Sunday, 3 January 2021

Girraween Adventure - Part One, Arrival

 Sunday 4 October

7am saw the arrival of Joc and her sister Marlene, and our friend Jan, at my home. We soon had the car packed and on the road, taking the scenic route, west through Beaudesert and Boonah to the Queen Mary Falls, enroute to The Granite Belt. Three and half hours travel, if completed in one hit.                                                

From Boonah the road climbs steeply to just over 1000 m above sea level, to The Head and the near by falls. The Head is the source of the Condamine river which flows nearly 3000 km to the Southern Ocean. 

The view from The Head was not the usual lush green panorama, but still idyllic looking over the Condamine headwater. This area hadn't really recovered from last year's drought, but storms had passed through a couple of weeks earlier.

A short drive on and we enjoyed the Queen Mary Falls circuit. [drop of 40 m, on Spring Creek] 

We hadn't intended on stopping in Killarney, but it's main street lined with apple trees in full blossom, begged us not to pass through in haste. Winter had gone straight to summer on the coastal plain, but here, the air was cool, crisp and clear. A sheer delight for us, as were the many historical murals we discovered. All so unexpected.

Natives shrubs flowering side by side with the deciduous trees, made a splash of bright colour.

We will have to return to see this mural completed.

It was just passed midday when we arrived in Stanthorpe, the heart of The Granite Belt. It is renowned for its vineyards, stonefruit, cold winters [sometimes snow] and National Parks.

I like this gem of a quote, "Visitors can swirl, sniff and sip their way through some of Australia's highest vineyards at some 1000 m above sea level." We were here to hike but .............!

Running through the centre of town is Quart Pot Creek. Its banks have been beautifully landscaped  to include parkland, picnic areas and lengthy walking and cycling tracks. Here we stretched our legs, enjoyed the wildlife and the reflections on the lagoon, before finding a shady spot to eat our preprepared lunch.

Before driving to our accommodation for two nights, we followed Stanthorpe's art trail of murals. 

I am fascinated by this art form and its recent developement in regional towns, as they have tried to absorb influences from the modern world. In the last five years, there has been a steep rise in the number of places organising street art festivals. It is only in this year of Covid19, that I have fully realised this growth.

A half hour drive south of Stanthorpe, took us to the edge of Girraween National Park and our quaint farmhouse accommodation.

It had been an early start, and we had a steep, granite monolith to climb for sunset viewing, so a quick nap was taken by all.

Lunch on the wide verandah, the following day.

Preparing dinner after our climb.

The back door!

The firepit beckoned us in the cool of our second evening, but alas, a total fire ban was in place.

5.30 am view on my early morning wandering, with camera in hand.

I would love to read your comment.


  1. Another lovely walk--- IT reminds me in particular of a day we spent in Healdsburg, California, and visiting most of the many wineries in the nearby Dry Creek Valley. Love the waterfall, by the way!

    1. Ha, ha, Bill. I wonder how the wines were tasting at the end of the day! We've previously come for the wine tasting. This visit was for the hiking.

  2. Looks like a wonderful escape so far! I was curious about what wineries would be in the area you were so did some googling. What a beautiful area!

    1. Yes Andra, it is but extremely hot in summer and extremely cold [for us] in winter. Our timing was perfect.

  3. What an incredible area to visit. So much to take in. The murals are fantastic. Australia has lots of them, so well done too.

    It looks like a great time with wonderful people. I look forward to seeing more.

    1. So glad you enjoyed your virtual visit Marie. It is just a tad different to PEI.

  4. Love all the flowering trees and your photos of the adorable baby ducks! Can't wait to read part 2 of your latest adventure.

    1. Seeing the deciduous trees flowering was a rare event for us. So lovely!

  5. Murals seem to be popular here in the U.S., too. In a town about 1 1/2 hours from here, an artist is currently creating a giant mural on an old grain elevator. It should be something to see when completed. Your photo of the mural featuring the man in black and white was particularly compelling. It seems you've already had some wonderful adventures on this trip and there is more to come!

  6. I agree with you re the old man mural. His age and thoughts are incredibly etched on this vast canvas.

  7. Looks like you visited at the perfect time. I love all the murals and the small town atmosphere.