Stanthorpe sits right in the heart of Southern Queensland Country’s Granite Belt, and even if you haven’t visited the area before, there’s a really good chance you’ve eaten some of the produce the area is famous for. We’re talking crisp, crunchy, sweet apples and juicy pears, berries and stone fruit, all bursting with flavour.
The same fertile soil which produces these goodies is also capable of producing something else wonderful. Wine. And lots of it! Given Stanthorpe is a 2 1/2 hour drive south-west of Brisbane, it’s the perfect road trip destination. Just pack up the car and head out to a quaint B&B for a weekend getaway in Queensland’s picture-perfect countryside.
Out here, the air is clear and fresh, the kind of air that fills your lungs and makes you feel instantly more relaxed. At night, the sky comes alive with a million stars glowing like little diamonds on a rich, velvet blanket. You can easily spot the Milky Way and, if you’re lucky, a shooting star or two. It’s moments like these, away from home and the distractions of work, that you remember how beautiful Queensland is.
A day in Stanthorpe is well spent visiting wineries and enjoying cellar-door tastings, stocking up on the best wine the region has to offer. Local restaurants draw inspiration from seasonal produce, creating menus that reflect the flavours of the area. Stop in at The Barrel Room at Ballandean Estate for modern Italian or visit The Vineyard Cafe for modern Australian fare.
Take a trip to The Bramble Patch ‘Dessertery’ and stock up on jams, relishes and preserves, before sinking your teeth into their famous blackberry and apple pie. Visit Stanthorpe Cheese and fill your basket with everything you need to make the perfect farmhouse cheese platter and stop in at the Granite Belt Brewery for a look at how everything is made and, of course, a tasting paddle or two.
In the heart of town you’ll find the Market in the Mountains, held every second Sunday. With 45 stall-holders you’ll find plenty of locally made food, fresh produce, arts, crafts, plants and absolutely everything in-between. It’s also very important you take the time to visit The Little Bread & Coffee Shop on the main street, to stock up on insanely good pastries, pies, biscuits, profiteroles and pizza. Everything here is made on site and they produce some of the best baked-goods you’ll find anywhere.
A short drive from Stanthorpe you’ll find Girraween National Park, a place that wouldn’t be totally out of place as the set for a Flintstones movie. Gigantic granite boulders balance precariously onto of each other, creating dramatic scenery that’s hard to believe. There’s a thousand subtle sounds, from the gentle trill of birds and the hum of bee’s busily working on native flowers, to the trickle of a stream and the wind through trees and bushes all around.
It would be easy to spend a day exploring Girraween National Park, walking the gentle track to Granite Arch or scaling the Pyramid for unbeatable views of the surrounding area. After a big day exploring, retreat back to your B&B or quaint country cottage, light the fireplace, crack open a few beers or a bottle of wine and watch the bright blue sky come alive with a sunset that’s orange and gold.
Southern Queensland Country its the perfect place to escape from the city and reconnect with Australia’s bushland and the little town of Stanthorpe is more than happy to play host to a weekend adventure you definitely deserve.