Southern Country Way

Holiday here this year - Head south-west from Brisbane towards roads less travelled, through Peak Crossing and Rathdowney, to get a true taste of the country in Stanthorpe.

Brisbane, Boonah, Rathdowney, Stanthorpe



Distance  279 kilometres 
Travel time  4 hours
Time of year to go  June to August (winter)
Vehicle type  2WD
Best bakery  Foxy's Bakery, Stanthorpe
Highlights  Granite Belt wineries, Girraween National Park.  
RACQ safety tip

 Mountainous sections of road between Rathdowney and Stanthorpe. Watch for pot holes, especially after rain.

Brisbane to Boonah, 86km

(via M3, State Route 33, M5, M2 and National Highway 15 to State Route 93 in Boonah)

Brace yourself for a colourful landscape, charming towns, scenic lookouts and mountainous drives. It’s the perfect route for a long weekend away, and if you take the trip in winter, there’s a small chance you could see snow in Queensland’s coldest town, Stanthorpe.

Stretch your legs at Boonah, a small town in the heart of the Scenic Rim, which is surrounded by rugged mountains. The town is known for its farming history yet still offers a great range of boutique stores, cafes, picnic areas and access to the impressive including Lake Moogerah and Lake Maroon.

If you are after a thrill strap in with Brisbane Rally Driving Experience based in Ipswich.

Boonah to Rathdowney, 48.5km

(via Boonah Rathdowney Rd/State Route 93)

Just outside Boonah there is an enchanting place to stop for lunch. The Kooroomba Vineyards and Lavender Farm is nestled in the Fassifern Valley at Mt Alford and has a cellar door, restaurant and lavender gift shop. The view of the 6ha vineyard and lavender fields will instantly relax you before you need to head back on the road to Rathdowney.

Keen for a sense of adventure? Then pull over at Rathdowney to explore the World Heritage-listed Mt Barney National Park. There’s plenty of bush walking tracks, hot air balloon rides, gliders, scenic helicopter tours and campsites available.

Rathdowney to Stanthorpe, 144.5km

(via Mount Lindesay Rd)

A must-see on the way to Stanthorpe is Queen Mary Falls, just 10km from Killarney. It’s a 40m plunge waterfall at the Main Range National Park. Here you will be able to hand feed parrots and go for a bushwalk.
Back on the road you will start to see more local produce farming including apples, pears, strawberries, figs, olives, and stone fruit. It’s a sign you are getting closer to the foodie hotspot – Stanthorpe. Highlights include tasting the region’s award-winning apple pies at Suttons Farm, tasting farmhouse cheeses at Stanthorpe Cheese, exploring the Strange Bird Wine Trail and visiting Girraween National Park. This is the perfect place to enjoy a long weekend away from the city.

Book your escape and discover amazing adventures with RACQ Travel. Talk to us today on 1300 888 449 or visit


If you are looking for something special, begin your trip with the ultimate winery escape at Sanctuary by Sirromet. Relax in the private tented pavilions overlooking the lagoon followed by an indulgent eight course Taste Plate Dinner at Restaurant Lurleen’s accompanied by premium estate wine. 

Images by Tourism and Events Queensland & Southern Country Tourism.


Back to road trips


Taking your own road trip?

RACQ can help you on your way, whether it’s providing maps and guides for your journey, car hire, discounted motorhome hire with Apollo Motorhome Holidays, insurance or roadside assistance so you’re covered 24/7 on your trip.

RACQ members receive 15% off Thrifty's daily car hire rates on a wide range of vehicles, plus:

  • $5 per day off Ultimate Protection or Premium Protection
  • No additional driver fee in Australia and New Zealand

The RACQ travel team can help you plan and discover your perfect Queensland holiday. For specialist advise on touring, self-drive and rail holidays talk to the team today on 1300 888 449 or visit

Road trip benefits