Stanthorpe is a town situated in south east Queensland, Australia. The town lies on the New England Highway and is the administrative centre of the Stanthorpe Shire Council. The shire’s population is approximately 10,400. The area surrounding the town is known as the Granite Belt.
Stanthorpe was founded by tin miners. People came from many countries to mine tin from 1872. Stanthorpe means ‘tintown’ because Stannum means ‘tin’ and thorpe means ‘town’. The main industry today is agriculture, the main crops being apples and grapes. Wine and stone fruit are also produced in the area, and sheep and cattle grazing is also prevalent. Stanthorpe holds the record for the lowest temperature recorded in Queensland at -11.0 °C in July 1895. In winter, Stanthorpe is frequently the coldest town in the state. Sleet and light snowfalls are rare but have been recorded numerous times.
Stanthorpe and the surrounding Granite Belt and Granite Highlands area of South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales are the centre of a booming winery and national parks tourist destination. There are more than 50 wineries in the Granite Belt winery area, with a wide range of restaurants.
Wine and tourism are a very important part of the town’s economy. A world-standard College of Wine Tourism has recently been opened in the town to enable students to study these vocations and Stanthorpe State High School owns and operates its own winery. Backpacking conditions here are excellent and there is large demand for fruit and vegetable pickers from November until May each year.