Stanthorpe is located in the so-called Granite Belt of Queensland, an elevated plateau in the Great Dividing Range running along the border between NSW and Queensland, about 225km south-west of Brisbane. The town is perched almost 1000m above sea level and is set in one of the state’s coolest regions. In spring, this is one of the most beautiful areas in Queensland when the countryside bursts into a profusion of colour, with wildflowers, wattle and fruit tree blossoms predominating.
Tin was discovered at Quartpot Creek here in 1872, but today Stanthorpe is noted for its wine and large-scale cultivation of fruits, like apples, pears, plums, grapes and peaches. Local markets often feature just-picked, seasonal, locally-grown produce and delicious home-made fare. One of the largest is the Market in the Mountains, held monthly.
Ranked among Australia's most popular and most visited regional galleries, the Stanthorpe Art Gallery hosts regular visiting exhibitions, as well as displays from its own collections. Stanthorpe Heritage Museum has displays relating to the many industries which have helped to shape the district. It includes a gaol, a school room and a shepherd’s hut.
You can visit many of the district's wineries, for tastings and cellar door sales. Many have dining or picnic facilities and some have accommodation. Ballandean Estate, one of the larger and best known wineries in the district, celebrates the end of each year's vintage with fine music and food with the Opera in the Vineyard gala weekend which has raised tens of thousands of dollars for charity.
Storm King Dam and nearby Glenlyon Dam are great for fishing. Glenlyon claims the title of Queensland's Murray cod capital, but at either venue, your catch may also include yellow-belly, silver perch and catfish.
The area around Stanthorpe boasts several national parks. Bald Rock in Bald Rock National Park is the second largest monolith in Australia after Uluru (Ayers Rock). There are several walking trails to the top of the rock, where you will be rewarded with great views. Girraween National Park is a popular park, with bushwalks among granite outcrops, towering cliffs and tall eucalypt forests. There is a large picnic area and two creekside camping areas. Sundown National Park is relatively inaccessible and less frequently visited. It features the Severn River as it winds towards the NSW border.
Things to do:
Stanthorpe Tourist Office - Leslie Parade
Market in the Mountains - monthly produce market
Stanthorpe Art Gallery
Stanthorpe Heritage Museum
Wineries - tastings and cellar door sales
Fishing - Storm King Dam and Glenlyon Dam
In the area:
National Parks - including Bald Rock, Girraween and Sundown National Parks