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The Summit

Take leave of the New England Highway between Dalveen and Applethorpe (to the north of Stanthorpe) and check out the fruit stalls along that stretch of road known as Granite Belt Drive. Find Queensland's highest railway station here at The Summit or get lost in the maze. The area also produces more than 100 varieties of wine, liqueurs and specialty products.

The fruit stalls operate most of the year but of course it's seasonal when you're seeking local produce.

The Summit, Southern Downs Area
Queensland
Australia

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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.

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.

Donnellys Castle

Stanthorpe, 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.

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 hamlets of Applethorpe - home of the "orchardist". 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 virtually 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 20,000 cases. It is a worthwhile trip to leave the highway and drive along the 'Fruit Run', remembering that best results for purchasing local fruits naturally enough is seasonal.

Amiens

Amiens, Southern Downs Area
Heading west along Amiens Road you'll find an area of post-World War I soldier settlements: Fleurbaix, Bullecourt, Passchendaele, Bapaume, Messines and Pozieres. Along this drive route are also many fine wineries. Near Pozieres follow the signs to a rock formation called Donnelly's Castle. You can picnic here and enjoy panoramic views from what was once a hideout of 'Thunderbolt', a bushranger who roamed the New England Tableland.

Pozieres

Pozieres, Southern Downs Area
Pozieres is situated about five kilometres west of the New England Highway, with the turnoff to the south of Dalveen. Any place which boasts having the most densely 'netted area' in the world may frighten off anglers. The land which is under these nets grows fruit and vegetables. The reinforced netting is erected to help avoid damage from hailstones, one of the negatives about fruit growing in a hail prone area. Pozieres is French and as with a number of villages along the Armistice Way (Amiens Road), such names in these soldier settlement areas help commemorate the selfless contributions made by the men and women who served in France during World War 1.

Severnlea

Severnlea, Southern Downs Area
The village of Severnlea, on the highway south of Stanthorpe on the Southern Downs of Queensland, probably has not changed that much over the years. There is still fruit growing, and also topaz fossicking, but now add to that some pretty good wineries. Check out the various byways as these provide access to fruit stalls stocking seasonal stone fruits and berries. Plus those wineries. Years ago, the locals of Severnlea did not realise that young Graham 'Skroo' Turner was destined to become one of Australia's most successful businessmen. From the fruit growing and topaz mining area, this fellow gave fruit and mining the flick as he took a career path which now sees him heading up the travel agency Flight Centre.

The Summit

The Summit, Southern Downs Area
Take leave of the New England Highway between Dalveen and Applethorpe (to the north of Stanthorpe) and check out the fruit stalls along that stretch of road known as Granite Belt Drive. Find Queensland's highest railway station here at The Summit or get lost in the maze. The area also produces more than 100 varieties of wine, liqueurs and specialty products. The fruit stalls operate most of the year but of course it's seasonal when you're seeking local produce.

Eukey

Eukey, Southern Downs Area
With the abundant wild life and outdoor activities your stay in Eukey and surround areas makes for a memorable getway. From Eukey you can enter the northern part of the renown Girraween National Park. Girraween truly is a paradise for bushwalkers and explorers, and ideal for scenic walks, wildlife viewing, camping and picnics. During spring it blooms with flowers and shrubs attracting birds, wombats, lizards and wallabies.

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!
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