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 Tuesday, 20 August 2019
Qld: On a High PDF Print E-mail
Written by Adrienne Costin for Tourism QLD   
Tuesday, 15 May 2007

On a high in South East Queensland Country

By Adrienne Costin

The patchwork of paddocks stretched across the landscape to the sea and the cities and I hung suspended like a bat from the harness in the Winjeel vintage plane as she went through her paces.

My pilot had asked if I liked roller coasters – I don’t – but this was far better than any theme park experience, especially when we rolled over sideways in a “wingover”. It was so exhilarating I happily agreed to one more roll before we came back down to earth.

Mustang Flights is based at the Caboolture Airport just north of Brisbane and offers customers joy flights in the Winjeel and its more powerful hanger-mate (they are both displays at the Caboolture War Plane and Heritage Museum), a fully restored P-51D Mustang, an ex-RAAF Military Historic Fighter Aircraft. The Winjeel, also an RAAF plane, was the training aircraft for the Mustang pilots.

South East Queensland Country can quite rightly be referred to as Brisbane’s backyard, and the flying experience is just one of the myriad of activities on offer in the region guaranteed to release visitors from the day to day stresses of their life.

For instance, it’s only a quick trip cross-country from Caboolture to Mt Mee and the new restaurant at Oceanview Estates Vineyard and Winery. This mountain top, boutique winery produces tasty red and white wines and is now offering customers delicious food from a custom-built restaurant and cellar door that takes advantage of the ever-present sea breezes.

Owners Kate and Thomas Honnef have also added two vineyard cottages to the Estate, aptly named Cabernet and Shiraz. They are ideal for romantic getaways and those who wish to sample a bit more of the grape than allows them to drive the 45 minutes back to Brisbane. There is also a fair bit of business coming from the wedding market as the restaurant is notching up its share of matrimonial events.

More mountains await, this time on the drive across to Grandchester near Ipswich. Do not give into the temptation to head back onto the highway and cut through the outskirts of Brisbane. Take the more scenic, albeit windy route, via Dayboro and the lush rainforests on and around Mt Glorious. Also skip the aircon and wind the windows down to hear the bell and whip birds calling to passers by.

Peppers Hidden Vale is another oasis drawing a stark contrast with glorious rural views. The peak of this destination is a sunset 4WD tour to razorback ridge at the back of the property. As night descends and the trees merge into the darkness, the isolation is extraordinarily beautiful, as are the canapés and wine on offer.

Hidden Vale remains a popular, luxury, country retreat and even with a sibling at Spicer’s Peak, it has lost none of its appeal. The range of accommodation is of exceptional quality, the food, including the locally grown wagyu beef is superb, the staff incredibly discreet and efficient, and the guest activities as active or relaxed as required. I can recommend the clay target shooting if it’s an adrenalin surge you seek, but I have it on good recommendation that the mountain biking is equally fun. For horse-lovers, the trail-riding steeds are very considerate!

To find out about these and other ways to get a high in South East Queensland Country grab a copy of the 2007 South East Queensland Country Touring Guide. Order online at or call 1300 738 300. Also available from RACQ outlets in Queensland.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 15 May 2007 )
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