WooHoo!!!, with the humidity and the heat over the last couple of months behind us, a road trip is organised, the car is packed and ROAD TRIP’N is exploring one of my favourite regions, Gatton and the Lockyer Valley with a date to catch up with Scotty at The Barn and Scotty’s Garage.
Leaving Brisbane and travelling west the countryside is picture perfect with fields and paddocks that were once brown and parched now giving way to a sea of green after all the recent rain. Situated about an hour from Brisbane, the Lockyer Valley (click here) is a perfect place for a road trip. Enjoy a day, a week or longer there is so much to see and do. Stunning national parks, bushwalking, art galleries, transport museums, bird watching and picnicing at Lake Apex, the “To Do” list goes on.
With the city traffic behind us, it’s now an easy drive along the highway as we take the Gatton turnoff and head to our first stop, the Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre (click here).
An Oasis in the country would be the best way to describe this place. It’s not just a place to stop for a pit stop” but a destination worthy of a little exploring. There is plenty of parking available, so step inside and talk to the friendly staff at the Visitors Centre. They’ll have all the info you need to get your road trip juices flowing.
But wait, there is so much more;
- The Staging Post Café is a perfect spot to grab a coffee or cold drink and top up the tank (of a human kind) with a range of delectable goodies and meals suitable for the whole family.
- The Art Gallery is worth a visit displaying works telling the region’s history and the admission is free.
The piece DE resistance (must visit) is the Queensland Transport Museum. With an extensive range of trucks, transport vehicles and interactive displays that are not only on display but also delve into the history and functions of these vehicles and the people who operated them, the museum is a fascinating place for all ages.
Lake Apex Park, noted for its wide variety of birdlife that inhabit the Lake at various times of the year, is a beautiful waterfront park and an easy drive situated just behind the Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre. A perfect location for your next picnic with BBQ’s, kids’ playground, toilets and a waking track around the entire lake. An added bonus it is also dog friendly.
After enjoying our first pit stop we are continuing our Lockyer Valley drive through some of the most picturesque scenery in the area.
Our next stop, and what a place to arrive at, The Barn and Scotty’s Garage (click here).Address: 1709 Flagstone Creek Road, Upper Flagstone QLD 4344.
Situated at Upper Flagstone in the Lockyer Valley and under two hours drive from Brisbane who would thought that The Barn which offers a genuine Australian dining experience including coffee, Devonshire teas an extensive breakfast and lunch menu and Scotty’s Garage would be here.
Opposite the Barn is an old-style filling station complete with petrol pumps in the driveway. With Scotty as your guide, an Aladdin’s cave of a past era which is packed to the rafters with 50’s and 60’s memorabilia known as Scotty’s Garage is ready to be explored. The highlights are many, but the vintage motorcycles and full restored Ford Thunderbird car will leave a lasting impression.
After exploring the Garage at your leisure, a secret door is slid back to reveal a replica 1950’s diner. The T Bird diner compete with dance floor, juke box, pinball machines, dodgem cars and more awaits to transport you back to an earlier time and maybe fulfil your “Happy Days” fantasy.
There is an admission fee for Scotty’s Garage: $10 per adult, $5 per child. The Barn & Scotty’s Garage are open Friday – Sunday.
Our Lockyer Valley road trip was just about over. With an early start this day out was completed by early afternoon giving us plenty of time to head back to Brisbane before dark but along the way a stop in Gatton to further explore the many facets of the town and as it was half past happy hour and partake of a cold beverage and a counter lunch at the Royal Hotel (click here).