With international travel on hold at the moment, now is the perfect time to holiday locally and explore what’s been hiding in your own backyard. Who knows, you might just uncover a fabulous new romantic getaway destination or a spot that your family can relax and unwind.
Stanthorpe in Queensland south east, is one such spot that might just surprise you. Home to the Granite Belt, Girraween National Park, world-class wineries and stunning natural landscapes, it offers beautiful sights that everyone will love to see and discover.
Here’s a little guide about what should be on your bucket list when visiting this lovely Queensland town:
1) Is it Wine o’Clock Yet?
No trip to Stanthorpe or the Granite Belt is complete without a visit to a few of the region’s 40+ wineries and cellar doors. Recognised as one of Australia’s premium cool-climate wine growing regions (and also one of the highest at 1000m above sea level), it produces outstanding white wines and delicious lighter style reds.
Looking for something a little different to take to your next BBQ, then why not try some of the lesser-known white wines that are now being grown in the region. These include Fiano, Roussanne, Vermentino and Chenin Blanc.
Sick and tired of Shiraz and Cabernet? There are a large number of lesser-known red wines that are also available in the region. Wines such as Graciano, Malbec, Durif and Nebbiolo may not be household names to many Australian wine drinkers, but their popularity is growing quickly and are definitely worth trying when visiting the Granite Belt. Check out the Strangebird wine trail for details on the wineries that offer lesser-known varieties.
The region also has a number of craft breweries that are definitely worth a visit. Regardless of your preferred beer style, with so many beers and ciders to try you are sure to find a couple of gems.
2) Selfie, Anyone?
What’s a holiday without the customary million pics and countless selfies to share with all your followers and friends? Don’t worry, Stanthorpe has loads of Insta Worthy sites and landmarks to experience.
One such spot is the breathtaking Balancing Rock. Balancing Rock is a ten-tonne, 7.5-metre-high, 6-metre-wide granite boulder that balances spectacularly on a 1 metre base atop a summit in Girraween National Park. Don’t be put off by the 1.5 – 2 hour return trip to the summit as the view and photo opportunity is spectacular and definitely worth the effort.
The Ballandean Pyramid is another great photo stop, as is Stanthorpes Giant Thermometer. Standing 10 metres tall, the Giant Thermometer is the perfect spot to capture the day’s temperature at Queensland’s coldest town. Who knows it may beat the record low of a chilly -6.7C.
For families, a visit to the Granite Belt Christmas farm is a must. The kids will absolutely love petting and feeding the farm animals and they even have reindeer! Guaranteed great pics.
The flower trail and Pyramid walk are also great for photos as are the murals adorning the main street. However, in a region offering such stunning natural beauty, I promise you will never run out of amazing photo ops.
3) Go Mountain Biking
If you love mountain biking, then you will simply love Mt Marlay, just 1.5kms from Stanthorpe. Offering a mix of soil types including granite outcrops, Mt Marlay mountain bike trails offer rides for almost every skill level.
The Green Granite trail is ideal for beginners or families perhaps looking to experience mountain biking for the first time. The blue graded Grape Escape trail is just a little more challenging, while the black graded Hammerhead and Tankslapper trails are for experienced mountain bike riders.
4) Try Different Delicacies
There’s more to Stanthorpe’s food scene than stone fruit and wine. There are many delicacies to be had, such as locally grown truffles, artisan cheesemakers and a large number of local growers and producers keen to show off their wares. The restaurants never fail to deliver, offering a range of seasonal dishes that highlight the very best that the region has to offer. With so many cuisines and styles to explore, your biggest challenge will be fitting them all in.
5) Spend the Nights in a Cabin
After a busy day of sightseeing or wine tasting, you will love spending a night in a cosy log cabin surrounded by natural bushland. Overnight temperatures in Stanthorpe often reach below zero, so you will love snuggling up in front of your log fire in any of the wonderful accommodation options in Stanthorpe. A simple, secluded cabin can feel like luxury while still keeping you connected and close to nature. There is nothing quite like waking up refreshed and relaxed, taking in the fresh country air as you watch the Kangaroos and local wildlife at play.
This simple bucket list can help make your visit to Stanthorpe more memorable. A trip doesn’t always have to be grand in order to be fun, memorable or spectacular. Visiting Stanthorpe is a testament to how enjoyable and special travelling within Queensland can be.
Looking for Stanthorpe accommodation to stay at while carrying out the bucket list? Granite Belt Retreat & Brewery offers 20 cedar cabins, a 1000 litre microbrewery, a restaurant and a function centre. Contact us today.