Stanthorpe Getaway, Queensland

Why visit southern Queensland’s enticing Stanthorpe for your getaway?

If you haven’t yet read my introduction to Stanthorpe from a few weeks ago, you may like to pop over to part one of Stanthorpe Escape, Queensland before continuing with this post.

Stanthorpe, Granite Belt, Queensland, Australia, Oceania

But, if you landed on this post and haven’t any time to read part one of Stanthorpe, then I’ll give you a quick overview so you don’t miss anything. Because, after each visit to Stanthorpe, a new exciting discovery reveals itself in this very diverse southern corner of Queensland.


Where is Stanthorpe?

Stanthorpe almost hugs the border between the two States of Queensland and New South Wales. At only around 218 kilometres southwest of Brisbane, this small rural town is handy for a quick weekend away. Especially, if like me, you work full time.

Stanthorpe map, granite belt, Queensland, Australia, Oceania

Some background on Stanthorpe

Not only is Stanthorpe renowned as a great holiday escape, but this quaint rural town is an agricultural haven for growing apples, stonefruit, vegetables, and grapes. Don’t forget the national parks to walk off all that delicious indulgence in boutique wines and food.

Stanthorpe, Granite Belt, Queensland, Australia, Oceania
Pleasant roads

Escape the summer months of southeast Queensland’s sub-tropical sweltering humidity and heat, with a road trip to Stanthorpe’s highland region coolness for a little respite.


What to do?

Stanthorpe really does offer loads of cool activities to revel in and the reason why this is part two of my Stanthorpe getaway posts. Frequenting Stanthorpe several times over the years, you notice changes along the way. And, I’ve noticed a couple of major changes but this could also be a result of COVID. One of my favourite haunts was Mt Stirling Olives, which was an excellent place to stock up with local products, especially pure cold-pressed virgin olive oil.

Stanthorpe, Granite Belt, Queensland, Australia, Oceania

On the recent trip, locals advised that Mt Stirling Olives had been bought by a Chinese company that bulldozed the processing shed and most of the olive grove, which is tragic as this was one of Stanthorpe’s famous icons. I hear that the farm was purchased for its water rights and would love to hear whether anyone can confirm this purchase.

Railway, Ballandean, Granite Belt, Queensland, Australia
Ballendean Railway Station

But while you’re staying in Stanthorpe, why not go on several easy walks or longer treks in Girraween National Park. Absorb the natural fauna and flora on your visit to this picturesque highland region.


Wine tasting, of course

With the abundance of vineyards in and around Stanthorpe’s Granite Belt, you can’t help but stumble on one or two along your travels and most offer wine tastings, which is even better. The list I collected on the last visit is for around 31 wineries centred around the town of Stanthorpe.

The region enjoys a long history of viticulture and winemaking. This alone makes this area one of the highest wine regions in Australia. At more than 1,000 metres above sea level, the district boasts around 305 hectares of vineyards – not to be sniffed at…

Symphony Hill Wines

Symphony Hill Wines is one of the smaller boutique wineries and claims to be “sumptuous, sensual, sophisticated”. I totally agree.

With passionate family members providing the wine tastings with style and offering an abundance of knowledge, this is by far, one of my favourite wineries.

Symphony Hill Wines, Ballandean, Granite Belt, Queensland, Australia
Granite sculpture – Symphony Hill Wines

From the moment you start the winetasting, you’re prompted about the types of flavours that entice you and a selection of wines is suggested for your taste buds. Not to worry if your taste buds are not appreciating the chosen one, as this is swapped out for an alternative flavour to suit your palate.

If you decide to purchase a couple of bottles to take home or a case, the winery delivers wines throughout Australia and you can even join its wine club for discounts. And, with a statement such as Symphony Hill family where we share the joy and passion of great wine. Those who join our wine club are rewarded with wines made exclusively for them, who can pass up this warm invitation? There isn’t any pressure or hard sell to walk out with bottles under your arms either.

Ballandean Winery

Established around 1932, the Ballandean Estate Wines is another lovely stopover.

Why not continue the wine tasting extravaganza after Symphony Hill winery at the Ballendean Winery and then…

Ballandean Estate Winery, Ballandean, Granite Belt, Queensland, Australia
Ballandean Winery

…moving into The Barrelroom for some lush gourmet mouthwatering delights? Excellent service and amazing food await the most discerning palate.

Ballandean Estate Winery, Ballandean, Granite Belt, Queensland, Australia
Immerse yourself in vineyards

Across the road from the winery stands an ancient plough and tractor, as a dedication to the Italians that made Stanthorpe home and worked the land.

The Plough, Stanthorpe, Granite Belt, Queensland, Australia, Oceania
Dedication to Italian pioneer settlers

Cheese tasting

Stanthorpe Cheese & Jersey Girls Cafe

Briefly speaking about Thulimbah’s Stanthorpe Cheese & Jersey Girls Cafe in part one of my Stanthorpe’s post, wanted to provide a little more detail and some unusual photos.

This original cheesemaking farmhouse has earned the title of the highest and coldest cheese shop in Queensland. Part with only a few dollars on this insightful cheese-tasting journey accompanied by local condiments.

The attentive and knowledgeable cheese maker explains everything about how the different types of cheeses are made using time-honoured traditional practices on the premise. Also, the best accompaniments to enjoy with the hand-crafted cheeses, whether local honey or delectable homemade relishes.

The 45-minute cheese-tasting indulgence is a wonderful introduction to also help you choose cheese from the shop should you wish to take something home, although no one pressures you to buy. Savour ten different types of cheese during this enjoyable sitting.

Cheese factory Thullimbah, Granite Belt, Queensland, Australia, Oceania
Ploughman’s lunch

Highly recommend stopping at the cafe for a spot of delightful lunch and relish the Ploughman’s Lunch special, which offers locally produced fresh ingredients.


Artistic Walking Trail

Take a pleasant stroll through the town centre of Stanthorpe while admiring the free art trail presented by local artists but also backpackers travelling through the town.

Artistic walking trails, Stanthorpe, Granite Belt, Queensland, Australia, Oceania

The collection of intriguing sculptures and street murals is gorgeous.

Angelo Valiante, Artistic walking trails, Stanthorpe, Granite Belt, Queensland, Australia, Oceania
Depiction of Angelo Valiante – one of the first Italian settlers in the Stanthorpe area

Make sure to drop by the Visitor Information Centre

…and pick up a free map of this intriguing artistic trail through Stanthorpe’s alleys and laneways.


History and Heritage Trails

This historic and heritage trail through the Southern Downs and Granite Belt regions boasts diverse heritage buildings including humble shepherd huts. And, is one of Queensland’s most historic areas although occasionally, with not such a great reputation. In 1917, during a campaign of Australia’s Prime Minister – Billy Hughes – an egg-throwing incident in Warwick (close to Stanthorpe) led to the founding of the Commonwealth Police.

Another interesting fact is that Charles Chauvel – founder of cinematography in Australia – was also born in this region. Remember the “Mary Poppins” books? The author, Pamela Lyndon Travers, lived in the Mary Poppin House for a couple of years in the early 1900s, which is now open to visitors in Allora, about an hour north of Stanthorpe.


Girraween National Park

Relax in the Girraween National Park, only a short drive of 35 kilometres from Stanthorpe.

Girraween – ‘place of flowers’ – offers 17 kilometres of natural bushland walking tracks, waterfalls, massive granite outcrops, precariously balanced boulders, natural fauna and flora.

Picnic sites and camping areas are also available for your enjoyment in the Girraween National Park. Visit for just a day or spend some time camping for the full national park experience and a deluge of beautiful walking trails.


Stanthorpe and Granite Belt Memorials

The Stanthorpe and Granite Belt Memorials are made up of around eighteen sites to explore on this trail in and around Stanthorpe.

Soldiers’ Settlement Memorial

On the corner of Post Office Lane and Amiens Road in Amiens, the Soldiers’ Settlement Memorial is dedicated to the Amiens Soldiers’ Settlers from WWI.

Stanthorpe was a major resettlement area for soldiers recovering from mustard gas exposure.

After visiting this memorial, take the Amiens Road to follow Armistice Way on Tourist Route No. 5.

Amiens Legacy Centre

The 1920s railway carriage has been lovingly restored by 100 volunteers, which took just over twelve months.

A tribute and symbol to the site that was the Amiens Railway Precinct during the days of the Pikedale Soldiers’ Settlement Scheme.

Soldier Settlers, Amiens, Granite Belt, Queensland, Australia, Oceania
Soldier Settler family sculpture in granite rock by Gabrielle Trabucco

The mural – an original monochromatic painting – depicts a simple but almost sombre existence for the returning soldier.

Soldier Settlers, Amiens, Granite Belt, Queensland, Australia, Oceania
Forging A Future After The Trenches by Franco Arcidiacono

Where to eat and sleep

Stanthorpe and the surrounding area offer a plethora of accommodations to suit every budget and an abundance of wonderful local food. Check my post on Stanthorpe Escape, Queensland for a few suggestions that you simply can’t miss while visiting Stanthorpe.


Getting there

Brisbane to Stanthorpe, granite belt, Queensland, Australia, Oceania

If leaving from Brisbane, then head southwest on Highway 15 for the two-and-a-half-hour drive.

Winding your way through Cunningham’s Gap, take care with this expansive pass over the stunning Great Dividing Range, which stretches between Queensland’s Darling Downs and the Fassifern Valley. This can be a treacherous piece of roadway.

Visit Nilla’s Photography for more global images. More posts at Image Earth Travel.

Stanthorpe, Granite Belt, Queensland, Australia, Oceania
A reminder…

25 thoughts on “Stanthorpe Getaway, Queensland

Add yours

    1. I’m sure Oz wine must be very good. In the 60’s Spanish and Italian wines were not that good. They have progressed immensely.
      I’ll try to see whether there is any Australian wine in the liquor store nearby.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. We do have some rough wines but then, we have more wines that are really good. Still have visions when I was a young child of my father, his brothers, and friends getting into a massive vat and squashing grapes with their feet. I can’t remember where in the Sydney region or where they bought the grapes from, but they made their own wine.
      Any from the Margaret River is really good.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Haha! ‘Don’t even have a story yet. Just the name. What was it? Margaret Riverside-something? Double-barreled names… Tsss. Like Martin-Onraet.
      Margaret Barossa-Hunter. Hmmm.

      Liked by 1 person

    4. Ha, ha, yes indeed, love the Monty Python movies. Imagine getting away with those movies these days? Everything is so politically correct that it’s stifled humour – humanity is becoming homogenous.

      Like

    1. It was a great gesture from the government, but of course, there were strings attached and more like a loan that settlers had to repay in one way or another. The land was bare and soldiers had to build dams and houses, whilst also keeping farm stock and farming the land – it was tough.

      Like

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