The Darling Downs, just west of the Great Dividing Range and a leisurely drive from Brisbane, is very much country Queensland.
Think fertile slopes and plains, country towns and farms, national parks, grazing land and wineries... peace and quiet... think Goondiwindi, Stanthorpe, Toowoomba... and yes, that's the Darling Downs.
- Darling Downs pictures: Girraween National Park, Goondiwindi Hotel and Pub, Toowoomba gardens, White Horse Hotel, Toowoomba
North and south of Brisbane
Two of the most popular Queensland coasts, and a favorite of tourists, lie north and south of Brisbane: Noosa and the Sunshine Coast in the north, Surfers Paradise and the Gold Coast in the south. These are popular destinations indeed, and there are holiday trips which have, for instance, the Gold Coast as the only destination, with perhaps an altogether too brief a stopover in Sydney.
But if you have a little more time, take a break into Brisbane (within an hour of either Gold or Sunshine Coast) and head west to the Darling Downs.
A taste of country
For a less hectic holiday pace, and a taste of country Queensland, there's the Darling Downs just west of Brisbane.
Head west to Ipswich, then take the Warrego Highway all the way to Toowoomba, the Darling Downs' major city.
Explore Toowoomba at your leisure then either head northeast through Dalby or southwest to Goondiwindi.
This is dinki-di country Queensland: fertile green slopes and plains west of the Dividing Range, fruit orchards and plantations, unique little towns with a character all their own, and — as you go further into the hinterland — grazing country and sheep and cattle stations.
Sprawling, fertile region
The Darling Downs is a sprawling region where roads criss-cross the land like arteries pumping blood into the towns and farms of country Queensland.
A good map will come in handy and while there are free maps at many visitor centres, it pays to invest a few dollars in a larger, more detailed map.
This is a place for leisurely travel, so take your time and stop wherever you will.