South Burnett Drive

Many people visit the Burnett/Fraser coast region but fail to explore the hinterland. If you plan to drive to the Burnett/Fraser region, why not take the inland route and enjoy some different and interesting scenery.

The journey from Toowoomba to Budaberg is 409 km in length and can be done in just over 5 hours, however this gives no time to stop and visit the many places of interest on the way. Depending on the time you have available, we'd recommend at least 2 full days to make the journey.

Towns visited: Toowoomba, Oakey, Jondaryan, Brymaroo, Muntapa Park, Cooyar, Yarraman, Nanango, Kingaroy, Wondai, Murgon, Goomeri, Biggenden, Childers, Bundaberg

Toowoomba is one of Australia's largest provincial cities, and the nation's second largest inland city after Canberra, the national capital. The major centre on the Darling Downs, Toowoomba is nationally renowned for its annual Flower Festival, held each year in September.
Leave Toowoomba via Bridge Street, following the Warrego Highway north west to Oakey.

Oakey is a pleasant rural service town west of Toowoomba. It is noted for two things: it was the home of Bernborough, one of Australia's most famous racehorses and, just outside town, is the best aviation museum in Australia, the Australian Army Flying Museum.
Continue on the Warrego Highway to Jondaryan.

Jondaryan is a superb example of a tiny, unimportant settlement exploiting its one famous and important old historical building and creating an entire tourism industry out of it.
Take Jondaryan Nungil Rd in Jondaryan towards Brymaroo.

This small village is home to an Australian built Canberra Bomber GAF (Government Aircraft Factory) A84-219, mounted beside the Jondaryan-Nungil Road in Alex Campbell Park on Jondaryan Nungil Rd.
Turn right into Pechey Maclagan Road a short distance beyond Alex Campbell Park. Turn right into Turn left into Oakey Cooyar Road (21.5 km), left into Narko Nutgrove Rd to Muntapa Park (2.7 km)

Muntapa tunnel
Muntapa tunnel is 287m long, the longest straight railway tunnel in Queensland and the only one that crossed between the inland and coastal sides of the Great Dividing Range, and the only one that crossed its summit. Interpretive signs are located along the park including the history of the rail. Access into the tunnel for a distance of 30 metres is possible, however access through the tunnel is not permitted to protect an existing colony of bent winged bats.

From Muntapa Park, head north towards Naeko Nutgrove Rd, then slight right onto Naeko Nutgrove Rd (130 metres), turn left onto Oakey Cooyar Rd (2.7 km), turn left onto Back Creek Rd (4.2 km), turn left onto Back Creek Rd (4.2 km), turn right onto Cooyar Rangemore Rd (5.5 ikm), proceed to Cooyar (1.6 km).

Cooyar is home to the Palms National Park, one of the smallest national parks in Australia. Swinging Bridge Park is in the centre of Cooyar, and within the park is a suspension bridge that crosses the Cooyar Creek. If you are lucky you may see Platypus and Turtles happily swimming around in the creek below.
From Cooyar, head east on Cooyar Rangemore Road, turn left into New England Highway (4.8 km) and follow it to Yarraman (28 km).

Cooyar is home to the Palms National Park, one of the smallest national parks in Australia. Swinging Bridge Park is in the centre of Cooyar, and within the park is a suspension bridge that crosses the Cooyar Creek. If you are lucky you may see Platypus and Turtles happily swimming around in the creek below.
From Yarraman, follow D'Aguilar Highway north to Nanango (22 km).

Servicing a prosperous agricultural district that is also the administrative centre for the surrounding shire, Nanango is the second largest town in the South Burnett region, and the fourth oldest town in Queensland.
Continue following the D'Aguilar Highway north to Kingaroy (26 km).

A middle-sized, typically Queensland country town that is known as both the peanut capital and baked bean capital of Australia. Kingaroy is one of Australia's major peanut producers with part of the crop being exported to New Zealand, Britain and Japan. The huge peanut silos are 42 m high and capable of holding 16 000 tonnes. The town hosts a peanut festival every September.
Follow Bunya Highway north to Wondai (30 km).

Wondai is a small town in the South Burnett region. The establishment of the town was the result of the arrival of the railway line and, in 1901, the resumption of large tracts of land which was subsequently subdivided resulting in more intensive land use. The town grew slowly (its importance was hampered by the proximity of Kingaroy which is only 30 km to the south) and it wasn't constituted as a shire until 1914. Today it is a typical rural centre servicing the surrounding properties where peanuts, wheat and cereal crops are grown, and dairy and beef cattle are raised.
Continue following the Bunya Highway to Murgon (16 km).

16 km north west of Wondai on the Bunya Highway, the township of Murgon is more famous for its proximity to the well known Aboriginal reserve, originally known as Barambah Aboriginal Reserve and today known as Cherbourg, than for any specific attractions it may have.
Follow Burnett Highway (State Route 49) to Goomeri (17.5 km).

A service centre for the local agricultural activities which includes the South Burnett wine region. The town hosts a pumpkin festival every year in May, a highlight of which is the Great Australian Pumpkin Roll.
From Goomeri, follow Burnett Highway (State Route 49), turn right into Isis Highway (State Route 52) (74.4 km), following the signs Coalstoun Lakes National Park (19 km).

Coalstoun Lakes National Park
Rising 200m above a broad cultivated valley, Mt Le Brun is one of the youngest volcanic formations in Australia. It contains two large craters which occasionally fill with shallow lakes. The crater lakes are protected in Coalstoun Lakes National Park.
Return to Isis Highway (State Route 52), turn right towards Biggenden (20.7 km).

A small service centre in the hinterland behind the Sunshine Coast, Biggenden lies below the granite cliffs of Mount Walsh. It is a town of natural beauty with wide streets and beautiful rose gardens. its local industry includes beef, dairy, citrus, vineyards and timber.
Continue north along the Isis Highway (State Route 52) to Childers (47 km).

An historic National Trust town in the sugar growing belt of Central Queensland. The town grew up around a stopping place for passing teamsters and as a service centre for the local pastoralists who moved into the area around the same time. In 1902 the town was virtually wiped out by a fire which demolished nearly all the buildings on one side of the main street. Those that survived are now the interesting and important buildings in the town.
Continue to follow the Isis Highway (State Route 52) to Bundaberg West (52 km), taking Bourbong Street (State Route 3) to Bundaberg Central (2 km).

Bundaberg prides itself as the Southern Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. The city lies near the southern end of the reef in proximity to Lady Elliot and Lady Musgrave Islands. Though it is seen as a regional centre, Bundaberg has become a popular weekend and holiday/vacation destination for Brisbane residents, and consequently the city has developed facilities and attractions to cater for them.