NATURAL BEAUTY: A hike through Main Range National Park is just one of the family-friendly activities available on the Southern Downs this week. Picture: Jake Watson
NATURAL BEAUTY: A hike through Main Range National Park is just one of the family-friendly activities available on the Southern Downs this week. Picture: Jake Watson

Top 10 ways to spend final leg of school holidays

FAMILIES might be over halfway through their school holiday break, but there are plenty of activities to cram into the final days of freedom.

The list below has 10 ideas for shaking off the last of that quarantine cabin fever, keeping warm on wintry days, and taking in the best the Downs has to offer.

1. Take a hike

The Southern Downs is home to a number of natural attractions and national parks, giving families a great opportunity to get out and about in nature.

A short drive east of Warwick, Main Range National Park offers a family-friendly trail through Cunninghams Gap.

If you’d rather go a little further afield, the Queen Mary Falls, Spicer’s Gap, and Goomburra hiking trails are also great for the whole family and promise spectacular views at the end.

2. Get arty

If your family would rather stay warm and indoors on these frosty winter days, why not use the time to channel your inner artist?

The Warwick Art Gallery has plenty of at-home art activities on their website for kids to do with their siblings, parents, or with their own individual flair.

3. Knit up a storm

Alternatively, if you’re missing events like Jumpers & Jazz this year, why not get the whole family started on knitting?

Not only will you or your kids learn a brand-new skill, but after a bit of practice, the whole family will be able to stitch their own winter woollies to keep warm.

4. Hit the track

This might be one for the older kids (or kids at heart), but the region’s thriving motorsport scene offers plenty of fast-paced fun for families this holidays.

Gap Creek Moto, located a short drive out of Warwick, offers day passes and camping spots for families looking to take a motorbike for spin.

If you’d rather get your adrenaline fix trackside instead, why not head down to the Warwick Karting Club’s first event of the season this weekend?

Easing coronavirus restrictions have opened the race meet to the public, though all spectators must have pre-booked their free entry pass to attend.

5. Make a splash

Leslie Dam is one of the region’s most popular spots for water recreation, and with good reason.

Less than half an hour’s drive from Warwick, the dam is a great spot for some outdoor family fun – just BYO boat, jetski, or kayak to hit the water.

A permit is required for recreational fishing and there are speed limits for boaters, but it’s an excellent place to hang out and easy to maintain social distancing.

Leslie Dam has Washpool Camping Reserve and Lake Leslie Tourist Park available for accommodation and recreation.

Lake Leslie Tourist Park is just one of many camping options near Warwick and the greater Southern Downs. Picture: contributed
Lake Leslie Tourist Park is just one of many camping options near Warwick and the greater Southern Downs. Picture: contributed

6. Take a walk

It may sound simple, but taking a walk through the CBD and its surrounds could be one of the best ways to take in the Rose City with your loved ones.

These are the top five walking trails within Warwick, including the popular Condamine River circuit and routes past the town’s historical icons.

Almost any walking trail around town will take you and your family past one of Warwick’s many local eateries and parks, giving you the perfect place to recharge and refresh before moving on.

7. Go camping

The winter school break means it’s cold out, but pitching a tent in the great outdoors promises to be a fun-filled family experience.

There are a number of beautiful campsites across the region, including Lake Leslie Tourist Park, Goomburra Valley Campground, and Freedom Lifestyle Park Warwick.

However, as the school holidays remain one of the busiest tourism periods for these accommodation sites, it may be best to call ahead and book your place before heading off.

8. Get a culture fix

The Southern Downs has a number of museums and historic sites, perfect for mixing your family’s holiday fun with a little bit of education.

For a focus on Warwick’s history, head to the Pringle Cottage run by the Warwick Historical Society or the Australian Rodeo Heritage Centre.

If you’d rather a broader regional perspective or take in some historic sites instead, there’s the Allora Historical Museum, Stanthorpe Heritage Museum, and Glengallan Homestead and Heritage Centre.

Pringle Cottage remains one of the region’s most popular destinations for learning more about the Rose City. Picture: contributed
Pringle Cottage remains one of the region’s most popular destinations for learning more about the Rose City. Picture: contributed

9. Whip up homemade delights

The Southern Downs’ frosty winter temperatures make these school holidays a great time to stay indoors and get busy in the kitchen with the kids.

From warming stews and pies to delicious baked goods, there’s no shortage of recipes to keep the kids involved, well-fed, and help them learn about cooking in the process.

10. Take the rustic route

Agriculture and locally grown produce remains the backbone of the Southern Downs’ economy and identity, so why not take a road trip of some of the region’s finest farming gems with the family?

From orchards and vegetables to cattle farms and even beekeeping, the region’s diverse farming sector provides a great way to get out and see the Downs.

With many of our local producers still battling the impact of drought, fires, and the pandemic, heading straight to the farmgate will not only put your kids more in touch with where their food comes from, but give you an opportunity to support the region’s farmers at the same time.

For more information or to plan your farmgate route through the Southern Downs, head to websites such as the Southern Downs Food Map.



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