We’d been meaning to walk some of the tracks in the Toowoomba Region National Parks for a while so when Peter and Thuy invited us out to Tweeters Country Getaway to experience their new farm stay we didn’t hesitate. Tweeters is located in Glenaven in the Toowoomba Region just north of Crows Nest. It’s a country area generously splattered with hiking trails and conveniently located for a weekend escape only 2 hours from Brisbane or 2.5 hours from the Gold Coast. The New England highway basically divides this region in two, on the western side of the road is farmland, to the east are gorges, granite cliffs and dramatic escarpments.
Tweeters Country Getaway is set on 72 acres featuring a dramatic gorge, caves, outcrops and native forest. If you’re feeling energetic there’s a range of walking tracks around the property, down to the bottom of the gully and across to a picnic lookout on the far side. Alternatively, if you want to relax and unwind in the peace of the countryside you can enjoy a glass of wine from the cliff top bar area or a shady seat on the veranda. There’s a spectacular 85-metre gorge below and plenty of wild birds soaring around in the forest canopy.
On a walk around the top of the property Peter and Thuy explained a some of the work that had gone into transforming the block and establishing the farm stay. As we walked Thuy spotted and pointed out a young koala in the fork of a tree while Peter explained the geological history of the area and some of the other birds and animals that are seen around their block.
Although Tweeters isn’t a working farm they have a range of animals including a small pony, goats, sheep, pigs and chickens. There’s even a gorgeous young peacock who wanders around the lodge. If you have children with you, or have some farmyard favourites yourself you’re welcome to help with the morning and evening feeding.
Two of the sweetest though would have to be Pepper the border collie and Chili the blue heeler, both typical Australia farm dogs who accompanied us as we walked around. They are very gentle natured and Chilli especially loves to head off on an adventure with you and both are especially fond of a walk to the dam for a swim.
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Inside the lodge
There are 4 queen sized rooms and 2 adjoining double bunk rooms for children, sleeping a total of 16 guests. For a large gathering, you can rent the whole place including use of the kitchen. Alternatively, you can book one or more of the rooms and enjoy meals cooked and served family style by Thuy. Her repertoire ranges from a traditional Australia roast with all the trimmings to a three-course Vietnamese feast. Delicious. She’ll also cook you up a full cooked breakfast if you want and lunch if you choose to spend the day around the property.
The rooms as a good size with a mix of Australian country style together with art and furniture selected by Thuy from Vietnam. Each guest room has it’s own walk-in closet area for stowing your gear and bags plus a full ensuite. One of the rooms ensuites and the shared bathroom in the communal have fully accessible facilities and the single story property has ramp access.
What to do near Tweeters Country Getaway
While you can spend your time exploring and unwinding on the property there is also a lot to do in the surrounding area including a couple of wineries and rural towns to explore. If you’re looking for something more active here are just a few options. I’ll split it into two parts, a drive north of Tweeters and a drive south in the order you come to the various attractions.
Take a drive south to explore …
Crows Nest National Park
The terrain and bush here is the most similar to the Tweeters property. It’s a eucalypt forest surrounded by steep granite cliffs and strewn with giant boulders. The walking tracks will take you past a series of cascades and water holes before you reach the 20 metre Crows Nest Falls. This is most spectacular after some heavy rains when the cascades are flowing and the water holes are full for a swim.
Crows Nest Historic Trail
The township of Crows Nest is far smaller today than it was in its heydey but it has some interesting history and the local council is working to share it with visitors through a history trail. While we were there the cenotaph was also undergoing some renovations ahead of the ANZAC day commemorations.
There are several theories on how the area took its name but one is that it was named for a local Aboriginal man known as Jimmy Crow who was known for giving directions to European settlers. He was said to have lived in the hollow of an old tree and his statue stands today in Centenary Park in the centre of town next to an old hollow tree.
Lakes Perseverance and Cressbrook
Continuing south take the marked turn-off to the lakes. Lake Cressbrook is the perfect place for spotting large grey kangaroos and the goanna, Australia’s largest lizard. The kangaroos are found all day in good numbers on both sides of the lake at the recreational area and the camping ground. There’s also red deer here which you are most likely to see on the 5km walk from the campground to the boat ramp. The dams provide the water supply for the Toowoomba region and while you aren’t able to swim in the lake there is reportedly good fishing and recreational kayaking and boating is permitted.
Ravensbourne National Park
The landscape changes dramatically again when you reach the Ravensbourne National Park. This is temperate rainforest and some of my favourite to walk in. There’s a series of shorter walks here that have feature some huge trees, tracts of vine forest and wildlife.
Take a drive north and find …
The Palms National Park
About half an hour north is the Palms National Park between Cooyar and Yarraman. It’s tiny for a national park at only 73 hectares and the walking track is a small loop track at one end. There’s a day-use area with picnic tables but no toilet facilities. Although small we felt it was well worth the trip out because it’s so different to the rest of the region. This is a remnant of Piccaben palm forest fed by a fresh water spring in the gully. We spotted a good variety of birdlife, wallabies and there is a substantial flying fox colony here including the blacks, little reds and grey-headed with their fluffy orange collars. We were chatting with someone from National Parks who told us that there were only about a 3rd of the colony in when we were there (March), it must be quite the sight (and noise) when they are all in the area.
Another half an hour on from the Palms you come to Coomba Falls in Maidenwell. Park at the top and walk down the stairs to the falls and water hole. The landscape is stunning, absolutely covered in grass trees and dramatic boulders. It’s also a popular water hole for swimming in summer.
Bunya Mountains National Park
Another half an hour on is the Bunya Mountains National Park. The road up to here is gravel and one way in parts but take your time and it’s easy enough to do in a normal car, you don’t need a 4 wheel drive, we’ve done it many times. There are many and varied tracks to do up here, you could spend a week or more doing them all but pick a couple and enjoy.
If you want a sweet treat along the way and a little taste of the bunya nuts that made the region a destination for travellers long before European settlers came to Australia I’d highly recommend a coffee and the bunya nut and carrot cake at Poppies on the Hill in the Bunya Mountain accommodation area. If you are still hoping to spot a pademelon on your travels, a macropod like a tiny kangaroo, this is the place, they are here in good numbers all year and at all times of the day.
Tweeters Country Getaway Visitor Information
The drive to Tweeters Country Getaway will take around 2 hours from Brisbane or 2.5 hours up from the Gold Coast. The roads are sealed and easy driving from either city.
We travelled from Brisbane around the southern end of Lake Wivenhoe with stops at Fernvale, the Wivenhoe dam lookout although it wasn’t spilling water after such a dry ‘wet season’ and Cormorant Bay which is usually a successful koala spot for us. For lunch we stopped at Esk at Julies at the Rectory on the way up and a late lunch at Nash Gallery and Cafe on the way back, we’d recommend both cafes for their great food and friendly country service.
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