Weekend Adventures in Southern Downs & Granite Belt
After months of being cooped up, it’s time to get out and explore the natural wonders around you and where better to start than the Southern Downs and Granite Belt.
Located right on Brisbane’s doorstep, the beautiful high country is the perfect place to visit in winter, whether for a cosy weekend escape or a longer relaxing holiday.
The charming historic towns of Warwick, Killarney, Stanthorpe and Wallangarra are all an easy 2.5-3 hour drive from Brisbane and make ideal bases to explore all that the region has to offer, from outdoor adventures to foodie experiences.
Combine an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city with a dose of fresh country air, jaw-dropping scenery and 5 exhilarating experiences not to be found anywhere else:
Clamber up awe-inspiring giant granite boulders, the biggest in Queensland, at Girraween National Park.
Go chasing waterfalls on a stunning scenic drive with viewpoints on the famous Queen Mary Falls, Browns Falls and Daggs Falls.
Indulge yourself with a stay at Spicers Peak Lodge, Queensland’s highest luxury hotel, (1.100m above sea level) with its five-star hunting lodge ambience and first-class restaurant.
Short of time but want to get a taste of everything great that the Southern Downs has to offer? Then here’s the ultimate itinerary for a foodie weekend:
Be sure to knock off early so you can make the most of the beautiful 2-hour drive west along the Cunningham Highway to historic Warwick (famous for its roses and rodeo) and catch the late afternoon light on its heritage sandstone buildings. Check into your B&B with fireplace or contemporary motel room then hit the town for dinner, either with the locals at a country pub or a restaurant which celebrates local produce such as Bluebird Kitchen and Smokehouse.
Take a peek around the town and grab a bite to eat from one of the cafes before checking into your accommodation. Then spend the afternoon paying a visit to the Granite Belt wineries, either via escorted tour or by bicycle (leave the car behind so you can enjoy the wine tastings). With over 40 cellar doors, the Granite Belt is Queensland’s premier wine region so stock up whilst you are here.
Back at your accommodation, enjoy a cosy pre-dinner drink and snack from the day’s purchases by the fireplace at your cottage, before heading out for dinner at one of the winery restaurants, country pubs or popular foodie jaunts in the main streets. Worth checking out is the Queensland College of Wine Tourism’s Varias Restaurant, which offers a menu featuring local produce straight from the source.
Top image credit: Lachlan Gardiner and Southern QLD Country Tourism
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