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Varias Restaurant and Conference Centre incorporating Banca Ridge Winery Cellar Door

Stanthorpe, Southern Downs Area

The Queensland College of Wine Tourism incorporates Varias Restaurant and Conference Centre and Banca Ridge winery. A beautiful contemporary foyer with interpretive gallery leads you to Varias Restaurant and Banca Ridge cellar door.
Sample the Banca Ridge wines and learn more about the success of the Queensland Wine Industry.
Set amongst vineyards and fruit trees overlooking a dam, this destination can cater for groups up to 130 people.

Open Times

Open 0900 to 1600 daily.

Facilities

  • BBQ Facilities
  • Car park
  • Conference/Convention Facilities
  • Lockers

Other Information

Accessibility:

There is access for guests with a disability.

Children:

Children are welcome.
22 Caves Road
Stanthorpe, Southern Downs Area
Queensland
Australia

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Sundown National Park

Stanthorpe, Southern Downs Area
Free Entry
High, remote and rough, Sundown National Park (south west of Stanthorpe) entices both self-sufficient campers and experienced bushwalkers to explore its rugged ridges and gorges. Camp at one of five camping areas (three accessible by four-wheel-drive only) or hike in to a secluded bush camp. From Broadwater campground, enjoy the short graded walk to Permanent Waterhole. More experienced walkers can explore the Severn River or the upper reaches of Ooline Creek. Look for king orchids, woodland birds and waterbirds, or try your luck throwing a lure in one of waterholes (line fishing allowed). From the park's north-eastern boundary, experienced walkers can enjoy a two-day circuit taking in Mount Lofty and Red Rock Gorge, while four wheel drives can continue to campsites along the Severn River. A short (500 metre return) graded track leads to a lookout giving views over Red Rock Gorge and beyond.

Girraween National Park

Ballandean, Southern Downs Area
Free Entry
Huge granite boulders tower above open forests in the spectacular and popular Girraween National Park outside Stanthorpe. Camp at either Castle Rock and Bald Rock Creek camping areas or picnic in the shady Bald Rock Creek day-use area. Explore the park on almost 30 kilometres of walking tracks. Take the 280 metre Wyberba Walk alongside Bald Rock Creek; visit Granite Arch; climb The Pyramid for great views over the park; or spend the day walking to granite monoliths or to waterholes along the creek. Learn from displays in the visitor information centre and at the day-use area. Wildflowers in spring are a sign to behold! Gaze at changing reflections in the rock pools or go birdwatching for blue wrens, rare turquoise parrots and other forest birds. Spy bearded dragons and jacky lizards on the granite rocks, soaking up the sun. Go spotlighting at night to see ringtail possums high in the eucalypt trees. There is much to do in Girraween, and if you are lucky, you may see a wombat or hear superb lyrebirds imitating the calls of other birds.

Donnellys Castle, near Pozieres

Pozieres, Southern Downs Area
Free Entry
Visit a bushranger hideout! 'Thunderbolt' who roamed the New England Tableland, had one of his hideouts near Pozieres. Donnelly's Castle, as it is now called, is a rock formation that you can walk between, around and over. There are great views from the lookout and picnic facilities. Donnelly's Castle is located in the Stanthorpe area.

Amiens

Amiens, Southern Downs Area
Amiens is one of the pretty districts in the Granite Belt region, 17 kilometres north-west of Stanthorpe. These days the area is popular for orcharding, wine making and vegetable growing and was first settled by First World War servicemen who had been granted land for fruit growing after returning from war. The localities of Messines, Bapaume and Passchendaele are found within Amiens. All of these were named after battlegrounds on the Western Front. Wineries of note in the area include Robert Channon Wines and Ravens Croft Wines.

Wallangarra

Wallangarra, Southern Downs Area
At the southern most end of the Granite Belt Region is the pretty town of Wallangarra. With a railway station which is split into two, two schools, two police stations, two pubs - and a population of a few hundred, there appears something is up in this town! That's because Wallangarra is a border town - straddling Queensland and New South Wales. Half of the railway station is owned by Queensland and the southern end is owned by New South Wales. It's a good example of how governments in the past went their own ways - you'll notice there's even two different railway line gauges! Train buffs will love the railway station, which was spruced up for the Celebration of Federation. The town has an excellent information centre and picnic facilities with barbecues and toilets. This is one of those rare towns where you can celebrate New Year's Eve twice - New South Wales operates on Daylight Savings time. Wallangarra gives easy access to the walking and mountain biking trails of the Mount Norman section of Girraween National Park.

Ballandean

Ballandean, Southern Downs Area
Ballandean is renowned for its picturesque setting and is home to the Granite Belt's largest number of award winning wine makers. It is in this area, just to the south of Stanthorpe, that Queensland's first commercially grown table grapes were harvested. Grapes have been grown here since the 1870s, thanks predominantly to the arrival of Italian settlers. The first legally planted wine grapes are said to have been grown by the Puglisi family of Ballandean. The family vineyard, Ballandean Estate, is the venue for "Opera in the Vineyard", each May. Don't miss Ballandean's little bit of Egypt - make sure you drive past the famous hand-made pyramid. The amazing Girraween National Park and rugged Sundown National Park are also only a short drive away.

The Summit

The Summit, Southern Downs Area
The Granite Belt village of The Summit, located off the New England Highway between Dalveen and Applethorpe (to the north of Stanthorpe) is so called due to its elevated position at more than 900 metres above sea level. The Summit is home to roadside fruit stalls, Queensland's highest railway station and the Granite Belt Maze (which the kids and the big kids will love!). The area also produces many varieties of wine and liqueurs and many specialty products. The fruit and vegetable stalls operate most of the year with local stone fruit, berries and apples available in summer, autumn and the end of spring and a great supply of most vegetables to be found in summer, autumn and spring and select vegetables such as broccoli, brussel sprouts and cauliflower, leeks mushrooms grown year round.

Thulimbah

Thulimbah, Southern Downs Area
Straddling the New England Highway at Thulimbah, a range of providores offer specialty items, local produce and meals. Here you're in the thick of 'apple country' - the only place in Queensland with just the right climate and growing conditions for premium apple orchards. And it wouldn't be the Granite Belt if there wasn't a winery or two nearby! Pick your own apples and try the apple pie and cider ice cream at Suttons Farm (don't miss the Cider Festival each May) and across the road, Vincenzo's at the Big Apple offers an amazing spread of light meals, deli fare and local produce. A short drive from the highway is Stanthorpe Cheese - sample cheeses made on the premises from Jersey Cow milk, courtesy of the friendly Jersey girls in the adjoining paddock.

Severnlea

Severnlea, Southern Downs Area
The Southern Downs village of Severnlea, on the highway south of Stanthorpe hasn't changed that much since it was first settled. There is still fruit growing and topaz fossicking, but these days you'll also discover some very good wineries. Venture down the various byways to access these as well as fruit stalls stocking seasonal stone fruits and berries from November to March.

Applethorpe

Applethorpe, Southern Downs Area
Just 10 minutes north of Stanthorpe on the New England Highway, or via the 'Fruit Run' Granite Tourist Drive, is the hamlet of Applethorpe - home of the "orchardists". Applethorpe was originally named Roessler, however this German title was changed to appease post WW1 sensitivities and as the new name denotes, this area is literally an apple village. For generations Applethorpe has produced almost 100 per cent of all apples in Queensland. It was in Applethorpe that the first public cold store and packing house was established in 1945 with a capacity to store 20000 cases. It is a worthwhile trip to leave the highway and drive along the 'Fruit Run', remembering that apples and other local fruits will be available for purchase seasonally. The apple season runs from January to June with different varieties ripening throughout this period.
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