Discover the perfect Brisbane day trip amongst the green hills of Killarney, but it’s so good you should make it a Brisbane weekend getaway.

Your next Brisbane day trip

About an hour and 45-minute drive from Brisbane, well off the busy Cunningham Highway, Killarney is the sort of gem of a Brisbane day trip that you stumble on by accident, or hear about from friends. It’s also home to the headwaters of the mighty Condamine River.

This is a great Brisbane weekend getaway, and that’s how I visited, touring the quiet country roads on the back of a motorcycle.   It is a popular touring route, and we saw plenty of other motorcycle travellers along the way.

Stop at Carrs Lookout where there is a viewing platform with interpretive panels. Photo Kerry Heaney

Killarney Hotel. Photo: Kerry Heaney

Short weekend getaway to Killarney

The first destination on our Killarney road trip was on this Brisbane weekend getaway morning coffee in Boonah and then a ride along the twisting Head Road. The views are breathtaking, so it’s good to take it slowly and enjoy the ride.

Stop at Carrs Lookout where there is a viewing platform with interpretive panels which remind visitors that a Lincoln bomber on a mercy flight from Townsville to Brisbane crashed into the side of Mt Superbus in 1955.  Onboard were four crew, a nurse and a baby in urgent need of a blood transfusion.  All were killed instantly on impact.  Large sections of the wreckage still remain intact, hidden amongst the rolling green hillsides.

There was a steak sandwich lunch calling my name at the Killarney Hotel.  The steak had a good beef flavour and was local from the butcher next door.  And the chips, well they were some of the best I’ve tasted.


There was a steak sandwich lunch calling my name at the Killarney Hotel. Photo: K Heaney

Queen Mary Falls were powering. Photo: Kerry Heaney

Beautiful King Parrots at Queen Mary Falls. Photo: Kerry Heaney

Feed the birds on your Brisbane getaway

Heading back up the mountain from the township of Killarney on the 14km Falls Drive, we stopped to check out Queen Mary Falls and the Falls Cafe, which is renowned for its Devonshire Teas.  Louise Reed and her family make the scones and run the cabins and caravan park behind the cafe. Now that’s a scone and jam to remember!

There are birdseed packets for sale, and it doesn’t take much encouragement to have a parrot sitting on your hand.  The female satin bowerbirds obviously can’t read the ‘don’t feed the birds’ signs. They wait for crumbs, scooping them up before they even hit the ground. The male bower bird is over the road guarding his bower and collecting blue objects, including a blue child-sized croc shoe. Thanks to the recent rains, the falls were powering.

A blue croc in a bowerfird’s bower. Photo: Kerry Heaney

There are ​14 crossings in Cambanoora Gorge to reach the head of the Condamine River. Photo: Kerry Heaney

If you like road trips try these trails

Disclaimer: Ed+bK travelled courtesy of Tourism Queensland