Lovely 5km walk along the creek in the heart of Stanthorpe
Country towns have quite a lot to see and do. For people visiting Stanthorpe and who love a scenic walk, there is a 5.5 km track in the heart of the town that follows the Quart Pot Creek up to the historic Red Bridge along well-maintained paths. It is one more thing to do in this popular country town in South East Queensland's Granite Belt.
Many country towns seek out ways to improve their amenities for both locals and visitors. Residents of Stanthorpe looked at their local creek and realised that they could transform into parklands with a walking track.
The parks & path were constructed mostly by local volunteers
Using mostly volunteers and privately raised funding, they have constructed a walk of 5.5 kms. Most of the walk is a circuit but there is a small section where the official walk requires you to backtrack when you visit Red Bridge.
About Red Bridge
Everyone calls it Red Bridge, but its official name is Quart Pot Creek Rail Bridge. Constructed in 1886, it has been on the Queensland Heritage Register since 1992. It was part of the construction of an interstate rail link between Queensland and Sydney.
Photo of Red Bridge back in the early 1900s courtesy of Wikimedia
If you are looking for a short walk, the best place to start is at the Stanthorpe Visitor Information Centre. This will give you the opportunity to see some of the walk, Red Bridge and the giant thermometer in a walk of around 2 kms.
I would recommend heading north towards Maryland bridge. There are two footbridges on either side of that bridge which you can use to cross the creek. Once across, follow the path south along the creek towards Red Bridge.
Following the path along the creek down to Red Bridge
It is about a kilometre along the creek to the historic Red Bridge with the path passing under the bridge. The section of the creek around the bridge has been maintained to support wildlife, and there are plenty of places around here to get down on the rocks by the creek, including under the bridge.
The creek around around Red Bridge has been left untouched
Further along, there is a little walking bridge that you can use to cross the creek. This is more or less the official end of the path and the simplest way is to return and backtrack, crossing the creek on the way back at Granite Street. Though if you are adventurous, I believe that there are unofficial paths you can follow on the other side of the creek.
From there, you walk on the grass until you get to the big thermometer. This is a large stone structure shaped like a thermometer, in which is set an actual digital thermometer. The story goes that it was built because of a rivalry between Stanthorpe and Applethorpe about who had the coldest morning temperatures. The reason behind this issue was that the Bureau of Meteorology equipment at Applethorpe was automated, while Stanthorpe's was not. Meaning Applethorpe kept getting into the news even when Stanthorpe was colder, so Stanthorpe built the giant thermometer so that they could send live temperature readings to the people at the Bureau and make the morning news.
There is trying to outdo your neighbours, and building a giant thermometer to outdo your neighbours
From there, it is a short stroll back to the Visitor Information Centre. Overall, this walk is around 2 kms, and gives you the main highlights of the walk. If you just want to visit Red Bridge, then you can park even closer at Heritage Park.
The Long Walk
The longer walk is the same, with most people recommending that you start in the same place at the Visitor Information Centre. You follow the paths north along the creek and then heading west at the sharp bend in the creek. There are paths on both sides of the creek from this section of the walk.
With 5 bridges along the creek, you can make the walk as long or as short as you want. You can head all the way up to Britannia Street in the north and all the way down to Red Bridge in the south. It is a total of 5.5 kms.
It is also possible to cycle most of the path but be aware that up at Red Bridge, there are a couple of steps just past the bridge near the end of the path, and you will need to backtrack along the path from Red Bridge back to the Visitor Information Centre as the other side of the creek lacks a cycle path.
What you have a lovely little walk constructed in the heart of Stanthorpe. It is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. If you are staying, it is a great way to start your morning with a walk or cycle to build up some appetite. Visitors might just want to do the Red Bridge section of the walk. It is definitely one more reason to stop in or stay at Stanthorpe.