Health + Rejuvenation
Head for the hills and get back to nature.
Millions of years and the elements have left a remarkable ancient landscape of granite outcrops that protrude from the hillside like crazy marbles dropped from on high. They stand guard over the bush with its abundant wildlife, beautiful flora, twisting creeks and rivers. It defies description but demands exploration.
The Granite Belt offers rewarding experiences to revive inside and out and almost all of them are family friendly.
#1 Pedal to Produce and beyond
Touring cyclists have long enjoyed the safe, low-traffic country roads that run the length of the region. Combine your favourite pastime with the new Granite Belt Bike Trail, a marked 34km trail along country roads meandering past wineries and cafés. In case you get side tracked at one of our wineries, Wine Discovery Tours can arrange to have you picked up and get you back to your accommodation. Set your own pace and take the time to experience the sights, tastes, smells and stories of this stunning region.
#2 A rewarding walk
The Granite Belt region is blessed with two national parks - Girraween and Sundown, and another four are within an hour's drive; Bald Rock, Boonoo Boonoo, Basket Swamp, and Main Range (Queen Mary Falls).
Scale the prehistoric granite, formed about 250 million years ago from magma at Girraween National Park. The granite creates spectacular precariously balancing boulders, clear streams and tumbling cascades. Nearly 20kms of defined walking tracks, ranging from 20 minutes to six hour hikes, wind their way throughout the parks and lead to impressive features. For those really adventurous, take a sunrise hike to the top of the pyramids and watch the world come to life from this stunning location.
#3 Star Gaze
The absence of city lights makes for mesmerising star gazing on the Granite Belt - with roasted marshmallows of course! Whether from the comfort of your private villa verandah or while camping in the great outdoors, this is a great way to reconnect with loved ones and it doesn't cost a thing.
#4 Water enchantment
Only 8km east of Bald Rock, Boonoo Boonoo National Park protects one of the region's few remaining natural river landscapes and is home to the inspiring Boonoo Boonoo Falls, the highest in the region at 210m. Glenlyon Dam, about 90km west of Stanthorpe, is another favourite for those inspired to be close to water and the facilities at the Tourist Park leave nothing out. The Severn River and its tributaries with remains of pastoral and mining heritage can be discovered via maintained walking tracks, challenging remote walks or the 4wdriving track in Sundown National Park. More than 150 species of birds have been recorded in the park, making it the perfect location for bird-watching enthusiasts.
#5 Be a kid again
Looking for family fun, like you had as a child? It is the memory of the simple things you do
growing-up that will stay with you forever. The unhurried pace of the region gives you the time to reconnect and your children the chance to experience open space and fresh country air. Take a drive through country lanes, pack a picnic, hunt for a secluded spot and disconnect from the stresses of modern life.
#6 Throw a line
Reconnect with your kids by teaching them how to fish at one of our many waterways. Located 10kms south east of Stanthorpe, Storm King Dam rests in a picturesque rural setting with many water birds (including pelicans) and is an ideal spot for picnics, swimming, sailing, water skiing and fishing. Fish species include Golden Perch, Murray Cod, Silver Perch, Jew and River Black fish. Storm King Dam offers excellent facilities including toilets, picnic tables, wood barbecues, jetty, boat ramp, swimming area and playground.
Further afield, 90kms from Stanthorpe towards Texas, is Glenlyon Dam. It is ideal for wildlife viewing and many water sports including skiing, sailing and fishing. Fish species in the dam include Golden Perch, Murray Cod, Silver Perch, Jew and Spangled Perch. Relax, reconnect and wait for that magic bite.
Go on a yoga and wellbeing retreat to rejuvenate your mind, body and soul. Enjoy a relaxing, engaging, informative day and be gently guided through techniques and tips to incorporate relaxation and wellbeing into your daily life. Be soothed and strengthened.
#8 Go Wild
The area is also home to iconic Australian animals and 700 or so plant species. Spot kangaroos and wallabies at sunset (ask the Visitor Information Centre for the best spots). Discover other iconic Australian animals including platypus, echidnas, koalas and even wombats in our national parks, or undertake some serious bird watching in our forests.
Explore granite boulders and caves of notorious bushranger Captain Thunderbolt at Donnelly's Castle or learn how the impressive rock formations of Girraween were formed. If you're feeling adventurous, you can climb one! Seen Uluru and Mount Augustus? Now discover the largest exposed granite rock formation in the southern hemisphere, and the fourth largest monolith in Australia, Bald Rock. This awesome
granite dome - 750m long and 500m wide - is water streaked, creating a striking view on any day. From the top you are rewarded with sweeping views all the way north to Mt Lindesay.
As a region of four seasons, our granite soil delivers magnificent cool climate gardens and parks. In autumn, experience stunning shades of auburn and orange as our deciduous trees turn golden. In spring, the Granite Belt comes alive with wildflowers. Discover our wildflower trails with the Stanthorpe Rare Wildflower Consortium. November is poppy month, where we remember those who sacrificed their lives in battle with beautiful fields of red poppies (see Visitor Information Centre for locations). The Granite Belt is home to several successful lavender farms that offer a visual feast of colour between November and April.