Heading out to the Hunter

Head north out of Sydney on the New England Highway and you're on the lip of Australia's Country Way, where the journey is the reward and new destinations are all around you. Make your way through the beachside hub of Newcastle and its striking mix of industry and cosmopolitan living, before swinging inland to Cessnock in the Hunter Valley's hinterland wine territory. Take a pit-stop over award-winning wines, olive products, quality fruits and delicious cheeses, or stretch your stop to an overnight stay in a cottage amongst the vineyards.

The Heart of Country NSW

Big Sky Country signals you're half way to Toowoomba and a long way from the daily grind. The landscape shifts to the ubiquitous Australian grazing landscape and gorge country.

Tamworth is the first of the major centres where the Golden Guitar stands as a perennial monument to a true-blue country heart, celebrated in earnest with the annual Tamworth Country Music Festival - attracting ove 50,000 visitors from all over the world, while about 800 artists make up 2,500 acts in 120 different venues.

The New England Tablelands

Travelling north, Australia’s Country Way traverses the stunning tablelands around Armidale. Buffered against the escarpment of the Great Dividing Range, rugged terrain gives way to the beautiful natural settings of the New England National Parks, Cathedral Rock and Oxley Wild Rivers. Armidale offers the finely tuned combination of sophisticated amenities, beautiful produce, dining and a welcoming country ambience. Guyra on the top of the Range is an attractive town with a diverse blend of attractions.

The Southern Downs & Granite Belt

From the rolling fertile hills of the Warwick district, across the high altitude granite rock country of Stanthorpe, to the wide-open plains of Inglewood and Clifton, this region is a land of contrasts. The natural assets almost demand you to get amongst it – explore Cunningham’s Gap, Queen Mary Falls, Goomburra State Forest Reserve and Girraween National Park. The city of Warwick also boasts some of Queensland’s finest historical sandstone buildings – a living reminder of our pioneering past.

Toowoomba & the Darling Downs

Toowoomba and the Darling Downs encompass lush agricultural land and sophisticated small-city living. The region sports four beautiful seasons, produces sumptuous food, hosts a crop of highly regarded vineyards and specialises in romantic boutique accommodation, as well as offering spectacular sites for camping and caravanning. Outside the city limits lie the regions gorgeous National Parks – Crows Nest, Ravensbourne and the Palms National Parks, all have walking tracks, picnic areas and BBQ’s.

The South Burnett

Enjoy the laidback country charm of the South Burnett townships of Nanango, Kingaroy, Wondai and Murgon. Queensland’s largest wine region boasts a number of well-established boutique vineyards and wineries.

Sample Bunya nuts from the unique pines of the Bunya Mountains, bush foods, quality cold-pressed olives and the regions prime beef. Pick your own peanuts in Kingaroy, the ‘peanut capital of Australia’, and if your timing is right catch the annual Wine in the Park Festival.

The North Burnett

Travelling north along Australia’s Country Way places you at Gayndah and Mundubbera, two citrus growing areas that produce most of Australia’s mandarins. Gayndah straddles the Burnett River and is hemmed in by roadside stalls selling oranges, mandarins, lemons and pumpkins. Make sure you slip off the highway and follow the river beds to the citrus orchards. Drop into the Gayndah Historical Museum and Visitor Information Centre, where the grazing industry and steam engine legacies are kept alive.

Gorges & High Country

The geography of the North Burnett starts to change as you head northwards to Eidsvold and Monto. The county is drier with more cattle and the hills change into sandstone outcrops. Visit the R M Williams Australian Bush Learning Centre in Eidsvold to see how this great Australian farmed the area.

Rockhampton

Built on the back of gold and cattle, Rockhampton’s true-blue heart is lovingly maintained in the heritage architecture, grand old pubs and the best steaks anywhere. Once you hit town, the first point of call for many a traveller is The Heritage Hotel. This jewel of a pub sits on the bank of the Fitzroy River and the steaks are legendary.