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Forest Hill

Just five kilometres south of the Warrego Highway, and around 40 minutes from Ipswich, lies the tiny but interesting town of Forest Hill.

It happens to be a town where much of yesteryear still survives by way of two beautiful heritage-listed pubs, a craft shop, antiques and collectables centre, two cafes and more. This little town is well worth a day trip.

Moreover, it is on the Cobb and Co Tourist route, so it is little wonder it has something for the history buffs.

As an alternative to the hurly-burly of the highway, take the more leisurely and more scenic route from Ipswich to Forest Hill via Rosewood and Laidley.

Forest Hill, Lockyer Valley Area
Queensland
Australia

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Grantham, Lockyer Valley

Grantham, Lockyer Valley Area
About halfway between Gatton and Helidon lies Grantham, a little village surrounded by rich farming land. The town is home to one of Australia's leading beef producers, exporting prime beef to markets around the world. In 2011, Grantham suffered severely in the January flood event. For a while, the town became a household name due to extensive media coverage. The Lockyer Valley Regional Council implemented a voluntary land swap for affected residents. The first of its kind, the swap was run as a ballot, enabling residents to exchange their land for a block on higher ground. Today, the new estate on the hill is occupied by both new and old residents in a beautifully landscaped setting. A number of parks in the area have been recently beautified and a brand new park is located within the new estate. These parks are the perfect place to stop and enjoy the surroundings, offering play equipment for the kids. Call in a say hi to friendly locals at the general store and newsagency or take a look at the newly restored Butter Factory. You will find fresh local produce at the fruit and vegetable market store as well as road-side farm stalls.

Laidley

Laidley, Lockyer Valley Area
Just 60 minutes from downtown Brisbane, Laidley greets visitors with good old-fashioned hospitality in some of the richest farmlands and most magnificent scenery. Imagine an early morning hot air balloon flight over picturesque farmlands of the Lockyer Valley or an exhilarating skydive for the more adventurous. There are so many attractions for visitors to enjoy, from the preserved heritage of the pioneer village, to the local arts and crafts plus the region's oldest home, Das Neumann Haus. The bed and breakfasts, motel, country style hotels, backpacker hostels, caravan and camping grounds and offer visitors a wide choice of accommodation for that relaxing country break. To appreciate this beautiful region, take a scenic drive through the Laidley Valley via Mulgowie Road, or Laidley Creek Road and gaze across the colourful landscape of the valley from the region's two lookouts. Relaxing by the bank of Lake Dyer (Bill Gunn Dam), or picnicking in the Lions Park and viewing Narda Lagoon from the suspension bridge, is an idyllic getaway. Laidley has so much to share, and boasts the seventh most fertile valley in the world - all an hour's drive from Brisbane.

Murphys Creek

Murphys Creek, Lockyer Valley Area
Stop in at the historic tiny town of Murphy's Creek. You can travel there via Toowoomba from the New England Highway or via the Warrego Highway. Today, Murphy's Creek is little more than a general store, coffee shop, and a historic cottage called Jeffery's Cottage. By the cottage, there are picnic tables that make picnicking in this quiet rural setting easy. Although it is hard to imagine, around 100 years ago Murphy's Creek was a thriving business centre with tannery and bookmaker, blacksmith, bacon factory, wool scour, brickyards, pit sawmill, stone quarries, two stores, a butcher, two hotels and a bakery, a police station, court house and three churches. There were over a hundred children in the school. First called Fingal, the settlement grew when the railway line pushed up the range to Toowoomba. The nearby creek gave its name to the town just as Peter Murphy had given his name to the creek when he built his station nearby in 1841.

Forest Hill

Forest Hill, Lockyer Valley Area
Just five kilometres south of the Warrego Highway, and around 40 minutes from Ipswich, lies the tiny but interesting town of Forest Hill. It happens to be a town where much of yesteryear still survives by way of two beautiful heritage-listed pubs, a craft shop, antiques and collectables centre, two cafes and more. This little town is well worth a day trip. Moreover, it is on the Cobb and Co Tourist route, so it is little wonder it has something for the history buffs. As an alternative to the hurly-burly of the highway, take the more leisurely and more scenic route from Ipswich to Forest Hill via Rosewood and Laidley.

Helidon

Helidon, Lockyer Valley Area
The quiet hamlet of Helidon lies in the picturesque Lockyer Valley, approximately one hour west of Brisbane and just 15 minutes east of Toowoomba. Sandstone from this area has been used in many of Queensland's beautiful historic buildings. Helidon is also the business hub for explosive manufacturing companies situated on the outskirts of town For many years Helidon has been famous for its natural mineral springs prized for their great healing and therapeutic properties. The local Aborigines bathed in the spring water to ward off illness and after European settlement, the springs attracted the frail from far and wide. Arthritis, rheumatism, muscular aches, pains, stress, and a host of other ailments are said to be relieved by soaking in the warm, mineral-rich water. Stay at a nearby health resort to get the most of your visit to the natural springs. You'll find quality motel-style accommodation, saunas, barbecue and gymnasium facilities and an on-site restaurant. The grand old city of Toowoomba is just 15 minutes' drive up the range and offers a host of things to see and do. Not far from Helidon you'll also find wineries, historic homesteads, national parks and a host of scenic drives. Accommodation in the Helidon area includes spring resorts, bed-and-breakfasts, hotels and motels.

Gatton

Gatton, Lockyer Valley Area
The fertile Lockyer Valley of South East Queensland is home to the rich farming region of Gatton Shire, just 60 minutes from Brisbane. Known for its spectacular scenic backdrop of steep hills and the mountains of The Great Dividing Range, Gatton is a fast growing region that has maintained its natural beauty and charm. In November 2009, Gatton became home to the Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre, a purpose built facility which houses a Library, Art Gallery, Function and Conference rooms, Visitor Information Centre and the Queensland Transport Museum - all this with the beautiful backdrop of Lake Apex. Take a walk around the lake, visit the 'Lights on the Hill' Trucking memorial, and enjoy bird watching within the fauna sanctuary. Or, for an insight into the history of the town and the Gatton area try visiting the Gatton and District Historical Society Museum which is located beside Lake Apex. The museum is open every Sunday between 1.30pm. to 4.00pm There's so much to do here, including a highlight for train enthusiasts - the Spring Bluff Railway, a heritage listed site where you can relax and picnic in the landscaped gardens and learn about its colourful history. See the natural beauty of the shire at Lake Apex Park, a must for bird watchers and explore the Aboriginal carvings while you picnic by Blackduck Creek. Also visit Glen Rock, the new regional park, comprising of picnic and camping facilities, bush walks, and swimming just 30 minutes from Gatton. For those who relish antique treasures, then the picturesque township of Withcott has a number of shops to browse. From bushwalking on the scenic mountain trails and exploring heritage treasures, Gatton Shire is a great way to experience a beautiful part of Queensland's South East.
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