NAT­U­RAL WON­DER

LOOK­ING FOR A COUN­TRY ES­CAPE THAT YOU CAN DO IN A DAY FROM YOUR GOLD COAST BASE? TOOWOOMBA RES­I­DENTS ARE IN NO DOUBT THAT THEY LIVE IN ONE OF THE MOST PIC­TURESQUE PARTS OF OUR COUN­TRY. GET OUT AND EX­PLORE IT WITH THEM THIS WIN­TER.

Scout Magazine - - Day Trippin’... -

There’s no bet­ter time of the year than win­ter to hit the War­rego High­way and ex­plore South­ern Queens­land Coun­try. With the days so mild, it’s ac­tu­ally worth ditch­ing the car and pulling on your sneak­ers for an up-close-and-per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence, on foot, with this area’s nat­u­ral won­der­ment. We spoke to South­ern Queens­land Coun­try Tourism to find out the best short walks in and around the greater Toowoomba area this win­ter. Stretch your body, your mind and most of all, your soul with these Top 7 short walks.

1. QUEEN MARY FALLS

Move over Meghan, you’ll feel a lit­tle like roy­alty your­self me­an­der­ing along the Queen Mary Falls Cir­cuit in this sec­tion of Main Range Na­tional Park, 64km south-west of Boonah. This Class 3 walk is 2km long and takes about 40 min­utes. In that time, you’ll en­counter chang­ing flora from eu­ca­lypt to rain­for­est. The Queen Mary Falls look­out af­fords views of the 40m plung­ing Spring Creek which even­tu­ally joins the Con­damine River and is the per­fect place from to snatch some travel snaps.

2. SCENIC CIR­CUIT, BUNYA MOUN­TAINS

There’s good rea­son they call this route the Scenic Cir­cuit. This 4km trek, which takes about 80 min­utes, is one of the most pop­u­lar on the Bunya Moun­tains due to the di­ver­sity and views it of­fers. The start is con­ve­niently sit­u­ated at the Dand­abah pic­nic area from where you’ll walk through a for­est of Bunya pines. Make sure you stop for a photograph as you pass through the gi­ant stran­gler fig, be­fore con­tin­u­ing on to some pretty rock pools and Tim Shea falls. Pause at Pine Gorge look­out you’ll be over to sur­vey the South Bur­nett be­low.

3. THE PYRA­MID, GIRRAWEEN NA­TIONAL PARK

There are 11 dif­fer­ent walks from which to choose in Girraween Na­tional Park, but one of the most pop­u­lar (if you have the stamina) is The Pyra­mid, a 3.6km, two-hour trek in­cor­po­rat­ing eu­ca­lypt forests, rocky out­crops and grassy flats. In the end, it’s all about the view from the top – of Bal­anc­ing Rock, the Sec­ond Pyra­mid and over the na­tional park it­self.

4. GOV­ER­NOR’S CHAIR LOOK­OUT, SPICERS GAP

It all sounds a bit posh re­ally and, in fact, if you track back through the his­tory, it is. Sit­u­ated in Main Range Na­tional Park, this is not a long walk, just 300m re­turn, but it’s one of im­por­tance. There’s a huge rock called Gov­er­nor’s Chair, which af­fords views over the Fas­sifern Val­ley, and is re­port­edly where early gover­nors them­selves would take a rest when trav­el­ling through­out Queens­land.

5. TOOWOOMBA’S GAR­DENS

There are three gar­dens and parks worth a short walk in Toowoomba, af­ter all, you are in Queens­land’s flower cap­i­tal. While Queen’s Park is con­sid­ered the city’s cen­ter­piece, there are 3km of paths and 230 species of Ja­pa­nese and Aus­tralian na­tive trees in the Ja­pa­nese Gar­den, and the New­ton Park State Rose Gar­den boasts more than 1500 roses, which are well worth wan­der­ing around.

6. RUS­SELL ST SELF-GUIDED WALK, TOOWOOMBA

Not a na­ture trek in any sense but one of his­tory, you’ll find plenty of an­cient land­marks and ar­chi­tec­ture along Toowoomba’s Rus­sell Street. It will take you a lazy hour to wan­der past the Rail­way Sta­tion, through Kens­ing­ton Street and on to the shop fronts in the city cen­tre that hark back to yes­ter­year.

7. BALD ROCK CREEK CIR­CUIT

Sit­u­ated within Girraween Na­tional Park, this 2km trek takes one hour and is con­sid­ered a snap­shot of this park’s finest fea­tures. You’ll see plenty of feathered, furry and the odd scaly an­i­mal or two along the way, but don’t be scared, we can as­sure you they’re more fright­ened of you. Girraween it­self means “place of flow­ers”, so you’ll see plenty of them as well.

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