CM Life boonah drive cover

Brisbane backpackers -EXPERIENCE THE SCENERY

So your in Brisbane, staying at Brisbane Backpackers hostel Somewhere to Stay, you’ve walked the river, played the city tourist but you need to get to nature and experience what the country is like.

Well hire a car and take a adventure drive from Boonah to Warwick, via Beaudesert and Woodenbong; this is one of the most scenic trips in southeast Queensland country. The journey is about 200km and can be done in a day. Alternatively, take in the sights and make a weekend of it.

CM Life boonah drive beaudesert
Brisbane backpackers  & BEAUDESERT

West of Boonah, Beaudesert is always welcoming.  The bakery has good pies. The information centre on the northern approach has an interesting art gallery of pottery, jewellery, quilts and craft work. And on the first Saturday of the month, the place has a really good market.  The museum, near the public swimming pool, is a classic.  Outside is an original “tent hut”.  These train-portable sheds were family homes for the railway builders, and moved along as the track was laid.  There’s an 1870s slab hut with vertical wall slabs cut with a broad axe. Inside are curios including relics from the Stinson air crash – a famous 1930s epic rescue story.

CM Life boonah drive horses

Brisbane backpackers & RATHDOWNEY

South of Beaudesert is horse country. There are spelling yards and brood mares, leggy foals and neat white fences, both along the Mt Lindesay Highway and up the Lions Road (the turn-off is a few kilometres north of Rathdowney). Rathdowney’s pub produced the Carp Busters – a group of locals who decided to fight the encroaches of European carp into their fishing spots along the upper Logan River.  Down the hill, past the sign for the knackery, and there’s another information centre, a hop and a skip away from the Axemen and Sawyers Clubhouse.

CM Life boonah drive mt lindesay

Brisbane backpackers & MT LINDESAY

This drive, via Warwick, can just as pleasantly be an exploratory day run into scenic, less-explored areas of the Border Ranges country. Near the border, “the Old Wedding Cake” – the 1195m-high Mt Lindesay, with its collar of sheer rock, is a distinctive landmark visible from many directions.  Bellbird calls in dense forest greet travellers at the border crossing at Collins Gap.

CM Life boonah drive woodenbong

Brisbane backpackers & WOODENBONG

Kyogle Council’s sign welcomes you to “The Gateway to the Rainforests” as the road winds past palms and tree ferns.  Woodenbong is not a base for the makers of wooden chillums, rather a laid-back timber and cattle town with a friendly “Yowie Country” market held on the last Saturday of the month. Pleasant scenes of rural tranquillity are revealed at every turn as the highway winds to Urbenville.  This area is a noted biodiversity hotspot and the gateway for kayakers to the upper Clarence River at Paddys Flat.  For bushwalkers and birdwatchers, the Tooloom National Park is the main attraction.

CM Life boonah drive QMary Falls 6

Brisbane backpackers & QUEEN MARY FALLS

The Mt Lindesay Highway makes its way down the eastern side of the Granite Belt, emerging at Tenterfield. But at Legume – a hamlet named by the returned servicemen from World War I after a French battlefield – motorists can turn back into Queensland.  The choice here is to cut back to Queen Mary Falls, and follow the road back over the ranges to Boonah, or to continue to Killarney. This pretty town is set in the hills, with houses overlooking the local polocross fields. From here, the Settlers Route 33km to Warwick leads into flat and open Darling Downs farmland, with the colours of sunflower and sorgum fields dominating.

CM Life boonah drive warwick

Brisbane backpackers & WARWICK

Warwick, with its many fine sandstone buildings and rose gardens extending to the dividing strip in the main street, is a comfortable old friend, and a great place to revive with a coffee and snack. Head south for a discovery trip into the Granite Belt and the spectacular Girraween National Park and border country, or head back on the New England Highway, down the range at Cunningham’s Gap, and a good run back to Ipswich and home.