62km via Swan Creek, Freestone, Gladfield and Goomburra Section of Main Range National Park
Leaving the Warwick Visitor Information Centre, travel 11km north-bound and follow the signs to Toowoomba. The name ‘Cedar Route’ comes from the timber which originally thrived in the area. The timbergetters felled the huge red cedar forests, using basic tools and bullocks.
A right turn onto the Cunningham Highway (travel 4km) followed by a left turn into Freestone Road offers a vista of some of the most fertile land in the district. The 17km journey back to Warwick will yield a patchwork of common crops such as oats, sorghum, wheat and sunflowers.
Five km along Freestone Road you pass through the township of Freestone, where you can still see the old railway store, now called South Georgia, which was moved to its current location in 1905. On the left, a large railway grain shed still stands — a reminder of the once thriving township. Music still rings out in the Freestone Hall for regular old style country dances.
Glengallan Homestead and Heritage Centre sits proudly on the right. The homestead is one of the few remaining examples of a substantial 19th century country house in Queensland. The impressive sandstone homestead was built in 1867 and gives an insight into the optimism of landholders at the time.
Proceeding along the New England Highway for a further 7km, turn right onto Goomburra Road to commence the Cedar Route.
Ghost Gate Road is located on the right, 8km along the Cedar Route. The unusual name was bestowed by early settlers when people travelling past the boundary fence of Glengallan reported eerie experiences. As they approached the gate it would mysteriously open and then close when they were through. Legend has it that an owl would fly off the post at opening and in 2004, a metal owl structure was positioned 3km along Ghost Gate Road. A visit should be attempted only in dry conditions.
The remains of Goomburra township are 2km beyond Ghost Gate Road. Goomburra received its name from an aboriginal word meaning ‘A shield made from the timber of the Kurrajong Tree’. The Aboriginal people called these trees Goomburra trees. Once a thriving rural community with a school, church, railway station and various small shops, the Goomburra Hall is the only building still in regular use.
The Goomburra Section of Main Range National Park is located 26km along Inveramsay Road.
Rejoining the Cedar Route at Goomburra, turn left onto the Goomburra Allora Road and proceed 11km to Gladfield (a driver reviver operates during public holidays at the Gladfield rest area).
Mt Dumaresq is located on the left. It was from the top of this mountain that Allan Cunningham declared the Darling Downs ‘as far as the eye can see’.