Follow the flowers
Picture yourself driving through ‘pretty as a picture’ country roads, bursting with spring flowers!
Find your way around the Granite Belt with these stunning suggestions, all within 2.5hrs drive of Brisbane.
Where the country roads are lined with yellow
Best flowering times: November to early December
Queensland’s best locations for viewing delightful coreopsis flowers is along the country roads around Stanthorpe – they are prolific in spring! It's a magical time to take a country drive or cycle the quiet roads, as the entire Granite Belt is transformed with fields of yellow and roadsides bursting with dainty blooms.
Finding the blossoms is no challenge, they start appearing along roadsides approaching Stanthorpe from any direction. Locations such as Amiens Rd around Passchendaele Forest, the Ballandean Pyramid and the Granite Belt Bike Trail are great places to start…or follow the cellar door map and floral-lined roadsides are guaranteed along your wine tasting journey.
Delight in the flowers, but it’s not wise to take them home, as Coreopsis are classified as a weed…excuse our rose-coloured glasses - it makes them no less beautiful!
Avenues of apple blossoms
Best flowering times: end of September through October
Did you know that virtually all of Queensland’s apple crop comes from the one million apple trees grown around Stanthorpe? Throw in a multitude of pear and stone fruit orchards and you’ve found yourself a stunning location for viewing avenues upon avenues of blossoms this spring.
A myriad of orchards are visible by the roadsides around the villages north of Stanthorpe and Thulimbah is an ideal spot – found easily as it’s marked by the ‘Big Apple’ on the highway.
Sutton’s Farm in Thulimbah offers servings of famously delicious apple pie right in the orchard itself and a short drive away the verandah at Summit Estate is the spot to sit back with a wine for vineyard and orchard views in one. The quiet country road leading to the cheese factory and Boireann Winery nearby winds through orchards as pretty as any.
Strolling a sea of purple
Image credit: Aloomba Lavender
Best flowering times: Mid-November to early December
If strolling through fields of lavender is on your bucket list, but you’re not sure when the flowers are at their best – our tip is head to Stanthorpe’s lavender farm in late spring to early summer.
A 6 acre ‘sea of purple’ awaits at Aloomba Lavender, where some 12,000 lavender plants are lined in avenues on the farm. Harvest occurs from mid-November through to mid-December, so time your country drive late in spring to enjoy the best of lavender season’s beauty and fragrance!
Budburst in the vineyard
Best budburst times: October
It may not be floral buds, but in Granite Belt Wine Country the arrival of new spring growth in the vineyards is a blooming beautiful sight to see!
Waking up from the winter, budburst is the bursting of leaves from their buds that occurs in spring. The vibrant green of the new foliage is stunning across the vineyards dotting the countryside.
An up-close vineyard inspection and asking questions at the cellar door is a must, because one of the best things about the Granite Belt’s boutique size wineries is that often your wine will be poured by the vignerons and winemakers themselves! Questions are very welcome – so ask what’s happening in the vineyard and enquire whether the vines have been pruned differently this year in preparation for a possibly drier growing season.
Follow the Strangebird Wine Trail Map to discover wine varieties to taste this spring.
This article was written by our good friends at Granite Belt Wine Tourism
For more inspiration on where to explore across Southern Queensland Country, check out our handy guide or head to our blog.