Snow forecast on the granite belt boosts tourism in the region

With just over a week left in the season, winter brought a late cold spell that sent temperatures plummeting in southern Queensland.

In the Granite Belt region, Stanthorpe dropped to 2.1 degrees this morning, but the promise of widespread snow showers did not materialize.

Pozieres resident Kathy de Weger captured images of snow showers at her Donnelly’s Keep property around midnight after picking up her cat.

“I was so excited that we only moved here in November from Brisbane,” Ms de Weger said.

“To be honest, I didn’t mind chasing the cat, it was fun to have the gusts hitting my face.”

Ms de Weger said the snow showers immediately melted away.

She said her cat Molly walked away from the cold three hours after searching.

“Thank goodness for the UGG boots and a crackling fire,” she said.

“It’s not easy to look for a black cat, that’s for sure.”

Nature-based tourism is attracting record numbers of visitors to the Granite Belt region. (Southern Queensland ABCs: Georgie Hewson)

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Bradley Wood said it was cold but the humidity and cold air did not combine.

“If it were to happen, it would be in the early hours of the morning, but despite the cold and the wind, it looks pretty dry,” Mr Wood said.

Radiators and fireplaces were in overdrive as other areas also shivered through the night.

Roma and Charleville were the coldest in the state, each recording lows of minus 0.1 degrees.

In Oakey the mercury dropped to 1.7 degrees and in Wellcamp near Toowoomba it was 2.1 degrees.

“These cold mornings are more unusual around spring, but certainly not unheard of,” Mr Wood said.

“Towards the end of the week there won’t be much change, we expect temperatures to remain quite cool.”

Man inside cafe looking at camera smiling.
Phil Politch says talking about snow has created a lot of buzz in Stanthorpe.(Southern Queensland ABCs: Georgie Hewson)

Cool temperatures favor pockets on the hips

The promise of snow has drawn visitors to the granite belt in droves.

Coffee Shop owner Phil Politch said Stanthorpe has been buzzing for two weeks talking about snow.

‘I’ve lived in Stanthorpe all my life and all of a sudden when it says snow, cars start coming, coming into the cafe and they’re asking where it’s going to snow,’ he said .

Mr Politch said he hoped to see Stanthorpe turn into a winter wonderland.

“It’s probably snowed twice in the past 30 years, but there are a few flurries in the Eukey area, but you never know,” he said.

A woman on a trail looking at the camera smiling.
Kristy O’Brien says talking about snow has been good for the city’s economy. (Southern Queensland ABCs: Georgie Hewson)

Further down the road, company owner Kristy O’Brien said a snow forecast is always good for business.

“Normally we’re not very busy in the afternoon, but yesterday it was like an avalanche, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, it must be snowing,'” she said. .

Ms O’Brien said it had been several years since she had experienced snowy conditions.

“I saw good snow in 2015, it was like a fairy tale…you want it to fall so I can snowboard,” she said.

Ms O’Brien said she would enjoy what was left of the season.

“You’re always a bit optimistic, if there’s a possibility of snow, it always gets people curious… I think it could be the last hurray and then hopefully it will warm up,” he said. she declared.

‘Icing on the cake’

Southern Queensland Country Tourism managing director Peter Homan said the Granite Belt had seen “record numbers this year” from day-trippers and those wishing to stay longer.

“The last three seasons have been amazing and this one was the icing on the cake,” he said.

“People are loving our area and the cold right now so they can sit in front of an open fire and have a glass of red wine.”

Homan said the area’s popularity was due to people wanting to experience more nature-based tourism.

He said it should also have a ripple effect on the number of international visitors.

“Where it’s typically around 5-7% of the international market, we expect to see around 20% over the next two years,” Homan said.

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