50 kms north of Brisbane is the lovely little town of Dayboro. While it is not somewhere people are going to make a specific day trip to, it is still a great stop on the way to or from somewhere else, and a nice place if you are visiting the area. It is a little town that packs a lot in, with shops, an art gallery, museum cafes, a great pub, a famous butcher and more. Actually, may be worth a trip in itself for anyone looking for a short escape from the city.
First of all, it is pronounced Day-bruh, not Day-bro or Day-Bo-Ro, though you can get away with the first 2 pronunciations and no one will mind.
The little town of Dayboro has had a number of names. It started off as Hamilton, after a local farmer and postmaster in the area. But then changed its name to Terrors Creek. I had assumed this name came from a time traveller who wanted to rename the town so that a low-budget horror movie could be filmed in it sometime in the future. But no, it was because the creek was next to a paddock called Terrors Paddock, named after a rather feisty stallion that was kept in that paddock.
Then in 1917, it was decided to change the name again because Terrors sounded too much like Torrens, or maybe the post office kept mistaking the Rs and the Ns, as the pressure was coming from the Postmaster General. So they named the town after William Henry Day, a notable settler in the area.
Dayboro is a cute little village to walk around. It is good for those who love arts and crafts, local produce and country towns. It is worth popping into the Dayboro Cottage Local History Museum which has a collection of local artefacts, photos and articles on display.
One of the main attractions is Hay Cottage Arts & Crafts. This lovely little cottage has a vast collection of locally made arts and crafts from the area. Many people who live in the areas surrounding Dayboro engage in various arts, and of course, sell them in places like Hay Cottage.
For people who like local arts & crafts, then Hays Cottage should be your first stop in Dayboro
Down the end of town is the Dayboro Art Gallery which features works by local artists. It is easy to miss the art gallery as you have to walk past the sports fields and the building itself is a nondescript building. The works tend to be heavily focused on landscapes and nature, as you would expect of people who live in such a beautiful area.
There are also a number of craft and curio shops in town which tend to have a strong emphasis on creatively rustic designs. If you need something for your house, then it is worth having a look at these places. But of course, you can just shop for the fun of browsing without buying.
Surprisingly there are no antique shops in town, but not far out of town is The Dayboro Shed Antiques. This fairly upmarket place is a great spot if you are looking for that perfect antique for your home.
Another good place to stop is the Dayboro Butcher, also sometimes called Dayboro Village Meats. They are famous for their sausages, though it seems that every little town across South East Queensland puts a lot of effort into making great sausages. Remember to pack an esky if you are planning a trip to the area if you want to pick up sausages or other meats.
I have eaten a few times at the Dayboro Bakery. It is a good spot to get a pie, pastry and coffee. There is a resurgence in interest in good pies and other classic Aussie bakery foods, and you can be assured of getting a decent pie and some country-style cakes in the countryside, and Dayboro Bakery doesn't disappoint in this regard.
I think there are at least four cafes in town catering to the many people passing through looking for coffee and cake. Please don't make me recommend one as they are all really good and well-reviewed. My recommendation is to walk through town and choose the one that looks the best based on the style of cafe you like, and I can pretty much guarantee you have chosen a good cafe that you will be happy with.
Down the end of the street at the T-junction sits the Crown Hotel, ruling over the town of Daybo. Their Fijian-born chef does great pub cuisine, but look out for things with a bit of a Fijian twist. They also have live music on a regular basis two times a month, once on a Friday night and once on a Sunday afternoon. You know, whenever there is an event in a country pub, it will be packed with locals looking for a party.
The famous Crown Hotel has been in Dayboro since 1912
I think that the main reason people would pass through Dayboro is to go to Mt Mee and North D'Aguilar National Park. This is a nice spot for hiking, camping and picnicking. If you are returning early enough you can stop into Dayboro for shopping, coffee and cake. If you are a little later, there is also the option of a nice pub meal at the Crown Hotel.
Dayboro is on the way to Mt Mee and North D'Aguilar National Park
One of the key attractions in the area is Lake Samsonvale. The main area that visitors go to is Bullocky rest for barbecues, fishing and the start of a short hike. This is on the far side of the lake to Dayboro, but worth the drive around the lake to also visit the town.
Relaxing lakeside at Bullocky Rest at Lake Samsonvale
Other attractions include Lake Kurwongbah, not far from Lake Samsonvale. This lake is popular for boating activities. There is also Petrie which also features a historical village but within a more developed area.
There aren't that many places to stay in the area, and even the Crown Hotel isn't a hotel in the classic sense. But outside of town, you will find places like Dayboro Cottages, Worlds Away Retreat and Blue Ridge Lavender Cottage. You know the sort of place where you can feel 1000 miles from the hurly-burly in the green rolling hills of the countryside but not have to drive that far from home to get there.
The hilly & beautiful countryside north of Dayboro
Camping is an option, both at Worlds Away Retreat and at North D'Aguilar National Park. You will find more places to stay around the area where Daybro is more or less just a short trip away.
Small villages like Dayboro don't really attract visitors going just to visit that spot, but it is often a stop or a side trip to other locations. It is well worth it if you love little villages, good country cafes, arts, crafts and of course a good pub meal or butcher, and can be a great part of a road trip to the area.