The Granite Belt Art and Craft Trail, held over three huge days at the end of October, is reporting
almost 3000 visitors through venues for 2020, compared to 1100 people in its first year.
The open studios event ran as a collective of COVID sensitive events across 17 venues, from
studios to small halls, breweries, cafes and cellar doors and concluded Sunday 1 November 2020.
Thirty local artisans held workshops throughout the region from Wallangarra in the south to
Cottonvale in the north. Visitors and locals alike took classes, watched demonstrations and were
entertained by the areas wealth of local talent.
Event founder Rosy Chapman says,
“The inaugural event brought over $60,000 into our regional economy from tourists. In 2021, our
conservative estimate is well over $600,000, thanks to the groundswell of support from our drive
“Our highest-yield visitors came from Brisbane, Toowoomba, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine
Coast. Many stayed for more than three nights, booking alternative wine tours, visiting our
national parks and patronising our local businesses.
“Accommodation operators across the Granite Belt came close to reaching capacity with over 80
per cent of accommodation fully booked. (Source: Booking.com)
“Our first year saw local support at 60% and visitor support at 40%. This year, the scales have
tipped, bringing the Granite Belt 60% of visitors from outside the region, and 40% of locals, who
continue to get behind the event, which has the objectives of: inclusiveness, reduced isolation,
identity as an arts and cultural destination and economic diversity”, says Ms Chapman.
First-time visitor to the Granite Belt Freya James joined a group of eight for a four-night getaway,
visiting numerous venues on the trail via self-drive and Filippos Wine Tours, describing her
experience as “magical”.
Her most-loved artisan was watercolourist Judi Pigeon, who demonstrated her art at Ballandean
“Judi’s watercolours spoke to my heart. I purchased one of her smaller pieces and I just love it.
“The Barrelroom at Ballandean was a definite standout. Beautiful food and wine alongside
welcoming service. Even though we arrived just before service closed, we could not have been
looked after better.
“I literally wept at the beauty of Girraween. So far removed from the Gold Coast landscape. The
wildflowers, the boulders, the birds, the scale, the peace. We will all be back!” says Ms James.
The Granite Belt Art and Craft Trail Open Studios Event provides a fully immersive experience of
the rich tapestry of culture, talent, history and artefacts in the region. The self-drive trail is the
perfect opportunity to enjoy the picturesque landscapes around Stanthorpe and the Granite Belt,
including national parks, mountains, award-winning wineries and local cafes.
Rosy Chapman was inspired by the Silo Art Trail, which delivers international media attention to
regional Australia, an influx of tourists to the region, and expansion of the trail into a 200-
kilometre-long outdoor art gallery.