We have journalist Wendy Hall from Courier Mail travelling in our Apollo Euro Deluxe at the moment. Heading out to the Scenic Rim, then visiting Toowoomba, Kingaroy, Bundaberg, Maryborough and the Sunshine Coast hinterland – See her blog of her travels …
Day 1 – Scenic Rim – So off we went into the hottest day in two years and can I just say we were mighty glad of our Apollo’s air-conditioning.
It was pushing 37 degrees outside when we leapt out of our motorhome at Flavours Cafe in Boonah for cold drinks and a bite to eat.
Flavours Café –Flavours Cafe at Boonah is a good stopping point for good old-fashioned milkshakes, soft drinks and sandwiches.
Boonah is a lovely little country town with some beautiful old buildings and classic shops – Maynard’s “shoes and drapery” took me straight back to the kind of shops I remember as a child.
Errol Lankowski has worked at Maynard’s in Boonah selling shoes, clothing, haberdashery and drapery for 49 years. That’s the owner Graham, in the background, whose father opened Maynard’s back in 1944.
Heading deeper in to the scenic rim we paid a visit to Desley and Pietro Agnoletto who run Italian cooking classes at their beautiful country kitchen near Rathdowney, Classi di Cucina and later dined with them at Barney Creek Vineyard Cottages where owner Jennifer Seale let us park the Apollo for the night. Cairo the camel is a bit of a star at Classi di Cucina.
Glenys Gordon and her husband Ian have been growing melons for 15 years which they sell from a trailer at the front gate at Coulson, about 10 minutes from Boonah.
One of the three cottages guests can stay in at Barney Creek Vineyard Cottages, with Mt Barney in the background.
Good morning, Mt Barney Vineyard.
I awoke this morning to quite a lovely birdsong at dawn … followed by a 10-year-old’s quick-as-a-flash “can we get the puppy?” as soon as she opened her eyes.
Seems melon grower Glenys Gordon’s little brood of kelpies had quite an impact on our little brood yesterday.
But we had places to go, so it was on the road fairly early, although I did manage a walk down to the vineyard before anyone else was up and about.
The picturesque Mt Barney Vineyard Cottages are just one accommodation option in the Scenic Rim region – for more see scenicrimescapes.com.au and don’t forget the area’s annual showcase World Apart – The Hidden Tastes of Mt Barney in May.
By now we are fully settled into the routine in the camper, kids in the back, seatbelted in around a table and mum and dad up front, but still all within chatting distance.
The kids have been impressed this trip with creative letterboxes – lots of old milk cans and recycled things – Master 11 even reported seeing one made from an old microwave. I love the gentle slowing down that happens on a country holiday, the meandering pace we never get to experience at home in Brisbane.
We visited Maroon Dam early – it’s a great place to know about, a beautiful picnic spot, between Rathdowney and Boonah, before heading out towards Killarney.
Turn back road
Time to turn back … the road to Killarney. We’d heard the drive to Toowoomba via the Queen Mary Falls and Killarney is beautiful. Alas, as we got along the way a bit and started seeing signs warning that the road is unsuitable for caravans, buses and trailers – and we’re in a mighty big camper.
Adventurous hubby was keen to push on but let’s just say we had to have a little chat about that one before deciding to turn back, to be on the safe side. And so we found ourselves back in Boonah and stocked up on some fruit at Oppy’s Fruit and Veges – a great little outlet in a building that was the butter factory for more than 100 years.
Then we headed out towards Warwick for the journey to Toowoomba, stopping at the superbly quiet and charming little town of Allora. The town hosts its annual show on February 10-11 and the region’s sunflowers will be out then too, so a nice time to visit. Allora also has a beautiful butcher’s shop in the main street – why can’t we have them that charming in Brisbane?
We’d missed the feeding time by the time we dropped in at the Darling Downs Zoo so that’s on our list for a future trip.
There’s plenty of interest to see inside Rudd’s Pub at Nobby. But speaking of feeding times, we were in need of lunch so just a little further along the highway we turned off at a sign for Rudd’s Pub in the village of Nobby.
I’ll admit I was intrigued but not entirely convinced when we pulled up outside – but what a classic this place is on the inside! It is packed with items and pictures and curios collected over many decades. Original bits of the hotel, built in 1893, are still intact but there have been a few additions since then.
We ordered steak burgers and kids’ meals that came with an icecream and soft drink and everyone left happy.
We arrived in Toowoomba exactly a year to the day since the devastating floods through the CBD that claimed two lives and Anna Bligh was in town unveiling a monument, the Stone of Hope, in the main street.
big4 water park
The kids took to the water slide at the Big 4 Toowoomba Garden City Holiday Park. Our stopping place for the night is the family-friendly Big 4 Toowoomba Garden City Holiday Park where the kids immediately tested, and approved, the swimming pool. We also managed a visit to beautiful Queens Park with those majestic old trees, colourful gardens and one of Queensland’s best playgrounds. There are a couple of good cafes across the road so Mums and Dads can remain caffeinated.
Next we’re exploring Toowoomba some more then heading to the South Burnett. Happy days!
All images supplied by Couriermail