The Roadtrip Series: indulge your senses in Stanthorpe and surrounds
When you think of Stanthorpe, two things usually come to mind – apples and Queensland snow. Don’t get us wrong, Stanthorpe’s apples are incredible and the thought of snow in the Sunshine State is very exciting, but there are a number of other gems that make the region one well worth the visit. As part of The Roadtrip Series, we’ve planned the perfect weekend getaway to
Start the day on the right note
What better way to start your trip to Stanthorpe than with a breakfast full of locally sourced produce? Brinx Deli hand selects gourmet goods from local Stanthorpe and international producers, including cured meats, more than 50 types of cheese, preserves, olives and more. Get a taste of these delicacies on the cafe’s breakfast menu – The Brinx features grilled pancetta, avocado and onion jam on Turkish, and the mouth-watering The Italian has tomato passata, poached eggs, grilled pancetta, baby spinach and Grana Padano parmesan with crusty bread.
Wrap your mitts around the best pies in town
You know the sign of a good country town? The quality of its bakery – and more specifically its pies. At Foxy’s Bakery you’ll find all of your favourites – steak, bacon and cheese, steak and mushy peas, and potato-topped cottage pies, just to name a few. Make sure you leave room to treat yo’self too – look no further than the traditional jam-dolloped cream buns, dusted with powdered sugar.
Get a taste of sustainable fine dining
Nestled in the picturesque surrounds of Ballandean Estate Winery just a short drive south of Stanthorpe, The Barrelroom and Larder offers a unique casual fine-dining experience. The sustainable, free-range and often organic produce is sourced from a strict three-hour radius of the restaurant, with its beef, pork, honey, garlic and tomatoes all plucked from farms only minutes away. Sample the flavours of pine-smoked potkin (yep, that’s a potato and pumpkin hybrid), caramelised garlic cream, roast onion, seeds and nuts, or organic Mallow hogget with cauliflower, gherkin, onion and smoked almond.
Take yourself on a boutique alternative wine trail
Some of the country’s most-awarded alternative wine varieties come from the versatile growing conditions of the Granite Belt region. Forget your standard chardonnay and shiraz, darling – the self-drive Strange Bird Alternative Wine trail offers 25 alternative varieties for you to sample including mourvedre, tannat, sylvaner and marsanne. You might need to draw straws for the designated driver …
Tuck in to fresh-from-the-orchard apple pie
Let’s be honest – you can’t go to the Stanthorpe region without crunching into a juicy apple. Family-run apple orchard Sutton’s Farm gives you a true taste of the apple life, incorporating a juice factory, cidery, distillery, cafe and the opportunity (depending on the time of year) to pick your own apples. Be sure to sample the fresh apple juice, which varies in varietals depending on the season, one sip is just like biting into a Royal Gala or Granny Smith. Sutton’s Shed Café is also renowned for its famous apple pie – don’t leave without ordering a slice.
Get a little cheesy
Stanthorpe Cheese is the epitome of true farmhouse cheese making, with all of its artisan cheeses made from a single herd of pure-bred jersey cows on the one farm. This means that each cheese variety adopts a different flavour, colour and aroma with the change of seasons, conditions and what the cows are eating. Pick up a soft and creamy Brass Monkey Blue or treat your palate to rich and rustic washed rind The Bastard Tait. With a name like that it has to be good, right?
Satisfy your sweet tooth
Berry ice-creams, decadent sundaes, coulis-covered waffles and poffertjes with fresh strawberries … need we say more? Tucked away in the hills above Glen Aplin is The Bramble Patch, and it is ready to cater to all of your sweet desires. Once you’ve licked your plate clean, browse The Bramble Patch’s house-made jams, marmalades, coulis, fruit pastes and more, so you can recreate the experience at home.
Experience a unique cultural event
The region isn’t just wining and dining – you can get your fix of culture as well. On Sunday May 1, Ballandean Estate winery will host the annual Opera in the Vineyard event, which will see opera superstar David Hobson and guest artist Katie Stenzel wow audiences with their incredible vocal abilities. Be mesmerised by the sounds of opera in the open-air amphitheatre, sit down for a sumptuous pre-performance lunch or make a day of it and stay for the Gala Dinner Dance.
Marvel at spectacular natural wonders
They don’t call it the Granite Belt for nothing. Take a morning to explore the vast expanse of Girraween National Park, where you’ll be towered by monstrous granite boulders, can rock hop your way to hidden waterholes and be mesmerised by the impressive Granite Arch. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled – you may spot a rare turquoise parrot or illusive wombat.
Sleep amongst the vineyards
You can’t be expected to fit all of this into one day – do yourself a favour take a long weekend. The cosy Vineyard Cottages are the perfect place to rest your head, situated amongst some of the Granite Belt’s best wineries. Each private cottage is nestled in the leafy surrounds of the formal gardens and features classic colonial finishes – the perfect touches to a quaint country retreat.
The Roadtrip Series is a collaboration between The Weekend Edition and Southern Queensland Country.