Winter on the Granite Belt – one of our favourite times of the year. With an elevation that ranges from 680 metres to 1200 metres above sea level, the Granite Belt is known as the coolest high country of Queensland. The Granite Belt stretches from Queensland’s southern border up to Dalveen. The Granite Belt has a high altitude and is an area blessed with four distinct seasons. Winter on the Granite Belt is the peak holiday season. A time and place when you can experience a real winter. All within only a few hours drive from Brisbane and the Gold Coast. The Granite Belt during winter is a land of fire, snow and frost. A place where you can rug up and get real close to a genuine winter experience.
Staying on the Granite Belt:
When planning where to stay on the Granite Belt, you will find that most accommodation properties have a fireplace of some description. It is worth double-checking prior to booking if a wood-fire is a priority! Keep in mind that winter is peak season on the Granite Belt. So book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Diamondvale Cottages is a great example of the unique experiences offered by the Granite Belt. They have an open fire pit, perfectly situated on the banks of Quart Pot Creek. A wonderful place for groups to gather, toast marshmallows and enjoy a drop of local red.
Things to do on the Granite Belt in winter:
Winter is an ideal time to explore our local wineries. You can enjoy the scenery and our country roads en route to your favourite wineries. Then warm up inside with a tasting of local wines. Heritage Estate Wines on Granite Belt Drive in Cottonvale has a charming lounge where you can enjoy your wine tasting in front of a roaring open log fire. Many of our country pubs and eateries have a wood-fire, so dining with an atmospheric flickering flame is very much a part of the winter experience on the Granite Belt.
Whilst it is common to end a winter’s day with the flame of a log fire and a glass of something local, a perfect winter’s day begins with frost. There is nothing quite so spectacular as a blanket of frost. A sparkling, crystallised carpet; as beautiful as it is cold. Depending on the daily forecast you can experience frosty mornings almost anywhere on the Granite Belt. If you do feel like getting out and about though, an early morning walk along Quart Pot Creek is lovely. On the coldest mornings you might even find part of the creek frozen over, and you can visit the Big Thermometer to see how freezing you really are!
If fitness is your thing, another Granite Belt experience is the Park Run – usually held every Saturday morning in Stanthorpe. We’re currently waiting for the post-Covid relaunch. This is a great chance to rug up in your winter woollies and test your fitness in often near-zero temperatures!
Winter is a great time of year to do some shopping. The UGG Boot Lady along the New England Highway is a well-known local retail outlet, where you will find more than just boots! All their products are hand-made and include 100% genuine double-faced sheepskin. Pure Inca in Stanthorpe is a place where you will find cultural clothing and items made with alpaca wool. The main street of Stanthorpe itself, is a wonderful place to stroll and do a little winter shopping.
Will it snow?
Finally, there is always a chance of snow in the Granite Belt! For a guaranteed experience, Snowflakes in Stanthorpe is a thriving winter festival that happens every second year in July. A date for your diary is the next Snowflakes in Stanthorpe: 2 – 4 July 2021. For the chance to experience snow, look at places with higher elevation such as Eukey or Mount Tully. Some of our highest placed accommodation properties include Girraween Environmental Lodge, Back Creek Mountain Cabins and Alure Stanthorpe. Once again, we do encourage people to book sooner rather than later as the winter season is always busy. Winter is a great time to consider a mid-week break. Mid-week, you will find more accommodation options and a slightly quieter winter wonderland!
Winter on the Granite Belt is a time of natural wonder. Enjoy the crystal clear mornings, gaze out over fields of frost and enjoy days under our azure skies. Then warm up by an open log fire or a potbelly stove while enjoying our local cuisine and regionally produced wines, beers, and liqueurs.
Experience the colder temperatures that come with the higher elevation of the Granite Belt. Rug up and get real close to winter this year!
Photo Credit: Marion Carrick
Lara Flanagan is a writer and vegan food creator who lives in Tenterfield and is delighted to call incredible region encompassing the Northern New England and the Granite Belt her home. She is the creator of My notes from… where she writes about her travels, her love of the local area, plant-based food and anything in between!”