Self Drives of the Western Downs
A great way to explore Western Downs is by taking one of its many tours or trails. Discover the origins of its towns and their communities by foot or the comfort of your car. Take a casual stroll along one of its many walking tracks to get close to nature and experience the wonders of the landscape, or cycle along the paths while you take in the sights. There’s mountain ranges, forests, wildflowers and birds to explore and spot along the way.
Miles and Gurulmundi Wildflower Tour
The Western Downs has some special places where you can experience the natural wonder of native plants and wildflowers in bloom, particularly following the first Spring rains in September. Venture off the highway and immerse yourself in the true heart of the Western Downs.
Wild Dog Barrier Fence
Wander along the Wild Dog Barrier fence, also known as The Dingo fence – the longest fence in the world and second longest man-made structure in the world. Built during the 1880s, the fence was put in place to protect livestock, and has helped to reduce losses of sheep to predators, however, wild dogs can still be found in parts to this day.
Condamine Bell Tour
The first bell ever to be able to carry sound for great distances was made right here in Condamine by Samuel William Jones. It’s been reported the bell can carry sound 10 kilometres away, useful for the country where the sound tends to dissipate faster in the wide-open spaces.
Camp along the Western Downs and experience the difference in atmosphere. The lush forests and mountain tops of the Bunya Mountains, the freshwater Lake Broadwater, the Condamine River’s Chinchilla Weir Archers Crossing South, the Caliguel Lagoon, Brigalow Creek in Meandarra for fishing and rare water lilies, Waterloo Plains Environmental Park in Wandoan for its abundant birdlife and more!
Wander through the Western Downs looking for the best sculpture relics. There’s Jimbour House’s sandstone garden and home, Bell Biblical Gardens’ religious sculptures, the 2 metre dingo in Jandowae, the bronze Bush Friendship sculpture in Kogan, the chainsaw sculptures in Tara’s Grevillea Park, Chinchilla’s giant watermelon, the bottletree sculptures in Miles, Mick the dog in Wandoan and plenty more.
Those who lived in the Western Downs during times of war have left their indelible mark upon the towns. Honour those fallen with a military trail throughout the Western Downs taking you through the historical exhibits and ANZAC memorials of Dalby, Kaimkillenbun, Warra, Jandowae, Chinchilla, Miles and Meandarra.
Go find your flock with bird spotting on the Western Downs. Lake Broadwater is a good place to start, with more than 230 bird species in the area, the Bunya Mountains, Chinchilla Weir, Archers Crossing South, Charley’s Creek, Caliguel Lagoon in Condamine, Gil Weir in Miles, Chinaman’s Lagoon in Miles, Tara Lagoon and more locations all house various majestic and colourful bird species for the spotting.
A road less travelled, through a string of tiny country towns, where the stunning sunset span the sweeping plains.
A place to unplug for the hustle and bustle and reconnect with the life and stories of small town Australia.
Sunset Way follows Surat Development Road, so travelling east to west you’ll begin your journey turning off the Moonie Highway (between Dalby and Moonie) and heading for the town of Tara.
It’s a drive of nostalgia and Australiana, falling in love with Aussie flora at Myall Park Botanic Garden and then happening upon a roadside vintage garage straight out of the 1940s! You’ll re-connect with the stories of Aussie diggers at Meandarra’s impressive ANZAC Memorial Museum.
Riverside walks and picnic stops, as well as freshwater fishing and camping spots are everywhere, but if you’d prefer to find a bed, you’ll find one in each town.
Accessible three and a half hours west of Brisbane, or as a side route if you’re travelling north/south on the Leichhardt Highway or Great Inland Way.
Visit http://www.sunsetway.com.au/ for a more detailed itinerary