5 unique experiences around Stanthorpe

If “postcards from the edge” appeal to you more than just an insta worthy travel snap, then check out these 5 unique adventures that will definitely make your next break on the Southern Downs and Granite Belt memorable.

1. Practice your warrior pose on top of Australia’s largest granite outcrop

Girraween National Park is dramatically speckled with natural rock formations and spectacular boulders balancing precariously on mountaintops, making this park incredibly unique. There aren’t any rainforests here, only towering granite outcrops and with more than 17km of walking trails, there are plenty of options for exploring. Take your yoga mat and practice your salute to the sun, 1112m above sea level!

For those who like their walks short, try the Granite Arch walk (1.6km, 30 mins return), a gentle stroll that takes you through Girraween’s own granite archway. If you want to go high, The Pyramid walk (3.6km, 2 hours return) will take you up a steep climb where the unbelievable ‘Balancing Rock’ teeters right next to you (hiking boots are recommended).  This is where flat surfaces allow for creative activities (yoga) and watching the sun rise.

How to get there: Follow the New England Highway south of Stanthorpe, and continue past Ballandean before turning left on Pyramids Road. There is parking available at the Information Centre of the Bald Rock Creek day-use area.

2. Go downhill fast, on the new MTB trail at Mount Marlay

Nestled on the mountain 1.5kms from the amazingly beautiful town of Stanthorpe, the Mt Marlay MTB Trail network features trails for all riders. The mix of granite rock and numerous different soil types give these trails a unique riding experience. There are trails suited to families, teenagers or those pushing their skills a little and also ‘black’ rated tracks which are the most challenging and attract experienced mountain biking enthusiasts.  Also in the Stanthorpe area there are two popular firetrails to ride at Passchendaele State Forest and Broadwater State Forest, both lovely and shaded trails for mountain biking.

For more information follow The Stanthorpe Mountain Biking Club on Facebook. For bike hire and accessories visit Granite Belt Bicycle Tours

How to get here: Main Trailhead on Foxton Street Stanthorpe but access to Black Trails are through Mt Marlay. Access off Lock St Stanthorpe.

3. Get lost in a maze and make like the Joker to riddle your way out

Image by Reuben Nutt

The Granite Belt Maze offers an amazing experience, where each customer has to solve their own unique riddle, while navigating their way through the maze.

These riddles don’t help you find your way, instead they make you search every part of the maze from start to finish, and actually get you lost. Then there’s another maze with a different type of challenge for you to solve and a hexagonal maze with obstacles.

There’s a fairly challenging nine hole mini golf course, and a giant chess set to play on. Around the grounds are some great photo opportunities, with a guillotine, stocks and a giant chair. They have a well stocked kiosk with pies, sausage rolls, ice creams and drinks, sandwiches, hot dogs, fish and chips and snack foods.

How to get here: 364 Old Warwick Road, Glen Niven. Travel north from Stanthorpe along the New England Highway, or south from Warwick.

4. Be a winemaker for a weekend

Food and wine lovers will delight in Queensland College of Wine Tourism’s ‘Winemaker for a Weekend’ program, where two glorious days are spent in Queensland’s premier wine region experiencing the wine making process, hands-on, interspersed with informative master classes and a sensational food and wine experience.

From hand picking the grapes, to crushing and pressing process, preparation, fermentation and the inoculation of the juice, participants discover so much more about ‘the finer things in life’ as they participate in the production of their very own wine.

With many indulgences in between, including delightful lunches and incredible banquet style evening meal with matching wines, guests are assured of a wonderful weekend to remember. As the bottling and labelling process awaits later in the season, guests are invited to return for an additional weekend to take part in the exciting finale, be part of an expert food and wine matching masterclass as well as a professional wine masterclass and take home a half case of their very own wine, complete with customised label!

Dates: 20-21 February and 27-28 March 2021. (Places fill fast so it’s best to book soon!)

How to get there: QCWT is just outside Stanthorpe at 22 Caves Road. You’ll want somewhere close to rest your head for a few nights so for accommodation options click here.

5. Indulge in truffles and watch a dog truffle hunt

Visit Stanthorpe’s Truffle Centre to taste the rare and highly valuable French Black Perigord Truffle. This gourmet delight is often heard of in culinary circles but in commercial farming areas it suddenly becomes very secretive due to security and bio-security reasons.

The Truffle Discovery Centre unearths all that is truffles with talks, information, products and tastings, gourmet product range and interactive exhibits.

Next to the centre is the Law Dogs Australia show site where truffle detection dogs Conan and Dizzy can be seen in action doing demonstrations, open during school holidays and on long weekends. Booking required.

Location: 335 Church Rd Stanthorpe. (Pictured: Matt, Stacey and Dizzy. Truffle Oil.)

While You’re Here

Make a weekend of it by checking out these other things to do in the area:

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