I am a freelance writer and diversional therapist, living in Brisbane's North West. I write for Weekend Notes, Must do Brisbane and Starts at Sixty. Visit my blogs at babybloomin.wordpress.com and brisbanetripster.wordpress.com.
Published April 8th 2014
Lady Flo's home town offers much more than pumpkin scones
Have you considered heading West and making your destination Kingaroy? We did just that and had a fabulous weekend away. The first stop on our road trip was at the Cormorant Bay Cafe at Wivenhoe Dam. The day was sunny and the sky beautifully blue so the reflections on the dam were stunning! This cafe sits right on the edge of the dam and you have spectacular views across the water. Whether you stop off for a coffee or a meal, you won't be disappointed. I'd suggest you make a booking as this is a very popular spot. The Cafe is not open on Mondays or Tuesdays. For more information, check out the Somerset Tourism website. This is such a nice way to start a road trip, especially if you're lucky enough to strike one of our beautiful Queensland winter days.
As lunchtime approached we found ourselves passing through a small town by the name of Moore. We decided to refuel here and chose the Kai Lounge for our lunch break. You can't miss this quirky little cafe, painted bright green it really stands out. We chose to sit on their deck, surrounded by tomato plants and passionfruit vines. A couple of well-loved leather recliners strategically placed in the winter sun made for a very chilled out meal. The menu is changed fortnightly and priced reasonably. I chose pumpkin and coconut soup (thick and delicious) and a butterscotch Kai steamer to wash it all down. Hubby chose Japanese prawn dumplings and a locally roasted coffee which also got the tick of approval. Kai Lounge is licensed so if you're looking for something a little stronger, you'll find it here. Inside the cafe you'll find a range of retro clothing, home-wares, handbags, cow hides and gifts.
Kai Lounge, Moore. A great place to refuel, halfway to Kingaroy from Brisbane
Next stop, our destination - Kingaroy. Here we made a quick stop at Taste South Burnett (see their website for info). This is a great place to sample and purchase goodies from a wide range of local produce. Fudge, cheese, nuts and wine are just some of the treats you'll find here. We stocked up, then headed to our accommodation for the next two nights - Mulanah Gardens Cottages and Wedding Venue.
This little piece of paradise was like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! Words cannot do it justice but I'll give it a try. When we arrived the entrance took us along a driveway, flanked by beautiful trees, to the owners residence (which in itself is beautiful). The gardens are out of this world - beautifully tended by Lindsay. Lindsay and Rhonda Kath own this property and if ever there were people born to run a B&B, they were. We were shown true country hospitality and made to feel very welcome - nothing was too much trouble.
Both cottages are thoughtfully situated to guarantee privacy for guests
There are two cottages on the property, both situated to provide privacy and space for guests. Each cottage is very tastefully decorated and Rhonda's little touches everywhere make this accommodation special. The wood is chopped, ready for the fireplace and the fireplace itself is set, ready for you to light on arrival. We were stunned at how well set up our cottage was - everything had been thought of. Who could complain about a spa bath that looked across beautiful countryside to the Bunyas? At sunset we took our wine, cheese and nuts onto our deck, soaked up the uninterrupted view of the Bunya Mountains and listened to ....... the silence! The night sky out here is pure magic - a carpet of stars hovers above you! As the night air became cool we moved inside, lit the fire and watched a movie on the flat screen TV.
After a comfortable night's sleep and a hearty breakfast, cooked on our BBQ, we spent the morning exploring our weekend home. I can't speak highly enough about this place. The gardens are stunning, so well planned and with little surprises for you to discover. Little wrens and finches were busy flitting in and out of lavender bushes, Fergus and Hamish (two very cute Belted Galloway cows) mooed contentedly, frisky goats jumped playfully in their paddock, chickens clucked happily and the Bunya Mountains looked picture perfect - all was right with the world! We could have played chess on the giant board hidden in the garden, had a game of pool or indulged in massages but we decided to head out and explore. There's much more to Kingaroy than peanuts and pumpkin scones but we felt obliged to at least find Bethany, home to Lady Flo and the late Sir Joh. When he's not busy with his political pursuits, son John takes guided tours through Bethany which include morning or afternoon tea. Guess what's served? Yep, pumpkin scones made by John's wife, using Flo's recipe. We also visited several wineries and the loveliest little lavender farm - Pottique - which made me feel like Beatrix Potter would appear any minute!
Pottique Lavender Farm has a real Beatrix Potter feel to it
Back at Mulanah Gardens we settled in for our last sunset (which was spectacular). We were lucky enough to be joined by Waldo, the family's Labrador, who is a ball of fun and a real character. Although it was inevitable, we both tried not to think about returning to the "real world" the next morning. On Sunday mornings Lindsay and Rhonda open up the venue for visitors to come and enjoy coffee, cake and/or a light lunch. We decided to put off our departure and indulged in morning tea before leaving. Like everything else at Mulanah Gardens, morning tea was first class. Sitting, looking out to the mountains and enjoying our final indulgence for the weekend, we felt relaxed and rejuvenated. As a wedding venue, this is an unbeatable choice. Lindsay and Rhonda have thought of everything and even wet weather wouldn't spoil your special day. Your wedding photos would be beautiful and Lindsay and Rhonda would ensure that your big day was unforgettable!
Enjoy Sunday morning coffee and soak up the view of the Bunya Mountains
Rhonda tells me that everywhere is lovely and green after the recent and much needed rain. They, like many others, have been looking at a brown landscape for too long. Why not pick a date, make a booking and escape for the weekend or longer?