Granite Belt

This month, my closest friends and I went on a Girls’ Holiday. We took a few days off work, headed out west and tried not to get on the phone.

We headed out to Ballandean, approximately 3 hours west of Brisbane, past Stanthorpe. It was my first time in this area. I had been wanting to check it out for a while, as I had heard about a National Park, Girraween, that was literally a 20 minute drive from the place where we were staying.

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Sunset our first night in Ballandean

Anyway, we road tripped. 2 cars. 6 chicks. Listened to Backstreet Boys on repeat (yes, I am listening to them as I write this blog entry). We cooked delicious food 2 out of the 3 nights. We danced at our cottage and sung until we were croacky. We played Taboo, Jenga and Bananagrams until we couldn’t keep our eyes open. It was fun!

Our first day, we went to Girraween for a hike. It was bloody cold – imagine cold winds, then rain (annoying spitting) then more cold winds. Yeah.

But totally worth it.

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Top of Castle Rock

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Also known as The Sphinx

We took it easy that afternoon, where we drove into Stanthorpe, the closest town, for a late lunch and a stroll. It was a nice little town to relax!

The next day, we had a full day of activities. We visited a few vineyards in the area. Two of the ones we visited were actually on our street luckily. The weather again was a beautiful sunny day, so we were lucky to get such great sunlight.

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At the Golden Grove

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Double Barred Finches

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On the Road

We also visited a soaperie, and a cheese factory. The last vineyard we went to on the day had a fantastic view of the sunset. We were also greeted by a cute little Collie, named Shelley.

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Those eyes!

I also found this little one perched on one of the vineyards – it was in a group, but I couldn’t figure out what type of bird it is. The closest thing I could find was the Turquoise Parrot, just based on colours and habitat location. Isn’t it cute?

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Turquoise Parrot (?)

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Sunset on at the vineyard

On the last day, we just drove around for a bit. We stopped by the old Ballandean Railway station – not sure when it last stopped operating, but I’m confident the rail line still operates (there were railway workers there on those days).

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Ballandean Station

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Local tree

Unfortunately, the trip had to end. A great 4 days out in the bush I think was just what the heart needed – a little rest and relaxation away from our jobs and stresses, to try and take in the fresh air and have good company.

On the way home, we stopped by a lookout that overlooks Cunningham’s Gap. I don’t Β think the photo does the view any justice. It was a beautiful valley, and the sun and clouds made everything look blue or green. If you ever get the chance, drive by and check it out.

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