Taking the winding way to Tenterfield

The back roads are far more fun.

As the saying goes, it’s about the journey, not the destination. And the long, scenic way from the Gold Coast to the NSW town of Tenterfield is well worth the journey.

Southport to Beaudesert (1 hour)

Head inland from the coast to the lush hinterland. If you’re itching for a pit stop already, stretch your legs at O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyard. Stretching along Canungra Creek, you can have breakfast or lunch at their restaurant, or grab a gourmet picnic basket and enjoy the expansive grounds.

Beaudesert to Woodenbong via The Lions Road (1 hour 30 mins)

From Beaudesert, it’s a straightforward drive to Rathdowney. Call into Rathlogan Grove (open weekends) to pick up some excellent olive oil.

Then turn towards Kyogle via Running Creek Road, which becomes Lions Road. Built by the local Lions Club, this private road forms a scenic link between Queensland and NSW, passing through the Border Ranges National Park.

Pull off at the scenic Border Loop Lookout and check out the Spiral Loop. This feat of engineering is an ingenious way for trains crossing the Border Ranges to gain (or lose) altitude.

The Viaduct is another impressive sight worth a quick look. At the junction of the High and Low Roads, the train tracks pass high over Gradys Creek.

Instead of continuing on to Kyogle, take Gradys Creek Road to join back up with the Summerland Way, then backtrack slightly to Woodenbong.

Woodenbong to Tenterfield (2 hours)

Get ready for some serious twists and turns on the final stretch of your trip. Follow Mount Lindesay Road through Koreelah, Willsons Downfall and Boonoo Boonoo.

There are plenty of National Parks for a quick walk, or visit Aloomba Lavender Farm to stop and smell the flowers. If you don’t mind a bit of dirt road, take a 45 minute detour to Boonoo Boonoo Falls for a refreshing dip.

When you reach Tenterfield, reward yourself with a glass of wine and a delicious tart at Our Place (204 Rouse Street). Then head down the street and browse all the beautiful wares at Margot Edwina Rees Antiques (182 Rouse Street), which is full of exquisite estate jewellery and antiques from around the world.