The Granite Belt; what’s not to love? Three hours from Brisbane, it’s a one stop shop that will please everyone from the wine connoisseur, the petrol head 4WDer, the nature lover to the good ole Aussie camper. Here’s November’s Explorer of The Month Dan Parkes with his tips on the best this part of the Great Dividing Range has to offer.
Whether you are off for a long weekend getaway or on an overnighter mission from Brisvegas, there are plenty of places in the Granite Belt you’d be mad not to have a gawk at. Here’s what you can cover in a three-day long weekend.
Sundown National Park
To access Sundown National Park you will require a 4WD, there are no two ways about it. The track in is rocky and in some sections the going is pretty slow.
Don’t let the pace put you off going that extra distance though, as Burrows Waterhole would have to be one of the most pristine campgrounds going. The water at Burrows Waterhole is sensational and would be a cracker spot for a dip in the warmer months. Sundown also has a variety of hiking tracks too (for those that are inclined to have a crack on foot). This time though we put the rig to work!
Girraween National Park
Girraween National Park would have to be my favourite national park in Queensland. The campsite is immaculate, the terrain is exquisite and there is even hot water in the showers. We popped our tents up at Castle Rock Camping Area and were staunched by the very popular traverse, The Pyramid.
There is an absolute bucket-load of exploring to be done here; even the jolly swagman would have his work cut out for him. Be sure to check out The Junction, Mt Norman, The Sphinx as well as Turtle and Castle Rocks.
Bald Rock National Park
Other than having ripper bush BBQ set ups and pre-cut firewood at the ready, Bald Rock National Park is also home to the largest granite monolith in Australia. Yep you guessed it, Bald Rock.
Catching first light on this bad boy is an absolute must. You will be treated to a sunrise that will drop your jaw lower than where the granite came from in the first place. You will enjoy Bald Rock’s neighbours, Mt Norman, Mt Barney and Mt Lindesay being lit up in red and yellows hues and most likely have the joint all to yourself. Keep your eyes peeled when you descend Bald Rock as you may just be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the elusive and rare Alberts Lyrebird.
Basket Swamp National Park
If it is privacy that you seek, Basket Swamp Falls is the spot for you. Nestled at the end of a 4WD road is this quiet, calming and trickling waterfall that boasts seclusion. Basket Swamp Falls is a ripper spot to escape the crowds at neighbouring national parks for either a daytrip or to roll your get-up out and buckle down for the night at Basket Swamp campground.
Boonoo Boonoo National Park
Time to get dusty! Boonoo Boonoo National Park has a well maintained dirt track that will lead you along some pristine cascades and toward one of the biggest waterfalls I have ever seen. This track is made for even those that have wheels fit for a hairdresser (2WD’ers – eat your heart out). If you wish to crash the night or perhaps a few, then check out the Cypress Pine campground which is situated on a cracker swimming hole that will chill you to the bone if you hop in during the cooler months.
All in all, the Granite Belt makes for a pretty incredible long weekend and to be honest, there’s so much here to explore that you could spend a lot longer.
More epic long weekends…