Right in the heart of the Granite Belt is the thriving community of Stanthorpe, home to around 5,500 inhabitants. Stanthorpe has some fine century-old buildings and the local history museum has a rich lode of treasures including ten complete buildings. The Art Gallery has an impressive collection of paintings and ceramics gathered over many years. In parks and gardens and right along the lovely walkways that line Quart Pot Creek in the centre of town, four seasons play with colours. Stanthorpe is also home to the Queensland College of Wine Tourism and a University of Southern Queensland campus. There are two high schools and a small, well-equipped hospital.
Stanthorpe has a history of warmly accepting newcomers. From the tin miners of the 1870’s to the German settlers who arrived with the coming of rail in 1888 and the Italians who came after the two world wars.
The cool, dry climate has long been an attraction - the region was gazetted in 1905 by the Government as Queensland’s ‘health spa’ because it was thought to be extremely beneficial to those suffering from chest conditions. After WWI the region welcomed a host of war veterans recovering from mustard gas exposure.
Many took up Soldier Settlements and poignant memories of French battlefields still resonate in the names of many hamlets and roads throughout the region – Pozieres, Amiens, Passchendaele to name a few.
The Granite Belt’s heart in more ways than one.