Chinchilla

Famous for its melons and a renowned spot for fishing, bushwalking and camping, the colourful town of Chinchilla is an easy 81 kilometre drive west Dalby along the Warrego Way.

Having once produced 25 per cent of the country’s watermelons, rockmelons and honeydew melons, Chinchilla is fondly known as the melon capital. So if strapping on a pair of melons and racing for glory sounds like your kind of fun, Chinchilla Melon Festival (next in 2019) is your kind of event. Perhaps nothing captures the strong community spirit of this town better than the biennial festival.

Named from the Aboriginal word jinchilla, meaning a termite resistant Cypress Pine, Chinchilla is a peaceful and pretty town. Its beautiful tree-lined main street is just off the highway. Head to the Cultural Centre, the pride of the street. Its award-winning design includes a cinema, library and theLapunyah Art Gallery.

Well worth a visit is the Chinchilla Historical Museum. Its collection features many important transport pieces including a steam driven sawmill and the first-ever ticket issued by Qantas for the first flight from Longreach to Cloncurry. There’s also an excellent display of petrified wood and a prickly pear exhibit celebrating the saving of local and national farmlands from prickly pear by the introduction of the cactoblastis moth and larva from South America.

Chinchilla Weir is popular for fishing and water sports. Good fishing can be had on the Condamine River too – pick up a map and some local tips at the Visitor Information Centre.

You can soak up the country atmosphere at one of many local events including Chinchilla Races in March, Chinchilla annual show in May, and the equestrian highlight, the Grandfather Clock Campdraft, a traditional three-day event held in October.

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Stanthorpe

Stanthorpe, Southern Downs Area
At the heart of the Granite Belt, Stanthorpe gives easy access to big sky panoramas, spectacular countryside dotted with precariously balancing prehistoric granite boulders and a generally cooler, temperate climate (there’s even an occasional winter snow-fall!

Severnlea

Severnlea,
Just south of Stanthorpe, the Granite Belt village of Severnlea is a centre for commercial fruit production and also topaz fossicking. Venture down the various byways to discover fruit stalls stocking seasonal stone fruits and berries from November to March.

Glen Aplin

Glen Aplin, Southern Downs Area
The Granite Belt town of Glen Aplin, south of Stanthorpe on the New England Highway, is famous for its fruit orchards and wineries. If you are in the area in the right season you will be able to savour the taste of fresh stone-fruits (November to March) and berries (November to early March).

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.

Storm King Dam

Stanthorpe, Southern Downs Area
Free Entry
Storm King Dam rests in a picturesque rural setting with many water birds (including pelicans) and is an ideal spot for picnics, water sport and fishing. Fish species include golden perch, murray cod, silver perch, jew and river black fish.

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.

Ballandean

Ballandean, Southern Downs Area
Ballandean has the largest cluster of wineries on the Granite Belt. Stop over at Vineyard Cottages and Café on the highway, then head west to Ballandean Estate, Golden Grove Estate, Bungawarra and Tobin Wines.

Quart Pot Creek, Stanthorpe

Stanthorpe, Southern Downs Area
Free Entry
The pretty Quart Pot Creek meanders through granite country and natural bushland, passes through the town of Stanthorpe, and continues out through the south-west, where it meets Spring Creek to form the Severn River.

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.

Eukey

Eukey, Southern Downs Area
Originally called Paddock Swamp, a discovery of tin in the late 1800s meant Eukey was once a mining area. Today Eukey is a pleasant rural locality on the Granite Belt near Stanthorpe. From Eukey you can visit many award winning wineries to taste boutique vintages direct from the cellar door.
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