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Granite Belt booms over Australia Day long weekend

The Australia Day long weekend on the Granite Belt has smashed visitation records, with wineries and accommodation houses recording a visitor influx that has operators pumped for a stellar year ahead.

Booming at our cellar door

Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi, fourth-generation vigneron and long-time Granite Belt ambassador says,

The last few days at the Ballandean Estate’s cellar door have been mind-blowing, we’ve shared our estate-grown and estate-made wines with over 1000 amicis!

People have started their Australia Day escape early, with an abundance of first-timers making their way out to Ballandean Estate to do their first tasting of the weekend. These are people who’ve had friends visit the Granite Belt for the first time over winter and spring, and are keen to experience our delights based on the strength of the stories they’ve been told.

Many are still nervous to travel outside of Queensland given ongoing uncertainty with borders, and we have found a lot of grey nomads from the Queensland’s south-east are making their way out to the Granite Belt and starting their first big outback adventure, heading for places like Goondiwindi, St George, Charleville, Winton, Longreach and Carnarvon. Food, wine, fossils, gorges and dinosaurs!”

Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi

Booked out at the Granite Belt Motel

At the Granite Belt Motel, which has a multimillion-dollar renovation well underway, owner-operator Michael Jensen reports,

Not only have we been fully booked for Friday and Saturday nights, we are at capacity mid-week too. Momentum continues to build for our business and the region, with major projects underway: road works, a new dam, windfarm and new attractions and venues planned or under build.

We are seeing a lot of families coming here for the weekend, getting out to the orchards and picking stone fruit, meeting alpacas, gathering strawberries, exploring the maze and walking and swimming in our waterways and national parks.

Michael Jensen

Ms Puglisi-Gangemi of Ballandean Estate, Queensland’s oldest family owned and operated winery, hopes that Queenslanders continue to support pandemic safety measures and adapt to change.

The Granite Belt is continuing to build on its reputation as a safe destination. It is fantastic our visitors really understand the importance of hand hygiene, social distancing and contact tracing.

Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi

Images

  • Stephanie Elms and Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi getting ready for influx of cellar door weekend visitors as they taste-test Australia Day wines (banner) 
  • Sammi and Andy from Toowoomba at Ballandean Estate Wines planning their upcoming wedding (right column)
  • The beating heart of the Granite Belt

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