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Meringandan

Meringandan sits amongst the valleys just off the New England Highway, between Toowoomba and Crows Nest, nestled at the gateway to Cooby Dam.

Meringandan and its neighbouring community, Meringandan West, are a quiet detour from the busy highway. The community has general supplies at the Meringandan News and General Store and it's only a short drive to Highfields for most other needs.

Water-based activities, picnic grounds and bush walking tracks make for a great day of family fun at Cooby Dam. Those who are adventurous will enjoy sailing, canoeing and windsurfing. Find a spot on the banks or launch a boat (electric motors only) for some great fishing. Barbecue facilities, bush walking and the children's playground will certainly keep the rest of the family busy.

Meringandan, 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.

Bunnyconnellen Olive Grove and Vineyard

Crows Nest, Toowoomba Area
Free Entry
Bunnyconnellen ('convivial pleasures') is a niche 'paddock to plate' gourmet food business producing award winning premium quality extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), table olives, olive related products, fine wine and other gourmet foods. All products are showcased at the rustic Cellar Door and are available for tastings and sampling each Sunday between 10am and 4pm. Enjoy innovative but simple food amongst the vines and olive trees and walk amongst the abundance of flora and fauna that makes up the gardens, followed by a game of croquet, boules, picnic, or a stroll down to the dam. The gardens and Cellar Door lend themselves to an elegant country wedding venue with a little glitz but much passion. Also available is 'The Studio' an old farm building renovated to include the necessities of life whilst retaining simple charm and character. Ideal for couples, it consists of a small kitchen, en-suite, living space, pot belly stove, music system and two porches, one of which has a barbecue.

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.

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".

Pechey

Pechey, Toowoomba Area
Pechey is a picturesque hamlet located near Crows Nest. The Town offers overnight camping grounds and the Listening Ridge Farmstay. While you're there have a yarn to the friendly locals, who will be happy to share stories about the town. The town is also home to the Pechey State Forest, a pine plantation dating back to the 1920s. Enjoy a picnic in the rest area of the Forest just one kilometre off the New England Highway via Marion Street and Pechey Forestry Road. It lines the highway for approximately 300 metres and the site has a depth of 150 metres. The Forest also provides an entrance to the road to Perseverance Dam.
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