Stepping through the door of the Granite Belt Christmas Farm in Applethorpe might make you feel as if you made a wrong turn somewhere and magically ended up in the winter wonderland of a traditional German Christmas Market.

Elegant Christmas trees drip with gorgeous handblown glass ornaments and fairy lights, while the walls are adorned with shelves of beautifully crafted nutcrackers and delicious homemade fudge and biscuits from local artisans. The air is filled with the sound of Christmas music and the scent of Belgian chocolate, and if you arrived with a sad or weary heart, you will soon find yourself in the cheeriest of spirits.

The Granite Belt Christmas Farm is 20 acres of Christmas magic built and run by Brad and Katrina Fraser. They bought the property in 2014 when they moved from Longreach wanting to build a business that would allow them to spend as much time as possible with their children, Evelyn and West. “We bought the property in 2014, married on the property in 2015, and started work on the property while we both worked full time, and had Evelyn,” said Katrina, shaking her head in amusement.

“And we opened May 2017 when West was eight weeks old. We don’t mind a challenge!” she said.

“Really, everything you could do to break up a marriage we did in three years,” chuckled Brad. “And I still like her. We’re more in love than ever.”

The property features a gorgeous shop filled with Christmas delights, a secret garden where guests can picnic or party under the shade of tall gum trees, and a petting zoo where kids can feed reindeer and other animals.

“Brad wanted to give off the Australian Bush Christmas feel. That’s how he came up with the whole log design. He says that he built it and I decorated it,” Katrina said.

“I can’t do something modern and smick,” said Brad.

“It just wouldn’t work. It has an Australian feel to it; the gum trees, and the animals. When the Christmas trees are all established, it’s going to be amazing. People love a real tree like they had when they were kids.”

Once the Christmas Farm was running, Brad and Katrina were able to add handmade Belgian chocolates and Belgian hot chocolate.

“Tourists were saying they want to experience local produce,” said Katrina.

“So, we started making handmade chocolates. We get Belgian chocolate in the raw state and put it through the temping machine.

“And the hot chocolate, we’re famous for that. It’s the best Belgian chocolate, fully melted down, made every day, no syrup, no powder, the real deal.”

Brad and Katrina love waking up on their Christmas Farm, knowing they have created a magical place to raise their children.

“I love working at home and being around my kids all the time, teaching them about business and social skills and work ethics,” said Brad.

“We’re just a young family trying to offer a magical experience for our region,” said Katrina.

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