Stanthorpe and Granite Belt Summer Guide

This summer, skip crowds and beat the heat by heading for the High Country of the Granite Belt.

Take the short country drive three hours from Brisbane to Stanthorpe and discover the perfect blend of relaxation and exhilaration.

Here’s how to soak up summer in Stanthorpe and surrounds.

Take a summer camping trip

Foxbar Falls Campground
Foxbar Falls Campground.

Summer school holidays are the perfect time to make cherished memories with a family camping trip. A camping trip to the Granite Belt means avoiding overcrowded camping spots and sticky summer nights in a tent.

Foxbar Falls Campground shares the beauty of the Granite Belt, hidden in the surrounds of a working vegetable farm. Activities are nothing less than abundant here with kilometres of walking trails, kayaking, swimming and fishing in the large dams, as well as bird and wildflower spotting. The campground features seven distinctive areas, to suit your style including waterfront sites, and dog-friendly powered and unpowered sites, meaning no one misses out on the summer getaway.

For those looking for a wilderness escape, pitch a tent at one of 7 camping areas at Sundown National Park. South of Ballandean, this spectacular park features steep-sided gorges, peaks that rise over the Severn River and an abundance of swimming holes.

All camping areas, except Red Rock Gorge, are on the Severn River. The popular Broadwater Camping Area (accessible by both 2WD and 4WD) is set on the grassy northern bank of the river and a short upstream venture to a picturesque deep waterhole for swim.

If camping’s not an option, swap a beach shack stay for one of the Granite Belt’s gorgeous homesteads or houses, perfect for friends and extended family holidays. Find out more about large group accommodation here.

Start the New Year on the right foot

The Granite Belt’s national parks and walking tracks make the perfect place to start your new year’s resolutions on the right foot and to burn off Christmas leftovers.

Set an alarm early to work up a sweat along the tracks of Girraween National Park and embrace the fresh country air. Challenge yourself on the signature peaks; Mount Norman, Castle Rock or Pyramid tracks. In the summer months, you’ll be rewarded with wildflower sightings such as flannel flowers and orchids.

Ensure to pack plenty of drinking water (Note: none available at the park). At the end of the day, explore the rock pools near Bald Rock Creek and Castle Rock for a post-hike cooldown.

For less intensity, try the Granite Arch Walk (great for those with young kids) for a 30-minute return that takes you through Girraween’s natural stone archway. Otherwise, opt for Mount Marlay in Stanthorpe for a half-hour walk to a scenic vantage point over the town.

Strawberry picking

Strawberry picking at Eastern Colour in Applethorpe.

For the ultimate summer school holiday boredom buster, head to the strawberry fields of the Granite Belt. Swap screen time for an outdoor Pick-Your-Own strawberries day to see where your food really comes from. And trust us, nothing compares to the sweet taste of a fresh farm-picked strawberry.

Each weekend you can visit Ashbern Farms Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 8AM – 3PM to pick your own and can top off your day’s hard work with a fresh strawberry ice-cream as a reward from their café.

Alternatively, head along to one of Eastern Colour’s monthly Pick-Your-Own Events (Bookings essential).

Free entry. Pay by the tray to take home some sweet summer strawberries.

Learn more about strawberry picking in the Granite Belt here.

Make a splash

Pack your fishing rod, kayak, and floaties, and swap the surf for the freshwater swimming holes of the Granite Belt.

Add a day out at Storm King Dam to your itinerary, 10 kilometres southeast of Stanthorpe to find an ideal spot for picnics, swimming, water sports and fishing (with golden perch, Murray cod, silver perch, jew and river black fish). Make use of the picnic and barbeque facilities and pack a basket of local Granite Belt cheeses, preserves and cold beverages to make the most of a day by the water.

Linger longer and stay at Quaffers on Storm King. Find their luxury self-contained cabins on the banks of the dam, complete with a private deck for the ultimate relaxation stay.

Visit Sundown National Park, for a refreshing splash surrounded by the rugged wilderness. Start at the Broadwater Camping Area and follow the walking track to the permanent waterhole. If off-roading is for you, take your adventure to Nundubbermere Falls, located at the park’s northern entrance.

Summer events

Soirees @ Ridgemill Estate

The Granite Belt boasts an events calendar year-round, fit for every season. Time your summer getaway with one of these events or add them to your itinerary.

Heritage Estate Winery‘s weekly POETs progressive dinner is the best way to start your weekend early. Held on Fridays, kicking off from 4PM, you’ll be treated to a gourmet menu with unlimited matched wines across four locations of the winery. Start with entrees in the vineyard, main course in their cellar door and dessert by candlelight in their moody barrelroom.

Soirees @ Ridgemill Estate is a fortnightly Friday event throughout the summer that pairs wines of elegance and finesse with local food, good company, live music & sunsets that fade into a twinkling night sky. Make it the start of your weekend from 4PM. Free entry.

Weekly, find local farmers to stock up on summer produce like berries and stonefruits, as well as sunset sessions at cellar doors to sip away at sunset.

Check out the full summer lineup of events here.

Celebrate Christmas in the Granite Belt

Granite Belt Christmas Farm in Applethorpe.

While Stanthorpe may not be snowing in December (if you’re in luck, you’ll see snow in July) Granite Belt Wine Country is known as Destination Christmas. Christmas Season means heading to the famed Granite Belt Christmas Farm to pick out your very own Christmas Tree, buying locally crafted goods for the perfect Christmas gift from the bush, and not to mention bottles of local wine to celebrate the holidays with.

Learn more about how to celebrate Christmas in the Granite Belt here.

Can’t come to celebrate Christmas with us in December? Come celebrate in Queensland’s coolest town for Christmas in July.

Need to fill your school holiday line-up of activities?
Check out our kids-fun checklist for family-friendly fun, even in Wine Country.

Kids fun around Stanthorpe

Family friendly things to do in Stanthorpe and Granite Belt Wine Country from strawberry picking to giant mazes and easy national park walks.

Where to Pick Your Own Strawberries in Stanthorpe

Want to pick your own strawberries? Make a trip to Granite Belt Wine Country to treat your tastebuds to farm fresh strawberries.

Granite Belt Christmas Farm

How to experience Christmas on the Granite Belt

Granite Belt Wine Country is Queensland’s ultimate destination for the Christmas Season. There are Christmas trees ready to be hand-chosen and gifts with meaning to be found.

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