Killarney: the scenic gem of the Southern Downs

Every few months we sit down and make a list of all the places we haven’t been to, but should.

Story: Peter ‘Spida’ and Sheree Everitt

We receive a lot of emails each week asking us to visit a particular town. So, a few months ago we decided to respond to the multitude of emails begging us to visit Killarney.

I must admit, at first I had no idea where it was and was shocked to discover it’s only two and a half hours’ drive from our home on the Gold Coast. Where on earth have I been hiding? Or should I say, who has been hiding Killarney?

With a population of just over 800 people and only one pub, it is far from a hustling bustling city and that’s exactly how the locals want to keep it. This tiny rural town is the entry point to an unspoiled part of Queensland – with one of the best holiday parks you will find.

Tucked close to the border of Queensland and New South Wales, along the McPherson Range, Killarney is home to five spectacular waterfalls and equally spectacular views. I love that the rolling farmland, secluded valleys and, of course, those waterfalls up on the Great Dividing Range are totally untouched. After travelling the length and breadth of Australia multiple times, I can honestly say these are the most picturesque and mind-blowing waterfalls you will see in Australia.

Killarney is the perfect spot to escape from the crowded city, relax and get in touch with nature. The Killarney town centre is full of old world charm, with classic Queenslander-style houses and the historic pub. And you must try the Killarney meat.

As we drove into town a group of tin cabins dotted along the base of the ranges caught my eye. We decided to stay there and ventured off the main road to Killarney View Cabins and Caravan Park, which would be our camping base for the next few days. The park has huge, flat grassy sites and fantastic amenities. It also features new, stand-alone villas.

Sunday morning came with a knock on the door and Trudy, the park owner, asking if Boston wanted to go and watch them milk their resident cows, after which she would make a pancake breakfast. Boston is never one to turn down pancakes, particularly when they are served in a rustic dining hall with amazing views over the countryside.

It’s taken only 10 minutes to drive from the Killarney View Cabins and Caravan Park to Queen Mary Falls. There are so many activities to enjoy in Killarney, no matter how long you decide to stay — bush walking, cycling, bird watching, swimming, explore the villages of the Cedar Route, take a tour, play some golf or just relax. We began at the Queen Mary Falls, which are 40m high and cascade over a sheer cliff face. The walk is a 2.5km circuit which takes about an hour, or there is a shorter 600m walk to another lookout. No words can aptly describe Queen Mary Falls — it is one of those waterfalls you just must see to appreciate.

There are five different falls and walks near Killarney. You can walk along the creek to Browns Falls, view Daggs Falls from the easy-to-access viewing platform, walk the National Park trail on Condamine River Road, watch the sunset at Carr’s Lookout and see the Moss Gardens on the NSW/Qld border. Keep an eye out for platypus.

If you would like to try a challenging walk or adventure, there are graded walks at Queen Mary Falls too. Then there is Mt Superbus, which has its own plane wreck, plus Lizard Point and Wilson’s Peak offer fantastic views. Or  you can explore Teviot Falls. The great thing about these falls is that most can be viewed from lookouts on the side of the road, so it’s possible to see them all in one day and for everyone, regardless of agility, to enjoy them.

So if you need a weekend away, a romantic few days or an adventure-filled nature trip with the family, head to Killarney. And be sure to tell them Spida & Sheree sent you.

Check out more of Peter ‘Spida’ and Sheree Everitt’s adventures on The Great Australian Doorstep. You can catch them on radio every Sunday year-round from 6 – 7am on the TripleM Network or on television, Saturdays at 2.30pm on Channel 7Two.