IF you are looking for a way to spend the five-day Easter holidays and have not got around to booking something yet, why not explore some of the fantastic destinations in and around the Toowoomba region?
After the recent flood event across the state the tourism industry has been hit the hardest and local operators really need the support of the community.
Toowoomba and Golden West Tourism general manager Stuart Perry said that the region was open for business.
“There was a misconception that the region was severely damaged by the recent flood events.
“The wider travelling public now realise that we are open for business and we are looking forward to a very successful Easter period and there is a positive, strong outlook beyond that,” Mr Perry said.
The majestic Bunya Mountains is a spectacular wilderness range forming an isolated section of the Great Dividing Range. The immense subtropical range of cool, green rainforest, eucalypt forests and woodlands is home to the world's largest forest of bunya pines, making it the perfect location for an Easter getaway. Native wildlife, wallabies and pademelons as well as 121 species of birds including brilliantly coloured king parrots, satin bowerbirds and crimson rosellas, call this area home.
Ravensbourne National Park
For many years, Ravensbourne National Park was a traditional stop over for Aboriginal people enroute to and from the bunya festivals in the Bunya Mountains. Today, visitors come to admire majestic Sydney blue gums and more than 80 bird species, including green catbirds and vulnerable black-breasted button-quail. Under the rainforest's dense canopy, orchids and elkhorns thrive. It's a popular spot during the Easter long weekend to take a day to explore the park's five short tracks (the longest is two hours). Near Cedar Block's self-guiding walk, Beutel lookout gives panoramic views of the Lockyer Valley and Scenic Rim.
Easterfest, April 22 -24.
Easterfest is a festival at Easter and is also Australia's largest drug and alcohol-free event of its kind. Every year this massive festival sees tens of thousands of people inundate Queens Park in the Central Business District of Toowoomba for the duration of the Easter weekend.
For more than a decade Easterfest has hosted amazing talent from around Australia and the world, in 2011 it will see over 150 artists perform in seven Queen's Park venues as well as all over the city. Four thousand people will really maximise the experience by camping right on site in Queen's Park for the entire weekend. In addition to the music there are street festivals, extreme sports, show rides, market stalls, kids activities, challenging speakers, great food, art displays and pretty much anything else you can think of. www.easterfest.com.au
Carnarvon National Park
Carnarvon Gorge section, Carnarvon National Park — a spectacular gorge system with towering white cliffs and lush side gorges — is Queensland's central highlands' most popular attraction, located 250 kilometres north of Roma. Carnarvon Creek meanders through eucalypt and cabbage palm forest and attracts 170 bird species. Explore creeks, mossy gorges and cool rainforests on 21 kilometres of walking track. Head for nearby Mickey Creek and the Rock Pool or climb Boolimba Bluff. Discover Aboriginal art at Baloon Cave and the Art Gallery. Spot whiptail wallabies and fairy wrens, and watch platypus in the creek in the early morning.
Enjoy camping in the area during Easter, but bookings are essential. Privately run accommodation is available at all times of the year.
Nindigully Pub is Queensland's oldest hotel located in its original condition and position on the banks of the Moonie River approximately 45 kilometres south of St George. The licence was issued in 1864 after operating as shearers' accommodation for the Nindigully Station. Nindigully is a fantastic spot to kick back and relax during the Easter long weekend as there's free fishing and camping and caravanning on the river with hot showers available or accommodation is also an option at the hotel. The Nindigully Pub is home to the best fresh-cooked meals in the west. www.nindigully.com
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