In my book, Mondays are good for one thing: planning your next escape. For the next three weeks I’ll be bringing you snippets from my recent waist-expanding visit - where to eat, where to stay, what to do.
I expanded my horizons (and my midriff) in Southern Queensland Country as a guest of Southern Queensland Country Tourism & Tourism Queensland.
This week's instalment is three beaut places to stay in Southern Queensland Country (because let's face it, the region makes good wine and no one wants to lose scissors, paper, rock and have to drive home).
We arrived at Diamondvale Cottages after dark, and it wasn’t until morning that the picturesque setting revealed itself. A roaring fireplace and comfortable leather couches welcomed our bodies weary from a big day of sitting down. As the old proverb goes; there is no rest for the overfed and so we piled into the car to seek out (yet) another delicious meal. Then rolled into warm (how good is an electric blanket?) beds and slept like husbands.
The beautiful Quart Pot creek revealed itself as the first day of Spring dawned the following morning. Birds sang, frogs called and snakes (well, snake) scared the bejesus out of some of my travel companions. Upon our return we discovered that breakfast had arrived by quad bike. (Seriously, more breakfasts should be delivered by quad bike - it’s cool). We dined overlooking the property’s thirty acres of bushland before packing up and preparing to getting stuck into another big day of eating our way around Southern Queensland Country.
Diamondvale Cottages offer five cottages and a four bedroom lodge. Each of the cottages boast log fires and self-contained kitchens. Breakfast (yes, delivered by quad bike) is included. City (and farm) kids will enjoy being able to pat the miniature horses and feed the chooks. If you visit during summer, keep an eye out for Bearhands, the kids and I. I have designs on spending an entire day sitting on a log and watching the kids explore the creek.
Nestled on the hill next to Carr’s Lookout, Spring Creek Mountain Cafe and Cottages offers a room with a killer view.
The cabins and cottages are managed by local treasure Bev Ruskey - half of the dynamic duo heading the Southern Downs Harvest Festival. The food at the cafe is a real treat; I’m still thinking about the peanut butter and nougatine semi freddo and have menu regret for not having ordered Bev's famous beef and shiraz pie.
When we visited, a wedding party had taken up residence for the night. I couldn't think of a nicer nuptial backdrop.
Queen Mary Falls Cabins and Caravan Park near Killarney offer peace, quiet and a suite of desirable neighbours. Louise and Mark are friendly and helpful hosts.
The abundant bird life - king parrots, crimson rosellas, fire tail finches, satin bower-birds among others - have retained their country manners. There was none of the Hitchcock-style mobbing that their Gold Coast cousins have become famed for. A bower bird was even kind enough to keep me company as I wrote on the veranda.
We came across a koala with a joey on her back on the afternoon we arrived. The next morning, I had a visit from very cute peeping tom: a wallaby, who upon peering on me in the shower, seemed to wonder what kind of mother would let such a large nude joey out of the pouch on such a cool morning.