Welcome to Stanthorpe & Ballandean
Queensland’s coolest town (literally), Stanthorpe is one of the state's lesser-known tourist drawcards. With a distinct four-season climate, the town is a winter retreat where normally sweltering Queenslanders can cosy up with a bottle of vino rosso from one of the numerous local wineries. In 1860 an Italian priest planted the first grapevines here, but it wasn’t until the influx of Italian immigrants in the 1940s (who brought with them a lifetime of viticultural nous) that the wine industry really took off. Today, functional Stanthorpe and the tiny village of Ballandean, about 20km to the south, claim a flourishing wine industry, with cellar-door sales, on-site dining, vineyard events and boutique accommodation.
But it’s not all wine and song: the Granite Belt’s changing seasons also make it a prime fruit-growing area, with plenty of fruit picking available for backpackers who don’t mind chilly mornings.