Dreaming of a mini-getaway? Well, a weekend in Stanthorpe is definitely worth considering!
When you think of Stanthorpe, you probably picture typical outback Australia… Farms, cows, endless expanses of nothing. You probably don’t picture quaint little vineyards and incredible national parks, right?
I didn’t either, until I went.
If you’re looking for a weekend away from Brisbane, or you’re travelling through and want to find somewhere off the beaten track… This is the place for you.
When to visit
If you can, go in Autumn. It’s one of the few places in Queensland where the leaves change – and it’s an incredible picturesque time to go. Temperatures get cold at night, so be sure to pack your winter woolies.
Stanthorpe is about 2.5 hours south-west of Brisbane. Your drive there will take you over Main Range National Park, through Cunninghams Gap, which is incredibly beautiful.
Things to do
The area around Stanthorpe is the perfect mix of adventure and well, wine. As Queensland’s premier wine-producing district, it’s home to over 50 cellar doors. If that’s not enough to keep you busy, Girraween National Park has plenty of great hikes (you know, to work off the wine!).
Here’s how to spend a weekend in Stanthorpe:
7:00am – Hit the road early and head out of Brisbane towards Stanthorpe. Grab a coffee and breakfast at the bakery at Aratula on the way (their peanut butter brownies are great – you can thank me later).
11:00am – First stop, Boireann Winery. This is a small vineyard, but especially in autumn, it’s definitely worth a stop. Their wines are good, the owner is super friendly, and the trees are spectacular in the Fall. Tasting are $5 (which is taken off the price of any purchase).
12:00 – More of a white wine person? (Weird, but OK). Head to Heritage Winery… There Fiano has won awards and their Chardonnay isn’t bad at all (I’m really not a Chardonnay person and even I thought it was drinkable!). Tasting are $5 (which is taken off the price of any purchase).
1:00pm – Head to Ballandeen Estate Vineyard for lunch. Set in the ‘barrel room’, their restaurant is picture-perfect, and their wines are really interesting.
3:00pm – There are plenty of cellar doors around Ballandeen, so spend the afternoon doing a few tasting… Buy some great produce (wine, I mean wine), then head back to your accomodation to ‘sample’ some more! Watch the sunset with a glass of vino.
Where to stay: There’s plenty of accommodation options in Stanthorpe and surrounds. If you’re into camping, there are two Campsites in Girraween National Park (Bald Rock Creek and Castle Rock), but at the time of writing (May 2019), both are closed due to water restrictions. Sommerville Valley Tourist Park or Country Style Caravan Park (get the river-side spots) are two really great alternatives.
8:00am – Grab a coffee and breakfast at one of Stanthorpes cafes or bakeries (Vixen’s bakery on the main street does great pies and Cafe 77 is a great place of a well priced breaky!).
10:00am – Head out to Girraween National Park and try one of the many hikes available. If you’re not sure where to start, the Pyramids is great always a crowd favourite. It’s steep, but it’s also short (1.7km one way), and they views are second to none! For more great hiking options in Girraween, click here.
Note: If you’re feeling energetic, it’s worth doing this hike for sunrise. You’ll beat the crowds and the view are unforgettable. There’ll be time for coffee later!
1:00pm – Have a picnic lunch. Grab some supplies from the Jam Works, the Cheese Factory and the local markets, and have yourself an epic picnic!
Not a picnic-kind-of-human? Stop in at the brewery for a pub lunch.
3:00pm – Wave goodbye to your weekend in Stanthorpe and start the drive back to Brisbane. If you’ve still got energy to burn (good for you), stop in at Lake Moogerah to watch the sunset on the way home.