I was out at Goombungee during the week visiting Mark, Kaylene and Emily from Leicht’s Country Industries Australia for a story in our Summer edition – AMAZING business!

It’s such a treat to tour a business like this one and I can see why they were so successful at the recent Toowoomba Business Excellence Awards taking Best Regional Business as well as the Innovation Award.

Anyway, you can read about that in a few weeks.

I don’t get out to places like Goombungee nearly often enough – leisurely drives in the country just don’t seem to happen these days. I am sure they were part of my Melbourne childhood; six of us and the dog piled into the old Ford station wagon with its beltless bench seats heading off for adventure. We’d drive for hours then stop for a picnic and a bush walk, we’d fish with hand reels, be in trouble for getting our clothes dirty, we’d argue, pick burrs off the dog and fight the traffic to be home in time for tea. Is there a reason I haven’t made the weekend country drive part of my own children’s experience? Hmmm…?

I thought my visit to Goombungee was a great opportunity to do a quick tour and report back for those of you who do have time for such unhurried pursuits.

Now, listen up … Goombungee is not far away. Maybe 30 minutes from Toowoomba –  the same as driving from one Brisbane suburb to the next. It’s not like hours of driving. And there are some “attractions” along the way. Stop at Charlton to pick up a bag or two of Jim’s Jerky from the factory store – if you have carnivorous kids like mine it will keep them quiet for a while. Or you might like to stop at some of the wineries that have popped up out there – Wedgtail Ridge which is on the Kingsthorpe Haden Road and Gowrie Mountain Estate on the Warrego Highway.

You’ll drive through Kingsthorpe too which has a school and shops and tidy houses with pretty gardens. It’s all good.

Then onwards through real farming country where there are huge tracts of ploughed land and hay is rolled into monster size balls and cows potter about. I told you it was all good – I just lack the vocabulary to do it justice.

Now Goombungee itself can best be described as a quintessential Australian country town. With wide streets, historic buildings and a pub there’s no sound but the crows cawing and a distant tractor.

You can feel the serenity.

However, whilst it seems quiet, don’t be fooled. There is a very tight knit community working behind the scenes.  They’re creative too I guess because they have a terrific art gallery.

Goombungee’s point of difference is its tree-lined main street – Mocatta Street – which is swathed in purple at the moment. Wow!

Just wow!

It’s stunning. Whoever planted those Jacaranda trees in the first place was a visionary.

The Goombungee Jacaranda Festival is coming up on Saturday 9 November when those wide sleepy streets will come alive with music, tree couture, vintage cars, bbqs, walking tours, Devonshire teas and displays.

If you’re looking for a relatively close country experience – perhaps a chance to take out the vintage convertible, or dare I say it “somewhere to take Grandma for a drive” (I didn’t really say that) Goombungee is it. Anyway, you’ll like it too.  And there’s a pub.

See you in Goombungee!

Ally Martell