A open road and a playlist on shuffle is my idea of happiness – and so it was a great pleasure to be involved in writing for Tourism Darling Downs’ brilliant new website.

Road tripping is a growing concept in Queensland, and for the city folk of Brisbane and the Gold Coast, this greater Darling Downs region provides the perfect opportunity.

Play something French – the Hors de Prix soundtrack by Camille Bazbaz is brilliant driving music – and head to the South Burnett where Cassis chef Wayne Smith seems to have cornered his own little bit of southern France, complete with overflowing kitchen gardens and a magnifique view.

The blue borage from his garden competes with a myriad of other colours on the plates of local produce he sounds out.

Or settle in with some cool jazz and take some of those backroads around the wine region of Ballandean and see what you find – award winning cool climate wines is just one possibility.

Between those two regions lie treasures unique to this part of the world, natural wonders, busy communities, historic landmarks.

They’re trips I’ve done myself many times, but I never tire of it and as a writer I am always seeing it fresh, seeing what is new, what stories I can share. The list just keeps growing.

Wendy Hughes is a journalist and food writer who has been covering the State’s food scene for two decades and is particularly passionate about regional Queensland.

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