Thursday, December 18, 2008

All Aboard - Toot Toot

It has taken more than a decade, but the romance of steam rail was restored to the Southern Downs this week.

Thanks to the dedicated effort of a group of "train tragics", the volunteer army faithfully restored a C17 steam locomotive and carriage. The group received the green light from a certified engineer for the train to travel on Queensland Rail lines. Southern Downs Steam Railway (SDSR) aims to provide a unique heritage railway experience on the Darling Downs and Granite Belt through the operation of a tourist railway. SDSR is based on the site of Warwick's former Locomotive Depot.
It will run its first commercial service on Australia Day with a trip to Clifton and Hendon - phone 07 4661 9788. Granite Belt Wine & Tourism believe that the romance of travelling by steam to the Queensland premier wine region is on the cards for 2009. Click for more

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lonely Planet declares cool is hot

"Queensland's coolest town (literally) at an altitude of 915m, is one of its least-known tourist hotspots" how Lonely Planet describes Stanthorpe. (see Queensland & The Great Barrier Reef, Edition 5 - page 170.)

With four distinct seasons, summer was traditionally the time tourists visited the Granite Belt, but in the past decade winter has been hugely popular. With global warming we might see that trend reverse as Queenslanders escape the coastal heat and head for the hills. During summer the Granite Belt is typically five degrees cooler than Brisbane during the day and as much as seven degrees cooler overnight. A great reason to escape! Check out today's temps here

Monday, December 8, 2008

Record Beer Price for Charity

Rumbalara Estate's recent African Rhythm and Reds on Tap fundraiser for Aids Orphans in South Africa was boosted by a record price for a case of beer.

Not satisfied that they helped raise more than $2075.20 through beer sales and fun games at their 22 November function, owners Mike & Bobbi Cragg put $1500 on the table to purchase the last case of beer for their workers. All proceeds go to the OLSH Mission in Tzaneen in north eastern Transvaal. Date for the next Rhythm & Reds is set for 21 November 2001. To learn more click here.

Cherry Christmas

On receiving a gift box of Granite Belt produce, feature writer Alison Cotes wrote:

"Yummy, yum, yum! Thank you so much. The fruit has gone straight into my tutti frutti Christmas treat - 1 bottle brandy, 250gm sugar, stir to dissolve, add stone fruit and berries as they come into the shops. Top up with more brandy as needed. On Christmas Eve, eat the fruit over superior ice-cream, and drink the liqueur. "Thank you for making Christmas Eve even better, and have a great one yourself."

Across town at the DPI, Kaye Nunan said she whisked her fresh dill home and whipped up a fabulous potato salad for the weekend.

To find out what's in season, click here.