If it’s antiques, good food and great company 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.
The historic town of Kalbar dates back to the 1870s when farmers, predominantly German immigrants, began to select the fertile land bordering the Warrill and Reynolds Creek flats.
Ancestors of these pioneering families – the Pennells, Kruegers, Peters, Surawskis, Dieckmanns and Mullers – still live and work in the area today. The town of Kalbar straddles Edward Street and is dominated by the historic and beautiful Wiss Emporium and Wiss Cottage. Both buildings, and the nearby Wiss House which is run as a B&B, were built by the entrepreneurial Wiss Brothers, who were keen traders of produce and farm goods.
The Royal Hotel Kalbar has been renovated and is a popular hub for meals and drinks. Kalbar’s main business area has enjoyed a resurgence. You’ll find cafés, a bakery, an art gallery, butcher and grocery stores, a dress shop, community bank, medical centre and chemist, beauty shops, hairdressers and a newsagent. The Kalbar Showground is a popular base for caravanners and the sale yards are busy with regular cattle trades.
Kalbar is surrounded by a number of smaller, historic towns. Roadvale used to be a hub for industry but a 1915 fire destroyed many of the town’s buildings. There’s still a general store and a great pub, with facilities to tether your horse out the front.
Just up the road is Harrisville. An early train line to Ipswich used to sustain the cotton, processed cheese and condensed milk industries here for many years. Harrisville’s main street boasts some beautiful Queenslander-style architecture. Drop in for a meal and a drink at the Royal Hotel.
The whole family will love the Summer Land Camel Farm, situated just outside the town centre. It’s Australia’s largest camel dairy, where you can see the camels being milked, pat the babies and try a myriad of camel-milk products.
Up the road, towards Ipswich you’ll arrive at Peak Crossing, a rural township situated on Purga Creek at the base of Flinders Peak mountain. Stop at the Peak Pub for a cool drink, or pull into the Flinders Peak Winery and taste the range of local, organic wines and spirits. Book into one of the vineyard villas and stay for the weekend.