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Haden is a small rural town approximately 50 kilometres north of Toowoomba and 185 kilometres north west from Brisbane. The town is set high on the Great Dividing Range, and is quite a windy place as a result.

There is a picturesque lookout on the Haden-Maclagan Road to the west of the town. The brush turkey, known to local Aboriginal people as 'wahoon', was prevalent in the area in Haden's early days and in 2002 a monument to the bird was erected here.

The township was a thriving centre in the early 1900s, with two pubs, three grocer shops, a butcher shop, a branch of the Queensland National Bank and a racecourse. Haden State School was officially opened on May 20, 1912, and first known as Wahoon State School.

Haden, 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.

Spring Bluff

Spring Bluff, Toowoomba Area
Spring Bluff is a beautiful valley tucked in the ranges north of Toowoomba and best known for its picturesque railway station. Spring Bluff Railway Station is a favourite day trip for visitors and locals alike. Its gardens are magnificent during Spring and Summer and steam train rides and a brass band concert held at the station are features of September during Toowoomba's Carnival of Flowers. The Railway Station features a cute cafe in the station master's cottage or take your own picnic. It's worth visiting Spring Bluff any time of year, just for the interesting drive down the range off the New England Highway through to Murphy's Creek. The road meanders through lush bushland, following the path of the creek.

Jondaryan

Jondaryan, Toowoomba Area
Jondaryan is a quaint rural township, home to The Woolshed at Jondaryan and Station Village. Built in 1859, The Woolshed at Jondaryan is Queensland's oldest operating woolshed. You can join a daily guided tour to learn about the history of Jondaryan Station and its role in the development of pastoralism on the Darling Downs. Stroll back in time through a fascinating complex of historic buildings, machinery and collections and watch live shearing demonstrations in the original shearing shed. You can also stay at the Woolshed, enjoying easy access to the Bunya Mountains, Dalby, Toowoomba and Oakey. Open daily, admission to the Museum grounds including a guided tour is an additional charge upon check-in. Either stay in a self-contained cabin or the pet-friendly caravan park with fantastic facilities including great amenities, dump point, a coin operated laundromat, a bush kitchen with barbecues, open fire pit and refrigeration. The Woolshed hosts events throughout the year including Easter celebrations, the Jackie Howe Festival in September and New Year's Eve at the Woolshed. Visit The Woolshed at Jondaryan's website for a full calendar of events.

Gowrie Junction

Gowrie Junction, Toowoomba Area
Gowrie Junction is located just five minutes drive west from Toowoomba's city outskirts, just off the Warrego Highway. This picturesque country community lies amongst the rolling hills which border the open cropping plains of the Darling Downs. Gowrie Junction contains a small shop, school, community hall and a recreational hall. The town is well worth a stop.

Meringandan West

Meringandan West, Toowoomba Area
Meringandan West is a quiet little township tucked away in the green rolling hills north of Toowoomba. Take an alternative scenic route from Toowoomba through to Goombungee via this rural community. You'll see pink and grey galahs, horses and cows grazing and fields of canola and sorghum. Keep an eye out for yellow canola flowers in spring and sunflowers from December to February. It's a great little spot for a country drive and you'll find fuel and basic supplies are available at the service station in town.

Kingsthorpe

Kingsthorpe, Toowoomba Area
Take a quiet side-track from the Warrego Highway or New England Highway to find the hamlet of Kingsthorpe. Kingsthorpe is just a 15-minute panoramic drive west of Toowoomba. Home to both Gowrie Mountain Estate Vineyard and Cellar Door and also Wedgetail Ridge Estate Winery, which are open by appointment. Gowrie Mountain Estate offers accommodation onsite in the historic homestead, while Sugarloaf Mountain Country Retreat, just up the road offers accommodation close to both wineries. The eastern part of the area has several scenic lookouts which provide expansive views over Rosalie Plains and portions of the Darling Downs. One of the most easily accessible is located just outside Kingsthorpe at Mt Kingsthorpe Park and is well worth a look. A graded walking track from the lookout's car park takes visitors to the summit, which provides expansive views as well as a glimpse of some of the original rainforest vegetation that once covered all of Mt Kingsthorpe. A service station is also situated in Kingsthorpe for your convenience.

Preston

Preston, Toowoomba Area
High on the Great Dividing Range and overlooking the Lockyer Valley, Preston makes for great explorations, whether by four wheel drive, trail bike or on foot through the bushland. Preston Peak Wines is the perfect location to appreciate fine wine and soak in the spectacular scenery. The gorgeous Preston Village Chapel which has been carefully restored is just perfect for weddings!
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