Autumn Escape to Southern Queensland Country


It's that glorious time of year again...

The leaves are changing, the air is crisper, and it's finally time to dust off your beloved knitted jumper. That's right Autumn is truly here and that statement rings most true in the enchanting Southern Queensland Country.

Sadly, for most Brisbanites it can sometimes feel like summer never ends with blisteringly hot conditions common all year round... but don't fret, your perfect Autumn escape lies a little over an hour away! Just take a moment and imagine breathing in the crisp country air, while wrapped in a warm wool jumper as the fire crackles from your beautiful chalet high in the mountains! Sounds good doesn't it?

Well we are here to help you plan your perfect autumn escape to Southern Queensland Country. Isn't it about time you had a 'breath break' ?

WHERE TO STAY



First things first...accommodation...But where to begin?! There are so many charming accommodation options in Southern Queensland Country. From cedar cottages, converted churches, mountain cabins, and luxury hotels. Our pick would definitely be EcoRidge Hideaway! If you are looking for a peaceful break from suburbia and want to truly connect with the nature then the pristine chalets at EcoRidge are your go to spot. 


The chalets at EcoRidge are perched high up on a ridge in the Great Dividing Range at 620m in altitude. They are only a short drive from Toowoomba and 90 minutes West of Brisbane. This eco-friendly accommodation offers guest the choice of 3 different chalets: Ironbark (perfect for couples), Applegum (luxurious fit out), and Bushland (great for families). 

Applegum Chalet
Enjoy the silence and tranquility as you are surrounded by over 50 acres of private bush land overlooking the mountains. And let's not forget those AMAZING mountain breezes day and night. Feel free to leave your door wide open and let them fill your chalet while you rest. You'll never want to leave. 


WHAT TO EAT

Picnic Point Restaurant
As we mentioned previously, EcoRidge Hideaway is only a short drive from the Toowoomba CBD. With a number of new cafes, bars, and restaurants now opening their doors, T-ba isn't the sleepy country town you once knew. It is bursting with quality dining options. A list of all the Toowoomba restaurants you desperately need to try is Available Here

WHAT TO DO


Queens Park
There are a number of great experiences and sights to see in Southern Queensland Country. Breathtaking look outs, vibrant parklands, galleries, museums, and more! Here are a few of our favorites:

Preston Peak Winery
Along with having some of the best vino in the region, Preston Peak Winery also boasts one of the best views! Enjoy a wine tasting for only $5 then grab a bottle or two and enjoy a leisurely picnic on the hillside. 

First Coats  Street Art Trail
Toowoomba has recently made a name for itself for it's bustling street art scene and thats largely thanks to the First Coat movement which is spearheaded by the awesome team at Kontraband Studios. The town is dripping with color as jaw dropping pieces cover every alley way and corner! 

The Annual First Coats Festival takes place between May 20 to 29 and will see many well known local and international artist literally leave there mark on Toowoomba. Watch the artists work their magic, enjoy delicious street food, and live music! For more information on the First Coats Festival and to find the ultimate map of street art in Toowoomba, head to their official website: Available Here.

Ju Raku En Japanese


The Japanese garden at the University of Queensland is one of Toowoomba's most tranquil parks. Situated on four and a half hectares the park is the Australia's largest and most traditionally designed Japanese Stroll Garden. 

Queens Park
If you consider yourself a bit of a green thumb or just love flowers then a visit to Queens Park should definitely be on the books! The picturesque Queens Park also known as Toowoomba's Botanic Garden is situated on 23.6 hectares and was established from 1875 to 1970. It is well known in the community for it's immaculate flower garden which make it a very popular meeting spot. 

Picnic Point Lookout 
Last but certainly not least, Picnic Point Lookout. Every trip to Southern Queensland Country should end with a visit to Picnic Point. Whether that's to take the hike, grab lunch or simply take in the stunning views. Picnic Point lookout is a must see!


Now all that's left to do is pack your bags, and book your weekend escape! For more information on accommodation, attractions, and events happening in Southern Queensland Country head to the official website: Available Here.


AmeriAus was the guest of Southern Queensland Country Tourism. Words by Chelsea Hawkins

Brisbane's Most Extreme Bakers | 2016


These Brisbane bakers are taking that one tier vanilla cake with rainbow sprinkles you got for your 7th birthday to a whole new level...

Have a wedding, birthday, special occasion coming up? Or maybe you just really like cake. Well, you're in luck because we have compiled the ultimate hit list of Brisbane's most EXTREMELY talented bakers. Diabetics beware, this list is not for the faint hearted!

Sugar Bomb Cakes


Showstopping numbers are Brisbane baking legends - Sugar Bomb Cakes - specialty. There's no problem these cake masters can't solve with a piping bag and chocolate fondant. Been scouring the internet for a baker with style and flare who can expertly capture your unique personality in cake form? Look no further than these gals.

Whipped Cake Co



One look at Whipped Cake Co's Instagram is likely to induce a sugar coma. These cakes are the stuff of legend. Big, bright, colorful, and decadent...garnished with things macaroons, ferrero rochers, and plenty of nutella. They have become our new obsession.

Cakes by Karleigh



In the dog house with your lady friend and looking to get back into her good graces? Allow Cakes by Karleigh to help you out. Her marvelous creations exude femininity with soft pastels and eye catching floral arrangements.

Cocoa Bianco

A photo posted by Cocoa Bianco (@cocoa_bianco) on


The team behind Cocoa Bianco aren't shy when it comes to garnish. These cakes SCREAM decadence! Just imagine surprising your loved one with a gorgeous cake loaded up with all their favorite sweet treats.

Chantilly & Coco



These stunning creations are likely to bring a tear to your eye with their breathtaking embellishments and excellent use of color. Each cake is like a work of art! Rest assured if you book with Chantilly & Co you are in very good hands.

Mio Cupcakes



If we could legally marry a cake we would probably pick one by talented Brisbane bakers Mio Cupcakes...These cakes are like all of our wildest dreams come true. I mean is a groom 100% necessary to order a wedding cake? We think not!

Petal and Peach Bakery

A photo posted by @petalandpeach.bakery on


Timeless, Elegant, and Luxurious are words we'd use to describe the magnificent cake creations coming out of Petal and Peach Bakery. One scroll through their breathtaking Instagram page is guaranteed to leave you with serious wedding fever. 

Know of a Brisbane baker who should be on our list? Let us know in the comments below or email us at ameriausblog@gmail.com 


Words by Chelsea Hawkins

10 Meals You Should Have Eaten If You Live in Brisbane



Are you planning the ultimate cheat weekend in Brisbane? Maybe it's just been a rough week at work and you are looking to treat yourself! Whatever the reason we are here to help. Here are 10 of the best meals in Brisbane you need to eat....like now.

Lobster Gnocchi | The Spaghetti House Trattoria, Southbank


Yes, Lobster Gnocchi exists and you NEED to try this. It's everything you dream it would be and more! The Spaghetti House has been dishing up this magical dish for a few months now and it's got us hooked. We can't stop thinking about it, dreaming about it... Don't fret if you don't see it on the menu during your visit. Rest assured it's there, all one needs to do is ask.

Bacon Cheeseburger Spring rolls | Heya Bar, Fortitude Valley



I mean spring rolls are already our go to entree when dining out. You can't go wrong with a spring roll, right?! Add Bacon Cheeseburger filling and we'd happily have this entree as our main course. God bless Heya Bar.

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Mars Bar Sauce |  Embers Steakhouse, Milton



Yeah you heard right. Flourless chocolate cake with mars bar sauce. No we consider ourselves chocolate cake coinsueers having eaten our weight in cake many times before... So when we say this is one of THE BEST chocolate cakes in Brisbane, we mean it!

Fererro Rocher Souffle | Pig N Whistle, West End


Need we say more?

Kaarage Chicken Wings | 5 Boroughs, Ascot



I mean regular kaarage chicken is already the bomb, but in wing form...

Lamb Shank Pie | Fish Lane Bistro, South Brisbane



Behold! The mightly lamb shank pie from Fish Lane Bistro aka the best pie we've ever had the pleasure of devouring.

LudaKrisp | Miss Kays Burger Bar, Brisbane CBD



If you are in search of a bangin' fried chicken burger than look no futher than Miss Kays Burger Bar. It's our go to spot when we are hankering for some deep fried goodness.

Beef Ribs | Ribs and Burgers, Fortitude Valley




What kind of list would this be if we didn't add a big meaty rack of ribs?! Rib's and Burgers are undoubtely serving up some of the best in town.

Resolutions Breaker | Red Hook, Brisbane CBD



The resolution breaker is the stuff of legend when it comes to burgers in Brisbane. It's huge, its cheesy, it's likely to induce a heart attack... We are happy to say we played a small part in securing it a permanent spot on the Red Hook menu. Double Beef, Double Bacon, Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, Red Onion, Tomato Sauce, and the Red Hook special sauce. Try it now, thank us later.

Deep Fried Lasagne | Mangia Mangia Italian, Mobile Food Truck

Emotive Light Photography

All good things should end on a deep fried note, and our favorite deep fried treat in Brisbane is none other than the mouthwatering deep fried lasagne from Mangia Mangia food truck!!

What's your favorite meal in Brisbane? Let us know in the comments below!


Words by Darrell Hawkins

6 Toowoomba Restaurants You Need To Try


If you thought all T-ba had to offer was beautiful, manicured parklands and crisp country breezes you'd be terribly mistaken! This Southern Queensland country town has undergone a miraculous transformation of the last few years and emerged as a vibrant foodie metropolis. There are so many new quality cafes, restaurants and bars that it can be hard to know where to start. Lucky for you, we've done the hard miles and rounded up 6 of the best restaurants Toowoomba has to offer.

Ground Up Espresso



When visiting Ground Up Espresso on Ruthven Street you'll feel as though you are walking down a vibrant, street art laden alley way in Melbourne, instead of the middle of Toowoomba's business district! Ground Up opened it's doors nearly 2 years ago in a converted store room, adding a welcome funky addition to Toowoomba's growing cafe scene. If you are in desperate need of a caffeine hit while exploring the beautiful street art that paints the town look no further than Ground Up. Their delicious brews come highly recommended by the locals.



Lunch with a view is always a good idea! Picnic Point Restaurant is an iconic foodie destination in Toowoomba, The restaurant boasts uninterrupted views of tabletop mountain and is the perfect place to fuel up if you plan on tackling the climb. The menu features classic Australian cuisine done extremely well. A trip to Toowoomba should always end with a visit to Picnic Point. 




You wouldn't expect to find amazing Korean and Japanese food in the quaint, country town of Toowoomba but that's exactly what you'll get at Kajoku Korean and Japanese Restaurant. Think massive plates of delicious crispy fried chicken, hot pot, and dumplings...Sound good? Well food isn't the only thing you'll find at Kajoku. The restaurant also doubles as a karaoke bar! Gather your mates, book a private karaoke booth and sing the night away. You can even have your meals delivered to your booth.




The Firefly Cafe opened it's doors in 2011 and is easily one of our favorite brekky spots in Toowoomba. Not only is this cafe beautifully designed, the food is outstanding. The menu at the Firefly cafe features fresh, wholesome, and flavorsome breakfast dishes. It changes seasonally and you can rest assured that every element of your meal has been made from scratch on site. Consider Firefly your go to spot if you are looking for a more unique start to your morning. 




What kind of person visits a country town with out visiting a local pub?! If you are looking for a quality pub dining experience in Toowoomba then we highly recommend you pop into Mort Estate Hotel. The hotel recently topped The Chronicle's poll for best pub in town and honestly we are not surprised. Chicken Parm's as big as your head, juicy steaks, and crispy pork belly are just a few of the droolworthy items you'll find on the menu at Mort Estate. 




Here's another Toowoomba cafe giving us serious Melbourne-esq vibes! The Finch located in the heart of Toowoomba's CBD is one of the newest additions to the growing foodie scene in town. Banh Mi Rolls, Seasonal Salads, and Sweet Treats are a few of the things you'll find gracing the menu at The Finch, making it the perfect lunch stop while you are in town. The Finch also serves up a mean cup of joe using Fonzie Abbot beans. 

For more information on what to do, and where to eat in Southern Queensland country. Head to the official website- Available Here

Words by Chelsea Hawkins

*AmeriAus was the guest of Southern Queensland Country Tourism