2 hours 59 mins from Brisbane
The Granite Belt straddles the Queensland/New South Wales border and is named for the granite formations that emerge from thick forests like whales off a headland. Lately it’s been dressing more corporately with thriving, purpose-built cellar doors, close to 30 of them. The point of difference is the Granite Belt's Strange Bird program for varieties representing no more than 1% of the total wine-bearing grapevines in Australia. Some 25 varieties currently qualify. In a nutshell: there’s Tobin for a truly absorbing experience, Savina Lane for a winery straight out of the Napa Valley, Golden Grove for scintillating alternative wines and Boireann for stunning reds. A three-day drive from Brisbane might include an encounter with birds, kangaroos, bearded dragons, parrots and (sorry!) the odd red-bellied black snake.
Contributor, Gourmet Traveller WINE
Parades, masterclasses, buskers, fireworks. February-March
Jewel of the Granite Belt’s social calendar, with a Ballandean Estate set - May
For the young at heart: bocce rink, jumping castle, snowman toss, and a nice wine or two - June/July
Stanthorpe is 220 kilometres south-west of Brisbane, less than three hours on Highway 15.
Gold Coast Airport and Brisbane Airport are the closest to the Granite Belt wine region. Driving from either airport takes about three hours. Many airlines and domestic and international routes are available from Brisbane Airport.