If your ideal romantic getaway involves wining and dining, cosy cottages and soaking up the local culture – stay tuned. You may have heard that Stanthorpe is the birthplace of some of Australia's finest apples, but even this glowing reputation is selling Stanthorpe short because there's so much more to do, see and enjoy.
Stanthorpe is in the heart of Queensland's famous Granite Belt, a lesser-known yet ideal location for a romantic getaway – and, it's only three hours from Brisbane.
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Stanthorpe's wine region is blossoming, with over 40 wineries in operation. Walking down the rows of grapevines at wineries such as Ballandean Estate Wines is a truly magical experience and a must-do in Stanthorpe.
While you're there, visit the Barrel Room at Ballandean for exquisite Italian food with a 'fresh is best' mantra – paired with Ballendean's range of wines of course.
Interesting fact: Their rich, volcanic soils and cool climate are said to be ideal conditions in which to create award-winning wines.
Stanthorpe is dotted with gorgeous little country-style cafés where couples can kick back and enjoy each other's company over a cup of coffee and slice of cake. Check out Jester Hill Restaurant & Café and enjoy treats al fresco style in the warm weather or by the log fire in the cooler months.
For something a bit meatier, Aussie Beef Steak House is all about fresh flavours and local produce, serving succulent cuts of beef as well as a range of pork and seafood dishes.
For the chocoholics, don't miss Heavenly Chocolate, a store dedicated to our sweet cocoa friend. Here you'll find hand crafted delights and while you're there, you must try one of their European hot chocolates in their Garden Café.
Strawberry Fields forever
It sounds like something from a dream – strolling through endless strawberry fields, searching for the most red, ripe, juicy and plump of the bunch, but, this is a reality for couples on a romantic getaway in Stanthorpe. At Strawberry Fields, wander and fill your basket with the best of the crop and stop in at their café afterwards to enjoy a cup of coffee and strawberry treats.
Learn to cook
There are a number of cooking classes hosted by local chefs and restaurants to teach visitors the art of food preserving as well as preparation using fresh and local ingredients. Granite Belt Wine Country provide a few places to start but ask at your hotel or favourite restaurant as they may very well offer their own classes.
There's always something on at Stanthorpe Regional Art Gallery to intrigue its visitors. Until May 10, couples can see ceramic collections, paintings from Justin Bishop, urban landscapes by Bodgan Dlugosz and Meg Viney's mixed media creations.
History buffs will enjoy a trip to the quaint Stanthorpe Museum, a treasure trove of information about Stanthorpe's history as well as a special dedication to the 'The Halloran Story'. The Hallorans were prominent figures in Stanthorpe post World War Two, returning home to raise a family, operate their orchard and become involved in politics.
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Where to Stay
Girraween Environmental Lodge is located in Girraween National Park, just south of Stanthorpe. Here you can discover the tranquility of the Australian bush, high up in the mountain. Stay in a self-contained luxury cabin and enjoy a king size bed, double spa bath, wood heaters, a self-contained kitchen and more.
Alternatively, Vineyard Cottages are a natural choice for those wanting to experience authentic Stanthorpe which has a definite country cottage charm about it. With cosy rooms and their resident chef cooking up a storm in the restaurant – what more could you want on a getaway for two?
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