By Samantha Wantling
I remember my Nana telling me that everything we go through in life has a silver lining.
Whilst I did not always appreciate her optimism, it has taken me nearly 50 years to realise … .she was right.
And there is no denying Covid has presented the Granite Belt with this perfect example.
When booking.com revealed which Aussie gems were getting the most love from the Australian travellers this year, it was no surprise to anyone who lives and breathes our region, that the Granite Belt took out the number one spot.
Suddenly people who have never even heard of the Granite Belt (hard to believe I know) are paying us a long overdue visit and what they are discovering is an area rich in everything that tantalises the senses. But what is it about the Granite Belt that has the country talking?
You can always start with our national parks.
They seem to rise from the earth to become a part of the most beautiful of sunrises and sunsets that paint enormous granite boulders with an unending palette of colour.
A simple walk through these parks and you quickly become lost in an almost prehistoric terrain as it winds its way through a magnificent display that only mother nature can deliver.
Or perhaps it is the appeal of sharing a world class wine with friends and family and hearing its journey from the vine to the glass direct from the passionate winemaker.
Every winery has its own story, whether it is the longest operating winery on the Granite Belt or one of the new kids on the block, and every operator is more than happy to explain the history of wine in our region and their views on its future.
There is not a palate not catered for, whether you are a true wine connoisseur, or this is your first array into the world of wine tasting.
But you cannot just rest at our wine, with every good drop you have to team with some delectable cuisine, and the Granite Belt provides that in droves.
With restaurants and cafes alike providing an emphasis on fresh and local, Granite Belt chefs have embraced the cultural diversity that is rife within the region and added this to their assorted menus. What many do not know is the Granite Belt is at the heart of Queensland food bowl and this achievement is celebrated within every morsel that is prepared throughout the district.
Of course, many people come specifically for the serenity. With sun soaked, lazy days to uninterrupted night skies, serenity should just be our middle name. Nothing says the Granite Belt more than sitting in front of a fire with a bottle of our vino, a platter of local delicacies and the sound of silence to complete the backdrop.
And if you have not been busy enough, don’t forget to enjoy spectacular markets, unique shopping, one-of-a-kind attractions, four distinct and magnificent seasons, country- hospitality accommodation at its finest and the list just continues.