If you’re looking for an adventure in Brisbane’s neighbouring countryside, Kalbar is only a day trip away. This gorgeous town is accessible by the best of our Scenic Rim country roads and is only a 40-minute drive from Ipswich CBD. During our last cruise out there, my one-year-old slept happily as we adults soaked in the fresh air and glorious rural scenes. The drive was perfect for his morning nap and got us out and about to explore this beautiful area with our toddler in tow.
Kalbar is made up of one main strip featuring several exciting storefronts. First, we discovered The Emporium by Empire Revival – a stunning emporium filled with antique goodies, barista coffee, and a self-playing piano. It had lots of hand-made, natural products and pre-loved vintage treasures.
Nearby was the Scenic Rim butcher selling fresh, local meats from across the region. This was an exciting find for us as we’ve been looking for high-quality meat, and the livestock is raised just down the road!
We were then faced with a choice for lunch. The local pub – the Royal Hotel Kalbar – was bustling with life and offering the best of QLD pub culture. Out the front was a large grassy paddock with outdoor dining tables, perfect for the kids to run around while adults enjoyed a perfectly poured cold one.
There was also a gorgeous cafe covered in draping plants and displaying various sandwiches, homemade pastries and cakes. We opted to eat here and sit among the foliage with views of nearby paddocks. The building was part of a beautiful, original heritage complex, and the inside was perfect for a toddler. Our little one was amazed by the bright orange goldfish swimming in an indoor tank but was most excited by the kids’ area off to one side. It had a cubby house, many books and toys, and was surrounded by easily accessible lounges. We released our little monster into the play area and watched him wreak havoc as we sipped some delicious coffee.
Once we wrapped up and our toddler was sufficiently worn out, we jumped in the car and drove the stunning hillside roads home. It was a delightful day trip and gave us some much-needed adventure. Best of all was the kid-friendly dining experience, which made the logistics much more manageable. Of course, the exceptional heritage community was amazing too. All in all, Kalbar was a whimsical escape to the countryside and holds local treasures worth exploring.