Exploring Australia – Queensland

This November, I had the pleasure of making the trip to Australia, and while this wasn’t my first visit, it would be full of many firsts and even more amazing views, moments, and memories.

Now, here’s the thing: like Canada, Australia is a vast country, which would probably take years to see every corner of, but this time, I was determined to see as much of Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and Queensland as I could.

So, we made our way from Toronto to Vancouver and Vancouver to Brisbane, jumped into our rental car, and drove out to rural Cooyar. For those unaware, Cooyar is a rural town and locality in the Toowoomba Region of Queensland, Australia. According to the 2016 census, Cooyar had a population of 224 people, and to me, it seemed like a beautiful backcountry that I just had to explore.

We made our way through the region, saw some stunning views at Bunya Mountains, passed through Bell, had some lunch in Moffatdale, stopped in at Lake Wivenhoe, hiked through Mount Glorious & D’Aguilar National Park, and ended an incredible adventure in Brisbane.

So, let’s take a closer look at some of the best bits we experienced in Queensland.


Rural Queensland

First, we went to Bunya Mountains, a rolling area split between the Western Downs Region and the South Burnett Region of Queensland, Australia, closest to Mount Mowbullan. As you make your way up to the top, you get a stunning view of the area and beautiful views all around.

We went on a lovely hike through the Bunya Mountains National Park, filled with huge vine-covered trees, tropical-looking foliage around every corner, and some big snakes, which we avoided.

Along the way, we also saw some of the most massive, interwoven trees I’ve ever seen in my life, so big, you could walk right through some, like the one shown with the walkway above.

Next, we went to Bell for coffee and snacks from Pips ‘n’ Cherries, one of the cutest little cafes I’ve visited, with genuinely delicious treats and iced coffee.

In the following days, we took a little time to explore in and around Cooyar and found ourselves at Boldery Park, which, while beautiful, was absolutely chalked full of bats. I didn’t notice immediately, but then I looked up and saw hundreds sleeping in the trees. While interesting, walking through the park was a little ominous.

As we continued our journey, we made our way to Moffatdale to have lunch at the Dusty Hill Vineyard, where I had some delicious bangers and mash as we gazed out onto their beautiful sprawling property on a lovely warm day.


Lake Wivenhoe

Once we left the South Burnett Region of Australia, we made our way to Lake Wivenhoe to see the beautiful views and check out the dam, as it’s the perfect stop to have a picnic lunch along the way, which is pretty much what we did.

Even on an overcast day, the views were pretty magical and majestic, and so was the size of the Wivenhoe Dam.

The Wivenhoe Dam is a rock and earth-fill embankment dam with a concrete spillway across the Brisbane River in South East Queensland, Australia. The dam takes its name from the local Wivenhoe Pocket rural community, and the area serves as the perfect stop along the way from rural Queensland back to Brisbane. But first, we had to do a hike at Mount Glorious.


Mount Glorious & D’Aguilar National Park

As mentioned up next, we made our way up to Mount Glorious, a lush, green and quite stunning area. On the ride up, we drove through very windy roads with great views that felt like we were in some adventure game and the perfect ride for those on motorcycles, of which we saw many. Once we reached the top, we parked and had a lovely trek through D’Aguilar National Park.

Full of winding paths, Amazon-style greenery, and many different types of birds, we had a lovely wander through the forest to try and catch sightings of some local wildlife while trying to avoid snakes. Fortunately we saw many birds and no snakes.

Once we finished hiking the trail, we stopped at a nearby restaurant, Smoky Mountain Hideaway, where we had a lovely lunch, including a top-notch ruben sandwich. We saw an aggressive Kookaburra (pictured above) who was super cute but wanted to eat lunch with us, so much so that he was divebombing us and other patrons during our lunch.

Fear not, other than an attack on my partner’s sandwich, we made it out unscathed.



Our last stop along the way in Queensland was beautiful Brisbane.

As we arrived, we checked into the beautiful Hotel X Brisbane Fortitude Valley for a lovely stay to learn more about Brisbane and what it had to offer. From excellent coffee shops around every corner to some stellar bakeries, we found lots to do during the day, including a visit to the New Farm Park, which is truly breathtaking.

After a day of wandering around, we had a wonderful dinner at Mr. Vain, a contemporary Pan-Asian restaurant in the heart of Fortitude Valley. The dinner was downright delicious and full of culinary surprises along the way. It’s honestly a must-visit while in Brisbane.

At the end of our short stay, we found ourselves at The Story Bridge, a heritage-listed steel cantilever bridge spanning the Brisbane River that carries vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic and is quite the sight, especially lit up in green lights at night.

We woke up the final morning not yet ready to say goodbye, but since we had a flight to catch, we had to pack up, head out and fly to Adelaide to make our way to Kangaroo Island.

While we only saw a small part of what Queensland has to offer, we had a lovely few days exploring what we could of the area: the stunning views, friendly people, and fantastic food that seemed to be around every corner.



Mark Munroe is the Creator and EIC of ADDICTED. He's ADDICTED to great travel, amazing food, better grooming & probably a whole lot more!