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Located in the Southern Downs, Granite Belt Region, Stanthorpe is a rural town a few hours southwest of Brisbane.  The area is well known for its exceptional wine and delicious local produce, but also has some great nearby National Parks and there is a range of excellent family friendly Stanthorpe attractions.

Due to its incredible wineries, Stanthorpe is often considered to be an adults only destination, however you may well be surprised to hear of how many great things to do in Stanthorpe with kids there are.  Stanthorpe things to do, the whole family will enjoy include tasting all the delicious local produce, petting farm animals, exploring the nearby National Parks and many of the Stanthorpe wineries are in fact very family friendly.

If you’re planning a visit and wondering what to do in Stanthorpe, then you definitely need to read this guide.  In this Stanthorpe – things to do guide, I’ll cover all the best things to do in Stanthorpe, as well as essential information such as location, opening hours, and entry prices.

As well as providing tips for things to do around Stanthorpe, this guide will cover practical information such as how to get to Stanthorpe and some suggestions for the best accommodation in Stanthorpe for families.

This post may contain compensated links.  Please refer to my disclaimer here for more information.

Talk to other families about their tips on visiting Stanthorpe and join our Queensland Travel Facebook Group. 

Where is Stanthorpe & how to get there?

Firstly, where is Stanthorpe?  Stanthorpe is in the Granite Belt Region, about 2.75 hours drive southwest from the Brisbane CBD or about 3.25 hour’s drive from the Gold Coast.  Stanthorpe is only about a 30 minutes drive from the NSW border.

The best way to get to Stanthorpe is by car.  There is however a Brisbane to Stanthorpe bus that departs twice daily from the Roma Street Transit Centre and takes around 3.5 hours.

However while you can get a bus from Brisbane to Stanthorpe, you’re still going to really need a car once you’re in town.  All of the Stanthorpe tourist attractions are well spread out and a car is the best way to get around.

The other option is to join one of the Stanthorpe day tours however these tend to focus on the wineries.  If you are looking for day tours, I recommend Granite Highland Maxi Tours.  They do day tours from Stanthorpe or even day trips from Brisbane.  Allan Foster (the owner) is an excellent tour guide and more than welcomes families to join his tours.

The Best Time to Visit Stanthorpe

While most people consider Stanthorpe a winter destination, the truth is anytime is the best time to visit Stanthorpe!

The most popular time for a Stanthorpe holiday is during the colder months of Autumn and Winter from around April to August.  During the colder months, families can snuggle up in front of the fireplace and on the very rare occasion, you may even be lucky enough to see snow!  It does get cold though, so be prepared to rug up!

However, the Spring and Summer months are still a great time to visit.  In the Summer months, families can escape the heat and humidity, which is common in other Queensland tourist destinations.  While in Spring the region is alive with beautiful wildflowers and is the perfect time to explore the regions National Parks.    If you come in the warmer months, I recommend staying at the Girraween Environmental Lodge as this is one of the few places in the region with a swimming pool.

Whether you’re looking for things to do in Stanthorpe in Summer or things to do in Stanthorpe in Winter, you’ll no doubt find plenty of tips in this guide.

The Best Things to do in Stanthorpe with Kids

Below in this things to do Stanthorpe guide, I’ve provided a comprehensive list of the best things to do and what to see in Stanthorpe.  Please note that all prices mentioned were correct at the time of writing and may fluctuate depending upon changes to currency conversion and rate increases.  To check the rate in your local currency, click here.

To help with planning your Stanthorpe itinerary, I’ve also provided this hand map below which shows you where all the different attractions are.  Zoom in and out for a better view.

Visit the Big Apple

Did you know that Stanthorpe produces almost all of the Queensland apple crop?  So it’s no surprise that one of the first things you will see as you drive into Stanthorpe is the Big Apple. 

The Big Apple – Stanthorpe is a cool spot to get creative with some fun photos – like the kids eating or holding the apple.  We tried and failed miserably!

While you’re at the Big Apple, walk on towards the old railway station you see behind you.    This makes for a lovely photo opportunity and don’t worry, trains only pass here once a month now.

Location: New England Hwy, Stanthorpe 

Opening Hours: Always

Price: Free

Eat the Famous Apple Pie at Suttons Stanthorpe

Apart from all the wine tasting, one of my personal favourite things to do in Stanthorpe, QLD is eating apple pie at Sutton’s!  Sutton apple pie is sooooo good, probably because it is all hand made in the kitchen on site.  

Located on a real working apple orchard, these guys actually use apples straight from their trees.  Sutton pies are so popular that they cook up to 800kgs of apples onsite every week! Even the pastry is made on site.  

At Suttons Stanthorpe, you can sit down and try the various yummy apple products at the Suttons Juice Factory and Cidery Cafe, or purchase from their store and take your goods home to eat later.  As well as apple pie, other products made here are apple juices, sparkling apple cider and a range of preserves.

No need to leave your dog at home either, because there is even an area where they are welcome too.

And before you leave be sure to pop your head in the window and see Dave Sutton using the machine peeling apples.

Location: 10 Halloran Drive, Thulimbah

Opening Hours: Daily from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm

Price: Apple pie served with ice cream, cream and apple syrup is $14.90

See the Big Thermometer

Stanthorpe is said to be Queensland’s coldest town, and so in honour of that reputation, one of the newest things to see in Stanthorpe is the Big Thermometer.  Grab a photo of this new iconic monument and then take a walk along the lovely Quart Pot creekside there.  The visitor information centre is also here, so a good place to pick up some brochures for more tips on things to do at Stanthorpe.

Location: 28 Leslie Parade, Stanthorpe

Opening Hours: 24 hours / 7 days a week

Price: Free to look

Stroll Along the Quart Pot Creek

Another one of the lovely places to visit in Stanthorpe is Quart Pot Creek.  Quart Pot Creek is a gorgeous place for a walk in Stanthorpe or even a picnic if you have time and the weather is warm.  The creek meanders through Stanthorpe and eventually out to Spring Creek where it then forms the Severn River.

Along the creek, there is 5 km of walking and bike tracks that take you past some gorgeous landscapes.  Along the way, you’ll find a range of playgrounds, picnic and BBQ areas as well as see some of the town’s local birds. The pathway eventually meets up with the Red Bridge.

Location: 28 Leslie Parade, Stanthorpe

Opening Hours: 24 hours / 7 days a week

Price: Free

Admire The Red Bridge

While not actually red anymore, the Red Bridge is a gorgeous old historic railway bridge and well worth checking out.  Built in the 1880s as part of the Brisbane to Sydney interstate rail link, this heritage listed bridge was built solely using just manpower, horse drawn drays and explosives.

The Red Bridge makes for a wonderful photograph and is perfect for combining with a walk along Quart Pot Creek if you have the time.  The landscape surrounding the bridge is gorgeous and well worth at least a wander for 15-30 minutes.

Location: Heritage Park Stanthorpe – we entered by parking at the end of Pioneers Parade and following the pathway down to the bridge.

Opening Hours: 24 hours / 7 days a week

Price: Free

Visit the Stanthorpe Cheese Shop

What to do at Stanthorpe for a family who loves cheese?  A visit to the Stanthorpe Cheese shop of course!  The Stanthorpe Cheese shop is the highest and coldest dairy farm cheese shop in Queensland and makes cheeses from a single herd of purebred Jersey cows.

The Cheese Shop offers a range of cheeses for you to try before you decide what to buy and take home with you.  On any given day you can expect to be able to try around 12  different cheeses as well as a range of other great local produce.  There is also the Jersey Girls Cafe on site where you can try their fantastic Ploughman’s lunch which comes with cheese, bread or crackers, relishes, eggs and cured meat.   It is sooooo good – plan your trip around morning tea, afternoon tea or lunch so you can indulge!

Location: 4 Duncan Lane, Thulimbah

Opening Hours: Daily from 10 am to 4 pm

Price: Cheese prices vary

Visit one of the Stanthorpe Wineries

Holidays in Stanthorpe wouldn’t be complete without visiting at least a couple of wineries!! While you might think visiting the wineries in Stanthorpe isn’t very family friendly – think again!  There is a range of great wineries Stanthorpe has that are perfect for bringing the kids too.  

Some of the best wineries in Stanthorpe have activity corners for the kids to hang out in while the parents partake in wine tasting or even encourage families to wander through the vineyards where you can all see the grapes growing.

The wineries we visited and found super family friendly are below.  Of course there are a zillion more wineries in Stanthorpe – but these a few which we can guarantee are more than happy for you to bring the kiddies with you!  And we can also recommend their wine – in fact I’m enjoying a glass right now as I write this article!

If you want to visit a few wineries, and both parents want to try wine tasting – then I highly recommend you join a wine tasting tour with Granite Highlands Maxi Tours.  I’ve been on a tour with these guys and they are very family friendly.

Balancing Heart Vineyard

Balancing Heart Vineyard gets its name from the natural granite rock formation which resembles a heart balancing on a rock.  The interesting rock formation sits among the vineyards which guests are encouraged to wander through.  The property is gorgeous with the cellar door, surrounded by a range of massive granite boulders in the background as well as the vineyard and dam in the foreground. You can even see as far as the NSW countryside from here! 

At Balancing Heart Vineyard you’ll find a range of red and white fine including Verdelho, Chardonnay, Viognier, Shiraz, Wild Ferment Syrah, and their signature blends Campfire White and Campfire Red.  The wines are made by 2017 Australian Wine Maker of the year Mike Hayes who is also the winemaker from Sirromet.  Parents can enjoy wine tasting, while the kids enjoy their own drink or make use of the toys outside.

If you happen to be in town over the weekend, I highly recommend you come for dinner.  As you can see from above it’s the perfect place for watching the sunset – mum and dad can enjoy a glass of wine while the kids run amuck on the grass.  Balancing Heart Vineyard offers wood-fired pizzas on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 5 pm and they are among the best pizzas I’ve ever tasted – particularly love their Three Cheese pizza – yum!  Pizzas start from $19 and bookings are essential.  

Balancing Heart Vineyard also serves lunch daily from 11 am and holds a range of events such as Sip & Paint and live music – click here for more information.

Location: 221 Old Wallangarra Rd, Wyberba

Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday from 10 am to 4.30 pm and then Friday to Sundays from 10 am to 9 pm.

Summit Estate Wines

While Mum and Dad enjoy some wine tasting, the kids can hang out with their devices or toys on the bean bags or ask to borrow their cricket set.  Also if you’re in town during winter on a Saturday night you could always head down for their family friendly bonfire nights from 4 to 6 pm – bring a picnic and drink their beautiful wine.  The good thing about Summit Estate is dogs are welcome too.  

Location: 291 Granite Belt Dr, Thulimbah

Opening Hours: Friday and Saturday 10 am to 7 pm, Sunday to Monday 10 am to 2 pm and Thursday 12 pm to 4 pm

Ridgemill Estate Wines

Yet another great place for families is Ridgemill Estate Wines.  This is a super modern site that welcomes the kids – in fact, while mum and dad are enjoying wine tasting the kids can either have their own drink or go and feed the greedy resident goats for free!  Ridgemill Estate is also one of the few Stanthorpe wineries with accommodation.  Onsite are some beautiful cabins that accommodate families of 4 (from $180 per night) or even a 3 bedroom house for up to 6 people (from $395 per night).  Click here to book accommodation.

Location: 218 Donges Road Severnlea

Opening Hours: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm, except Sundays when the cellar door closes at 3 pm

Girraween Estate Vineyard

The Girraween Estate is a lovely little vineyard where the owner’s Steve and Lisa do absolutely everything – yep they grow the grapes, make the wine and sell it too. These award winning wine makers are well known in the region for their Cabernet Sauvignon, for Shiraz and Sparkling wines – I fell in love with their sparkling rose – I highly recommend it and if you like feel free to pick me up a bottle while you’re there!

The Girraween Estate is a really lovely winery close to the Girraween National Park and there is plenty of space outside for the kids to play while parents partake in a bit of wine tasting.

Location: 41 Hickling Lane, Wyberba

Opening Hours: Weekends and public holidays from 10 am to 5 pm and during the week by appointment

Ballandean Estate Wines

The Ballandean Estate is the oldest winery in the Granite Belt Region, with wine being made here since 1932, although the cellar door was only first opened to the public in 1970.  Today it is still Queensland’s oldest family owned and operated winery and one of the most popular in the region.

As well as make award winning wine, Ballandeean Estate prides itself on being one of the friendliest cellar doors in the region.  This means families can be rest assured that they will be welcomed.  As well as wine tasting, each day at 11 am you can join a tour of the winery where you will wander through the wineries, meet the winemaker and explore the large barrel cellar (cost of $5 per adult, children are free).

For wine tastings on weekends, you will need to book to ensure Covid safe procedures can be adhered to.  Bookings are not necessary during the week.

Location: 354 Sundown Road, Ballandean

Opening Hours: Open daily from 9 am to 5 pm

 

Get Lost in the Granite Belt Maze

One of the fun Stanthorpe activities the kids will love is exploring the Granite Belt Maze.  Here there are 3 different mazes of varying degree of difficulty.  There is the large main maze for the entire family to enjoy as well as two smaller mazes perfect for the kids to enjoy on their own.  If you’re up for a double challenge, as you go through the mazes, you can look for clues to complete a few riddles the staff give you as arrive. 

As well as the maze there is a 9 hole mini golf course, as well as a range of fun props for some great photo opportunities.  There is also a kiosk selling some snacks and drinks.

Location: 364 Old Warwick Rd, Glen Niven

Opening Hours: Daily (except Tuesdays and Wednesdays) from 9 am to 5 pm, open daily during school holidays and closed during the month of February.  Best to double check opening hours via their website.

Price: $18 per adult | $13 kids (5-16) | Family Pass $56

Pick Your Own Strawberries

If you happen to visit Stanthorpe between October and May, then head to Ashbern Farm for some strawberry picking.  Whether it’s strawberry picking season or not, still drop by to sample some delicious strawberry treats like strawberry ice cream.

If you want to go strawberry picking, just grab a punnet from the farm shop, go and pick as many strawberries as you like, then you’ll pay by the weight of what you’ve picked on return.

There’s also a little set of swings here which the kids will enjoy.

Location: 2 West Rd, Stanthorpe

Opening Hours: The season is October to May when it’s open Friday to Sunday from 8 am to 3 pm

Price: Admission is free you just pay by the weight of what you pick

Learn about History at the Stanthorpe Heritage Museum

At the Stanthorpe Museum, there is so much for the entire family to explore including 14 different buildings, featuring over 20,000 historical artefacts,  as well as a range of old machinery and vehicles.  

The buildings at the museum include a School Residence from 1894 complete with old desks and, slates and inkwells, Ardmore House (a summer holiday home) from the 1920s which is filled with period collections, Heath House from the 1940s which has been completely decorated with household furniture and items from the 1930s and 1940s and Wilson’s Downfall Gaol from 1876.

The artefacts on display come from many different industries and areas of life including pastoral, tin mining, Aboriginal, Red Cross, medical and social.  Here you will find old farm machinery, fire engines and a WWI display.

Location: 12 High Street, Stanthorpe

Opening Hours: Wednesday to Friday from 10 am to 4 pm, Saturdays from 1 pm to 4 pm and Sunday from 9 am to 1 pm.

Price: Adult $7 | Child (5-14) $3.50 | Family Pass $20

See a Castle at Castle Glen

You may be forgiven for thinking that Castle Glen is an old medieval castle, but the reality is this castle was built in 1994. Castle Glen is, in fact, a winery and distillery and to be honest is not all that child friendly (particularly for tiny tots) on the inside as there are far too many temptations, with hundreds of bottles within arms reach.  Nevertheless, the exterior of Castle Glen is well worth checking out, no doubt the kids will enjoy seeing the large medieval style ‘faux’ castle.

However for those parents that enjoy their liqueurs, spirits, beers, ciders and wines, they might want to stop by Castle Glen.  Here owner Cedric Millar makes all his own beverages which are all 100% Natural, Chemical Free and Preservative Free.  He also makes Crème Liqueurs which are free of dairy, fat and eggs – this is a world first.

Location: 3184 Amiens Road, Thulimbah

Opening Hours: Daily from 10 am to 4 pm

Price: Free to look

Visit Donnellys Castle

No doubt the kids will love exploring Donnellys Castle, a place which was once a hideout for bushranger “Thunderbolt” who use to roam the New England Tablelands.

While not an actual castle at all, Donnellys Castle is a granite rock formation, which you can explore by walking between and over the large boulders.  There is a range of cave like entrances with narrow crevices – a natural playground for the kids! There is also a great lookout on top of one of the granite outcrops.

The picnic area has toilets and a few picnic tables, and you don’t have to walk more than 100m from the picnic area to explore all the rocks and caves.  

We all loved this place and there were plenty of families with little ones while we were there and it was clear that all the kids were having a great time climbing over the large boulders and going in and out of the caves.  Definitely a must do for families coming to Stanthorpe.

Location: Donnellys Castle Road, Pozieres

Opening Hours: Always – best during daylight

Price: Free

Check out Stanthorpe from Mt Marlay Lookout

For panoramic views of Stanthorpe, head to Mt Marlay Lookout.  For an even better view, the kids will love using the free mounted binoculars there.

Once you’ve checked out the view at the lookout, take the short walk around the summit.  The narrow walkway goes through the trees and offers even more great views across Stanthorpe.  The walk is not signposted, but just follow the path from the lookout – it is just a 10 to 15 minute circuit.

Location: Lock Street Stanthorpe

Opening Hours: Always – best during daylight

Price: Free

Visit the Granite Belt Christmas Farm

A really cool place for families to visit in Stanthorpe is the Granite Belt Christmas Farm.  Here kids get the rare opportunity to see rows and rows of real life Christmas trees being grown.  

Brad and Katrina planted their very first Christmas tree back in 2015 and today have 10,000 trees growing on their property.  It takes 7 years to grow the perfect size Christmas tree, which requires pruning four times a year.  From December 1 each year, families can come and wander up and down the rows of Christmas trees until they find the perfect tree.  Brad will then cut it down for you and net it so you can take it home.  Trees last for about 6 weeks and start at $75 for a 5 ft tree up to $250 for a massive 12 ft tree. 

As well as the real Christmas trees, there is a range of things here for families to do, including feeding Santa’s farm animals and shopping for Christmas decorations in their huge 100sqm shop.  No doubt the highlight here for the kids is the farm animals.  Here kids can feed animals including reindeers, lambs, donkeys, goats, chooks and ducks.  It’s just $2 for a small bag of animal feed.  We had lots of laughs feeding these greedy little animals!

A nice new experience you can have at the Christmas Farm is a picnic among the Christmas trees.  Grab a picnic basket which is $40 for adults or $65 per family and choose a spot among the trees for a nice lunch.  Picnic baskets include bruschetta, shaved ham, crumbed chicken, mixed leaf salad, white crusty loaf, cheese, relish, aioli and rocky road.  Baskets also come with a rug and you’re welcome to bring a bottle of wine.  Picnics must be pre ordered.

The Christmas Farm also has an on site cafe serving a range of light breakfasts, cakes, burgers, chips and afternoon teas.  Owner Katrina also makes delicious Belgian hot chocolate served with marshmallows, and boutique chocolates and fudge – and trust me they are all delicious!  If you still have any room left there is even Rudolph’s Ice Cream Bar which serves Maleny Food Co Gelato.

Throughout December there is a range of great Christmas events most weekends. However, throughout the year there are events such as Christmas in July and Easter egg hunts.

Location: 321 Aerodrome Rd, Applethorpe

Opening Hours: Closed during February and March, otherwise open daily 9 am to 4 pm during school holidays and closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the remainder of the year.  

Price: Free – $2 for animal feed

Visit the Truffle Discovery Centre

Visit the Truffle Discovery Centre where you can learn all about the most expensive edible fungus in the world.  At the Truffle Discovery Centre, as well as getting to smell and taste a range of truffle products, you can learn all there is to know about truffles through informative talks and interactive exhibits.

As well as tasting truffles, there is so much more to try.  At the Truffle Discovery Centre, you can try a range of local produce including honey, mustard, balsamic, aioli and more.

To get the most out of your visit here, allow at least 30 minutes.

Location: 335 Church Road, The Summit

Opening Hours: Wednesdays and Weekends from 10 am to 3.30 pm

Price: Entry is free

Jamworks Gourmet Foods

If chocolate, wine and cheese wasn’t enough, Stanthorpe even has a place where you can go and buy a range of yummy local jams, sauces and relishes!  At Jamworks they make around 87 different products from a variety of great local produce found around the Granite Belt.

If you’re hungry, it’s also an excellent spot for lunch and dog friendly too!

Location: 7 Townsend Road, Glen Aplin

Opening Hours: Wednesday to Friday 10 am to 4 pm and Weekends 9 am to 4 pm.

Price: Depends on what you buy!

Stanthorpe Street Art

One of our favourite things to do when we travel is to go on the hunt for local street art and so we were pleased when we got an insider tip that Stanthorpe has it’s own gorgeous street art.  Here are some you might want to check out:

  • Weeroona Park, Old Ambulance Building (Marsh Street): “Whatever the Weather, We Stand Together” is a beautiful tribute to the emergency services that worked hard to save properties during the February and September 2019 bushfires.
  • Weeroona Park, YMCA / Gallery Alleyway (Marsh Street): Between the Art Gallery and the Swimming Pool is a few fun interactive type murals that the kids will enjoy getting their photo taken with.
  • Brass Monkey Statue:  Now this is something I didn’t know, but the locals refer to winter in Stanthorpe as Brass Monkey Season – which is what this little sculpture is referring to.  This statue is located on the corner of Maryland and Railway Streets outside the newsagent.
  • Fromes Lane: Fromes Lane, near the Stanthorpe Civic Centre, has some nice street art and it also looks quite pretty all lit up at night.
  • South Wall of the Country Club Hotel (Laneway off Maryland Street): Here you’ll find some fun murals which were painted during the 2016 Stanthorpe Apple and Grape Harvest Festival.
  • Farley Piazza (Maryland Street): In the piazza, you may think you’ve just stepped into a piazza in Italy with the great mural here celebrating the local Italian community.
  • Angelo Valiante: Corner of Maryland and Railway Streets – this artwork completed by Guido van Helten is of Angelo Valiante who was one of the first Italians to settle in Stanthorpe.
  • Backpackers Mural: Just outside Australia Post on Maryland Street, you’ll find this artwork which depicts the backpackers who come to town to help pick the crops.
  • Public Toilets Around Town: A popular place to find some bright and colourful murals are the public toilets around town.  Check out the toilets behind Farley Street Piazza, Brock Park, the Lions Club on Wallangarra Road and Storm King Dam.  So if you happen to go to the toilet while in town, maybe pay attention to the building before or after entering.

Explore the Markets In Stanthorpe

If you happen to be in town on the second Sunday of the month, be sure to head on down to the Markets in Stanthorpe.  The entire family will love wandering the various stalls, in search of unique treasures.  Items for sale include local handicrafts, organic products, plants, jewellery and loads more.

Location: Exhibition Centre, Stanthorpe Showgrounds – High Street Stanthorpe

Opening Hours: The second Sunday of the month from 8 am to 12 pm.

Price: Entry is free

Ballandean Pyramid

If you’re heading out to Ballandean, be sure to stop for some fun family photos with the Ballandean Pyramid.  This surprising site is built from blocks of local granite and stands 17.5 metres high and 30 metres square at the base.  The structure took 8 months to complete and is made with 7500 tonnes of rock.

Just keep in mind that the pyramid is on private property so you can’t get too close, but you can take a photograph from afar.  To reach the pyramid, turn off the highway (eastward towards the Ballandean Tavern) on Eukey road, then turn immediately right onto Jacobsens Road.  Follow Jacobsens Road for 1.7km until you reach the giant pyramid on the right. 

Location: Jacobsens Road, Ballandean

Opening Hours: Always

Price: Free to look

Wisteria Cottage: The Heavenly Chocolate Shop

For the family of chocolate lovers, you can’t skip a visit to the Wisteria Cottage Chocolate Shop!  Here you’ll find a range of delicious chocolates and other yummy treats.  It’s also the perfect place to get warmed up with a seriously rich cup of European style hot chocolate – they have over 20 different hot chocolate flavours to choose from!

There is so much chocolate to choose from here and there perfect place to indulge after a morning of bushwalking in Girraween National Park.

The kids will also love sitting at one of the tables by the chook pen so they can watch the chooks run about while they enjoy their morning tea.

You can stay here too – click here for more information.

Location: Pyramids Road, Stanthorpe – not far from the entrance of Girraween National Park

Opening Hours: Friday to Monday from 10 am to 4 pm

Price: Depends how much you buy!

Take a Step Back in Time at the Wallangarra Railway Station

Make sure you plan a visit to Wallanagarra Railway Station around lunchtime so you can enjoy a great value lunch at the Wallangarra Railway Cafe.  This cafe is located at the historical Wallangarra Railway Station which is on the Qld / NSW border.

Opening in 1888, the Wallangarra Railway Station was built to service the change in gauge from Qld’s narrow gauge railway to NSW’s standard gauge.  Right up until 1930, this railway station was the only way people could travel from Brisbane to Sydney on the train.  Eventually, with the new coastal train line, train services stopped coming through Wallangarra by 1997 with now only the Downs Explorer tourist train passing through once a month.

Today you can stroll around the gorgeous old station which has the state border running right through the middle.  Be sure to notice that one side of the station has the old Qld railway platform design while the other side has the NSW design.  There is also a small museum here as well.

Before you leave be sure to get a photo with one foot in NSW and one in Qld as well as a photo with the awesome Queenslander sign.

Location: Rockwell Street, Wallangarra

Opening Hours: The cafe is open daily from 7 am to 5 pm while the Museum is open daily from 9 am to 3 pm.

Price: Meals start from around $14 for adults and $7 for kids – the museum is free as is all the photo opportunities.

Visit Girraween National Park

After indulging in the amazing local produce and wine, you’ll no doubt welcome a walk in one of the National Parks near StanthorpeGirraween National Park is a great place for families and has a range of walking trails through picturesque landscapes of massive granite outcrops that protrude from the ground, flowing streams, deep plunge pools, gorgeous waterfalls, wildlife and fauna.

Some of the more popular family walks include:

  • Wyberba: This is a short 580m, return walk where you’ll stroll along the creek and get a view of The Pyramid.
  • Granite Arch:  This is a popular family walk which is just 1.6km return, taking around 30 minutes to complete.  Along the walk, you’ll see some cool rock formations (including the Granite Arch) and secret caves, as well as the lovely Bald Rock Creek.
  • Bald Rock Creek Circuit:  The Bald Rock Creek which takes about 1 hour to complete or combine it with the Granite Arch Walk which is 1.5 hours to complete.
  • The Pyramid: If your family is up for a longer walk, combine the Granite Arch walk with the walk to the Pyramid, which includes the area’s most famous attraction – Balancing Rock.  This walk is 3.6km return and you’ll need to allow around 90 minutes to 2 hours to complete. Make sure you have joggers with good grip for this walk, and do expect to be on all fours for parts of the climb to the top –  but the views are well worth the effort.

The start of the above walks is about 30 minutes drive from Stanthorpe.

Click here for more information

Location: Walks start from the car park at Bald Rock Creek Camping Area, Pyramids Road Ballandeen

The Orchard Experience

How about showing the kids exactly where their apples come from and do an orchard tour with Orchard Experience.  The McMahon family have been growing apples here since just after WW1 when David McMahon’s great grandfather returned from the war badly injured and planted a few apple trees around the Pozieres School while he was the school principal.  Today the orchard is completely organic and they grow around 9 different varieties of apples.

On the weekends during spring, the Orchard Experience offer tours of their farm, followed by a lovely brunch among the flowering apple blossom trees.  During the week you can join them for a sunset tour.

Location: 638 Pozieres Road, Pozieres

Opening Hours: Spring – check directly here for times.

The Best Family Accommodation – Stanthorpe

When it comes to the best family accommodation, Stanthorpe offers, think cozy little cabins or charming little cottages.  You won’t find big fancy hotels and resorts here, rather small country style accommodation, run by friendly locals.

In fact in many ways, the accommodation offered in Stanthorpe is part of the attraction.  Most accommodation is on properties with stunning views, gorgeous walking tracks, or perhaps even a few farm animals for the kids to pet and feed.  Armed with some local wine and produce – you could easily spend your family getaway relaxing the days away in your accommodation.

Over the years we’ve stayed in various places in and around Stanthorpe – recently we’ve stayed at the Granite Belt Brewery Retreat as well as Girraween Environmental Lodge – both excellent properties for families.  We have written full reviews on each of these properties you can read our review on the Granite Belt Brewery here or our review on the Girraween Environmental Lodge here

Another place that I’ve visited, but not actually stayed is Strawhouse B&B (see pictures below).  For something a bit different, this 22 acre property offers two gorgeous little cottages made from straw bales.  Each cottage has a queen size bed and a fold down sofa so perfect for a family.  The best part though is all the animals that live on the property.  There are two gorgeous highland cattle, loads of chickens, alpacas, miniature goats, Scottish belter galloways and dogs.  Guests are welcome to interact with the animals as much as they like – this is one place I’m super keen on staying.  Oh and it’s pet friendly too – so you can bring your dog.

Alternatively, read our full guide on where to stay in Stanthorpe with kids here.

Stanthorpe – Where to Eat

Now I haven’t had the privilege of eating at too many places within Stanthorpe and the wider Granite Belt Region – but here are a few places I have eaten and highly recommend for families.  Also some of the above attractions which I’ve already mentioned offer some great food – I won’t repeat them again below but that doesn’t mean they are not fantastic places to eat because they are – so also consider eating at places like Balancing Heart, Stanthorpe Cheese, Wallangarra Railway Cafe and the Granite Belt Christmas Farm.

The Little Larder

Although the Little Larder only opened in November 2020, it is already one of the most popular dining spots in town.  This modern industrial themed restaurant serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner most days plus a funky place to come for drinks on Friday and Saturday nights.  I came for breakfast on a Sunday morning and the place was vibing with the huge outdoor undercover deck absolutely packed with diners and then a few people up at the bar looking out across the centre of town.

Not only is the Little Larder a great place to eat – it has a great story behind it too.  When Qantas flight attendant and Stanthorpe local Cam Giddings found himself out of work during covid he decided to try something new and started this new venture with his mum.  The cafe started with just 4 staff and just 4 months later is now running with a staff of 24.  It is a true family affair with Cam’s mum making all the jams and relishes using recipes she found in Cam’s grandma’s old recipe book and also using all local produce.

The menu is full of all your favs, and there is a simple kids menu including all the kid’s favourites like nuggets and chips, fish and chips or bolognese pasta.  Little Larder is not only entirely family friendly – it is also dog friendly too, with dog treats soon to feature on the menu.  

Location: 19 Railway St, Stanthorpe

Opening Hours: Daily (except closed Wednesday) 7 am to 2 pm and then open for dinner until 11.30 pm on Friday and Saturday.

Prices: Breakfast starts at $14, Lunch starts at $16 and dinner mains are around $30.  Most of the kids meals are $9.

Zest Pastries

Stephen Lambert is not only one funny, entertaining guy he can bloody make good pastries too!  He opened Zest Pastries in 2013 and is proud to say that he has made every single pastry since day one.  His days are filled with making bread, pies, sourdough, tarts, croissants and danishes.  As well as delicious pastries, Stephen’s bakery serves up breakfast and lunch most days.

If you not only want to eat these delicious pastries but want to have a go at making them yourselves, Stephen also offers workshops for pretty much anything you want to make.  I had the privilege of attending a mini workshop with Steve and let me tell you he is one entertaining guy.  So I can guarantee you his workshops would be a lot of laughs.  He also encourages you to bring some local wine with you and he serves up some delicious Turkish bread so you can eat and sip as you learn.  Workshops are 100% family friendly – he reckons in most cases the kids do way better in his workshops than the parents.

If you’re interested in booking a workshop – contact Steve via his FaceBook page or on (07) 4681 4320.  Workshops are $500 for 4 people and go for 6 hours.

Location: 54 Maryland St, Stanthorpe

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Friday 7 am to 4.30 pm and Saturdays 7 am to 2 pm.

Prices: Most meals start at around $9 including gourmet rolls, frittatas, salads and more.

The Barrell Restaurant at Ballandeen Estate

If you’re up for a bit of a splurge, then dine among the giant 150 year old port barrels at the Barrel Room at the Ballandean Winery.  This is a casual fine dining restaurant that serves up modern Italian Australian food and where families are more than welcome.

They have a great kids menu with all dishes just $10.  Meals for the little ones include chicken parmigiana, pasta, calamari and more.

Location: 354 Sundown Rd, Ballandean

Opening Hours: Thursday, Sunday and Monday 10 am to 4 pm | Friday and Saturday 10 am to 9 pm

Prices: Lunch from around $15 and dinner from around $30.  All kids meals are $10.

Stanthorpe – Our Verdict

I’ve visited Stanthorpe quite a few times now, but this recent trip showed me how diverse this region really is.  No matter what your families interests, there are so many wonderful things to do in Stanthorpe, QLD which will appeal to both the kids and adults.  There is a range of fabulous attractions for kids, some excellent locally made produce and of course some fantastic wines.

So for those parents that thought Stanthorpe was just a romantic destination for wine lovers – think again!  Stanthorpe makes for a great family destination year round.

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Hopefully you found our guide to visiting Stanthorpe with kids helpful, another great idea for a weekend away is the Bunya Mountains.  You can find more great ideas for weekends away from Brisbane here or click here for all our tips on things to do in Queensland.

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