Pioneers & pubs trail

Visit a town featured in a blockbuster Aussie TV mini-series on this classic pioneers and pubs trail through the heart of Steele Rudd Country. Discover powerful stories of pioneering heroes and colourful characters as you travel just over 200km of quintessential country roads.

*Please note –the Woolshed at Jondaryan is currently closed, check their website for the latest reopening updates.

Day 1

Begin your drive in Toowoomba and drive around 45 minutes south along the New England Highway to Clifton. This quaint rural township is surrounded by rich agricultural land dominated by cattle, cereal crops, sunflowers and honey. See why it was selected as a setting for a number of film productions, including the 1983 TV miniseries ‘The Thornbirds’, and more recently ‘Wanted’ with Rebecca Gibney. Follow the self-guided Clifton heritage walking trail and wander the historical museum in the old Butter Factory Museum for a great insight into local history.

A short drive north of Clifton is Nobby and the well-known Rudd’s Pub dedicated to author Steele Rudd (real name Arthur Hoey Davis). Rumour has it that Rudd found inspiration among his drinking partners for the stories in ‘On Our Selection’. The pub walls are peppered with historic memorabilia and photographs. They serve up really good pub meals too! While in town, take a look at the memorial to Sister Kenny, a tenacious one-time resident known for her revolutionary treatment of polio.

Continue your drive to the little village of Cambooya where Steele Rudd spent much of his childhood. The Bull and Barley Inn takes pride of place in the main street. It’s recently been restored to reflect its 1900s heritage. Inside you’ll find memorabilia, photographs and the original cedar chiller box still in use today. Round off your day with good old fashioned hospitality and a night in traditional country accommodation at the Bull and Barley Inn.

People at the counter in Rudds Pub in Nobby

Day 2

Breathe in the fresh country air this morning ready to continue your country drive to Pittsworth. The country air must have worked wonders for famous local Arthur Postle, aka the Crimson Flash – once the world’s fastest athlete! Find out more about Arthur and other pioneering greats at the Pittsworth Pioneer Village. Be sure to take a stroll around town to uncover other local treasures. See the impressive lace collection at the Lady Fletcher Lace Room, wartime memorabilia at the RSL Display Centre and the magnificent stained-glass windows of St Andrew’s Anglican Church. Get your sugar fix at the Pittsworth Confectionery especially the musk sticks!

From Pittsworth, head north for around 30 minutes to Jondaryan, home to one of the largest and oldest woolsheds in Australia (CURRENTLY CLOSED). Take a self-guided tour of the Jondaryan Woolshed museum and station village featuring over 15 historic buildings. See a school room, blacksmith shop, homestead, boundary rider hut, stables and more. Enjoy refreshments at the onsite café (please check opening hours).

Last stop along the trail is Oakey, best known for the Australian Army Flying Museum. Step inside to discover aircraft used by the Australian Army since World War II. While in town visit the Oakey Historical Museum to learn more about local family history. Return to Toowoomba late afternoon after a refreshing country getaway.

For personalised service and tips by friendly knowledgeable locals, be sure to drop into one of the local Visitor Information Centres or give them a call.

If you are a business that would like to be considered for inclusion on the website, contact us.

Sheep sheering in Jondaryan Woolshed

More self-drives…

High country hamlets discovery

The first Ray White office in Crows Nest Museum and Historical Village

Grand parks & gardens trail

Japanese Gardens with lake and red bridge

Western Downs discovery trail

Sheep sheering in Jondaryan Woolshed