You’ll love driving along the country roads that meander through this farming district, over rolling green hills and through historic townships. The spectacular rim of mountains is ever present in the distance.
Kalbar, Roadvale and Peak Crossing
The Fassifern Valley, which stretches between Boonah and Aratula, is one of the region’s most fertile and productive horticultural areas. The quaint town of Kalbar is in the centre of this Valley, about 10 minutes north of Boonah. Kalbar’s history dates back to the 1870s when farmers, predominantly German immigrants, began to select the fertile land bordering the Warrill and Reynolds Creek flats.
The town of Kalbar straddles Edward Street and is dominated by the historic and beautiful Wiss Emporium and Wiss Cottage, which stand at its gateway. Both buildings, and the nearby Wiss House which is being run as a B&B, were built by the entrepreneurial Wiss Brothers, who did very well out of trading a variety of goods to the locals. Legend has it that the Wiss Brothers and the town’s other general store, Bickerton’s, enjoyed fierce competition.
This town presents many options for visitors, traditional Belgian waffles or Dutch Croquettes at the local art café, a cold beer and a great meal at the historic Kalbar pub, or why not browse the unique range of gifts, clothes and jewellery at the Wiss Emporium?
Over the hill, we should mention Kalbar is surrounded by lots of lovely rolling green hills, you’ll find Roadvale, another early settlement.
At its peak, Roadvale featured two hotels, banks, a butcher, baker and branches of the Wiss Brothers and Humphries & Tow general stores. But in 1915 most of the town was destroyed by fire and since then life in Roadvale has been a little more sedate. There’s still a great local pub, the Royal, held in high regard by all who visit it.
Up the road a bit further you’ll come to Peak Crossing, a small rural township situated on the Purga Creek at the base of Flinders Peak Mountain. This town is located 20km south of Ipswich and is surrounded by prime agricultural land.
Be sure to wander through the antique store, you never know what might turn up.
If it’s antiques, good food and great company that you’re after then you’re in the right place. This part of the Scenic Rim serves these things, and much more, in generous quantities.
Begin your journey in Harrisville, a sleepy country town which was once a hive of activity. An early train line to Ipswich helped sustain the cotton, processed cheese and condensed milk industries here for many years. Supplies produced in Harrisville were sent to men at war, but when the train line closed the town slowed too.
Harrisville has also been home to some larger-than-life characters. Australian movie pioneer Charles Chauvel spent his childhood in Harrisville, be sure to take a drive down Charles Chauvel Drive or read about him at the local museum.
On your drive to Rosevale, stop at Cunningham’s Lookout for superb views. Rosevale is another small village bursting with personality. Visit the historic Rosevale Retreat Hotel, it was built in 1852 and is Queensland’s oldest hotel building.