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Autumn in the Countryside

Home > Brisbane > Day Trips | Escape the City | Lists | Nature | Outdoor
by Roy Chambers (subscribe)
Lover of all things interesting and new
Published March 28th 2016
Experience the changing of the seasons in the countryside
Autumn in the Countryside

If you live on the coast in South East Queensland, then autumn is that time of the year when the weather is warm to hot, instead or hot to too darn hot. If you want a proper Autumn, you need to head to the countryside or up into the mountains around South East Queensland to experience the changing of the seasons.

Photo courtesy of Flickr (DanLoaTmba)
Photo courtesy of Flickr (DanLoaTmba)


Seeking an autumn where the leaves are changing is not always easy in Australia as there is only 1 native plant that loses its leaves in winter, and that is all the way down south in Tasmania. So instead you are looking for country towns where the streets and parks are lined with trees from other parts of the world.

Photo courtesy of Flickr (Tatters)
Photo courtesy of Flickr (Tatters)


The Timing

There is no hard and fast rule for this, as it depends on both the actual onset of cooler temperatures and the specific trees (and global warming is not helping either). Generally speaking, autumn is at its height in April and May, with it coming a little earlier in cooler mountain towns such as Tenterfield and Toowoomba.

The locations

One of the great locations for Autumn is Toowoomba. This city of parks and gardens up in the mountains has numerous places to enjoy the changing of the seasons. Pop into Queens Park, the Japanese Gardens at the University of Southern Queensland or Laurel Bank Park for this experience. Also walk down Campbell Street. This is a street lined with beautiful old Queenslander houses and deciduous trees.

Photo of the Japanese Gardens in Toowoomba courtesy of Russell Brigg (Flickr.com)
Photo of the Japanese Gardens in Toowoomba courtesy of Russell Brigg (Flickr.com)


The Granite Belt is also a great place to visit during autumn, though usually their autumn season arrives a little later than Toowoomba's. Stantorpe's many apple orchards will greet the season with beautiful golden leaves. Near Stanthorpe one popular autumn village is Tannymorel, near Killarney, where the beautiful tree lined Yangan-Killarney Road makes this town a worthwhile detour on a scenic drive.

Further afield, it is worthwhile crossing the border to New South Wales, where New England towns such as Tenterfield have cooler climates that provide a perfect autumn escape.

Autumn Food

Autumn is the time of year to give up on those summer salads and look for something more warming. This means stews and and soups.

It also means seasonal fruits and vegetables. Especially look out for most of your stone fruits as well as apples and grapes. It is also a great time to pick up squash, pumpkin, zucchini, tomatoes and eggplant. All great autumn foods can be cooked into fantastic warming autumn meals.

Buying pumpkins from a roadside stall in Killarney
Buying pumpkins from a roadside stall in Killarney


The best country restaurants of course focus on serving up the freshest local produce. As the seasons change so do their menus, using what is in season now and what will help warm you up on a cold day. Check out upmarket restaurants such as The Commercial Boutique Hotel in Tenterfield and The Spring Creek Mountain Cafe in Killarney for the best of the freshest.

Seasonal ingredients used at the Spring Creek Mountain Cafe
Seasonal ingredients used at the Spring Creek Mountain Cafe


Autumn Drinks

I have a preference for the scenic aspects of the wineries in Maleny and Montville but Stanthorpe has a much wider variety of wines. Wherever you are, autumn is the time to enjoy wine while viewing the changing colours of the vines.

Autumn is also when wineries around South East Queensland start to roll out their mulled wines. Out west of main range the days are often still warm with blue skies, but at night enjoying spiced heated wine in front of a fireplace is a must.

Photo of making mulled wine courtesy of Katherine at Flickr
Photo of making mulled wine courtesy of Katherine at Flickr


Autumn Activities

When Autumn arrives and the weather cools down, then South East Queenslander's thoughts turn to bushwalking . It can get a little chilly up in the mountains in the morning or the evening, but the days are usually still t-shirt weather. Toowoomba has a lovely little walk up Table Top Mountain, near Stanthorpe you will find Girraween National Park and and near Killarney there is a nice short 2 km walk at Queen Mary Falls. There are also walks at Goomburra and Cunninghams Gap.

For many people, Autumn is the start of the hiking season in South East Queensland
For many people, Autumn is the start of the hiking season in South East Queensland


Autumn stays

Autumn is a great time to stay in the countryside. As the weather gets cooler, so do the campfires and fireplaces get lit. Evenings warming yourself by the fire at caravan parks, cabins or campgrounds makes autumn one the best seasons to stay in the countryside.

The Queen Mary Falls Caravan & Tourist Park has barbecues and firepits throughout the grounds
The Queen Mary Falls Caravan & Tourist Park has barbecues and firepits throughout the grounds


Crisp mornings are also a great excuse to stay in bed a little bit longer and relax. The Spring Creek Mountain Cafe is the perfect solution with views down the mountain from your bed, you just have to figure out how to get your morning coffee without getting up.

Spring Creek Mountain Cottages sit on the side of the mountain providing great views without having to get out of bed
Spring Creek Mountain Cottages sit on the side of the mountain providing great views without having to get out of bed


Camping is also an option, but it is hard to find a place that allows you to have an open fire place. Some great campsites that do include the Charlie Moreland Camping Ground in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and The Queen Mary Falls Caravan & Tourist Park in the Scenic Rim. It is always great to sit by an open fire when the weather cools down at night.

The Charlie Moreland Campground has fire rings placed throughout the campgrounds
The Charlie Moreland Campground has fire rings placed throughout the campgrounds


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Why? Enjoy a mountain break in Autumn, experience the changing of the seasons
When: Autumn is usually at its height from the start of April to the end of May
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