Stretching along the New England Highway near Stanthorpe in South Eastern Queensland, The Granite Belt is a rapidly emerging wine region. It is the largest of the Queensland wine regions, with a over 500 hectares under vine. The Granite Belt is home to many award winning food destinations, small restaurants and cafes proudly using local seasonal produce.
A catholic priest is credited with starting the wine industry here more than a century ago. Fr Jerome Davadi may not have realised that encouraging his parishioners to diversify their farms would have been the genesis of what has bcome the Queensland wine capital.
With over 1500 hectares of vines and a new generation of talented people at the top, the creation of quality Queensland wines has had wide acceptance nationally and internationally. The range of producers is significant from large vineyards which produce wine sold nationally, to tiny operations where the science of making wine is treated with the reverence of an artform. Some operations are well set up for large groups and most require bookings for coaches. While here, don't forget to check out our world-class National Parks with their unique granite formations and rare flora and fauna.
A former whaling station, Tangalooma Resort on Moreton Island is very lucky to be visited on a nightly basis by a small pod of bottlenose dolphins. The jetty at Tangalooma is the perfect platform for viewing and observing these wild dolphins as they continuously entertain visitors with their inquisitive antics. Moreton Island lies 58 kilometres northeast of the Queensland capital, Brisbane. The island is predominantly National Park and a popular destination for four wheel driving, camping, recreational angling and whale watching.
Beyond the Southern Downs is The Outback, a the vast, remote, arid area of Australia. It is not a defined area, and people's interpretation of where the outback begins and ends varies greatly; the term generally refers to any lands outside the main urban areas.
The opening up of new highways and railways has made the Outback more accessible than ever before. It can still be a dangerous place if you travel beyond the limitations of your experience, but provided you don't stray too far off the beaten track, an outback journey can be a safe and fascinating travel experience into one of the world's last, largely uninhabited frontiers.