Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Sunday (Maroochydore, Australia)

Roadtrip of Discovery; Visiting Stanthorpe Is about the Beautiful Journey as Well as the Amazing Destination, Writes SARAH REX

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Sunday (Maroochydore, Australia)

Roadtrip of Discovery; Visiting Stanthorpe Is about the Beautiful Journey as Well as the Amazing Destination, Writes SARAH REX

Article excerpt

THE road is long with many a winding turn that leads us to Stanthorpe, the apple of Queensland's eye.

Although the destination lies a good four-hour drive south of the Sunshine Coast, the kids in the back seat will have plenty to distract them along the way.

First stop is 60 clicks south-west of Brisbane at the Aratula Bakery for cakes baked the old-fashioned way. Pick from a delicious choice of big pieces of apple pie (made with Stanthorpe apples), nutmeg topped custard tarts or extra long chocolate E[umlaut]clairs filled with jam and cream.

Back in the car, keep your eyes peeled for the old tumbledown house with solar panels, the fields of fresh produce such as beans, broccoli and cabbage.

Another fantastic sight on the road from Aratula is the Great Dividing Range. Make your way through the domineering mountains with breathtaking views and abundant bushland either side of the road.

Next stop on the list is Warwick. The Condamine River runs through the township and on the riverbank you will find a sculpture of Tiddalik the frog who, according to Aboriginal Dreamtime legend, drank all of the fresh water. It is a great place to stop for a picnic.

Pile into the car one last time, drive 60 kilometres and you will arrive at Stanthorpe.

Top of the Town Tourist Park on High Street is the ideal place to stay in Stanthorpe if you want to explore the local area. The complex has motel rooms and bungalows for visitors who enjoy their creature comforts, as well as caravan and camping sites for the more adventurous traveller.

Lush natural bush land borders the tourist park, which merges beautifully with the park flora. Visitors are sure to see and hear the native wildlife, such as kookaburras and magpies in the mornings, creating an unexpected environmentally aware holiday experience.

A weekend stay calls for a relaxed breakfast on Sunday morning, and the best place in town is the family-owned Aussie Beef Steakhouse.

The Big Breakfast is served buffet style so you can fill up on freshly cooked bacon and eggs, delicious pastries and mouth-watering seasonal fruit before a big day out.

Most Queenslanders know Stanthorpe as the apple capital of the state, but few know of the family-friendly accommodation, boutique wineries, dairy farms and other attractions speckled across the region. …

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