The Granite Belt

DSC01912

Hills and Fields

Visiting the Granite Belt in Autumn (April)

Just 3 hours from Brisbane is a region known as the Granite Belt – home of vineyards, orchards, vegetable producing farms and cool nights, especially during this ¬†autumn season. So,we were able to enjoy the wood burning stove in our cabin. We asked the property owner what the most popular season is. Her reply was, “Winter.” I guess that for Brisbanites whose subtropical climate homes do not usually boast fireplaces, it is a treat to sit in front of a roaring fire in the middle of winter.

DSC01979

Autumn leaves at cellar door

Wine Tour

The climate of this region and the rocky terrain, reminds us a little of south/central British Columbia. Similarly, in both regions (Canada and Australia) this has been a previously overlooked, and underwhelming, wine region; but both have revitalized to become contenders in the wine industry. ¬†Ed and I enjoyed a day tour of several of the area’s small wineries and, as there was only 4 of us, our guide was able to customize our tour for us. We were able to talk to various winemakers, and on one occasion we were invited to sample the upcoming vintage and have a tour of the facilities.

pyramid memorial

pyramid memorial

low key wineries and granite everywhere

low key wineries and granite everywhere – and so are the granite boulders

A place to enjoy a picnic

A place to enjoy a picnic

Ed chats with winery owner (left) and with our driver (right)

Ed chats with winery owner (left) and with our driver (right)

Pyramid Roads tasting room

Pyramid Roads tasting room

Pyramid Roads

Pyramid Roads

Personal tour

Personal tour

explanations

interesting

Twisted Gum - awesome wine

Twisted Gum – awesome wine

cactus

cactus

Queensland College of Wine Tourism

DSC01919

We visited the Queensland College of Wine Tourism and ate at their restaurant, “Varias”, where we enjoyed a “Medley of Mains” which was matched with wines. Although this is a teaching facility and hospitality students prepare and serve the food, the standard was very high and we enjoyed a first class meal in this lovely setting.

Yes, Ed, you did use all those wineglasses

Yes, Ed, you did use all those wineglasses

Another similarity between parts of British Columbia and this region is that apple growing is another industry here. So, we stopped for apple pie, bought fresh bottled apple juice that was bottled according to the variety – like Gala or Fuji – and you could really taste the differences between them.

Girraween National Park

On one of the days we went hiking in the Girraween National Park, one of the many national parks in this region.

Girraween – meaning ‘place of flowers’ – is a landscape of massive boulders and spectacular wildflower displays in spring. The park is renowned for its walking and birdwatching opportunities.

from Bald Creek you can see the top of the Pyramid

from Bald Creek you can see the top of the Pyramid

Granite bridges. This is the easy bit.

Granite bridges. This is the easy bit.

Of course, we always like a challenge, so we decided to hike to the top of the Pyramid. Initially, the path was pretty mild and we passed interesting rock formations. Eventually, the path became steep, even though there were these nice stone steps. Finally, we reach the first level of the Pyramid, where we rested and took advantage of the incredible views across Girraween National Park. The winds started to pick up and we decided to not risk life and limb to climb to the top across the exposed steep granite face. Our legs were shaking a little by the time we reached the base anyway, so we were thankful that we made the decision that we did.

Once we reach level ground again we enjoy the cool water rushing over the granite rock at Bald Rock Creek.

Stanthorpe, Qld 49

The granite shines pink in the sun

What a fabulous trip that we have had here. It will be a memory that we will always treasure.

Advertisements

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s