Is the Granite Belt Queensland’s Best Kept Secret?

Granite Belt, Giraween National Park, Queensland

Who knew that a three hour drive from Brisbane there was a region of farming, fruit growing and wine-making?

Not me, but when we got to the Granite Belt we discovered it’s chock-a-block with vineyards producing both white and red wines. It seems that stony soil makes the Granite Belt ideal for grape growing but that’s not why we went there.

We wanted to visit Giraween National Park which boasts not just stony earth but also vast mountainous rocks and massive balancing boulders which create awe-inspiring natural sculptures.

The small creek at Giraween National Park offers plenty of opportunities for exploring, walking and cooling off.

Giraween National Park, Queensland

Wildlife is rampant – there were wallabies to greet us when we arrived at Giraween and Max and Kiara enjoy bug spotting on the many walks I dragged them on.

The Archway walk is an easy one hour walk through scrub land and past balancing rocks which the kids scrambled all over, exploring caves to a sound track of my reminders that they: “watching out for snakes!”

We didn’t spot a single serpent just some rather fine lizards, birds and insects.

Giraween National Park, Queensland

Walking to the top of the Pyramids is a two hour outing. We set off early on a cool morning and I kept reminding myself not to look down.

Giraween National Park, Queensland

A well deserved rest taking time to soak up the views from the tippy top of the Pyramids.

Giraween National Park

It was scary on top with the Candy kids running around while I shouted on repeat: “Walk! Stay away from the edge! Sit down!” No one took any notice though.

Giraween National Park, Queensland

Sliding down the slippery moss-covered rocks is fun but getting out of the pools is tricky. The kids slithered around like seals while a cormorant flew overhead.

Giraween National Park, Queensland

The cute cottage at Windswept Country Retreat where we stayed in country style enjoying the fresh air, scenic setting and farm experience.

Granite Belt, Outback Queensland

The petrol station and store at the nearby village of Ballandean. There are so many vineyards round here all with tastings or wine sales and many with restaurants so the Granite Belt is perfect for a foodie getaway.

Granite Belt, Outback Queensland

Feeding the animals at our holiday house on the Windswept Country Retreat. The cows, goats and alpacas got up to some hilarious animal antics and much fun was had by all.

We all found out what it feels like to have a large nanny goat stand on your toe and Kiara is still bragging about how she got spat at by an alpaca.

Granite Belt, Outback Queensland

The Granite Belt rocks for a weekend away from Brisbane, either for an Aussie outback, foodie or wine-tasting experience. Now the secret’s out and we know what the Granite Belt is like we’ll definitely be up for a return visit anytime.

What’s your favorite place for a weekend getaway close to your home?

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  1. Desolie February 3, 2012 at 9:50 am - Reply

    Love the Granite Belt! Although haven’t been for a few years now.

    We climbed Bald Knob, the Pyramids’ sister a bit further south (accessed from Tenterfield). What contrasts! The barreness of the rock, the lushness of the walk to get there. The heat climbing and descending the smooth surfaces, the refreshing coolness of the sub-tropical bush.

    It’s a fabulous place to visit, no matter your age. Camping in Giraween, wine cellars and restaurants, fruit orchards, and the annual Opera in the Vineyards.

    Must be time for another visit.

    • Annabel Candy February 3, 2012 at 10:20 am - Reply

      Hi Desolie,

      It is a TOP spot! Thanks for the tip – next time we’ll scale Bald Knob and I’ll have to keep an eye out for Granite Belt events too:)

  2. Linda ~ Journey Jottings February 3, 2012 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    Love Australia!!
    But have yet to make it Giraween National Park.
    Brilliant the diversity you can experience on a weekend break ~
    Plus, its so refreshing just being away :)

    • Annabel Candy February 3, 2012 at 2:53 pm - Reply

      Hi Linda, well no excuses now then. It’s always exciting to discover cool places close to where you live and I agree, just going anywhere is great. It doesn’t need to be an expensive overseas jaunt to make you feel fine!

  3. J.D. Meier February 7, 2012 at 1:56 am - Reply

    Those are some great scenes!

    The scene looking up the rock towards the intense sky is intense. I like the fact you combined action scenes with scenes of serenity and reflection.

    • Annabel Candy February 7, 2012 at 9:08 am - Reply

      Hi J.D,

      Great to see you here again. I love intense action followed by prolonged rest… and nothing much in between:)

  4. Seana Smith February 8, 2012 at 11:17 am - Reply

    Hello Annabel, I love these posts of yours which give me great ideas on where to go, with loads of great pix. I’d never heard of this area, so double thanks. I laughed to read your comment about loving intense action followed by rest… oh me too… !!

  5. Mirella (@mikix10) June 11, 2012 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    We’ve been there last year for our anniversary and planning a trip again for this weekend (hope the weather will be on our side)! For sure is a great place to scape the city and enjoy the outdoor.
    We stayed at the Alure and we LOVE IT! Very romantic, secluded and quiet…

  6. […] round. For beach lovers who want to stay closer to Brisbane try Moreton Bay and Bribie Island. The Granite Belt is a well known wine growing area with heaps of vineyards and wine tastings as well as Girraween […]

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