First timers’ guide to Warwick, QLD
Perched on the banks of the Condamine River and oozing a fascinating past, Warwick makes for an exciting extended stop. It’s all thanks to a raft of diverse attractions both in the city and within easy daytrip distance.
Warwick is roughly 155km (2hr drive) southwest of Brisbane and 85km (1hr drive) south of Toowoomba in the Southern Downs region.
Population: 12,000 plus.
Best known for: Roses, rodeos, and sandstone heritage buildings.
Has a quirky link to…Mary Poppins. More below.
When looking for things to do in Warwick, this line-up should be on your list.
Australian Rodeo Heritage Centre: Warwick is rodeo territory, and this attraction expertly captures this slice of local history and culture. A barrel-load of exhibits feature along with live rodeo demonstrations and much more.
Warwick Historical Society Museum: Feel the pulse of the past through a cluster of old buildings that have been cleverly arranged and house all sorts of interesting antique items.
Warwick Art Gallery: The area’s rich artistic culture is celebrated and showcased through hundreds of works that feature within the gallery’s vibrant spaces. Australian landscapes are prolific.
Glengallan Homestead and Heritage Centre: Wander around this striking sandstone mansion and retrace a past full of colour and interest. Also includes gardens and a café, located 15min north of Warwick.
Mary Poppins House: Explore a heritage-listed structure that was once the home of PL Travers, the author of Mary Poppins. Guided tours are by appointment only. The house is spotted just minutes from Glengallan Homestead.
Warwick is renowned for its sandstone buildings, as well as eye-catching timber and brick creations, and following a heritage trail to admire it all is highly recommended. Warwick Town Hall, the post office, St George’s Lodge, and St Mary’s Catholic Church are among standout finds.
Warwick carries the title of the Rose and Rodeo City, and it even has its own rose. The City of Warwick rose can be spotted in some of the many parks and gardens dotted around the place, which make for ideal picnic spots.
Part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, Main Range National Park is must-visit material with its epic mountain ranges, ample walking tracks with lookouts aplenty, and diverse vegetation.
A highlight is spectacular, 40m-high Queen Mary Falls with excellent viewing ops from top to bottom. Main Range is 48km northeast of Warwick (35min drive).
While Girraween National Park is further away – 97km south of Warwick; 1hr 10min drive – its dazzling features are well worth reaching. Booming boulders that appear perilously balanced are among the not-to-be-missed sights alongside huge granite outcrops and colourful spring wildflowers.
Please note: At time of writing (January 2020), both parks were impacted by bushfires, but the track to Queen Mary Falls remained open. Please check official websites before visiting.
These attractions have all-ages appeal in and around Warwick.
Southern Downs Steam Railway: Regular tours aboard this heritage railway depart from Warwick and encompass gorgeous scenery on the way to varying destinations.
Darling Downs Zoo: Encounter a wide range of captivating creatures from across the globe in a beautiful bush setting, 30min north of Warwick. Exciting talks feature daily and increase the zoo’s appeal.
Granite Belt Maze: An engrossing maze experience with a difference. Admission price includes a round of mini-golf. Plenty of fun, 35min south of Warwick.
Thanes Creek gold fossicking area: Try your hand at striking gold at this designated fossicking spot, 35min west of Warwick. A fossicking licence is required and can be purchased online.
There is a handful of great places to dangle a line within easy reach of Warwick’s centre. Frontrunners are Leslie Dam, 20min west of Warwick; and Connolly Dam, 20min south. Both are stocked with golden perch, Murray cod, and silver perch.
The Southern and Darling Downs areas are renowned for their vibrant summer sunflowers, which make for brilliant photos. Traditionally, these yellow beauties spring to life from late December and bloom until March.
Follow the designated 26km-long Sunflower Route from Warwick to Glengallan via Allora for the best chance to witness fields full of these colourful creations.
Be aware that sunflowers grow on private land, so please be respectful when trying to capture that perfect pic.
More than 40 cellar doors are sprinkled around the cool-climate Granite Belt wine district, a historical grape-growing area that extends towards the NSW border. At 1000m elevation, this is Australia’s highest wine region.
Signature reds and whites include cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, chardonnay, and verdelho, while the region’s winemakers proudly produce plenty of alternative varieties, too. And it all pairs well with the feast of delicious food options and sparkling scenery within these parts.
The alluring town of Stanthorpe is regarded as the heart of the Granite Belt and is only a 45min drive south of Warwick.
BIG4 Warwick Holiday Park
Park type: Classic
Spotted just south of the city centre, BIG4 Warwick is a spacious, shady park that radiates relaxation.
An array of cabin accommodation blends with the park’s many powered and unpowered sites – some pet friendly – and is backed by an inviting swimming pool and excellent camp kitchen among other great facilities. And for kids, there’s a shade cloth-covered playground.
Isn’t it time you explored the wonders of Warwick? Book your next BIG4 break now.
Contact the BIG4 National Support Office via our contact us page.
Inspire someone you know to get out and explore this beautiful country of ours. Start them on their way by surprising them with a BIG4 Gift Card.