You won’t have to peek from behind the fence to see some of the best gardens on the Granite Belt during Stanthorpe’s Apple and Grape Festival, with eight fabulous Granite Belt open gardens for your viewing pleasure.
Who has the best garden on the Granite Belt?
Walkthrough the Granite Belt Open Gardens during the Apple and Grape Festival and pick your favourite! From February 26 to March 6, 2022, seven gardens are open on various days (see the complete list for dates and times at the end of this story). Located on Queensland’s southern border, the Granite Belt is the state’s only showcase for cool climate gardening. The high elevation makes it the coldest part of the Sunshine state.
The gardens here are different from the tropical gardens along Queensland’s coastline and a delight to wander. These spaces will delight and amaze with their beautiful vistas and carefully conjured scenes from rambling acreage to small-town properties.
Swimming pool at Braeside Homestead
Granite Belt Open Gardens
What a pleasure it will be to walk through the best gardens on the Granite Belt during the open gardens weekends. How many ideas will you take home? There are five home gardens filled with flowers and two gardens from producers to show how these gardens work on the Granite Belt to see.
Braeside Homestead – 28 Crystal Mountain Road, The Glen
Built in 1874, heritage-listed Braeside Homestead has been significantly restored along with an expansion and development of the garden. Designed by Carolyn Robinson, the gardens cover approximately seven hectares, including terraces, pathways and ponds that took over five years to establish. The spectacularly big garden is segmented with rose gardens, scented gardens, multiple avenues, and water features. You’ll find Braeside located halfway between Warwick and Stanthorpe, just off the New England Highway.
All images in this story were taken at Braeside.
What a delight to walk through the best gardens on the Granite Belt
Cabria, 16 MacGregor Terrace, Stanthorpe
Small but beautiful, this 30-year-old garden survived the Granite Belt drought with the help of drought-tolerant species including pots with succulents and cacti. Here you walk amongst standard roses, brightly coloured hibiscus and pretty crepe myrtle trees. Bromeliads and fushcias add pops of vibrant colour and show how the best gardens on the Granite Belt include a diverse selection of plants.
Bellflowers, 129 Ricca Road, Ballandean
Bellflowers is a colourful garden on the hilltop at Ballandean on the southern end of the Granite Belt. This garden is young and vibrant, with a rose garden and informal paths leading you past shrubs and annual borders. At the heart is a courtyard where you can sit and enjoy the view.
Wahroonga, 54 Lock Street, Stanthorpe
Built in the early 1900s, Waroonga’s garden has a long wisteria walk with an arbour, hedged ‘rooms’ filled with colourful blooms, beds of camellias and informal native grass plantings. The David Austin roses boom throughout spring and summer amongst the dry stone rock walls and gravel paths.
It takes a lot of courage to purchase a property in a severe drought. Still, Bevan and Jayne Dawes jumped right into Accommodation Creek cottages in September 2019. The dams and creeks were empty, and the drought had taken its toll on the property. So they started relandscaping in Autumn 2020, planting spring bulbs to display anemones, daffodils, Dutch iris and ranunculus. Then it rained. Now the dams are full, and the creeks flowing strongly.
Grevis-James Garden, 15 Anzac Street, Stanthorpe
This beautiful semi-formal garden on a sloping site close to Quart Pot Creek has been created by the Grevis-James over the past seven years. Granite boulders are a feature of the design created by Carolyn Robinson for the previous owners. Expect to see roses, lavenders and perennials.
Possum Lane Farm, 38 Nicholson Road, Thorndale, via Stanthorpe
With a focus on biodiversity, this working farm produces vegetables, herbs, and leafy greens for local sale. Their hydroponic parsley is sold directly to Brisbane markets. They also have the first commercial hop yard in Queensland. This is an integrated horticulture property where regenerative farming involves testing innovations. It will only be open on Sunday, February 27, from 9 am to 4 pm.
Bridget’s Organic Produce Garden, 20 Nelson Crescent, Stanthorpe
Bridget’s organic market garden flourishes with berries, vegetables, herbs and fruits. She also has a large kitchen garden. Her produce is sole through the Granite Belt Farmers Market at Stanthorpe Railway Station (open Fridays from 7.30 am to 1 pm) and the organic growers group at Northey Street Organic Farmers Market (6 am to 11 am Sundays). The garden will be open on Saturday, February 26, from 10 am to 4 pm.
Granite Belt Open Gardens times and cost
You can purchase a $30 Granite Belt Open Gardens All Gardens Pass which is only available online or pay $5 entry per person per garden at the gate. Bring the whole family but leave your dog at home.
The Granite Belt Open Gardens times are –
- Saturday, February 26, 10 am-4 pm (7 gardens open)
- Sunday, February 27, 10 am-4 pm (7 gardens open)
- Wednesday, March 2, 9 am-5 pm (7 gardens open)
- Friday, March 4, 10 am-4 pm (6 gardens open)
- Saturday, March 5, 10 am-1 pm (6 gardens open)
- Sunday, March 6 from 10 am-1 pm (6 gardens open
Where to stay and what to do on the Granite Belt
I have visited the Granite Belt many times and have picked my eight favourite places to stay.
Here are some suggestions for exploring the region