The Granite Belt: gourmet heaven amid a majestic landscape


The Granite Belt
Images: Stanthorpe Visitor Information Centre Facebook

The Stanthorpe region of the majestic Granite Belt is just a short drive from either Brisbane or the Gold Coast and offers a warm welcome to LGBTIQ+ visitors on day trips, weekend getaways and extended holidays.

It’s the perfect destination to take in spectacular scenery and indulge in a gourmet country escape.

In 1905, the Queensland Government gazetted the Granite Belt as the state’s official health resort. Today, it remains a place of rest and relaxation. Enjoy the ancient landscape and then relax over a glass of premium local wine or tantalise your taste buds with fresh produce and exquisite gourmet treats. Stanthorpe boasts a range of cafes and boutique stores supplied by the
surrounding farmlands, fruit orchards and vineyards. Try the local fruit, vegetables, cheeses and even truffles.

the granite belt
Truffle Discovery Centre Stanthorpe

VINEYARDS AND FARMS

Visitors can choose guided or self-guided tours of the local wineries on four wheels or two. Bring your bike, hire one locally or join a guided cycle tour.

For drivers, the Strange Bird Wine Trail offers a unique perspective of the region. Simply search and download the self-drive strange bird map, appoint a designated driver and find your way to the myriad hidden treasures set among the region’s hills and valleys.

the granite belt
Taste the Granite Belt – Tobin Wines

GIRRAWEEN NATIONAL PARK

Girraween translates as ‘a place of flowers’ and in Spring the wildflowers burst into bloom. But there’s plenty to take in all year round with over 30 kilometres of walking tracks. Rock formations take centre stage at Girraween National Park, less than half an hour from Stanthorpe.

The most famous is the Balancing Rock, a headline attraction and InstaPerfect photo opportunity. Seven and a half metres high and six-metres wide, the 10-tonne Balancing Rock sits precariously on a base of just one metre.

Amongst the flora, you’ll find golden wattle, pea flowers, and dainty orchards plus red gums, stringybark, and blackbutt trees. And you’ll encounter red-necked wallabies and perhaps even a spiny echidna, as well as lizards and snakes, not to mention the colourful parrots, honeyeaters and fairywrens.

Ridgemill Estate Winery granite belt
Ridgemill Estate Winery – Taste and Stay

MT MARLAY

Mt Marlay, just down the road from the Stanthorpe shopping district, offers a panoramic view over the historic town. There’s a lookout up a short, steep and windy drive with free mounted binoculars and shaded picnic tables.

Visitors can take a walk around the summit. Alternatively, the more adventurous can bring mountain bikes and tackle one of the four graded granite trails up Mt Marlay.

The trails are marked according to the grade of difficulty from family/beginners through to experienced riders.

The Granite Belt is a truly spectacular destination and there’s a wide range of accommodations from the simple to the simply luxurious. Check it out soon. As the locals say, it’s part of Queensland, yet it’s another country.

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