5 Ways to Unwind in the Granite Belt

5 Ways to Unwind in the Granite Belt


Sometimes a short break is as good as a holiday, and if your getaway destination just happens to be in your own backyard, then even better! South East Queensland’s Granite Belt is located only 3 hours or so from Brisbane and the Gold Coast. A short break to this region means a visit to a diverse world with four distinct seasons and a landscape of incredible beauty. So close, yet a world away. Due to its altitude of 1000 metres above sea level, it also means that you can escape the swelter and humidity of the east coast during summer and experience the frosts (and the occasional snowfall) of a real winter. Enjoying the four seasons is very much a part of any visit to the Granite Belt.

Here’s 5 ways you can enjoy a relaxing holiday to this beautiful region:

1. Visit a pyramid

The Granite Belt is so named for a reason, for the astounding granite outcrops that are scattered throughout the region. None are more spectacular than the Pyramid, located in the Girraween National Park. In the park itself you will discover massive granite outcrops, balancing boulders, crystal clear running streams and stunning spring wildflowers. The highlight of the park for me is the Pyramid. It can be a challenging climb, but no rock-climbing experience is needed. More a moderate level of fitness and the ability to make the ascent up the exposed rock face. The key is to take your time, rest when needed and enjoy the view. Once you reach the top of the Pyramid, you will be rewarded with spectacular views stretching over Girraween National Park. It is a climb truly worth completing, in return you will be reminded of how glorious our world really is.

2. The apple of your eye

No trip to the Granite Belt is complete without sampling the famous apple pie (all natural with no preservatives, so it’s totally healthy) served with apple cider ice-cream at Sutton’s of Stanthorpe. Be warned though, the servings are huge, and it is often advisable to share with a friend! Everything produced at Sutton’s is made from apples grown in their own orchard and the business remains to this day, family owned and operated. David Sutton is constantly researching the best methods for apple production and he grows all the fruit on the farm using environmentally aware orcharding practices. Enjoy lunch from the cafe menu, and browse other products all made on the premises, including varietal apple juice, award winning apple cider and apple brandy.

3. Get lost in the heavens with a tour of the night sky

Due to the altitude of the Granite Belt, and the lack of city lights, the night skies are truly a sight to behold. It is almost impossible not to believe in something bigger than this world, when staring at the vast heavens above. You can always prepare for some star gazing with an evening picnic, but you can also partake in a star-gazing tour at the boutique Twinstar Observatory. Only ever accepting 6 guests for the evening tour, a night sky tour at Twinstar Observatory is an individualised experience and as a result, bookings are essential.

4. Whet the palette with boutique wineries, distilleries and breweries

With more than 45 cellar doors to be found on the Granite Belt, one of the best ways to unwind is to organise a wine tour of the incredible range of wineries, distilleries and breweries. You can self-drive or if you want to truly relax and unwind, organise transport and a tour guide! This is an ideal opportunity to focus on the smaller boutique operations where you will find sustainable and organic practices flourish. There are many single-vineyard operations and there is even a Strange Bird wine trail focussing on Australia’s top producers of alternative variety wines. Due the to small nature of these operations, you will often have the chance to meet the vignerons and winemakers who either grow the fruit, make the wine, or both!

5. Glamping amongst the Granite

There are many boutique accommodation options within the Granite Belt, but my favourite option would have to be Alure Stanthorpe, home to one of the most glamorous and romantic glamping options in Australia! Here, within four canvas walls you will find every luxury imaginable. Due to the nature of glamping, you will also feel like you are amongst the great outdoors, which is so much a part of a visit to the Granite Belt. You don’t need to worry about the cold, you can also glamp in winter, some might even say it is the best time to visit. The fully-insulated African safari tent comes complete with an eco-fireplace and reverse cycle air-conditioning. This is camping with true style!

Featured image: @rhysdunmall

Blog lovingly provided by Lara, a vegan food creator, an explorer and photographer and a celebrator of slow country living (check out her blog My Notes from New England).


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