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Stanthorpe - Queensland's Wine Capital
 
stanthorpeWhen it comes to wineries in Queensland, no town does it better than Stanthorpe. This picturesque town known is not only known for its abundance of wineries, but also for its amazing national parks and historical buildings. Stanthorpe can easily be found on the New England Highway close to the New South Wales border. It has become more and more popular over time as a unique tourist destination, offering endless rural activities and sightseeing options that the whole family can enjoy.

Stanthorpe is perhaps one of the only places in Queensland that experiences the distinctive differences between the four seasons. Winter brings with it low temperatures which is essentially what makes it the ideal place for wine producing. This weather offers the perfect opportunity to retreat to a roaring camp fire and enjoy the local fine and comfort food. This makes Stanthorpe, during these months, a fantastic destination for a couple's getaway but make sure you pack your scarf and mittens as there is even the occasional snowfall.

With such high altitudes the frosts are perfect for excellent grape harvests, and perfect wines. There are over 50 wineries in the Stanthorpe district on the Granite Belt as well as stone fruit and apple orchards. Wine lovers will love it here so much that they may never want to leave.

Stanthorpe offers endless opportunities for adventure and exploration , with vineyards such as Bald Mountain Vineyards, Aventine Wines and Kooroomba Vineyard and lavender farm all deserving a visit. The famous Old Caves winery is another must-see, with multiple wine tours on offer to tantalize your taste buds and allow you to discover the precise process behind wine production.

Each year in August the famous Jazz in the Vineyard is attended by almost 1000 people each year. Opera in the Vineyard, held in May, also promises to be an amazing cultural experience. This combination of culture and wine makes for memorable holiday that you can cherish forever.

In February, the Apple and Grape festival is held every second year, along with the Food and Wine Festival. With Mediterranean food on the main menu and a favourite with the locals, it has all ingredients for a memorable cuisine experience.

The Historical Society Museum is another must-see while in town. Its position right in the heart of town makes it extremely accessible and the shearers hut, preserved school and goal as well as the many interesting artefacts from the mid 1800’s make this the ultimate cultural experience.

As mentioned before, Stanthorpe is also home to some of the nation's major national parks. This unspoilt wilderness can be enjoyed all year round and will beckon you to drive further on and explore at your own pace.

Girraween National Park offers endless bush walking experiences, with tracks to suit everyone. These picturesque mountain trails range from from 25 minutes to six hour hikes. On these walks you can enjoy beautiful escarpments of massive granite rock formations, colourful wildflowers in Spring and eucalypt forests. This national park truly is a nature lovers dream. Girraween is easy to find in your campervan if you take the turnoff from the New England Highway at Wyberba. Simply following the signs will transport you into a magical world where the worries of the outside world will be left behind.

Bald Rock National Park is famous for its name, Bald Rock, which is Australia’s largest exposed granite rock. Having climbed this monsterous rock myself I can assure you that the climb is well worth the view. The views at the top will simply take your breath away and leave you feeling like you have accomplished something special. Camping areas are available so if you fall in love with this amazing place, you can stay here.

Boonoo Boonoo National Park is well known for its river system and impressive waterfall. Take a picnic lunch and relax for an afternoon by the rock pool that is above the cascading falls, and surrounded by open forest and lush vegetation. This is an example of mother nature at its best and will simply take your breath away.

Sundown National Park is located on the Queensland/New South Wales border. You can leave your campervan at the entrance of the park and then travel by foot to experience the remote wilderness. Home to steep gorges, rainforest and waterways, the possibilities here are endless. With an abundance of places to picnic, camp, swim and just relax and enjoy the amazing birdlife and beauty of the park, you will almost never want to leave. Further exploration of the impressive Red Rock Falls, Mt Lofty, Red Rock Gorge and Carpenter Gully will reward you with some of the state's best natural attractions and amazing views.

More than just a stopover, Stanthorpe is a unique and relaxing holiday destination for your campervan journey. Whether it is a couple's getaway or a much needed family holiday, you are sure to find something that captures your heart here.

Christine Barton




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