A Vine Vision: Brisbane to Stanthorpe travel guide

Looking for the perfect combination of decadence and activity on your next road trip? Explore the Scenic Rim and Granite Belt to enjoy the best of fine food and wine and the great outdoors.


A couple walks through rows of flowering lavender bushes, Kooroomba Vineyards, Queensland

Talk about the best of everything. Depending on the route you take from Brisbane, you could first head towards the Gold Coast to catch some waves before turning inland to explore national parks with waterfalls and tropical rainforest. As you get closer to Stanthorpe you enter one of Queensland’s best winery regions. Even winter here is beautiful, with most places set up so you can cosy up in front of an open fire to sip a glass of red. Plus, this journey takes in the best of the Scenic Rim, named by Lonely Planet as one of the world’s hottest destinations for 2022 thanks to its authentic and personalised experiences. It’s just one more reason to plan a visit.


Three people standing around a barrel topped with bottles of wine, Hidden Creek Winery barrel room, Stanthorpe, Queensland

The Granite Belt, with Stanthorpe at its heart, is a prolific wine-growing region. But if you want to get away from shiraz and chardonnay, follow the Strange Bird trail. ‘Strange birds’ are wine varieties that make up less than one per cent of the total bearing vines in Australia. Think petit manseng, sagrantino and montepulciano, and try them at more than 20 vineyards. At Hidden Creek Winery, you can order a bottle and picnic basket to eat overlooking the vines.


  1. Established in 1946, The Outpost Cafe is a Canungra landmark. It’s not fancy, but it has been serving road trippers exploring the Gold Coast hinterland for generations. It’s well known for friendly service and the huge brekkies, but don’t leave without trying its famous homemade pies and sausage rolls. If the caff is busy, there are plenty of great spots nearby for a pie picnic.

  2. Get up close to a camelid at Mountview Alpaca Farm. Book quality time – anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour – with one of the 70 alpacas on site and make a new friend. But these intelligent animals aren’t just a tourist attraction; in an Australian first, owners Jen and Steve Pack are training some to be therapy animals. The farm is part of O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyard, so visit afterwards for a wine tasting.

  3. Rustle up some romance. Chef Daniel Groneberg at Kooroomba Vineyards and Lavender Farm has worked across the globe, but uses produce from across the Scenic Rim for his French country-style dishes. Add in a stroll around the fields of lavender and you might just think you’re in Provence.

  4. Sticking with the European theme, the world’s finest fungi are now being grown in southeast Queensland. At the Truffle Discovery Centre, tour the truffière, taste both the raw product and truffle-flavoured produce and, if you’re lucky, catch a truffle dog demonstration.

  5. Girraween National Park is the perfect demonstration of why this region is called the Granite Belt. Dramatic cliffs, rocky outcrops and rivers carving up the landscape – complete with pools perfect for cooling off – give Girraween a personality all its own. There are plenty of trails to choose from, but for sheer wow! factor The Pyramid trail, which passes Balancing Rock, can’t be beaten. It’s about 3.6 kilometres, but is steep and rocky, so be prepared to work hard.


Clouds on Beechmont

If you’re keen on exploring Binna Burra and Lamington National Park on the way, Clouds on Beechmont has a range of options, from chalets with access to organic veggie gardens to spaces in a converted church.

Mt Barney Lodge

Spend a couple of nights right on the edge of the national park at Mt Barney Lodge. There’s a range of accommodation, including rustic cabins and on-site camper trailers, as well as plenty of organised activities. Try out rock climbing, learn how to navigate or go on a guided walk.

Granite Belt Retreat and Brewery

Come for the beers, stay in one of the timber cottages. Granite Belt Retreat and Brewery has 20 cedar cabins on a 12-hectare property that’s also home to a microbrewery. Spend the day exploring then return to try a tasting paddle and the restaurant’s beer-friendly eats.


Lamington National Park

Pick up your booked vehicle from Apex Car Rentals at Brisbane Airport then head off. The best part about this road trip is that you can peel off in any number of directions and explore the best of the Scenic Rim and Granite Belt. Want to stroll the main street of Boonah and check out Maynard’s Department Store, which has been run by the same family for three generations? It’s a quick detour. You can even go for a swim on the Gold Coast before heading towards Lamington National Park. The options are endless.



How much time have you got? If the answer is not much, perhaps head over the border and explore Tenterfield, other historical townships and the rolling landscape of New England. Able to linger? Head back towards the coast and spend some time in the Northern Rivers region, either in Yamba, Evans Head or Lennox Head.