You won’t have to peek from behind the fence to see the best gardens on the Granite Belt during Stanthorpe’s Apple and Grape Festival.

From February 24 to March 4 the gardens are open on various days (see the full list for dates and times at the end of this story) showcasing the best of cool climate gardening. They are so different to the tropical gardens along Queensland’s coastline and a delight to wander.

From rambling acreage to small town properties, these spaces will delight and amaze with their beautiful vistas and carefully conjured scenes.

More Apple & Grape Highlights

Dog’s day out on the pet-friendly Granite Belt.

Queensland wines ready for world domination.

New Open Gardens in 2018

These two gardens are new to the best gardens on the Granite Belt line up in 2018.

Braeside Homestead – 28 Crystal Mountain Road, The Glen

Built in 1874, heritage listed Braeside Homestead recently has undergone significant restoration along with garden development and expansion. It was last opened in 2016.

Designed by Carolyn Robinson, the gardens cover approximately seven hectares including terraces, pathways and ponds have taken over five years to establish and are nearly completed.

The spectacularly big garden is segmented with rose gardens, scented gardens, multiple avenues, and water features.

You’ll find Braeside located half-way between Warwick and Stanthorpe just off the New England Highway.

All images in this story were taken at Braeside.

Tyrel Cottage, 4 Tyrel Street, Stanthorpe

Built in the 1880s, Tyrel Cottage was purchased by the current owners in 2013 and was extensively renovated.

The new owners moved took up permanent residence in July 2014 and started work on the half-acre property which was overgrown with vines.

Landscape designer Carolyn Robinson worked with the owners to devise a new design and layout, and construction of the garden commenced in April 2015.  The plantings were completed by December 2017.

Several dry rock walls have constructed by the owners with assistance and input of local rock wall expert Steve Green to establish garden beds around the rocky outcrops on the property. It’s taken more than 120 cubic metres of garden soil and 70 cubic metres of mushroom compost along with a combination of granite rock, lucerne and sugar cane mulch to establish the gardens.

Old favourites

These showstoppers are old favourites amongst the best gardens on the Granite Belt.

Bellflowers, 129 Ricca Road, Ballandean

Bellflowers is a colourful hilltop garden at Ballandean on the southern end of the Granite Belt.  This emerging garden is young and vibrant with a rose garden and informal paths that lead you past borders of shrubs and annuals.  At the heart of the garden is a courtyard where you can sit and enjoy the view.

Bramble Patch Private Garden – 381 Townsend Road, Glen Aplin

This stunning garden that has roses and perennials, including massed salvias and cannas, providing a blaze of colour against the hedging, well-established trees and shrubs. An attractive lake fringed with water-loving plants adds further interest as do the small waterfall, bridge, trellised and decorative seating.

Granite Gardens Cottages and Lake Retreat, 90 Nicholson Rd, Thorndale via Stanthorpe

Developed from an eroded sheep grazing property in 1990 covering 40 acres, Granite Gardens is located just outside Stanthorpe.

David Austin roses feature throughout the garden with borders of Catmint and plantings of agapanthus, camellias, magnolias, geranium, succulents, perennials and hundreds of bulbs.

The details

Entry is $5 per person per garden, pay at the gate.

The gardens are open:

  • Saturday 24 February from 10am-4pm
  • Sunday 25 February from 9am-5pm
  • Wednesday 28 February from 9am-5pm
  • Friday 2 March from 10am-4pm
  • Saturday 3 March from 10am-1pm
  • Sunday 4 March from 10am-1pm

See the Apple and Grape Harvest Festival program for more details.


Get ready for lots festival fun!

For more than 50 years Stanthorpe has kicked up its heels and come together to celebrate the region’s bounty for the Apple & Grape Harvest Festival.  From February 23 to March 4 the festival fills the streets with bike rides and chalk artists, apple peeling and pie making.

The Carnival and Wine Fiesta on March 3 and 4 is a festival highlight. Head to Stanthorpe for the day on Saturday or Sunday, and you can travel on a puffing billy, learn about wine from Australia’s top winemaker, browse the Market in the Mountains, watch grape crushing the old- fashioned way, check out a rodeo, see the grand parade and visit an open garden.

Check out the full Apple & Grape Harvest Festival

Disclaimer:  This post is sponsored by Southern Downs Regional Council. For more ways to explore the region visit the Southern Downs and Granite Belt.