Just 10 minutes north of Stanthorpe on the New England Highway, or via the ‘Fruit Run’ Granite Tourist Drive, is the hamlet of Applethorpe – home of the “orchardists”.
Applethorpe was originally named Roessler, however this German title was changed to appease post WW1 sensitivities and as the new name denotes, this area is literally an apple village. For generations Applethorpe has produced almost 100 per cent of all apples in Queensland. It was in Applethorpe that the first public cold store and packing house was established in 1945 with a capacity to store 20000 cases.
It is a worthwhile trip to leave the highway and drive along the ‘Fruit Run’, remembering that apples and other local fruits will be available for purchase seasonally. The apple season runs from January to June with different varieties ripening throughout this period.