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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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The Staging Post Café

Gatton, Lockyer Valley Area
The Staging Post Café makes its home in the Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre. The venue is fully licensed, with beer and wine available for thirsty sightseers. The café serves Modern Australian dishes, from scones with jam and cream to steaks with veggies. All produce is sourced from local suppliers, so diners can eat well and support local industry.

Fordsdale Horseback Adventures

Fordsdale, Lockyer Valley Area
From AU$66.00 - 320.00
Fordsdale Horseback Adventures, is positioned on a 1,000 acre grazing property in the Lockyer Valley, Queensland. The property is situated 30 kilometres from Gatton, 50 kilometres from Toowoomba and 120 kilometres from Brisbane. It is also about two and a half hours drive from the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. They conduct day horse trail rides, one hour, two hour and all day rides. Also they offer horse riding holidays. They have fully catered accommodation for their horse riding guests, and a self-contained cottage. Guests are able to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the property, as well as take part in adventurous trekking. Fordsdale offers an experience for both the experienced riders and for people who have not ridden horses before. All trail riding packages can be tailored to suit groups or families.

Das Neumann Haus Museum

Laidley, Lockyer Valley Area
  • Free WiFi
Free Entry
Located in the gorgeous town of Laidley, Das Neumann Haus was built by German immigrant Hermann Neumann in 1893. The house has been restored to its former condition, refurnished in the style of the 1930s and open to the public as a house museum. Relax on the deck or under the shade of the 100 year old Jacaranda tree in the park. Sample delicious cakes, smoothies and more at Annie's Place Coffee Shop. Free wifi is available. Special events include the Heritage Festival annually in April, and the Laidley Spring Festival annually in September.

Ma Ma Creek War Memorial

Ma Ma Creek, Lockyer Valley Area
Free Entry
Fleurine Andrews' three sons died fighting in France in WWI. Their memory lives on in an unusual soldier statue in a small country cemetery, 13 kilometres south-west of Gatton. Mrs Andrews commissioned monumental masons AL Petrie and Son to produce the memorial, erected in the St Stephen's Anglican Church cemetery at Ma Ma Creek in 1920. The soldier statue, a popular choice of tribute in Queensland communities, embodies qualities of the ideal Australian: loyalty, youth, courage, innocence and masculinity. This one is a rarity, the only surviving 'Digger' wearing a cap instead of a slouch hat. Private James Martin Andrews was killed on 5 August 1916, aged 26. Private George Henry Andrews died on 9 June 1917, aged 28. Private Bertie Reginald Andrews was killed on 10 June 1918, aged 20. The war memorial stands behind the Andrews family plot and is the focus of public ANZAC Day memorial services. Mrs Andrews also donated a church organ in her sons' memory.

Weeping Mother Memorial

Gatton, Lockyer Valley Area
Free Entry
Many tears were shed on home soil as blood seeped in WWI trenches, Queensland's outpouring of grief most poignantly captured in a marble statue of a seated mother, weeping, at Gatton. While the foundation stone was laid in April 1922, it's not known when the marble memorial, which includes a mausoleum-type structure, was unveiled. It is known that it was designed and produced by Ipswich mason Frank Williams at a cost of more than £500 and that money was raised through public subscription. The weeping mother, slightly smaller than life-size, sits on a mound of rocks, her chin resting on her right hand, her left hand holding a scroll with the inscription 'Their names liveth for evermore'. Gatton's farming community lost 68 local men in WWI. The names of locals who died in subsequent conflicts, 23 in WWII and two in Vietnam, have been added. A light to illuminate the statue at night was added by the Gatton RSL and Women's Auxiliary, a WWI nurse flicking the switch on Armistice Day 1933.

Forest Hill War Memorial

Forest Hill, Lockyer Valley Area
Free Entry
An ex-serviceman who fought with the Australian Light Horse in WWI is believed to be the sculptor of Forest Hill's war memorial in the Lockyer Valley. The 4.5 metre monument, a life-size soldier standing on a tall sandstone pedestal with classically carved colonnettes, was unveiled in 1921 by five mothers whose sons had died at war. Monument masons PJ Lowther and Sons of Brisbane were commissioned to create the £300 cenotaph for the Forest Hill Memorial League. It's believed the family firm's sculptor son Charles Lowther actually did the carving. The finely carved grey sandstone monument faces east, towards the rising sun. Inscribed on the stone are the names of 97 soldiers who served including 11 who did not return. It's located in a small park adjacent to a railway line. A plate with the names of WWII servicemen has been added.
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