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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Kawana

Kawana, Rockhampton Area
Kawana Waters is home to one of the region’s premier sports and entertainment precincts that includes Stockland Park and the Lake Kawana Community Centre. Both host major events year round. The man-made waterway of Lake Kawana has become popular with a number of sports including kayaking, canoeing, outrigging, dragon boat racing and motorised boats.

Tanawha

Tanawha, Sunshine Coast Area
Take a step back to yesteryear and imagine yourself in the court of King Louis the XIV with a visit to the Sunshine Coast’s very own giant living hedge maze! Located at Tanawha just 10 minutes’ drive inland from Maroochydore, this impressive outdoor maze has been painstakingly sculptured from over 1000 trees and is the only maze of its kind in Australia.

Sippy Downs

Sippy Downs, Sunshine Coast Area
Bordered on one side by the beautiful Mooloolah River National Park, and on the other by the Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens, Sippy Downs on the Sunshine Coast is best known for the system of picture-postcard lakes that pepper the area.

Palmview

Palmview, Sunshine Coast Area
Centrally located on the Sunshine Coast, Palmview is right on the Bruce Highway and just 10 minutes drive from the golden beaches of beautiful Mooloolaba. The breath-taking Sunshine Coast Hinterland is just 15 minutes up the road and the pristine Mooloolah National Park is right next door.

Shelly Beach

Caloundra, Sunshine Coast Area
Shelly Beach in Caloundra is one of the Sunshine Coast’s hidden gems. This lovely stretch of oceanfront is unpatrolled and not suitable for swimming meaning you’ll rarely see a crowd on the shore. In fact, you’ll often have the white sands and oceans views all to yourself!

Currimundi

Currimundi, Sunshine Coast Area
Currimundi is located on the northern boundary of the Caloundra area of the Sunshine Coast. It was named by Sir Leslie Wilson, using the local aboriginal name for the area, Garrimundi or Girrimundi, meaning 'Place of flying foxes'.

Currimundi Lake (Kathleen McArthur) Conservation Park

Wurtulla, Sunshine Coast Area
Free Entry
Currimundi Lake (Kathleen McArthur) Conservation Park is a small remnant of wallum heath that covered much of coastal southern Queensland. Thriving on Lake Currimundi’s northern shore, this type of coastal heathland is rich in plant species, which attract birds and insects seeking food and shelter.

Landsborough

Landsborough, Sunshine Coast Area
Landsborough, gateway to the Blackall Range and to the Mary Valley, is one of the historic townships of the Sunshine Coast. From 1868, it grew behind the wheels of Cobb and Co. coaches as they followed the tree line blazed by Tom Petrie to Gympie gold, discovered by James Nash in 1867.
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