A taste of life as it used to be is what’s in store when you stay a while in Dalby, an easy 85 kilometres west of Toowoomba along the Warrego Way.

To get the best from this charming country town, take your time to talk to locals and delve into the history and stories that give it a character all its own. Hit the Heritage Trail to explore on foot some of Dalby’s historic buildings. Start at St Joseph’s Catholic Church, built in 1921, and discover the old police station dating from the mid-1860s; the Art Centre, which was once the Bath House; and Mary’s Commercial Hotel (1885) – one of the oldest and most legendary pubs on the Western Downs.

You can delve further into the local history at Pioneer Park Museum. Exhibits include working farm machinery from the late 1800s and early 1900s, early fashions and household memorabilia and an extensive collection of minerals, rocks and fossils. Of notable interest is the handwritten letter by Ned Kelly asking authorities to allow his mother to visit him in prison.

The Myall Creek Parklands Walkway is popular with bird watchers and it’s also signed with plaques detailing places of historical significance. For a great picnic spot with a children’s adventure playground, head to Thomas Jack Park on the edge of town.

There’s probably no place better for local flavour than the vibrant atmosphere of Dalby Regional Sale Yards each Wednesday. It’s among the largest one-day cattle sales centres in Queensland with the action getting underway at 7.30am.

The Bunya Mountains are easily explored from Dalby. Another easy excursion is Lake Broadwater Conservation Park – which protects the only natural lake on the Darling Downs and the surrounding cypress and brigalow. You can go swimming, boating and water skiing or picnic under river red gums, relax and enjoy the wildlife and wildflowers.

Events to travel for include the Dalby Show in April; Dalby Picnic Races in May; the Delicious and DeLIGHTful Festival in August; and Australia’s largest Stock Horse Sale and Campdraft on the first week of December.

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Noosa Valley

Noosa Heads, Noosa Area
Just 10 minutes’ drive from the hustle and bustle of Hastings Street, you’ll find yourself in tranquil, peaceful Noosa Valley. With its picture-postcard countryside and abundant wildlife, this area offers a refreshing contrast to the more developed parts of the Sunshine Coast.

Tea Tree Bay

Sunshine Coast Area
Free Entry
This stunning beach in Noosa National Park is just a 20 minute walk from Laguna Bay near the park’s entrance. If you don’t have much time to explore, it’s an ideal place to take some time out and appreciate the park’s tranquillity and its stunning seascapes.

Marcus Beach

Marcus Beach, Noosa Area
Noosa’s eastern beaches, while not patrolled by surf life savers, are popular with locals and visitors alike for a more relaxed beach experience. These great beaches are found between Sunshine and Peregian Beaches.

Sunshine Beach

Sunshine Beach, Noosa Area
Head to the style, ease and laid-back atmosphere that makes Sunshine Beach such a popular choice for visitors to Noosa. Once known as Golden Beach, Sunshine Beach is renowned for its sand, surf and the ambience of stylish boutiques, cafes and restaurants.

Alexandria Bay

Noosa Heads, Noosa Area
You’ll find this dramatic sweep of golden sand and sparkling surf between Hells Gates and Devils Kitchen in Noosa National Park. It’s a three kilometre scenic hike to reach “A-Bay” (as the locals call it) and the beach’s isolation made it (until recently) a hotspot for those who enjoyed getting back to nature wearing nothing more than sunscreen.

Eumundi

Eumundi, Sunshine Coast Area
Every Saturday and Wednesday, come rain, hail or shine, the population of Eumundi explodes from 500 residents to several thousand as visitors flock to the markets. The Eumundi Markets were established in 1979 and are situated in the heart of this historic town.

Castaways Beach

Castaways Beach, Noosa Area
You’ll find delightful Castaways Beach nestled between Sunrise and Peregian Beach, just 30 minutes from the Sunshine Coast airport. Relaxed, local vibe. Castaways has a stack of picturesque walking trails and is home to a koalas and kangaroos and the surf break is favoured by local surfers for its easy access and consistent, good quality waves.

Cooloola, Great Sandy National Park

Noosa North Shore, Noosa Area
Free Entry
In Cooloola, Great Sandy National Park, you can experience the majesty of nature's sculpture in sand. Massive dunes, towering cliffs of coloured sands and wide ocean beaches have been etched by wind and water.

Noosa National Park

Noosa Heads, Noosa Area
Free Entry
Nestled on the doorstep of the famous tourist town of Noosa, this popular park features some of South East Queensland's most picturesque scenery. Discover secluded beaches, rugged coastal features and views from the iconic headland at Noosa Heads.

Doonan

Doonan, Sunshine Coast Area
Nestled in the scenic Noosa Valley, Doonan is known for its charming bed-and-breakfasts, luxury villas and country retreats. These home-away-from-homes offer privacy, well-appointed rooms, rainforest settings, tennis, day spas, superb dining and a raft of activities.
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