If you are like me, you love to discover new places. A weekend away is always a good excuse for a little luxury and relaxation but also a chance to get out and get active in a new location. Here is a suggested itinerary for that kind of weekend here on the Granite Belt.
Leave the city behind on Friday lunch time and feel the stress levels drop with each kilometre you travel away from the hustle and bustle. Stanthorpe is only 2 ½ hours from Brisbane CBD.
Check in to your accommodation and stretch your legs with a walk up the main street in town. When dusk falls, sit back and enjoy the cool country air, the quietness and remember to look up at the night sky for the spectacular stars. Wow!!
Saturday 7.00am Stanthorpe Park Run - Talc street. Walk or run the coolest park run in Queensland around the scenic Quart Pot creek. Afterwards you can call yourself a Park Run tourist. Don’t forget your barcode. What a great start to the day - now where’s the coffee? Choose from many cafes in town for your fresh morning brew.
After a leisurely breakfast have your bikes delivered from Granite Belt Bicycle Tours & Hire and set off on your very own adventure. The Stanthorpe to Ballandean bike trail is an on-road marked trail with lots to see and do along the way. See the useful map for places to stop. Once you’re out pedalling along the quiet country roads, breathing in the fresh country air, stop for a second on the side of the road, close your eyes and you could imagine yourself cycling in any European country. This is cycling in France, Spain etc without leaving Queensland. Add a Granite Belt Bicycle supplied local produce hamper to your bike hires and enjoy a picnic lunch and a glass of local wine. When you have finished riding for the day, simply ring for your pick up service, which is included in your package price. With service like this it’s not worth the hassle of bringing your own bike from home.
After all that exercise, a guilt free evening meal is in order. Stanthorpe has a good selection of restaurants to choose from. Always book ahead as they tend to get busy on weekends.
After a good nights sleep in a comfy bed and a hearty breakfast at one of the local cafes, you are all refreshed and recharged ready for an active Sunday. Try ZEST Pastries, Vixen’s Bakery Cafe, Brinx Deli and Espresso at the VIC.
Approx 30 minutes south of Stanthorpe is Girraween National Park. From the day use area there are lots of different bush walks ranging from a short 1km up to around 15kms. My favourite hike is The Pyramid with Granite Arch on the way back. The landscape is stunning and those Granite rocks are HUGE !! Don’t forget to wear good walking shoes, take your camera and plenty of water.
Nearly time to start your homeward journey but before you do, stop at Heavenly Chocolate on your way out of the park for a great coffee, hot chocolate and delicious homemade chocolates. If you are heading north bound to go home, call at a few producers and pick up some local produce to take home. Try Farmhouse cheeses at Stanthorpe Cheese or fresh apple pie from Suttons Farm.
Don’t forget on Monday morning when your work colleagues ask “how was your weekend” you can tell them about this fantastic place you have discovered and how much of an enjoyable, active weekend you have had.
Once you have discovered the Granite Belt, I guarantee you will want to keep coming back to experience more.
Written by Jon Hendry
Owner of Granite Belt Bicycle Tours & Hire
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