Beat the heat in Queensland's coldest town

Five ways to cool off in Stanthorpe and the Granite Belt.

At an elevation of 811 metres, Stanthorpe, in the state’s south-west, is officially Queensland's coldest town and offers a welcome escape from summer's heat. 

Take an icy cold dip in the rock pools at Girraween National Park.

The park’s 17km of walking tracks will take you through shady eucalypt forest, past giant granite outcrops and alongside clear running streams. The 2.2km Bald Rock Creek circuit leads to inviting rock pools to dip your toes into and a large waterhole with refreshingly cool water to swim in. 

Girraween National Park

Quench your thirst with a candy cane crush at The Granite Belt Christmas Farm. 

Made with freshly picked strawberries from a neighbouring farm, this blend of ice-cream, strawberries and a few secret ingredients is best enjoyed while wandering through groves of more than 10,000 pine trees. Open to the public from April through to the end of January, the farm also features a Christmas store with one-of-a-kind decorations and gifts and an animal petting area with resident donkeys and deer.

Pick your own strawberries at Ashbern Strawberry Farm.

While most Queensland strawberry farms harvest fruit in the winter months, Ashbern Farms in Stanthorpe supply the summer strawberry market. Grab a container from the onsite café to pick your own and, after combing the fields for the plumpest and juiciest berries (there’s a prize for the heaviest strawberry plucked), cool off with one of their homemade strawberry ice creams. 

Strawberry farm

Sip on a James Halliday-rated five-star wine at Heritage Estate Winery. 

There are more than 50 wineries in the Granite Belt region and Heritage Estate Winery is the first one encountered when driving from Brisbane. Stepping into the cool oasis of the converted apple storage barn, this historic cellar door is overflowing with relics from yesteryear including a pianola that visitors are encouraged to pedal a lively tune on. Once you’ve tasted a few of the winery’s award-winning drops, take a walk through the lush vineyards outside which are in full bloom during the summer months. 

Cosy up in front of the fireplace on a summer evening.

Summer days in the Granite Belt can be warm (usually between 25–30°C) but lack the humidity of the coastal regions. At night the temperatures drop significantly to an average of 15°C, making it cool enough to stoke the fire. Most accommodation options – from the budget cabins at Country Style Caravan Park at Glen Aplin to the grand Loughmore House at Eukey - include a wood-burning fireplace that’s well appreciated all year round.