Where to Stay on the Southern Trail

The Southern Trail

Keen to camp while you’re on the Southern Trail? No sweat – we have you covered for Opera at Jimbour. But there’s also a stack of places to stay in and around the surrounding Western Downs region, from charming rainforest retreats and secluded, romantic tiny houses, to expansive luxury apartments in Toowoomba.

Here’s where to stay in the Western Downs.

1. Jubri’s Hideaway

63 Chelldan Avenue, Dalby
0429 025 591
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A beautiful old country property that’s been converted into a functions space, Jubri’s Hideaway also has accommodation for 10 people split across a three-bedroom guest house and two studio cabins, making it the ideal place to bring together a group of friends.

The guest house sleeps six (in two queen bedrooms and one twin room with king singles) and features a full sized kitchen, two living rooms, two dining rooms and a large bathroom with a shower and a bath, while the studio cabins sleep two people each and feature queen beds, kitchenettes and a barbeque. All the accommodation is modern and features both air conditioning and heating.

Best of all is the location – because if you’re looking at where to stay in Jimbour, it’s just 15 minutes away and 10 minutes from the centre of Dalby.

2. Bunya Mountains National Park

Bunya Mountains Road, Bunya Mountains
(07) 4668 3126
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A favourite weekend getaway for Southeast Queenslanders in the know, the Bunya Mountains are an isolated section of the Great Dividing Range formed from the remains of an old shield volcano, some 30 million years old.

A place defined by its rainforest, eucalypt woodlands and (of course) enormous bunya pines, this sub-alpine plateau is also a quaint miniature village that boasts a café, tavern and general store, and there’s a bunch of walking tracks, waterfalls and lookouts to check out in the surrounding national park.

The Bunya Mountains are a great spot for Western Downs accommodation, with 104 holiday homes that range from sprawling houses to cosy cottages perfect for couples. Of the bigger homes, Satinwood is perhaps one of the better picks - a lovely timber edifice with an enormous front verandah, a log fireplace and space for six guests. There's also the expansive, modern Endless Views, and intimate Godshill Studio - a fully equipped cottage on the edge of the rainforest.

For a full list of Bunya Mountains accommodation, visit the website.

3. Into the Wild Escapes

Toowoomba Region
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Inspired by the tiny house movement, Into the Wild Escapes has over the past three years built a collection of 42 cosy hideaways on rural properties scattered around Australia. Two of its Queensland houses are located just outside Toowoomba.

Norah and Charlie are both decked out with a queen bed, surrounded by large windows that look out across the stunning scenery. They also both have an extra bed in the loft –
a double for Norah and single for Charlie – plus a fully-equipped kitchen, a full bathroom with toilet, hot shower and basin, a heater and air conditioning. Outside you’ll find a fire pit and a barbeque, for quiet evenings to relax under the stars.

The exact location of each getaway is only supplied once you book, but the setting for both is rolling pastures scattered with woodlands. All you need do is stock up on some local produce from one of the nearby towns and you have a perfect off-grid retreat from the festival.

4. The Arbour Boutique Apartments

27 Scott Street, Toowoomba
(07) 4580 1432
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Part of a new wave of elevated accommodation that’s sprouting up throughout Toowoomba, The Arbour’s beautifully designed apartments resemble the kind of rooms you used to associate with the big smoke. They’re fitted out with parquet floors, handsome tiled and stone-countertop kitchens (which are full-sized, with a cooktop and dishwasher), plush furniture and carpets, and generously sized balconies.

Apartments come in one-, two- or three-bedroom arrangements, and you can join together a one- and two-bedder to create a spacious three-bedroom setup with three bathrooms, three balconies and two kitchens – perfect for families.

The Arbour has you located at the east end of town, close to the Toowoomba Connection Road that comes up from Brisbane, and an 80-minute drive from Jimbour. It’s a lovely part of Toowoomba, a short stroll away from leafy Margaret Street and nearby Queens Park.

5. Quince Cottage

Ravensbourne, Queensland
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A lovingly refurbished rural house perched on a ridge with one-of-a-kind views across the Brisbane and Lockyer Valleys, Quince Cottage is a retro-styled escape an 80-minute drive from Jimbour.

Inside, the house has been brightly decorated with modernist furniture, and features three bedrooms for six guests, an open-plan living area, a generously sized bath, self-contained kitchen and a log fire, while outdoors there’s an expansive garden, a long deck, a table-tennis table and a heated plunge pool.

The rest of the appeal is the location. Ravensbourne is a place of stunning beauty, with the nearby Ravensbourne National Park surrounded by picturesque farmland. Make some time to visit Crows Nest and have lunch or dinner at Myrtille Bistro – one of the hottest regional restaurants in South East Queensland.

6. Nell's Place

Toowoomba City
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This stately old stucco and timber house – once the family home of Queensland’s first female mayor, Nellie E Robinson OBE – has gone through a recent refurbishment, lending it an entirely modern feel.

Inside Nell's Place, there’s upscale furniture, a self-contained kitchen with stone-top counters, and a separate dining room that caters for eight people. There’s also a sunroom and an outdoor barbeque area. Other facilities include air-conditioning throughout, unlimited high-speed Wi-Fi, a large flat screen television, and a laundry equipped with a large front load washer-dryer, ironing board and iron.

The house sleeps eight across a queen master bedroom with en suite, a second queen bedroom, and a third bedroom with two king singles, with two foldaway single beds also available.

The location is brilliant too, right in the guts of town and only a short walk from cinemas, restaurants and the Grand Central shopping centre.