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On a recent LSD trip my cousins showed me some small town inland from Brisbane and Sunshine Coast. Really liked places like Maleny, Toogoolawah. Kenilworth etc. All really nice.

My soon-to-be wife and I are looking to settle in a small/country town, anywhere in QLD really (I know it's a huge area).

I am a high school teacher, she is an admin assistant/PA and we will both be in our late 20s when we go (despite our 'youth' we are more keen on small town life). We will be on PR175 with no kids.

I know that a lot will depend on job opportunities etc, but any and all advice/opinions are welcome. Any towns - we want to 'learn' about the possibilities out there. :)

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Yup . . Maleny is pretty, tucked up in the hills to the north of Brisbane and a spot where you can see the coast from the hills. Awfully expensive to buy there though.

There are a lot of beaut country towns further down the east coast, over the border into New South Wales that would be good spots to raise a family and live, so don't limit yourself to just Queensland, for good country towns.

Affordability of housing is what you should consider alongside employment prospects. If you go further out into Queensland, to places like St. George, you'll find housing available together with a number of job opportunities.

At the end of the day, it's always the local folk who make or break a spot, and if you bring up kids in a town, all the people there will get behind you and become friends as you go off for toddler classes and send your little ones to school.

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Hey Bob

Thanks for the advice - I havent really thought of anywhere other than QLD as that's where my 'people' are and where I will probably start off. But I'll def have a better look on the next LSD!.(Further down into NSW etc)

Thanks again. Doesn't look like I'm going to get much input from others on the forum :unsure:

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Hey Bob

Thanks for the advice - I havent really thought of anywhere other than QLD as that's where my 'people' are and where I will probably start off. But I'll def have a better look on the next LSD!.(Further down into NSW etc)

Thanks again. Doesn't look like I'm going to get much input from others on the forum :unsure:

To be honest I didn't understand the question :) Do you want a list of towns without x km's of Brisbane ?

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AndreaL

Wow, Queensland is huge and there are zillions of little towns, do you need to be close ( 200km) to a city or the ocean, how small is small? Would you stay in a small mining town with very few facilities? High school teachers are always needed in rural towns but an admin worker might struggle to find work. If I were your age and without kids I'd probably start off staying with the family, wherever they are and put out feelers for jobs, spend a couple of years in a few different places and before you settle down to have kids decide what kind of place fits you best. You can only get to know Australia through travel.

Your question is a bit like saying I want to settle in a small town in South Africa.

Queensland's size is 1.7 million square kilometres, which is:

  • nearly seven times larger than the British Isles
  • larger than South Africa
  • more than twice the size of Pakistan.

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Apologies - perhaps I wasn't clear enough.

I'm aware that QLD is massive and I'm not really asking 'which small town should I settle in?'

I just want to hear about what's out there.

I'd just like to hear about small towns in general.Which ones people like, why, what makes them nice/cool. And also which ones aren't so nice (obviously this will be a personal thing and differ from person to person).

Personal experience (good and/or bad) of small towns (any small town, any size, any distance from Brisbane or other main centre) is what I'm after.

Well maybe I do have a few requirements - A tiny mining or industrial were 99% of the population is in that industry and there are few facilities - probably a no. Otherwise I'd like to hear about any place really.

We are after a small town vibe and would like to know more about whats out there in QLD.

Hope this is clearer.

Thanks guys :)

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We live in Toowoomba and love it here. I would not call it a small town - population 130 000 but I suppose you could call it a big town or a small city about 130km inland from Brisbane.

What I really like about Toowoomba is that it is big enough to have everything but small enough to have that small town feel.

If you have any specific questions feel free to ask!

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The towns and life styles can differ massively so I'll try and do a broad sweep of different types of towns for you. By necessity a lot of the photos will just be tourist snaps but they'll give you some feel for the place.

Brisbane Surrounds

Close to Brisbane you have a lot of small towns that are in effect mostly commuter towns to Brisbane but still have the original village centre and some feel of being a separate place.

Some are quite suburban "city acreage" in feel like Samford, while some a little further out start to feel like proper (very small) country towns like Dayboro and are probably too far to commute. Places like Samford are a pretty easy commute into Brisbane so are popular with those who want country living combined with a city job market.

Samford

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Samford From Jolly's Lookout Mount Nebo by ross_coupland, on Flickr

Dayboro

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Edited by Fish
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Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast Hinterland

The Gold and Sunshine Coasts just north and south of Brisbane have many little hinterland communities offering a nice city retiree/hippy/tree change/arty/mountain lifestyle. These are often places that attract a lot of day and overnight visits from Brisbane so people who want to setup their own cottage industry favour these places.

Some examples:

Montville, Sunshine Coast

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Maleny, Sunshine Coast

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Tamborine, Gold Coast

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Lockyer Valley Farmlands ~ 100km from Brisbane

As you move west of Brisbane into the near countryside you have farmlands and little thriving communities like Esk. These places are standalone but have the advantage of being only an hour or so drive back into Brisbane. They are quite small places and quite basic but some people like the small community country feel. I think Esk has a little artist community as well? As you can see from the photo large lakes/dams are in the area with access to calm water activities/sports.

Esk

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Great Dividing Range

The Great Dividing Range is a mountain range that runs down the east coast of Australia. It rises from the farmland plains west of Brisbane to a height of 700 metres above sea level. Towns like Toowoomba sit on top of this range bringing a cooler climate and different feel to the farmland towns below.

Toowoomba

As Eva said Toowoomba is a substantial town with lovely homes and gardens and a claimed 150+ public parks and gardens. It hosts an annual flower show and it is a favourite with gardeners. As Eva mentioned it has the benefit of being a smaller place but with access to some larger facilities like it's own university.

Queen's Park (CBD Park - 1875)

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(Source: Thanks to isoboy on SSC)

Toowoomba has lots of lovely tree lines streets like this:

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And streets full of character homes:

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Just outside Toowoomba:

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(Source: tannykid@Flickr)

This thread on skyscrapercity should give you a good feel for what Toowoomba looks like and some of the various opinions Australians have of Toowoomba...

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Granite Belt

South of Toowoomba heading to the NSW border is a series of towns in the region known as the granite belt. It tends to be colder than much of qld and is the wine and apple growing region. There are some nice towns in this area including the town with a reputation as the coldest in Qld, Standthorpe which has a thriving wine tourism industry.

Stanthorpe

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Warwick

Nearby Warwick is an administrative centre of the farming region and has a good solid feel to the town with some substantial civic buildings and city pride.

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As you move west from Toowoomba and the Granite Belt you start to feel like you are going into the more large scale country qld farming region. The land turns more scrubby and Kangaroos start to appear in greater numbers on the side of the road.

St George

St George is quite a nice little place on the banks of a substantial river that quite often flood parts of the town. It has the feel to me of a place you could actually live quite nicely as it seemed to have quite a few shops and cafes for a small town. It is surrounded by cotton farms.

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Roma

North of St George about 500km west of Brisbane is the farming town of Roma. It is an important cross roads town and centre of the surrounding farming communities and is also a possible commuting town for mining activities.

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Charleville

West of Roma on the Warrego Highway, about 750km west of Brisbane you starting reaching towns that feel quite country. You start reaching the edge of the greener part of queensland and begin approaching channel country and the real "outback". Charleville has long been an important part of queensland and seems like a decent place.

It has some tourist activity with the Cosmos centre supporting a thriving astronomy community. As you can imagine viewing the universe is pretty spectacular from the outback.

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Charleville by fish.2, on Flickr

Note how Charleville (at the spot marked "A") is on the western extreme of the more green part of qld. Heading any further west turns very dry so you can see the developed towns follow the green belt heading north of Charleville. Another substantial well known town along this route north of Charleville is Barcaldine.

Barcaldine

Barcaldine (Barkie) is a town famous for being the birthplace of the Labor party/movement in Australia. It is an administrative town in the middle of grazing country and is renowned for it's strip of country pubs that serve the town and the farm workers of the surrounding districts.

When they're not drinking sport is very popular as they battle with their bigger more well known rival just up the road 100km, Longreach.

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Outback 012 by fish.2, on Flickr

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Outback 010 by fish.2, on Flickr

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Outback 011 by fish.2, on Flickr

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Outback 013 by fish.2, on Flickr

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Longreach

Longreach is one of the best known queensland country towns as it has some very substantial tourist attractions (for a remote town), is served by the Spirit of the Outback tourist trains and is the birthplace of the national airline Qantas.

The town itself is quite small and simple with a grid of surrounding streets in quite a plain setting. The town is too remote to feel very substantial but the twin tourist attractions of the Qantas Founders Museum and The Stockman's Hall of Fame help. It has a number of smaller attractions that piggy back off these larger two and a number of hotel/motel developments to support all the tourists.

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Outback 026 by fish.2, on Flickr

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Outback 029 by fish.2, on Flickr

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Outback 013 by fish.2, on Flickr

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Outback 015 by fish.2, on Flickr

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Outback 057 by fish.2, on Flickr

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Outback 053 by fish.2, on Flickr

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Outback 047 by fish.2, on Flickr

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Longreach is on the edge of the beginnings of the true outback.

There are some towns south, south/west of Longreach but I'm not sure you would consider them. :) Here's a sample of some I have been to.

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Outback 020 by fish.2, on Flickr

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Outback 021 by fish.2, on Flickr

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Outback 023 by fish.2, on Flickr

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Outback 025 by fish.2, on Flickr

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Outback 040 by fish.2, on Flickr

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Outback 049 by fish.2, on Flickr

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Outback 056 by fish.2, on Flickr

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Outback 068 by fish.2, on Flickr

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Outback 001 by fish.2, on Flickr

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Outback 017 by fish.2, on Flickr

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Outback 041 by fish.2, on Flickr

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Outback 043 by fish.2, on Flickr

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Outback 063 by fish.2, on Flickr

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Outback 014 by fish.2, on Flickr

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Outback 090 by fish.2, on Flickr

Edited by Fish
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At the other extreme when you leave the sub tropical climate of coastal Brisbane and head north into the tropics you pass many coastal towns. The most famous and beautiful of all is Cairns and surrounds.

It is an area that often has high unemployment but many love living in it's natural beauty. It has very high humidity summers but the rest of the year is superb.

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Untitled by fish.2, on Flickr

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Awesome guys! This is exactly the kind of info I was looking for.

I've only seen so much and Googling places can only get me so far.

Great pics Fish. Thank you so much.

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Wow, thanks for the pics! I really enjoyed this post!

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Your pics are amazing Fish, makes me want to get out there and explore.

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Thanks everyone!!!

Your pics are amazing Fish, makes me want to get out there and explore.

Me too Andrea :) It's fun. Actually looking back at this photo I realised my daughter was only 6 weeks when we were there....nearest hospital was a fair way...gulp :blush-anim-cl: Maybe we explored too much !!! :wacko:

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  • 1 month later...

What an informative post. Thank you so much for sharing this Fish.

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