Stone pumpkins Lockyer Valley

The Lockyer Valley under the spotlight of Camp and Travel

West of Ipswich and east of Toowoomba, the Lockyer Valley has long been a fruit and vegetable bowl for south east Queensland and beyond.

In September 2019, the Toowoomba Bypass opened, known during construction as the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing. This bypass links Helidon and Athol (on the Gore Highway west of Toowoomba).

The new road makes the climb up the Great Dividing Range to Toowoomba, and beyond, easier for trucks and cars as well as avoids the city traffic. It also provides an alternative route should an accident or landslide close the old highway (the Toowoomba Connection Road).

But did you know that other crossings over the Great Dividing Range have had long existed in this area – including Murphys Creek Road out of Helidon; the Gatton Clifton Road out of Gatton and the Flagstone Creek Road which can be accessed by Gatton or Helidon. I mention these roads because each has its own surprises.

The one good thing about any new road or bypass for us campers and travellers (us Out&Abouters) is that they make quieter back roads (the once main drags) more inviting, more old pubs to visit, bakeries to smell and taste and butchers to chat with. Our responsibility now is to get off the M’s and onto the now lesser travelled roads – and stop Explore | Learn | Connect | Promote.

Darren Lockyer – Lockyer Valley

For some, just driving on the Lockyer Way (a stretch of the Warrego Highway) out of Ipswich to Toowoomba will be a huge thrill, knowing that it is named after Darren Lockyer, a retired Brisbane Broncos player, State of Origin player and Australian rugby league captain – Queenslander!!!!

On a more somber note, look in amazement and sorrow at the area around Grantham, just west of Gatton, where large areas were inundated by a drastic flash flood in January 2011 with 12 lives lost and many homes/properties destroyed.

We’ll even spend a night or two at Murphy’s Creek Escape, check out Spring Bluff Railway Station and perhaps a farm stay.

I hope you’ll follow me.

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