This December, swap the online shopping cart and lengthy delivery delays for a weekend in the country, where you can not only stock up on some fantastic local fare for under the Christmas tree, you’ll feel good supporting our rural neighbours and friends.
Whether it’s filling your esky with local produce direct from the farmer (think organic hams, fresh berries and the best Queensland wines on offer) or stocking your stocking with local gifts and goodies, make this Christmas all about the country.
Here’s our round up of the best festive season shopping, savouring and celebrating in Southern Queensland Country.
The ultimate festive fare direct from the farmer
Skip the city crowds and queues this year and support producers from the country by heading straight to the source. You can’t possibly get fresher or more seasonal than buying the best tasting Christmas food at regional outlets, farmers markets or retailers who will thank you for shopping local.
Pick your own Christmas Tree!
Harvest Season at the Granite Belt Christmas Farm – Every day from 27 November to 24 December, open 9am to 4pm (Stanthorpe).
You select your perfect pine tree (which will smell incredible by the way) and staff will cut and net it for you for easy transportation. Bring the family to the farm, with Santa’s animals to feed and weekend appearances by Santa throughout the harvest.
Did you know? Real Christmas trees (cut) will keep in your home for three weeks if you keep them watered and out of direct sunlight and heat.
Order your Christmas hams and turkeys direct from the country butcher
In country towns and villages it’s the local butcher who’s the hero, sourcing the best cuts directly from farmers and graziers ready for your Christmas table. Kingaroy on the South Burnett is famous for their pork; the Darling Downs has world-class beef, and the Southern Downs and Lockyer Valley boast some of Australia’s best poultry, lamb, orchards and vegetable farms.
One such local providore in Toowoomba is The Paddock, where you’ll find chemical free, ethically raised and pasture fed beef, pork, lamb, and chicken. The lamb and beef is raised locally on the Ellison’s farms, the pork is sourced from a local farm called ‘Danamila’, and the chicken is supplied by Lilydale free range chicken.
Many butchers let you order online with either pickup in person or in some cases, home delivery. To find out where to shop contact the Visitor Information Centre at major regional towns or visit one of our regular farmers markets for supplies, just remember to take your empty esky!
- Toowoomba Farmers Market, under the windmills at Cobb + Co Museum, Toowoomba
7am – 12pm each Saturday
- Granite Belt Farmers Market, Farley St Piazza, Stanthorpe
8am – 12 pm each Friday
The best Christmas markets to drive for
Empty the car boot and lace up your comfy shopping shoes as you hit these local markets in December – remember to pack your appetite too as you taste your way around the region:
- Bush Christmas Exhibition, Masonic Centre 58 Neil St, Toowoomba
24 November to 3 December
- Miles and District Christmas Markets
5pm – 8pm Thursday 2 December
- Handmade Under the Stars, Cobb + Co Museum Toowoomba
4pm Thursday 2 December
- Allora Bush Christmas & Markets, Herbert St Allora
4.30pm – 8pm, Friday 3 December
- Stanthorpe Christmas Country Market Day, Stanthorpe
9am – 2pm Saturday 4 December
- Granite Belt Christmas Farm, Stanthorpe
Open all year round (pictured above)
- Mulgowie Christmas Markets, 7 Mulgowie School Rd Mulgowie
8am-11am Saturday 4 December
- Goondiwindi Christmas Markets, Goondiwindi Waggamba Community Cultural Centre
8am – 2pm Saturday 4 December
- Moffatdale Boutique markets
Sunday 5 December
- Christmas Pop-Up Gallery, Texas Regional Art Gallery, High Street Texas
- Grand Central Christmas Markets, Toowoomba
4pm-9pm Tuesday 7 December
- Ma Ma Creek Markets, Gatton-Clifton Rd, Ma Ma Creek
7am-12pm Saturday 11 December
- Twilight on Marshall, Marshall Street, Goondiwindi
5pm – 9pm Thursday 16 December
- Toowoomba Farmers Market Christmas Market, Cobb and Co Museum
4pm – 8pm Friday 17 December
- Murphy’s Creek Markets, 18 Jessie Lane, Murphys Creek
7am – 1pm Saturday 18 December
- Bunya Mountains Markets, Bunya Avenue, Bunya Mountains
9am – 2pm Sunday 19 December
Take the family to a Christmas celebration they’ll love, with our guide of what’s on in December around the region, from Christmas Carols to street parties and light displays.
With the challenges of weather and Covid-safe events please always call ahead before you travel, to confirm the details of the event. A good place to get local information is the Visitor Information Centre at most regional towns. For a full list click here.