The Rathy Pub, Rathdowney

Heading out for a three day bike ride on New Year's Eve this year was decidedly optimistic. Brisbane's weather has been so hot, steamy and wet lately that there's mould growing on anything that doesn't move. However with a short sunshine break overhead we started off down the highway with first stop at The Rathy Pub at Rathdowny.
The benefit from all the rain is that the scenery is breathtakingly lush and green at the moment. The creeks are swollen and everything has a just washed freshness that is immensely appealing and uplifting at the same time. The downside of the rain is that some of the roads had more pot holes than before, not terribly enjoyable on a bike. 
We like to travel the back roads away from screaming traffic, where the air is clear and cows contently crop the grass just metres from the track. But that sometimes means slow going when you are dodging potholes. Lunch in The Rathy's beer garden was a great first stop. We ordered everything from hamburgers and bacon and egg burgers to salads. It was fresh, well priced, and flavoursome. The burgers were loaded with onion and beetroot in fine Aussie tradition.
On the next leg we passed Mt Barney, always one of my favourite landscapes.  The cicadas here are so loud I can hear them over the bike with my helmet on!  First time I heard them I thought there was a problem with the bike.  The mountain is majestic and the road hugs it for miles.  Unfortunately this was also one of the worst stretches for pot holes but at least we got to see the scenery at a relaxed (if bumpy) pace.
We overnighted at The Vines Motel at Stanthorpe (see our route below) and enjoyed a New Year's Eve buffet at Anna's Restaurant which is a local institution. It was lovely to see all members of the local Italian community, from nonas to newborns, all out enjoying the night. Our resident Italian said the food was authentic as well. The Rathy Pub Cnr Collins Street & Mt. Lindesay Hwy, Rathdowney, Australia