Day Trip To Laidley Queensland


Day Trip To Laidley, Queensland. Australia

Are you looking for a great road trip from Brisbane? Do you want to find some of the best fresh produce and artisanal products made by locals? Well we have come across and great day drive to the Lockyer Valley. We left early from Brisbane with a stunning sunrise in rear view mirror and headed west to the countryside and towards the heart of Australia’s salad bowl. The picturesque Lockyer Valley is conveniently located less than an hour’s drive west of Brisbane and has an unique experience filled with vibrant rural living, fascinating history, rich culture, adventure and stunning contrasts of natural beauty.

We combined our trip to the Lockyer Valley with a stop by the brand new, super dog-friendly café, Barkley & Pips. Barkley & Pips is the latest dream of experienced pet outfitters Lisa & Bernie. Complete with its very own well-sized, open air playpen out front, diners can relax knowing their four-legged besties are safely secured and happily amused with a fun ball pit, great pull toys and water pit. If your besties prefers to stay close at your heel, there are plenty of doggy day beds and water bowls between the tables for them to chill out on. 

The café is also a boutique shop that stocks a range of beautiful Collars, Leashes, Harnesses & dog apparel sourced locally and from overseas. Barkley & Pips is the ultimate one-stop-shop when it comes to kitting out your dog to be the best on the block. There’s a menu for the humans and you four legged friends to enjoy. We support dog-friendly cafes if four-legged guests can be tied up near their owners in a shady spot and not banished to a distant outpost, with, as a frequent bonus, a bowl of water provided. I had a nice English breakfast, which always makes Shari’s (pup) day a better one, Kim had a crumpet for chocoholics and Shari (pup) enjoyed a Puppuccino. The service was impeccable, staff very friendly and thoughtful and we enjoyed the entire experience. We’ll definitely be back.

We hit the highway to the town of Laidley, which is a quiet township that promotes itself as the 'Country Garden of Queensland' because of the rich, dark soils that surrounds the town and supports mixed farming, vegetable growing for the Brisbane markets, dairying and cotton. The town is known for the unusual Das Neumann Haus (now a tea room and visitor centre); for a statue of a Clydesdale located between Das Neumann and the local council; and for the extensive Laidley Pioneer Village Museum.

The obvious starting point for any exploration of Laidley is Cunningham's Crest Lookout, which is situated on the knoll where explorer Allan Cunningham and his party crossed in 1829. It was on this spot that he stood and named the plains below, 'Laidley Plains'. Visitors today are rewarded with panoramic views of the township, framed by a mountain backdrop. The lookout features murals, poetry, sculptures and mosaics that celebrate the European and Aboriginal history of the site and reflect on Laidley's early pioneering men and women. From the Lookout we headed to the main street and parked in the IGA carpark. 

The first thing you stumble across is the Das Neumann Haus, just off the corner of William and Patrick Streets, which is a unique colonial weatherboard building designed and constructed by local carpenter and furniture maker, Hermann Neumann. Next to the Das Neumann Haus on the main street is the Clydesdale Statue, a reminder that there was a time when Clydesdales were essential to the economic prosperity of the district. We then walked both sides of the main street checking out the exclusively diverse range of specialty retailers packed with charm and unique shopping experiences, antiques and the Exchange Hotel.

Laidley's Exchange Hotel is a heritage-listed hotel at 134-138 Patrick St. The two-storey brick building was designed by Eaton and Bates and built in 1902, and added to the Queensland Heritage Register on October 21, 1992. Constructed for publicans Julius and Hansine Jocumsen, the historic building replaced an earlier hotel of the same name on the site. It was built during a significant growth period in Laidley's history, and although modest in size and scale, reflects in style and materials the confidence and optimism of a small, prosperous, turn-of-the-century country town. Between 1904 and 1924 the hotel was owned by the Giesemann family, then in August 1924, the property was transferred to James King of Laidley, and it remained the property of the King's until 1949. In 1982 Kim’s Great Aunt Fay Nayler, due to ill health sold The Opal Cave in Cooper Pedy and in 1983 brought the Exchange Hotel. Faye managed and planned many events including an October-fest to celebrate the hotels centenary and to celebrate the origins of the first builders. She sold the hotel in 2001 and retired.

A lovely little shop Kim stumbled across was Potato Studio, which was a unique little store with gifts, homewares and accessories boutique located in Laidley. You will find artisan made products alongside carefully selected items. Supporting a range of industries with a focus on quality, Australian design and ethically produced products.

There are many activities to keep you interested in the Lockyer Valley and surrounds. Visit Lake Dyer, Schultz’s Lookout, the Mulgowie Farmer’s Market, Laidley Market days, as well as stopping at any of the boutique coffee shops and cafes in the valley.

The small nearby township of Forest Hill has some lovely eating places and gift shops. There is no queuing at the Post Office where you can browse their beautiful gift selections or enjoy a meal at Café 4342.

 You can take a drive through the farming area of Mulgowie, stopping at the Mulga Hotel for a taste of some local cheeses and ice cream after a refreshing drink.

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