Renowned for bringing the ‘Christmas Spirit’ alive all year round, there are a bundle of MUST DO’s on the farm for the whole family. Granite Belt Christmas Farm’s specialty is creating a family fun atmosphere where memories can be made and traditions created. Let the kids explore Santa’s animals, wander through the fields of real Christmas trees and savour the fresh smell of pine or visit the farm in harvest season and let the kids pick the perfect tree for your family festivities. Don’t forget to indulge in Rudolph’s Ice Cream Bar!
While you could count Stanthorpe as a day trip destination from Brisbane, you wouldn’t be doing the area justice flying through in a matter of hours before turning around and heading home.
With so much good food to devour and beautiful scenery to explore, a long weekend in Stanthorpe and the greater Southern Downs gives you more time to see the best that the area has to offer, at your own pace.
Here’s how to make the most of four days in Stanthorpe and the Southern Downs.
We call this driving to a destination for a purpose. See, when you have your drivers licence, every drive is to achieve something, be it practical, or adventure. So we combine these two objectives with our destination road trips and the idea is to share the adventure with family and friends, as we get your log book hours. up.
The Falls Drive is one of the region’s most popular drives. Leave the small township of Killarney and travel along a winding and lush green road to Spring Creek Road, where the best part of the journey really begins. The road climbs up the mountain, through bushland and rainforest, passing great spots to discover different waterfalls, enjoy a picnic and take in the beauty of the expansive valley below.
At the top of the hill is iconic Queen Mary Falls and offers great walking and exploring, plenty of native wildlife, and birdlife aplenty. There is a safe walking track to do the circuit, or you can just view the falls from the top lookout. Queen Mary Falls flows into the nearby Condamine River where it begins at The Head and flows on to the Murray-Darling – Australia’s longest river system.
Carr’s Lookout offers breathtaking views over the Head Valley to Mt Superbus, the Scenic Rim and Tambourine Mountain. Information identifies the mountains and tells the story of a plane crash in 1955 on Mt Superbus.
This tourist route can form part of a wonderful circle drive taking in Cunningham’s Gap, Warwick, Killarney and Boonah. 4×4 vehicles may choose to return to Warwick via Cambanoora Gorge via the 14 River Crossings of the Condamine River (weather and water levels permitting). Other travellers will enjoy a leisurely drive down the winding road of Spring Creek Road which meets up with the Scenic Rim township of Boonah. Please note, the section of the road between Carrs Lookout and Cambanoora Gorge is quite steep and narrow so is not suitable for large vehicles or caravans.
Getting your hours up has never been so much fun. Our road trip leaves from Brisbane and Gold Coast, meeting at Boonah. Meeting 9am
From here we have a Nav Rally to add some excitement to the drive.
Going up the Mountain range to Warwick and then through to Stanthorpe. ETA 1pm
At Stanthorpe, you can stay the night, create a weekend or turn around and come back, but our primary destination is Santas Farm
Our next stop is Queen Mary Falls. To get here, we drive some gravel roads and go through Killarney.
This gives the opportunity to really take in the majestic beauty of nature as you take the paths down to the base of the water falls.
From here, we drive straight down the range, a winding road full of technical challenges to improve your skills in braking, steering and vision.
Your coach is beside you at every step, your parents inspired by your development as a driver, it is what the ART of DRIVING is all about.
This is all part of the FALLS Drive, a tourist drive that is inspiring and majestic, a great drivers road.
Start your waterfall-hopping adventure at Browns Falls. From the parking lot, the walk is only 600 metres, although you should allow 20 minutes to navigate the undeveloped trail (rock hopping and creek crossing is required, but easily done) to the 15-metre falls.
Daggs Falls’ lookout is the easiest to access. One kilometre further along Spring Creek Road, the lookout above the 38-metre falls is just off the side of the road. (There is no trail to the base of this waterfall).
The biggest of the trio, Queen Mary Falls, plummets 40 metres over a horseshoe-shaped basalt cliff. The lookout is a short 400 metre walk from the parking area and picnic grounds, but devoting an extra 45 minutes to walk the two kilometre circuit will reward you with lush forest that opens to the rainforest gorge at the waterfall’s base.
Insider tip: Walk the circuit in a clockwise direction, it’s easier on the legs.
Make one last stop at Carr’s Lookout for spectacular views over Head Valley and the Scenic Rim.
The road climbs up a steep, but safe road, with stops along the way to view waterfalls and valleys and picturesque landscapes. Drive through rainforest trees, spotting wildlife along the way, to take a rest at Queen Mary Falls, where there is picnic facilities and a beautiful 40 metres of plunging waterfall, which carries the Spring Creek to the Condamine River and then to the Murray Darling.
The Falls Drive will take you past Teviot Falls, Browns Falls, Daggs Falls and Upper Browns Falls, with plenty of places to stop and take in the surroundings.
Carrs Lookout is an impressive view, with sights all the way to Brisbane on a clear day. Parking available at Spring Creek Café, and then a short walk along a purpose-built boardwalk to the lookout. It can get very cool up in the temperate rainforest, which makes for easy walking. The drive from Carrs Lookout to Boonah, or to Cambanoora Gorge below can get very steep and narrow in places, so is not a suitable road for large vehicles. Along this section, there are ancient rainforest trees, Bell-birds to hear and is a lovely, meandering trip down into the valley below.