The town of Stanthorpe is in granite and traprock country. It's the only place in Queensland where pipes freeze and it occasionally snows. I've experienced frozen pipes; not yet snow. However, downpours feature – odd, after a period of searing heat.
The drive to town from my daughter's place crosses the border between NSW and Queensland, a daily confusion of time zones. Early in the visit, cows are grazing the side of the road: a lot of them Droughtmasters, with their droopy ears and neck frill. Stanthorpe's in the centre of a growing district: all my family members have picked fruit and harvested vegetables for a living here. After World War 1 the area was used as a soldier settlement: it's disconcerting to come across localities called Passchaendale, Bapaume, Amiens, Pozieres, Messines, Bullecourt, Fleurbaux.
A small piazza honours the history of the district, from tin-mining days to its present of boutique wineries, orchard tours and B&Bs. Sturdy wooden benches, and lanterns harking back to the time of Chinese miners, were constructed by students of Stanthorpe's high schools. Along the path twist the Vine line, a mosaic of ceramic tiles; and the Tin line, a curve of tin, resin, gravel and river pebbles. The public toilets are fronted by a hedge of bee-buzzing white roses.
Walking from the car to the library offers pleasures too: past a waterlily pond; across grass planted with tall trees, bark peeling in subtle pink and blue; through a yellow-painted arch near a bright rose-garden. The library has hospitable corners for i-Padding, and the Art Gallery is small enough for its exhibition to be absorbed by a gallery goer lacking viewing stamina.