Known as the Garden City, Toowoomba is Australia’s second largest inland city, and blends classic country charm with an emerging food and arts scene. Pick up fresh produce and hunt for antiques at local markets, track down the city’s best street art murals or attend the colourful Carnival of Flowers in September.
Toowoomba is an hour and forty minutes’ drive from Brisbane, or you can fly in directly to Wellcamp Airport from Sydney, Melbourne and Cairns.
Driving through the Southern Downs and Granite Belt region we stumbled across the Ballandean Pyramid! Standing 15m high, this slice of Egypt is built from blocks of the local granite. She shines in the sun and is even better at dusk. Kantesha Takai
One of Queensland’s premier food and wine regions, the Granite Belt is part of the Great Dividing Range and centres around the historic town of Stanthorpe. Wander through 19th-century vineyards and taste cool-climate wines from almost 50 boutique cellar doors. Sample artisan cheese, olives, meat or ice-cream, and farm produce picked straight from the tree.
The Granite Belt is about 220km south-west of Brisbane and the drive takes just under three hours.
Striking granite boulders tower over open forest and fields of wildflowers at Girraween National Park. Hike 30km of trails winding through lofty granite arches and up to scenic lookouts, picnic beside Bald Rock Creek and spend a night under the stars in a secluded campsite.
Girraween National Park is a 30-minute drive south of Stanthorpe.