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Whilst Ravensbourne is the perfect secluded getaway, it is also placed right in the middle of Queensland’s ‘Golden West’ region. For those explorers, many beautiful hamlets are just a short drive away from Ravensbourne Forest Chalets –
Boasting two lakes and a national park, the immediate Ravensbourne area is a nature-lovers paradise. Ravensbourne National Park is one of the few examples of rainforest that originally covered much of the local area. The park offers short walks through rainforest and open eucalypt forest, which support an amazing array of native birdlife. Explore the park, listen for the calls of the green catbird, noisy pitta, eastern whipbird or wompoo fruit-dove, then take a picnic near Gus Beutel Lookout, which provides a panoramic view of the range towards Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley. Spend a day at Lake Cressbrook and go boating, fishing or birdwatching.
Neighbouring Ravensbourne to the west, the Perseverance area also boasts its own lush Creek State Forest. The area also includes the wonderful Perseverance Dam, a favourite amongst visitors with excellent BBQ facilities for day-trippers. A perfect day for those who love the tranquil sights and sounds of water or a great opportunity for the macro photography enthusiast.
Crows Nest National Park
Spectacular creek scenery, granite outcrops, a scenic waterfall, eucalypt forest native wildlife including platypus, swamp wallabies, echidnas, bandicoots and birds – all this and more can be found at Crows Nest National Park. Wander out to Koonin Lookout and enjoy spectacular views over a gorge known locally as the Valley of Diamonds, visit Kauyoo Pool, where a sandy beach allows easy access to shallow water.
Just a bit further west of Perseverance (and closer to Toowoomba), the little village hamlet of Hampton is sure to delight. Featuring gifts shops and an antique store, there is also an opportunity to stock up on some local produce for your stay or to take back home.
Located about 19kms from Ravensbourne Forest Chalets, the property grows 2 varieties of grapes, Shiraz and Chardonnay. The cellar door and gift shop offers wine tasting and the opportunity to purchase one of their boutique wines, browse their display of local gifts, or relax in their garden, containing peacocks and a variety of nature birds and views of the hills. Complete the day with morning or afternoon tea and a cheese platter with your glass of wine.
Bunnyconnellen Olive Grove and Vineyard
Wander through the vines and olive trees on this 252 acre property. Play a game of croquet or boules, take a swim, stroll or picnic at the dam. (Wine tasting by appointment only.)
Spring Bluff Railway Station
Spring Bluff Railway Station is a heritage listed site located on the main railway line between Ipswich and Toowoomba. The grounds have been beautifully maintained and have won awards in the Carnival of Flowers competition over many years. The grounds are open to visitors all year round so you can enjoy a picnic or BBQ. The Spring Bluff Cafe is also open for coffee and cakes. The quaint country-feel of the station also makes it an ideal location for an intimate outdoor wedding.
There is plenty to see and do at Toowoomba - located only 35 minutes from Ravensbourne Forest Chalets. From boutique wineries, stylish cafes, galleries, museums, antique stores and stunning gardens, Toowoomba is steeped in heritage and natural beauty. Visit the University’s Japanese Garden, set on a four and half hectare site, making it Australia’s largest and most traditionally designed Japanese stroll garden and includes elements of mountain stream and waterfall, a Dry Garden and over 230 species of Japanese and Australian native trees and plants. Visit the State Rose Garden in Newtown Park with more than 1,500 roses planted.
For the more adventurous, why not try sky diving, or experience horse riding the ‘Cowboy Way’ through a 530 acre working cattle property. Enjoy a horse ride through picturesque country where wallabies, wild deer and native birdlife thrive and take in expansive views of surrounding mountains and farmland. You can also hire a mountain bike from Ravensbourne Forest Chalets and explore the local forest trails.