Stanthorpe `23

Ok, I’ll admit it. I’ve been here before. I’ve been to Stanthorpe, and I’ve stayed at Diamondvale. Diamondvale and their previous owners hosted myself and my late husband back in 2007. We had an unbelievable time. Just chilling. Watching the sun go down and drinking the occasional bottle of wine. Well, we were in the Granite Belt, Wine Country after all.

Here we are in 2023 and Mark is no longer here. I planned my first proper ‘solo’ trip away since he’s been gone. A weird feeling but I know he’d approve of this one! After getting to know the new Diamondvale owners via chatting on Instagram and then meeting owner Rachel in person, I decided that I would have a trip there. I booked two nights away and made sure I had the same cottage that Mark and I had. A little of reliving an old memory, but a lot of making new ones.


330km and about four hours on the road. That’s what was ahead of me. I could cut the time down a little if I stayed on the Bruce Highway but there was a reason I didn’t want to go this way. I wanted to stay off the major roads and take in the scenery, stopping for coffee and lunch as I felt the need. It was that simple. I had music for the road trip and my iPad so I could read a book over lunch or coffee. My journey took me out to Kilcoy and then down to Gatton. From there I joined the ‘80’, then the A3 to Warwick. Then it was the ‘15’ for the last portion of the journey.  It was a lovely journey.  Music playing. Green fields and scenery. Just what was needed. I stopped for lunch on the way and picked up some goodies for my evening.

THE LOCATION  is at the end of one of those roads where all I’ll say is “if you think you’ve gone too far…keep going”. It is secluded but yet only a 25-minute stroll to Stanthorpe Centre. It is quiet yet it’s not unusual to see the other guests. By other guests, I mean the kangaroos and the house cat, both of which visited me.

Diamondvale is close to several wineries, one of which is my absolute favourite –  Its also close to Stanthorpe Cheese, The Big Apple and more.


Diamondvale is made up of 4 cottages and the Pioneer Hut. The cottages are: –

Forget-me-Not did not disappoint. A beautiful king size bed, sofa and homely furniture fill the space to make you feel like you belong there, almost as if it’s your own home. That’s what you want when you go away somewhere, that sense of belonging.

It’s the added touches that make it even more special. The oil burner making it smell nice as you walk in. A radio channel playing in the background when you open the door. More tea and coffee than you can drink in your visit. Option to buy the wine and ale that’s chilling nicely in your fridge ready for you after the journey in and homemade chocolate from Rachel in her kitchen. As well of course as the owners coming out to meet you as you pull up.


During the month of October, the weather averages mid 20s during the day and around 10 at night. While I was there the weather was:

Thursday – 25 during the day and 8 degrees overnight.

Friday – 27 through the day and 7 degrees overnight.

Saturday reached 29 degrees.


Where do I even start? There is so much to do. I’ll give you a few ideas.

  • Photograph the Big Apple (Australia has big everything!)
  • Sample local cheese.
  • Girraween National Park.
  • (Too many to mention but do not miss Symphony Hill)
  • Waterfalls at Killarney.
  • Quart Pot Creek.
  • The Truffle Centre.
  • Donnelly Castle Geological Formation.
  • Lavender Farm.

And believe me when I say, I’m just getting started. The area is filled to the brim with potential for things to do. From visiting the places I’ve mentioned to finding new ones. From sharing wine at the wineries to having lunch somewhere nice. Even something as simple as having a drive out. It’s all there for the taking. There are 11 different drives around the area ranging from 32km to 190km.



Thursday 19 October

I stopped on my way into the cottages and picked up some supplies. I’m not ashamed to say there was some chocolate there! What else does a girl need but chocolate and a good book? For good book, that’s me telling you it’s a good John Grisham! I’d had lunch on the way in, so the rest of my arrival day was stretching my legs around the Diamondvale property, relaxing and reading.

Friday 20 October

I had the best sleep overnight in a king size bed with a mountain of soft pillows. After breakfast I took myself off for a drive. I also had picked out some places that I wanted to check out. One thing I had definitely planned was to call into .  I couldn’t taste test as I was driving, but I knew exactly what I wanted.

Off I set at about 10am. My first stop was Eukey Road which was where Symphony Hills winery is housed.  A bottle of Danying which was an indulgence for me as well as a bottle of dry red. The second place that I wanted to go was Washpool Supply Company. Having used their toiletry products in Diamondvale, I thought that I’d take a couple of bits home!Just up the road from Washpool, I found Granite Belt Brewery. It would be remiss of me not to take back some ale for Dad so 6 IPAs found their way into the cool bag in my car. 2 for $14 or 6 for $20…. tough decision! I then popped into Vincenzo’s – aka ‘The Big Apple’ just to have a nose around.


Then it was on to the Stanthorpe Cheese Factory. A triple cheese toastie was lunch. A variety of different Stanthorpe cheeses including a chilli one. I do like the spicier things in life! Two cheeses bought to take home and that was done.

Finally, I drove to the Aloomba Lavender Farm. The trouble was I had to cross the border. I was now in enemy territory (blues country). It was a nice drive. The whole day took me along the Armistice Tourist Drive too. 34km through the Passchendaele Forest.

Saturday 21 October

As much as it pains me to say, it was home time. It was a short two-night stop for me and if I am honest, for a first proper time away without Mark, it was probably about right. No matter where you go though, it’s always nice being in your own house. I left at checkout time and headed off to my next stop. Somewhere special.


My journey home was slightly different to the one going. I had a pit-stop to make. I left Stanthorpe and hit the ‘15’ all the way to Kalbar. Why was I stopping I hear you ask?

Let me tell you. Back in 2021, I ticked an item off my bucket list by visiting Jenny at her farm in Kalbar. I know what you’re thinking. Farm? Bucket list? But this one was special. This was home in 2021 to 80,000 sunflowers that I could walk through. My late husband bought me sunflowers weekly, so this was a beautiful moment for me. It was something Mark and I always wanted to do together but never did. Jenny, having recently lost her husband reached out and we managed to get times/dates worked out. We hooked up for a beautiful home-made lunch.

After my visit, I took the ‘15’ and then the ‘17’ back to Kilcoy. After that it was across to Peachester, Beerwah and home via Steve Irwin Way. It added about 20 minutes onto the journey but better to go that way than to tackle Brisbane traffic at the time of day I’d be coming through! Before I knew it, I was home. Dad is away with his camera club, so I have a few more days til he comes back.

All in all, this trip was perfect. I had been looking forward to this since I booked it way back in mid-June. It did not disappoint. Reliving an old memory with a smile. Making new memories with lots of laughs.