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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The Spit

Main Beach, Gold Coast Area
“The Spit” is the northern most section of the famous Gold Coast stretch of beach incorporating Main Beach and Surfers Paradise all the way south to Coolangatta. As the name suggests, The Spit extends into the seaway and is the gateway between the Gold Coast Broadwater and the open ocean.

Coomera

Coomera, Gold Coast Area
Local Aborigines named this suburb after a fern but these days it could easy be named after fun for you have now entered theme park heaven for which the Gold Coast is renowned. All the big names in entertainment are here including Dreamworld and WhiteWater World, Wet'n'Wild, Warner Bros.

South Stradbroke Island

South Stradbroke Island, Gold Coast Area
Step aside Gilligan. Should you ever find yourself stranded on South Stradbroke Island or 'South Straddie' as the locals like to call her, then you can count your lucky stars. For you are visiting a Gold Coast destination as pretty as Ginger and as down-to-earth as Mary Ann.

Sanctuary Cove

Sanctuary Cove, Gold Coast Area
If you stand along the marina and use a little imagination, you can almost picture the famous Gold Coast white-shoe brigade who put Sanctuary Cove on the map during those crazy, hazy 1980s. While that kind of excess has long departed, the style synonymous with Sanctuary Cove remains in this exclusive master-planned community.

Runaway Bay

Runaway Bay, Gold Coast Area
Escape enthusiasts will adore Runaway Bay and not just for the name. Bracketed by South Stradbroke Island to the east and a colourful canal system to the west, it's simple to see why this northern Gold Coast suburb was originally better known as Angler's Paradise.

Hope Island

Hope Island, Gold Coast Area
You would expect anticipation to be fairly high when travelling to a place called Hope Island and this destination doesn't disappoint. But rather than being named after the positive emotion, it actually borrowed its name from a colonial aristocrat Captain Louis Hope who was granted land at the mouth of the Coomera River in recognition of his sugar industry contributions.

Talinga Retreat

South Stradbroke, Gold Coast Area
Welcome to Talinga Retreat at An Island Hideaway, the Gold Coast's best kept secret. Located at the beautiful National Park bushland of South Stradbroke Island. Host your next event with a difference at their piece of paradise.

Labrador

Labrador, Gold Coast Area
Like a loyal puppy, Labrador has been one of the Gold Coast's mainstays since its hotel was built in 1884. Back in the day, this 15-room hotel complete with three sitting rooms, outhouses and stables, was perfect for the Cobb and Co coach service which transported boat passengers arriving from Brisbane.

Gold Coast Oceanway

Main Beach, Gold Coast Area
Free Entry
Even die-hard Gold Coast fans may not realise this but there is an official section of the coast known as the Gold Coast Oceanway, a 36-kilometre network of pathways which connects The Spit at the north to Point Danger in the south.

Scottish Prince Dive Site

Southport, Gold Coast Area
Free Entry
The Scottish Prince, 800 metres off the Gold Coast’s Southport Spit, features the wreck of a three steel-masted, 64 metre iron barque ship. The Scottish Prince sank as it was sailing from Glasgow, Scotland to Brisbane with a cargo of whiskey, mousetraps, linen and other assorted cargo, with only the hull of the ship remaining.
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