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Crows Nest

Perched on the crest of the Great Dividing Range, the timber town of Crows Nest lies amongst pretty, undulating hills and is built around an attractive village green. In the centre of the green, known as Centenary Park, is the statue of Jimmy Crow, a local Aboriginal man, after whom some believe the town was named. Its streets are filled with striking old buildings that house antique shops, cafes, galleries and a museum.

Centenary Park has won awards for its design, including its innovative underground water catchment. This small town packs a lot of historical punch. Within an easy walk of the town centre, you'll find Salts Antiques, Carbethon Folk Museum, Regional Art Gallery and a community arts and crafts centre. After hoofing it around town make for the Applegum Walk, a pleasant stroll along the creek between Bullocky's Rest and Warmann Park.

Pack a picnic to enjoy in nearby Crows Next National Park where you'll find bird watching and bushwalking trails through the eucalypt forest. After rains you'll see Crows Nest Falls in action. You may even spot a brush-tailed rock wallaby perched on the high granite boulders.

Crows Nest, Toowoomba Area
Queensland
Australia

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Ravensbourne National Park

Ravensbourne, Toowoomba Area
Free Entry
For many years, Ravensbourne National Park was a traditional stop over for Aboriginal people on their way to and from bunya festivals in the Bunya Mountains. Today, visitors come to admire rainforest remnants, majestic Sydney blue gums and more than 80 bird species, including green catbirds and vulnerable black-breasted button-quail. Under the rainforest's dense canopy, orchids and elkhorns thrive. Picnic at either Blackbean or Cedar Block day-use area and explore the park's five short tracks (the longest is two hours). Near Cedar Block's self-guiding walk, Gus Beutel lookout gives panoramic views of the Lockyer Valley and Scenic Rim. On other tracks, watch for red-tailed black-cockatoos in the she-oaks and listen for the ringing calls of paradise riflebirds. Lorikeets and fairy-wrens are also often seen. Bring wood to enjoy a barbecue at either picnic area. There is no camping on-site. Stay at nearby Crows Nest National Park, at Cressbrook Dam or in nearby towns.

Crows Nest Falls

Crows Nest, Toowoomba Area
Free Entry
Weeping bottlebrush, river she-oak and forest red gum line watercourses while dry vine scrubs grow in sheltered gullies where soil and moisture accumulate at Crows Nest Falls, a prominent feature of Crows Nest National Park, located about a half-hour drive from Toowoomba. On steep slopes and cliff tops, eucalypts tower over a thick understorey of shrubs and small trees. The Falls are a haven for native birds and provides many opportunities for birdwatchers. Wildflowers, including the rare Acacia granitica, flourish in the shallow, rocky soils and provide colourful displays in spring and summer. Explore Crows Nest Creek, the falls and the Valley of Diamonds by following walking tracks that start at the picnic ground. Lookouts provide views over the Valley of Diamonds. Seasonal wildflowers provide interest for photographers and naturalists, and spotlighting for nocturnal native animals can be rewarding. Picnic and camping areas are provided (a camping permit is required). The campground includes unpowered sites for tents and caravans. Showers, toilets, barbecues, tables, water and firewood are also provided.

Toowoomba Water Bird Habitat

Toowoomba, Toowoomba Area
Free Entry
Nestled into suburban Toowoomba at Rangeville, the habitat covers 7.6 hectares (19 acres), which is quite a small area to establish as a diverse wetland. Environmental diversity is essential if the habitat is to attract a variety of waterbirds. There are deep and shallow lakes, areas of reeds, mud-banks, islands and grassy areas to provide feeding, roosting and nesting conditions required by different birds. To complete this habitat, over 2000 shrubs and trees were planted to attract native birds. All of the plants are Australian species appropriate to the locality. The plantings on the perimeter help screen the habitat from the surrounding roads and houses, creating a peaceful atmosphere within. Waterbird habitats are characteristically places of light and open spaces, so large areas of grassland have been retained. You can see birds such as maned duck and straw-necked ibis which feed mainly on these grasslands.

Crows Nest National Park

Crows Nest, Toowoomba Area
Free Entry
Discover spectacular scenery, granite outcrops, a scenic waterfall and eucalypt forest remnants on the edge of the Great Dividing Range. Nestled amongst eucalypt forest, bloodwood and stringybark trees lies Crows Nest Falls, about six kilometres east of Crows Nest and 56-kilometres north of Toowoomba. Take in the sights of nature as water plunges 20 metres over steep granite cliffs at Crows Nest Falls lookout. Extend the original 2.1-kilometre circuit by adding the Kauyoo Loop to The Cascades, Kauyoo Pool and Bottlebrush Pool, where you're able to take a dip on a hot summer's day. Continue to adventure four and a half kilometres to Koonin lookout with a glistening birds-eye-view over the Valley of Diamonds and spot brush-tailed rock-wallabies, rosellas and fantails. Plan ahead with a reserved campsite for nocturnal bandicoot and glider sightings at night.

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.

Toowoomba

Toowoomba, Toowoomba Area
Crowning the edge of the Great Dividing Range 90 minutes west of Brisbane is Southern Queensland Country's largest town of Toowoomba. Perched 700 metres above sea level and overlooking the Lockyer Valley the 'Garden City' is home to over 150 public parks, making the idyllic picnic setting under the shade of a jacaranda or camphor laurel tree. Spend your days exploring almost 200 years of history hidden inside heritage-listed sites and homesteads, including the famed Cobb & Co Museum. Later, rest weary feet in a boutique bed and breakfast with a cosy open fireplace and regional produce. Witness seasonal changes of colour and aromas in the crisp country air, especially around the annual Carnival of Flowers in September. Couple the popular event with day trips in every direction: to Steele Rudd's pub in the south; hamlets strung to the west; rolling farmland to the east; or to the northern Bunya Mountains.

Goombungee

Goombungee, Toowoomba Area
Take a quiet side-track from the Warrego highway or New England Highway to find the hamlet of Goombungee, 35 kilometres north-west of Toowoomba. You'll find the streets are lined with jacarandas and silky oaks - providing a spectacular display in late spring. Goombungee is full of marvellous historic buildings including the Rosalie Shire Historical Society's Museum, which contains a good collection of historic photographs, local family histories and memorabilia. Drop in and visit the Pioneer Arms Hotel, dating back to 1897, it is a great lunch destination serving hearty a country meal and offering a warm welcome. The town is known as rural iron man country, as it hosts an annual Iron man and Iron woman Competition on Australia Day. A unique iron man sculpture welcomes visitors as they enter the town from the south. Goombungee has picnic tables and public toilet facilities located in the heart of town, with shops and petrol located close by.

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. 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 ranges from basic cabins, bed-and-breakfasts, hotels and motels.

Acland

Acland, Toowoomba Area
Acland is a small rural town located north of Oakey, on the Darling Downs west of Brisbane. Acland is best know for its coal mine and had a population of between 200 to 400 residents before the mine was shut down in 1984 - at that time it was Queensland's oldest and smallest continuously worked coal mine. In 2008, the mining land was taken over and almost all properties surrounding the town had been purchased with the intention that they be demolished to expand to an open cut mine. Acland is still a mining hub in the Darling Downs .

Kulpi

Kulpi, Toowoomba Area
Kulpi is a small rural community about an hour's drive though beautiful country north west from Toowoomba, via Oakey. Cattle and grain properties figure most prominently. The town of Kulpi was part of a selection made by Fred Beckmann from the Rosalie Plains pastoral run. Mr Beckman built two establishments, the Pioneer Hotel and a store which formed the centre of the town. The settlement was originally known as Rosalie, however the name was soon changed to Kulpi, to avoid confusion with the Rosalie Plains Homestead, which was a small town in itself. The name Kulpi came from an aboriginal word meaning "charred logs".
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