Growing Regions - Queensland
The Queensland apple industry is based solely on the so-called Granite Belt around Stanthorpe, on the Queensland/New South Wales border. The region is well named with clearly visible large granite outcrops and balancing boulders from the Triassic age (251-205 million years old).
Stanthorpe in Southern Queensland is known for producing crunchy apples. Start your day off by enjoying a crunchy Stanthorpe apple in this delicious Bircher Muesli!
Stanthorpe holds the record for the lowest temperature recorded in Queensland at -11 °C in July 1895. In winter Stanthorpe is frequently the coldest town in the state with sleet and light snowfalls recorded from time to time. The Granite Belt is therefore one of the few areas in Queensland with a climate suitable for pome fruit production. The area’s elevation of 800-1000 metres above sea level results in a cool summer climate, which is brilliant for growing large and juicy apples and pears. In 2009 there were approximately 45 apple growers in Queensland, many of whom have farmed in the district for generations and who also grow stonefruit, pears and cherries. The region could be called “Little Italy” because of the large proportion of inhabitants with Italian ethnic origins.
When minerals were found on the Granite Belt large numbers of tin miners moved to the area. The name Stanthorpe derives from the Latin: stannum (tin) and thorpe (village). When tin mining declined in the region the locals started to diversify and people began growing large quantities of stone fruit and grapes. For more detail log onto www.granitebeltwinecountry.com.au.
Apple orchards are located around the northern and western Granite Belt villages of Cottonvale, Thulimbah, The Summit, Applethorpe and Pozieres which are all within 15 minutes drive of the heart of Stanthorpe.
According to Apple and Pear Australia Ltd (APAL) the national pome fruit body, in 2008 Queensland was the third largest apple producer in Australia. The main apple varieties grown in the Granite Belt at present include: Delicious Striped Red, Royal Gala, Granny Smith and Cripps Pink (marketed under the trade mark name Pink Lady™).