A few weeks ago we decided to take advantage of the three day weekend and head to one of our favorite regions, the Granite Belt, for a couple days.
The Granite Belt is an area along the Queensland and New South Wales border known for its national parks filled with massive granite boulders and its fruit and dairy farms. We all know what comes from fruit- wine :). It’s only a few hours away from Brisbane but you feel a world away when you get into the rolling hills and fresh country air.
We booked a room at the Peter Allen Motor Inn in Tenterfield, the same place we stayed when Leighton was a mere 24 week old baby in my tummy. We knew it was nice, clean room in a central location. Plus the town of Tenterfield is so dang cute (think Stars Hollow) that we had to go back.
Her shirt says it all, we were all three excited to get out of town.
By 8am we were packed up and ready to head out. Sidenote: It’s amazing how much stuff you bring when you have a kid even for a one night trip.
Our first destination was Girraween National Park. I wrote about our hike at Bald Rock National Park back in May and Girraween is actually the same park just on the Queensland side of the border (Bald Rock is in New South Wales).
Girraween has quite a few different trails of varying difficulties that lead to different granite boulder formations.
We decided to do the Turtle Rock and Sphinx trail which was 7.4km (about 4.5 miles) altogether. It was a class 3 and 4 track so at some points it was pretty steep. Luckily Trav strapped Leighton on in the Ergo because I’m not in the best shape less than two months post partum.
The walk had lots of massive formations and the views from the hill were so pretty.
At one point I thought we were never going to make it to the top because everyone we passed wanted to talk to or about our little companion.
Once we reached Turtle Rock we stopped for a rest and Travis climbed solo to the top to snap some shots of the view.
All in all it took us about 2 and a half hours to do the hike and we were pretty tired and sweaty by the end. When we got back to the car park and camping grounds (where all of the trails start) we saw these little guys hopping around.
No matter how long we live in Australia, seeing these guys in the wild never gets old.
After hydrating and snacking in the car we headed to our next destination, Tobin Wines.
The sommelier at Sirromet in Brisbane had raved to us about Mr. Tobin and his winery. He did warn that he often completely sold out of his wines so we might not be able to buy any.
He wasn’t kidding either, he was completely sold out of red and didn’t have any to taste either.
Luckily the white wine made up for it. Mr. Tobin is very friendly and gives all of his guests his full attention. When we first got there he was focused on some other people but once they left all attention was on us.
The winery is actually just a retirement project for Mr. Tobin so he pretty much does it for fun, which is impressive because his wines are highly rated. He told us he is too generous and that’s why he doesn’t manage to keep any “Museum stock” on hand.
Leighton was so good during our hour and a half visit and tasting. She just hung out on my lap or on the bar listening to Mr. Tobin (probably because I fed her in the car while we waited).
When it was time to go we bought two of his whites and then he disappeared into the back saying that he had something for us. He emerged with a bottle of (sold out) Merlot for us so that we didn’t have to drink the bottles we bought. Travis and I were so surprised we thought he was going to give us a business card. I guess that was our first cute baby perk.
From Tobin we headed to our motel to get settled and ready for dinner. We went back to the same restaurant as last time at The Commercial Boutique Hotel. There aren’t many options in Tenterfield and we had a really good experience there in April.
The food was delicious again and once Trav held Leighton for a bit she fell right asleep and slept through dinner and the walk home. We popped her in the travel bassinet when we got back and she slept until 5am and then back down until 8! Maybe we need to go out of town more often.
Sidenote: This is the first and last picture I took on Monday, mostly because the weather was awful and I just forgot.
After some family cuddle time with a well rested baby (and parents) we packed up and went out in search of breakfast. Since it was a Monday and a public holiday quite a few places were closed. We ended up at the same place we went before, The Willow Tree Cafe.
It was pretty busy and the service was excruciatingly slow, but the food was really good. Leighton got pretty impatient towards the end and we were having to take turns holding her while we ate. Luckily a friendly local offered to hold our fussy baby so we could eat (I love small towns).
At this point the weather was pretty rainy and we were debating our next move. Since hiking was out of the question we decided to check out another winery that was recommended to us, Ravens Croft. The website said they were closed Mondays but Travis called and the owner said they were open if we could get there (that should have been a sign about the weather). Although it looked to be clearing up while we were in the car once we got out there were some serious winds.
Mr. Ravencroft was so nice and it became clear to me that he had opened the cellar door just for us that day (he lived on site). His wines were divine and we ended up going home with four of them since we couldn’t pick a favorite.
After a pit stop at a small town bakery to pick up lunch for us (and to feed little miss) we headed back to Brisbane. We survived our first trip with a baby and it was a whole new type of fun!
Hopefully our luck continues because as you are reading this we are on a week long trip around Tasmania. 🙂