Enjoy your fill of farmers’ markets, pretty parks, and bush trails!
Less than an hour west of beautiful bustling Brisbane, Gatton is a charming country town with plentiful produce and activities. The area is primarily known as agricultural, with vegetables making up the majority of crops, and beef and dairy cattle farming.
- Humid climate
- Rural Queensland
- Less than an hour from Brisbane
The history of UQ Gatton dates back to 1897, when the Queensland Agricultural College (QAC) opened as a combined agricultural college and experimental farm.
The University of Queensland Gatton Farms is located on the UQ Gatton Campus 80 kilometers west of Brisbane. The farms cover 1064 hectares and includes a dairy, piggery, poultry unit, sheep and goat herd, horticultural fields, plant nursery, post-harvest facilities, research laboratories and greenhouses, and an extensive range of plant and farm machinery. UQ Gatton Farms is spread across two locations. The main area of activities is on the Gatton Campus with another farm, Darbalara located 10 kilometers from the main campus. Darbalara is 184 hectares in size and will be the home of the School of Veterinary Science Droughtmaster herd.
Check out UQ Gatton’s Places of Interest.
Gatton experiences a subtropical climate with relatively long, hot summers, and short, mild winters with occasional frosts. Rainfall is summer dominant with 65–70% of the total rainfall occurring in the October to March period. The average annual rainfall to the area is approximately 780 mm making this the driest part of the southeast Queensland region.
Spring (September – November) 17°C to 28°C
Summer (December – February) 19°C to 36°C
Fall (March – May) 19°C to 28°C
Winter (June – August) 8°C to 19°C
Getting Around Gatton
Getting around Gatton is a cinch with public transport. There is also a railway station as well as coach buses available if you wish to explore the surrounds and visit Brisbane. Gatton would be an ideal place to buy a bicycle as the town itself is not very big. If you have the finances to buy a car, this may be a nice option to explore more of the surrounding area.
What do students say about Gatton?
So, what do OzTREKK students say?
It’s a small town, so be prepared! There are a couple of grocery stores, a dollar store, a small Kmart, McDonalds, KFC, and Domino’s—if you want some fast food on busy days when you can’t cook, or want something other than cafeteria food. My favourite coffee shop in town is Jak and Mo. There’s also a pretty good Korean fried chicken shop that sells bubble tea, JJ’s Kitchen. Those are my restaurant recommendations, but otherwise, I would take a day trip out to Brisbane (1 hour east) or Toowoomba (30 minutes west) to do some shopping over the weekend, or to the Gold Coast (2.5 hours east) to go on a hike or hang out on the beach.
I ended up moving to Toowoomba while I was there. I loved it!
Gatton is a small and quaint town and if you like the country lifestyle you could definitely appreciate it. Jac and Mo’s is a breakfast/lunch place in town and I really like it as it caters to gluten free and vegetarian/vegan menu items which I think is definitely a hidden gem. On Gatton campus there is a coffee cart and a small café where Reggie is infamous on campus for her beautiful coffees and infectious laugh that will literally brighten everyone’s day. There is an on-campus/Gatton student culture which organizes events and gatherings throughout the year and it’s easy to make friends/find your group especially if you chose to live on campus or in and around Gatton.
There is a great small Korean fried chicken joint with bubble tea owned by a family and it is very popular among international students. I am also a fan of how cheap the Dominos pizzas are ($4 –$5 for a whole pizza!). Students often go to Toowoomba (a nearby “big” city on a mountain just 30 km away) for malls, groceries, and other necessities, or they may drive over to the coast and hit up Brisbane to enjoy the city life. We also do lots of “bush walks” or hikes in surrounding areas.
We’re sensing a theme here: Amazing Korean food!
If small towns aren’t your style, consider living in Brisbane and commuting—we’ve had a number of student do this!
If you’re like us, you might enjoy those gorgeous travel blogs, interesting podcasts, and social media influencers who test things out to let you know if they’re worth the money.
Here are a few accounts to follow:
- For the tourist @lockyervalley
- For the local @buyfromthebush
- For the freshest @gattonvillagemarkets
- Have a weekend farm stay at Fordsdale Horseback Adventures
- Calling all wine lovers to Preston Peak
- Soak in the vintage vibes at the Queensland Transport Museum
- Have a hot air balloon ride in one of the prettiest places in the world
- Visit Darling Downs Zoo
- Peruse the plants at Pohlmans Nursery
- Rewind time and enjoy some good food at Scotty’s diner
- Cheese lovers unite at Awassi Queensland
- Have a picnic at Lake Apex Park
- Invite a friend for some delicious coffee and grub at Jak & Mo
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