These days our old(er) bones don't like the hard rocky ground so we tend to stay in cabins or B & B's. Our most recent trip was a long weekend away at Stanthorpe, on the Queensland side of the border. It is a great little country town, surrounded by vineyards, and other tourist havens like olive and lavender farms, jamworks, and a fabulous apple farm- Suttons-where they make their own seasonal juices, ciders, and apparently the best apple pie in the State!
We had a great time driving around the countryside, taking in the beautiful sweeping plains and the big blue skies. And don't forget the wallabies, kookaburras, ducks (and 6 adorable babies) and all the other wildlife. And of course there is lots of great food around.
|glorious mountain views on the road to Stanthorpe|
|lunch at Warwick's Cherry Tree Cafe-yep that's a lot of chips!|
|the sunsets were glorious and glowing|
We were lucky that it was almost the full moon, so we had the most wonderful sunsets then a beautiful moonrise each night. As there were controlled burn-offs each day, it meant there was lots of smoke haze in the air, leading to divine nightly shows as the sun glowed through the clouds.
On our first full day, we went off to Hidden Creek Winery to have lunch. We seemed to be the only tourists around this particular day so we had the cafe to ourselves. It was lovely sitting in the sun at the front of the cafe, watching the farmer pruning his vines with an air-compressor tool. No hand jobs for the modern vintner!
|pinkly-glowing magnolia tree at the front of the cafe|
I had grilled barramundi and vegies, while Mr Pickings had a beef and red wine pie. As I am being kind to my liver lately, I only had lemon lime and bitters to drink. Kinda ironic being in a wine growing area, but guess what! I drank no alcohol all weekend. After lunch, we went to the lavender farm just over the border and spoke to the old lady who runs the place. She was a bit of a ditherer but the nice thing was that she said we had made her day. We were her only visitors so she was very glad to see us.
|who could resist this cute bear? Not me!|
I can never resist buying boutique olive oils so off we hot-footed the next morning to the Mt Stirling Olive farm. They also sell local fudge, and chilli products so it is heaven for me. Mr Pickings just holds the basket! So yes I bought infused oils and olive forks and olives and fudge- you get the idea.
|Ok this is just one of the many items I bought!|
We headed off to a local winery for lunch which is on the opposite side of the highway to the olive farm so how could we resist such serendipitous proximity? They are right up on top of a ridge so you get wonderful views from the restaurant, so you can eat and drink and admire. More about this in Part 2!