Christmas in July - the Granite Belt

12 July 2016

We haven’t lost our marbles, and here at Flight Centre we do realise that the real Christmas only happens once a year. A time of year that brings soaring summer temperatures and intense humidity, particularly in Queensland – but there is a growing 'Christmas in July' movement, also known as Yulefest or Yuletide in Australia, and our friends on the Granite Belt are embracing this trend big time.

 Snowy forest view of The Granite Belt. Yes it really does snow on The Granite Belt! Image: Girraween Eco Lodge

The Granite Belt, with its regular sub-zero temps and occasional snow in July, provides the perfect backdrop to recreate all those familiar Northern Hemisphere festive celebrations.

Stanthorpe Events coordinates in conjunction with local farmers and growers to host a whole roster of Christmasey type events. Things like Snowflakes in Stanthorpe, which is a snow-based winter festival designed to give the visitor a snow-based experience and access to other winter themed activities over a three-day period in July.

The festival over the three days includes ice skating rink, snow play area, snowman making competition, winter themed photo competition, granite belt wineries, fashion parade, fireworks and lots more.

 A decorative foam snowman and snowwoman. The Snowflakes in Stanthorpe mascots. Image: Granite Belt Wine Country.

There are snow-globe and felting workshops on during July, and if you want to learn how to make gourmet sausages, prime cuts, saddle roll, slow cooked shoulder and braising, you can join the friendly team at the Varias restaurant training kitchen to break down a pig from it’s nose to it’s toes.

Other local businesses like Golden Grove Winery and Chef Jason host a Sicilian style Christmas in July. A full buffet of Christmas fare, with all the trimmings await you at this lovely venue with a very reasonable price that includes the bus trip there and back.

The Christmas in July Market in the Mountains at the Stanthorpe Exhibition Centre go all out in the Yuletide theme - where they make it, bake it, sew it, grow it – all with a Christmas twist.

 Brass monkey sitting on an icicle laced bench. Cold enough to freeze the icicles off a brass monkey. Image: Granite Belt Wine Country

More than 45 stallholders sell a range of unique handcrafted items made from wood, leather, paper, wool, cotton and other items. Clothing, knitted items, hand bags and a great selection of jewellery handcrafted pieces. There's a wonderful range of jams, pickles, honey, cakes, biscuits and much more. Also enjoy a variety of arts and craft, plants, fruit and vegetables. The quality is first class and all stalls are vetted to ensure this.

While Christmas in July does not replace the real Christmas in December, if you want to experience a little bit of snow covered Christmas joy, get along to the Granite Belt any time in July and you may just get your wish.


Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest deals.


Tara Young

The experience of travel changes a person. I see my job as highlighting what amazing travel opportunities there are to broaden your knowledge of that great big world beyond your doorstep and what you may learn about yourself on the way.