there – near Maidenwell. Our kids were worn out jumping and swimming – do be careful though it is very easy to slip on the rocks. Nanango has some wineries to stop at, too.
10. Golf Club Circuit
Finally, we have just created a golf club camp circuit – with Toowoomba a perfect start or end point. It travels to 7 clubs where you mostly camp for a donation over a 600+ km route. If you don’t have a self contained vehicle – then look to our App and guides for other sites nearby each golf club.
Do you receive our newsletters? They will provide future inspiration. It is always a good idea to add the town name into the search bar for our blog. Also look up nearby events to enrich your trip!
All sites are in our CAMPS App and travel guides. If you venture on any of these, have fun and send us some photos!
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