The Sunset Way – Tara to Surat, QLD

sunset way

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If you are keen to escape from suburbia and enjoy a quieter road trip away from the crowds, then add Queensland’s Sunset Way Tourist Drive to your itinerary when visiting the Darling Downs region.

The Sunset Way meanders its way through a string of tiny towns in the Western Darling Downs region, approximately three and a half hours from Brisbane. Starting at Tara, you’ll travel west across open plains and basically follow the sunset to Surat. While small in size, the little country towns that you will pass through on this trip are full of character, history, natural beauty, and great fishing and camping spots.

As we lived in nearby Chinchilla at the time of embarking on this tourist drive, we were able to complete it in a day, however if travelling from Brisbane / Sunshine Coast / Gold Coast, allow yourself an extra day. Once you’ve reached Surat, why not loop back up to Roma and head home through Miles and Chinchilla? Or head south to St George before cutting across to Goondiwindi via Nindigully and Thallon? There’s plenty of little gems to discover on a Sunset Way road trip!

Image: Sunset Way Tourist Drive website


tara lagoon

Things to do in Tara:

  • Visit the Tara Lagoon Parklands – stretch your legs with 2kms of walking tracks, try fishing in the lagoon or enjoy a picnic.
  • Check out the sculpture art in Main Street Park.
  • Explore the local historical collection at the Tara Historical Society.

Tara camping: Tara Lagoon Parklands (LOW COST)

The Gums

Things to do at The Gums:

  • Enjoy a round of golf at The Gums Golf Club.
  • Camp overnight at the The Gums Golf Club.


Things to do at Hannaford:

  • Tennis courts can be hired at Club Hannaford – enquire at the post office residence next door. You can also stay overnight at the campgrounds here.


Things to do at Meandarra:

  • ANZAC Memorial Museum has an amazing array of guns, tanks, jeeps, aircraft, and Light Horse display. The crown jewel in this collection would have to be the Canberra Bomber!
  • “Me and Darra” statue (outside the museum), which tells the story of how the town got its name.
  • Brigalow Creek runs alongside the township and offers walking tracks, picnic tables, BBQs and low-cost camping. During the summer months, waterlilies flourish in the creek.

Meandarra camping: Brigalow Creek Campground (LOW COST)



Things to do at Glenmorgan:

  • The ‘End of the Line’ historic siding offers a great little picnic and free camping area for travellers. The railway line was approved all the way to Surat back in 1914, however construction only made it here to Glenmorgan, where the line ends.
  • Myall Park Botanic Garden is located 7km north of Glenmorgan, where visitors can enjoy self-guided walks through stunning Australian flora. There is also a floral art gallery, gift shop and accommodation on site.
  • Monty’s Vintage Garage was unfortunately closed permanently at the time of our visit, however you can enjoy the retro exterior from the road (please don’t tresspass!).

Glenmorgan camping: ‘End of the Line’ (FREE CAMP)


fisherman's park surat free camp

Things to do at Surat:

  • The Cobb & Co Changing Station is an absolute little gem of a place to visit! Entry is via donation, and the collection includes a replica Cobb & Co coach, local historical memorabilia, a 25,000 litre freshwater aquarium, and regional art gallery.
  • The Surat Riverwalk is a great spot to stretch your legs as it follows the Balonne River for approximately 2kms.
  • The 1930’s Shire Hall is a grand old beauty worthy of a photo.
  • Drop in a line – the Balonne River is renown for it’s fishing.
  • Fisherman’s Park offers an excellent free campground and is a popular fishing spot.
  • Continue on another road trip with the Cobb & Co Way Tourist Drive. This 76km drive from Surat to Yuleba follows the route taken by the last Cobb & Co coach service in Australia, with interpretive signs along the way.

Surat camping: Fisherman’s Park (FREE CAMP)

Discover the Darling Downs

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Queensland Maps

Although most travellers these days use digital maps, it’s always best to have a hardcopy/paper map on hand for those times when you are out-of-mobile-service in our vast country! Hema has a range of detailed maps available, which include 24-hour fuel, rest areas, National Parks and camping areas, 4WD tracks, distance grids, and more for all regions.