Country Way. Sydney to Rockhampton via Tamworth

Australia’s DETAILED MAP IN SIDE CountryWay Sydney to Rockhampton via Tamworth Carr’s Lookout, Warwick Shire • Sydney • Newcastle • Singleton • ...
Author: Hubert Crawford
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CountryWay Sydney to Rockhampton via Tamworth

Carr’s Lookout, Warwick Shire

• Sydney • Newcastle • Singleton • Muswellbrook • Scone • Tamworth • Armidale • Guyra • Glen Innes • Inverell • • Tenterfield • Stanthorpe • Warwick • Clifton • Toowoomba • Crows Nest • Yarraman • Nanango • Kingaroy • • Wondai • Murgon • Gayndah • Mundubbera • Eidsvold • Monto • Biloela • MOUNT Morgan • Rockhampton •

Our Country. Your Way.

Vineyards, Hunter Valley

Horse Stud, Muswellbrook

Lookout, Tamworth


Queen Mary Falls

Australia’s Country Way guides you to the delights and treasures that pepper the countryside of the Great Dividing Range. From Sydney to Central Queensland the holiday is as much about savouring the journey as reaching a destination. Winding roads reveal sweeping vistas, seasonal produce, and welcoming hospitality – Australia’s Country Way is the classic road trip. Kilometres of crops and grazing livestock flank the road, interrupted by stunning natural formations, and welcoming towns imbued with history. Accommodation ranges from the ubiquitous friendly roadside motel to cosy cabins, luxury retreats, romantic B&Bs and farmstays. Like a giant smorgasbord Australia’s Country Way uncovers the true blue producers and no shortage of ways to enjoy the country harvest. Each region has a claim to culinary fame and restaurants, fine dining, cafes, cellar doors and delis harness these assets along the route. Explore the wine regions of the Hunter Valley, Tamworth, New England, Granite Belt and South Burnett regions. Enjoy the fruit and vegetables around Stanthorpe and Warwick. Uncover the bountiful citrus, beef and grain growing districts of the Darling Downs, Burnett, Gayndah, Mundubbera and Rockhampton. Drop a line for freshwater fish at the dams and lakes adjoining Australia’s Country Way. You will find trout and many other species readily available. Linking the communities and countryside along the New England and Burnett Highways, Australia’s Country Way is an ambience as much as a highway. Slip off the main road and explore the beautiful unique landscapes and experience the laidback country warmth.

Picturesque Sunsets, Australia’s Country Way

Heading out to the Hunter Head north out of Sydney on the New England Highway and you’re on the lip of Australia’s Country Way, where the journey is the reward, and new destinations are all around you. Make your way through the beachside hub of Newcastle and its striking mix of industry and cosmopolitan living, before swinging inland to Cessnock in the Hunter Valley’s hinterland wine territory. Take a pit-stop over award-winning wines, olive products, quality fruits and delicious cheeses, or stretch your stop to an overnight

stay in a cottage amongst the vineyards. Singleton is the first major centre you’ll drive into. A lovely laidback atmosphere awaits in this town conveniently bordered by the Broke Fordwich Wine Region. The centres of Muswellbrook and Scone are surrounded by National Parks and steeped in the heritage of Australian bush lore. Into the Upper Hunter the fertile river flats house award-winning wineries, horse studs, quaint lane ways and country roads winding through rolling green hills. Accommodation unique to the area includes lovingly restored homesteads, nostalgic pubs, quality motels, superb camping, cabins and B&Bs, as well as offering 5 star and premium options. The Heart of Country NSW Big Sky Country signals you’re half way to Toowoomba and a long way from the daily grind. The landscape shifts to the ubiquitous Australian grazing landscape and gorge country. Tamworth is the first of the major centres where the Golden Guitar stands as a perennial monument to a true-blue country heart, celebrated in earnest with the annual Tamworth Country Music Festival – attracting over 50,000 visitors from all over the world, while about 800 artists make up 2500 acts in 120 different venues. Tamworth is the “capital city” of the New England North West region of NSW, serving around 178,000 people. Accordingly, the centre of town has grown into a leafy hub of paved walkways, seating, palm trees and cafes offering a friendly and fuss free city for all to enjoy. There’s a wealth of accommodation options including B&Bs, farmstays, caravan parks, 5 star and premium hotels. Tamworth offers ready access to Warrabah National Park – where the upper Namoi River flows through gorges and camping and picnic grounds. The New England Tablelands Travelling north, Australia’s Country Way traverses the stunning tablelands around Armidale. Buffered

Cathedral Rock, Cathedral Rock National Park

against the escarpment of the Great Dividing Range, rugged terrain gives way to the beautiful natural settings of the New England National Parks, Cathedral Rock and Oxley Wild Rivers. Armidale offers the finely tuned combination of sophisticated amenities, beautiful produce and dining and welcoming country ambience. Guyra on the top of the Range, is an attractive town with a diverse blend of attractions. Renowned for their natural beauty, the New England Tablelands are distinct from one season to the next. The Glen Innes region is known as Celtic Country, an identity proudly taken on by locals and physically manifested in the Standing Stones. The town’s lively spirit is also evidenced in the range of festivals and events. There’s a generous allocation of World Heritage National Parks including the Gibraltar Range and Washpool. Some of the region’s other great assets actually have a price on them – the sapphires, emeralds and topaz of the gem and mineral fields. West of Glen Innes, in the heart of gemstone country is historic Inverell, an ideal place to try your hand at fossicking. Following Australia’s Country Way north leads you to the centre of Tenterfield where the famous Saddlery still stands. Throughout the town there is nostalgia for bygone eras preserved in the landmark buildings. The Tenterfield area is a visual feast, with the breathtaking surrounds incorporating Bald Rock and Boonoo Boonoo Falls National Parks.

Romantic B&B, Toowoomba

Olive Growing, Kingaroy

The Southern Downs and Granite Belt From the rolling fertile hills of the Warwick district, across the high altitude granite rock country of Stanthorpe, to the wide-open plains of Inglewood and Clifton this region is a land of contrasts. The natural assets almost demand you get amongst it – explore Cunningham’s Gap, Queen Mary Falls, Goomburra State Forest Reserve and Girraween National Park. The city of Warwick also boasts some of Queensland’s finest historical sandstone buildings – a living reminder of our pioneering past. The weather, well-drained soil and viticultural expertise have transformed the region’s once fledgling wine community into a burgeoning industry. Boutique operations offer fine dining, cellar doors, food and wine packages and tours making this slice of heaven very easy to access and enjoy. Stock up at roadside stalls and cellar doors, sample delicious fresh fruits and berries straight from the grower, and enjoy fine dining in a region where the chefs delight in the superb fresh local produce. Local festivals celebrating the harvest seasons and country life include the Small Winemakers Show, Apple and Grape Harvest Festival, Rose and Rodeo Festival, Jumpers and Jazz in July Festival and Opera in the Vineyard. Toowoomba and the Darling Downs Toowoomba and the Darling Downs encompass lush agricultural land and sophisticated small-city living. The region sports four beautiful seasons, produces sumptuous food, hosts a crop of highly regarded vineyards and specialises in romantic boutique accommodation as well as offering spectacular sites for camping and caravanning. Outside the city limits lie the region’s gorgeous National Parks – Crows Nest, Ravensbourne and The Palms National Parks all have walking tracks, picnic areas and BBQs. The region’s vineyards operate cellar door experiences not to be missed. The cooler mountain terrain and local commitment to gourmet food and excellent wines is a traveller’s delight. Organic produce, acclaimed restaurants, olive groves and magnificent public gardens make Toowoomba and the Darling Downs the perfect stop on your road trip. Known as the Garden City, Toowoomba is easy on the eye and exciting on the palate, you’ve found the right place for a day of indulgence. Notable local watering holes in the region include: the Spotted Cow, the Bull & Barley Inn, Rudd’s Pub, the Farmer’s Arms, the Goombungee Pub and Millmerran Tavern.

Citrus Fruits, Gayndah

Cania Gorge National Park

The South Burnett Enjoy the laidback country charm of the South Burnett townships of Nanango, Kingaroy, Wondai and Murgon. The region boasts a number of wellestablished boutique vineyards and wineries, and the industry is steadily growing. Sample Bunya nuts from the unique pines of the Bunya Mountains, bush foods and the region’s prime beef. Quality cold-pressed olive oils are produced here and cheese is something of a specialty. Pick up your peanuts in Kingaroy, the ‘peanut capital of Australia’, and if your timing is right catch the annual Wine in the Park Festival. In recent years the wealth of quality local produce has been luring chefs from more urban restaurants to the South Burnett region. Whether your tastes run to pumpkins, peanuts, or the great common denominator of wine, the South Burnett region is ripe for harvest year round. Citrus Country North of the South Burnett Australia’s Country Way hits Gayndah and Mundubbera, the largest citrus farming area in the Southern Hemisphere. Gayndah straddles the Burnett River and is hemmed in by roadside stalls selling oranges, mandarins, lemons and pumpkins. Make sure you slip off the highway and follow the river’s bends to the citrus orchards. Drop into the Gayndah Historical Museum and Visitor Information Centre, where the grazing industry and steam engine legacies are kept alive. The Burnett Highway carries this section of Australia’s Country Way north to Mundubbera: another citrus town which also boasts summer grape and stone-fruit crops. Turn off the highway to the town centre; cute, welcoming and endowed with a couple of pubs, some lovely cafes and locals keen for a chat.

Historical Museum, Gayndah

Cattle House, Rockhampton

Gorges and High Country The northern leg of Australia’s Country Way feels like Dorothea Mackellar’s sunburnt country. With a warm and breezy dryness, crisp green crops broken by bush and dry earth, cockatoos and road signs alerting you to wild horses and koalas, the cowboys and the bush that cascades down mountains – the regions between Eidsvold and Mount Morgan epitomise Australia’s Country Way.

Historic Railway Station, Mount Morgan

The drive from Eidsvold north through Monto towards Biloela is stunning. Undulating hills and shallow valleys take the road on sweeping bends revealing views of green fields and clumps of eucalypts. Be amazed at Cania Gorge National Park’s stunning sandstone cliffs. Camp at Kroombit Tops National Park and wake to incredible views from the sandstone cliffs. Fish for Barramundi at Lake Wuruma, Lake Callide and Lake Cania. Listen out for the musical notes chimed by Mt Scoria’s six-sided basalt peaks. Rockhampton Built on the back of gold and cattle, Rockhampton’s true-blue heart is lovingly maintained in the heritage architecture, grand old pubs and the best steaks anywhere. Once you hit town, the first point of call for many a traveller is The Heritage Hotel. This jewel of a pub sits on the bank of the Fitzroy River and the steaks are legendary. Rockhampton is the centre of a region bursting with natural beauty and unique experiences. Head up Mount Archer for panoramic views of the city and surrounds, relax on the banks of the Fitzroy River, explore the Capricorn Caves’ limestone grottos, take a tour of Mount Morgan’s open cut gold mine and discover the Capricorn Coast with access to the Great Barrier Reef. Girraween National Park, Stanthorpe


Did you know that Kingaroy’s giant silos are worth peanuts? 26,000 tonnes worth! Owned by the Peanut Company of Australia, the silos dominate Kingaroy’s skyline, towering over the town. The PCA is the major supplier of peanuts for Australian peanut butter and snack food industries, and what better home for peanut storage than the peanut capital of Australia?

Did you know that Murgon has the tiniest fossil found in Queensland and one of the oldest? The tiny bats tooth has been dated back 50 million years.


• CDMA, GSM and 3G is available in most sizeable towns along Australia’s Country Way and extends 10-20km to the surrounding area. • Standard mobile phones have coverage in most towns. For more accurate information on these services contact your mobile carrier.


When the cattle go to town. Just west of Rockhampton lies Gracemere, home of the largest livestock sale yards in the Southern Hemisphere – the Gracemere Sale Yards Complex. Almost every day of the week you can catch the cowboys, colour, and activity of the cattle sales, along with horse, pig and sheep auctions.


Why is the citrus country known as the Salad Bowl? As a lynchpin town in the largest citrus farming area in the Southern Hemisphere, you could be forgiven for thinking only oranges, mandarins and lemons came out of Mundubbera. Far from it! Known as the Salad Bowl of the Central and North Burnett, local crops include grapes, stone fruit, potatoes, peanuts, asparagus and mangoes.


Sydney to Rockhampton via Tamworth



A jewel box of memories waits for you at the Transport Museum at Inverell. One of Australia’s largest collections of transport memorabilia. Many exhibits have a local history, making the museum more unique and interesting.


Did you know that an egg thrown in Warwick in 1917 led to the founding of the Commonwealth Police? When Prime Minister Billy Hughes visited Warwick to spruik his plan for conscription, he was not very well received. One fellow pegged an egg at Hughes, and the local police refused to arrest the man, as no Queensland law had been broken. Hughes’ frustration with the State Police led him to establish the Commonwealth Police Force.

Did you know the Ray White Real Estate empire began in Crows Nest? Operating out of in a tin shed in the Crows Nest Railway Yards early in the twentieth century, Ray White auctioned land, farm implements and dairy machinery. The original shed now makes up part of the Pioneer Village at the Crows Nest Folk Museum meanwhile Ray White turns over $12 billion a year in sales!


You may not get blood out of a stone, but you can certainly get wine out of the Granite Belt! The Granite Belt’s unique combination of landscape, soil, and weather creates the perfect conditions for growing quality grapes, and these conditions have attracted the viticultural expertise to realise the region’s potential. Now hosting well over 40 wineries, cellar doors and vineyards that are busy garnering awards, the Granite Belt is Queensland’s premier wine region.



If you’re worried about accommodation, don’t be. Along Australia’s Country Way are numerous caravan parks, hotels and motels, host farms and backpackers. Information on accommodation is available from the Visitor Information Centres and tourist organisations listed on the back of this brochure.




Point Lookout, Toowoomba

Timber Museum, Wondai

Citrus Growing along Australia’s Country Way

Timber Museum, Wondai The Timber Museum located in a beautiful timber shed proudly celebrates Wondai’s roots. The museum is jampacked full of photos, memorabilia, locally crafted timber products and a magnificent diorama depicting the region’s pioneering past. Life-size sculptures of a bullocky and his bullocks mark the site, and the Visitor Information Centre is also found within.

Rock Formations, Girraween National Park

Sunset, Bunya Mountains National Park

Standing Stones, Glen Innes Glen Innes’ Celtic heart is manifested physically in the Australian Standing Stones. A monument to the pioneering Celts of the New England Tablelands, the 40 giant granite Stones are solar aligned and function as a clock, calendar, and compass. The Standing Stones are located in the Centennial Parklands overlooking the town. Girraween National Park This stunning landscape of Girraween National Park is characterised by massive granite monoliths perched precariously on smooth granite footholds, swathes of rock interspersed with wildflowers and native plants, quiet rock pools, and sweeping panoramic views. Spend a day walking, or a week camping, and enjoy an unparalleled sense of space. Picnic Point Lookout, Toowoomba This landscaped lookout over the city of Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley is the perfect location for a lazy picnic lunch atop the Great Dividing Range. Picnic Point features landscaped gardens, waterfalls, a playground, picnic and BBQ facilities, and access to fantastic walking tracks. Bunya Mountains National Park Once an important ceremonial place where Aboriginal Tribes would meet, the Bunya Mountains exudes a serene spirituality. Waterfalls and creeks break up the landscape and the majestic ancient Bunya Pines tower over the lush undergrowth and walking tracks. Share the park with the birds and wildlife and leave feeling rejuvenated.

Boardwalk, Cania Gorge National Park

Our Country. Your Way.

Mount Morgan Mine Tour

Citrus Growing Areas Gayndah and Mundubbera are the community hubs of the largest citrus farming areas in the Southern Hemisphere. Roadside stalls offer oranges, mandarins, and lemons, and if you’re driving through in spring the air is scented with the sweet smell of the entire region in bloom. Cania Gorge National Park The idyllic Cania Gorge National Park protects 3000 hectares of dramatic sandstone cliffs, rainforest, and open woodland, providing a sanctuary for native wildlife. With superb bushwalking on established tracks, and Lake Cania adjacent, spend a few days at the private camping grounds and caravan parks. Mount Morgan Mine Tour The Mount Morgan Mine Tour takes you right into the site of the now dormant open-cut gold mine that yielded 225,000 kilos of gold. The tour takes in the mine site, historical buildings, and the man-made caves where dinosaur footprints have been found.

• Sydney • Newcastle • Singleton • Muswellbrook • Scone • Tamworth • Armidale • Guyra • Glen Innes • Inverell • • Tenterfield • Stanthorpe • Warwick • Clifton • Toowoomba • Crows Nest • Yarraman • Nanango • Kingaroy • • Wondai • Murgon • Gayndah • Mundubbera • Eidsvold • Monto • Biloela • MOUNT Morgan • Rockhampton •

Wineries along Australia’s Country Way Standing Stones, Glen Innes

Wine Growing / Vineyards Explore the wine regions all the way along Australia’s Country Way, from the Hunter Valley, through the New England and Tamworth regions, and into the vineyards of the South East Queensland Countryside. The Granite Belt, South Burnett and Southern Downs’ weather, well-drained soil, and viticultural expertise have transformed the region’s wine community into a burgeoning industry.

The Golden Guitar, Tamworth

The Golden Guitar, Tamworth The Big Golden Guitar that greets you as you drive into the southern side of Tamworth lets you know you’re in country music territory. Standing 12 metres tall, this eye-catching monument to Tamworth’s country heart signposts the Big Golden Guitar Tourist Centre and Country Music Gallery of Stars Wax Museum.



Lavender Farm, Kingaroy

Cobb & Co. Coach Museum, Toowoomba

Crops, Crows Nest

Country Harvest



Visitor Information Centres are conveniently situated along Australia’s Country Way in each town or major centre and their friendly staff can provide information and maps.

QUEENSLAND ACCREDITED VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRES Rockhampton – Capricorn Tourist Information Centre Tropic of Capricorn Spire Tel: 1800 676 701 E-mail: [email protected] Rockhampton Tourist and Business Information Centre Tel: 1800 805 865 E-mail: [email protected] Biloela – Biloela Visitor Information Centre Tel: (07) 4992 2405 E-mail: [email protected] Eidsvold – Eidsvold Library and Tourist Information Centre Tel: (07) 4165 7233 E-mail: [email protected] Murgon – Murgon and District Visitor Information Centre Tel: (07) 4168 3864 E-mail: [email protected] Wondai – Wondai Visitor Information Centre Tel: (07) 4168 5652 E-mail: [email protected] Kingaroy – Kingaroy Information, Art & Heritage Precinct Tel: (07) 4162 6272 E-mail: [email protected]

Nanango – Nanango Visitor Information Centre Tel: (07)4171 6871 Email: [email protected] Crows Nest – Hampton Visitor Information Centre New England Highway, Hampton Tel: 1800 009 066 E-mail: [email protected] Toowoomba – Toowoomba Visitor Information Centre Tel: 1800 331 155 E-mail: [email protected] Warwick – Warwick Visitor Information Centre Tel: 1800 060 877 E-mail: [email protected] Stanthorpe – Stanthorpe Visitor Information Centre Tel: (07) 4681 2057 E-mail: [email protected] NEW SOUTH WALES ACCREDITED VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRES Tenterfield – Tenterfield Visitor Information Centre Tel: (02) 6736 1082 E-mail: [email protected] INVERELL – Inverell Visitor Information Centre Tel: (02) 6728 8161 or 1800 067 626 E-mail: [email protected]

Glen Innes – Glen Innes Visitor Information Centre Tel: (02) 6730 2400 E-mail: [email protected] Armidale – Armidale Visitor Information Centre Tel: 1800 627 736 E-mail: [email protected] Tamworth – Tamworth Visitor Information Centre Tel: (02) 6767 5300 E-mail: [email protected] Scone – Scone Visitor Information and Wine Centre Tel: (02) 6545 1526 E-mail: [email protected] Muswellbrook – Muswellbrook Visitor Information Centre Tel: (02) 6541 4050 or 1800 065 773 E-mail: [email protected] Newcastle – Newcastle Visitor Information Centre Tel: (02) 4974 2999 or 1800 654 558 E-mail: [email protected] SYDNEY – Sydney Olympic Park Visitor Information Centre Tel: (02) 9714 7545 or (02) 9714 7888 Sydney Visitor Centre Darling Harbour Tel: (02) 9281 0788 Sydney Visitor Centre – Sydney International Airport Tel: (02) 9667 6053 Sydney Visitor Centre – The Rocks Tel: 13 20 77 or (02) 9240 8788 For futher information regarding these and other New South Wales Visitor Information Centres visit:

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