Budget or boutique: Stanthorpe

WHERE: Stanthorpe, Qld

What: The 'chilly, but charming' heart of the Granite Belt region

Why: Wineries, dining, olive orchards, strawberry farms, nation

al parks

Bonus: Comfortable two-hour drive from Toowoomba, very well-resourced Tourist Information Centre

BUDGET

EAT

In keeping with the Italian heritage of many of Stanthorpe's residents, Anna's Restaurant features an extensive buffet of Italian cuisine ($29.90 per person on Friday nights, including tea and coffee); Many local vineyards offer free tastings of their boutique wines.

SLEEP

Stanthorpe Top of Town Tourist Park has caravan sites from $30 per night; Glenlyon Dam Tourist Park's standard cabins are available from $75 per night

DO

Enjoy the dramatic boulder scenery of Girraween National Park. Walking trails to suit a variety of fitness levels, helpful and friendly ranger staff on-site, great day-use areas with barbecue and picnic facilities. Free entry, open seven days.

BOUTIQUE

EAT

Whiskey Gully Wines and Beverly Vineyard Restaurant offers fine dining within a colonial homestead setting. Meals are teamed with their selection of award-winning wines.

SLEEP

Alure Stanthorpe has self-contained, insulated luxury villas and tents complete with outdoor spas from $440 per night. The price includes a Taste-of-the-Granite Belt continental breakfast basket featuring an array of local produce.

DO

Be a winemaker for a weekend. The Queensland College of Wine Tourism holds courses on selected weekends throughout the year. Priced at $320 per person, the courses offer the opportunity to handpick grapes, a masterclass in berry assessment, experience with the crushing and fermentation processes.


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