Spend a weekend in Stanthorpe, Queensland: Top things to see and do in the Granite Belt
Welcome to perfect travel guide to a long weekend in Stanthorpe, Queensland
Looking for a unique Queensland countryside experience filled with gourmet local produce, rare locally grown Australian wines and stunning open landscapes - Stanthorpe is the place for you! Located 800m above sea-level, Stanthorpe is one of the coldest towns in Queensland, making it the perfect climate for vineyards.
A strange little fact about Stanthorpe wine:
To keep things unique, many wineries within the region participate in the ‘strange bird’ wine trail. When enjoying your wine tastings, look out for the ‘strange bird’ options and be sure to try them. For a wine to be considered a ‘Strange bird’, it must be a variety of wine that accounts for less than 1% of the total bearing vines in Australia. Which means you’ll be tasting wines you most likely have never have heard of. The first grapes in Stanthorpe were planted in 1860 by Italian settlers, so you’ll also find many Italian wines listed on the tasting menus.
Before your visit:
Most cellar doors are small, and with current restrictions only taking small groups at a time for tastings. If you’re planning to visit on a Saturday, call in advance to book your tasting timeslots, lunches and dinner options.
Getting to Stanthorpe:
The best way to get to Stanthorpe is by car, it’s a 3.5-hour drive from the Gold Coast and 2.5- hours from Brisbane, making it the perfect distance for a weekend getaway. If driving from the Gold Coast, take the scenic route past Beaudesert and Boonah, offering views over the scenic rim and Great Dividing Range.
Where to stay in Stanthorpe:
There is plenty of farm stay, hotel and apartment options. We stayed near the centre of town as a base, however having a car makes accommodation options flexible. Check out these deals here:
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When to visit Stanthorpe:
We visited during the winter, where the average temperature is between 1-17c, taking advantage of cooler weather we just don’t get on the Gold Coast. We had clear and crisp days. However, if you plan to come in the spring and summertime, you can enjoy the region in full bloom, witnessing the apple blossom trees and a visit to the lavender fields.
The perfect 3-day weekend Itinerary:
Friday: Sutton Juice Factor, Heritage Estate & Summit Estate Winery, Stanthorpe Cheese, Dinner in the Barrel Room
Depart Gold Coast or Brisbane by 8.30 am to reach Stanthorpe by lunchtime.
Lunch at Sutton's Juice Factory and farm: Enjoy outdoor garden views over the apple orchard. Within minutes of sitting down, we had seen colourful Rosellas and cockatoos in the trees. Don’t miss trying: Their apple cider, famous apple pie and take home a bottle of their pink apple juice.
Heritage Estate Winery: Across the road from Sutton’s in Heritage Estate Winery, located in a beautiful old converted church building. Stop in for your first wine tasting. Our favourite’s here were the Bootleg Port and Fiano.
Stanthorpe Cheese: From there take a short drive to Stanthorpe Cheese for a tasting. Numbers are limited on the weekend so if you visit on a Saturday be sure to book your time slot. Don’t miss tasting the Rex smoked cheese, and Snowflake soft cheese.
Summit Estate: End your afternoon with some of the best sunset views from Summit Estate. For views over the vineyards, this was our favourite stop.
Dinner at The Barrelroom, Ballandean Estate Winery: Book yourself in for dinner in the Barrelroom at Ballandean Estate. Sit amongst the old wooden wine barrels as you enjoy dinner.
Saturday: Breakfast at Vixens, Stanthorpe Truffle Discovery Centre, Golden Grove, Granite Ridge and Symphony Hill Winery
Breakfast at Vixens: Take a walk down Stanthorpes High Street, past the old post office building, stopping to enjoy some of the street art murals. Stop for breakfast at Vixen’s bakery. With current restrictions, many cafes are open only for takeaway, but this one is available for dining in with outdoor seating options.
Stanthorpe Truffle Discovery Centre: Head out to the Stanthorpe Truffle Discovery centre, where truffles are locally grown and infused into products. Don’t miss tasting the early season truffle oil, truffle butter and cheese. Make sure to plan your visit here for Saturday or Sunday as they are only open weekends.
Granite Ridge Winery: Granite Ridge was our favourite wine stop of the day for location, views, service, wine taste and price. We started with a seat outside overlooking the vineyard for our first glass of wine before moving inside for our tasting right by the wine barrels for the rest of our tasting. The staff were friendly, offering us to taste every wine they had available. We tried a few unique blends which were our favourite of the day too, including the Chardenello and Sparkling Shiraz.
Golden Grove Estate Winery: Our next stop was Golden Grove Estate, just 3 minutes drive away. Don’t miss a picture or two outside the cellar door on the cute blue tables. The staff were exceptional here too, taking their time to explain each wine as we worked our way through the entire menu.
Symphony Hill Winery: Our final stop was Symphony Hill, this was the largest and most commercialised winery of our stops. Being busier, there was less time for personal service here, however, sitting inside with the steel barrels was very nice. The main claim for this winery is their wines are served on Qantas business class flights between Brisbane to Los Angeles (At least they were…). Can you tell by the picture this was the last winery of the day?
Sunday: Brinx Deli, Lions Park, Old Quart Pot Railway Bridge, Granite Belt Maze, Gardens Galore Warwick
Takeaway Breakfast from Brinx Deli: Start your day with a takeaway coffee and breakfast from Brix Deli and cafe. Don’t miss stocking up on local produce here too.
Eat at Lion’s Park by Stanthorpe Visitor Centre & The big thermometer: Take your breakfast to enjoy at Lions Park, where you can find Stanthorpes Big thermometer.
Walk Heritage Park to the old Quart Pot Railway Bridge (Red Bridge): From there it’s about a 15-minute walk down to the old Quart Pot Railway bridge for some amazing creek views among the boulders.
Visit the Granite Belt Maze: End your trip with a visit to Granite Belt Maze’s. Entry is $6 per person. They have 3 mazes, which are fairly quick to complete. After enjoy a round of putt-putt before the drive home.
Garden centre for lunch at Gardens Galore in Warwick on the way back: Gardens Galore is the cutest little café, wander through the gift store and gardens. They have both takeaway and dine-in options.
Alternate Itinerary options: Girraween National Park
Stanthorpe is located right by Girraween National park, consider adding a trail or hike through the park if you’re looking for something more adventurous to add to the weekend.
We hope you enjoyed our long weekend guide to Stanthorpe, Queensland. To see more of our other Australian destination guides click here.
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