Easter Weekend in the Granite Belt

Hi friends! I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend. Here in Australia, both Friday and Monday are public holidays so it’s a nice long weekend.

We had no real plans for the weekend until a week ago when we decided to head to our favorite little country town for a couple of nights. I have written about the Granite Belt quite a few times on here, since this was my sixth (Trav’s fifth) trip to the region. It’s only a few hours from Brisbane and home to a fruit fields, dairy farms, national parks and quite a few wineries.

The first weekend Travis and I spent in the area was in April 2016 when I was pregnant with Leighton (I had gone a girls trip before) and all of the leaves were the most gorgeous autumn colors. We really wanted to make it back again during Autumn this year, before our second child arrives in May.

Since Leighton has made the switch from two naps to one, planning road trips is a tad more tricky since we can’t count on her taking a morning nap right away. So we hung around the house Friday morning and took our time packing up before leaving around 10:30. Our plan was to head straight to Stanthorpe (the beginning of the region) for lunch and to do a hike at one of the national parks.

Leighton slept from 11-12 (not ideal, but she normally takes a 2-3 hour nap around 1) and we got stuck in a bit of traffic. The drive was taking longer than normal and we were all getting hungry, so we stopped in the town of Warwick for lunch and to stretch our legs. Travis remembered seeing a cute restaurant when we had driven through before and luckily it was open on Good Friday.

The Malt House was super cute and the service was really quick. One thing they don’t warn you is that the portions are huge! We rarely ever order Leighton a kids meal but we did this time and her meal alone would have fed an adult. I could barely eat half of my burger.

After lunch we got back in the car, much to Leighton’s displeasure, and headed to Girraween National Park.

Thirty minutes later we arrived and strapped Leighton to Trav’s back to hike The Junction. That lasted all of twenty minutes before she was yelling “Leighton walk, Leighton run!” and we let her out. Luckily this hike was pretty flat so she was ok walking on her own.

Once we got to “the junction” it was so pretty. Giant granite boulders and rock pools that you wouldn’t expect. Leighton loved it too and wanted to stop and pick up rocks everywhere to put in her pocket. We showed her how to throw rocks into the water and her day was made.

We hung out around the pools for a while exploring before heading back. Luckily, Leighton was tired enough to let Travis wear her on the way back. The sign said to allow 2 hours, but even with her walking it took us less than that (maybe an hour and 45).

Once we got back to the car park we spotted our first kangaroo of the weekend! He was just hanging out eating grass. Leighton wanted to run up to him and play, but we kept our distance.

We hopped back in the car since it was getting late and because we were staying just across the border in Tenterfield, it was actually an hour later there (Queensland doesn’t have day light savings but New South Wales does). It was only a thirty minute drive to the motel, and of course Leighton fell asleep in the last fifteen minutes.

We checked in to the Tenterfield Motor Inn, and considering it was the only place left with a room when we booked, we were pleasantly surprised. The bathrooms were recently updated and everything was nice and clean. Leighton appreciated the grassy areas surrounding our room, where other kids were also running around.

We cleaned up and tried to decide what to do for dinner. None of us were very hungry after our massive lunch, but we knew we needed something to eat before bed. Tenterfield is a really small town (population in the 3,000’s) and even though they have quite a few motels and visitors, the restaurant selection is pretty slim. It’s mostly takeaway joints and a pub, with the exception of one really cute boutique hotel and restaurant (where we already had a booking for the next night).

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We drove down the main road and we’re surprised to see a new place had opened up. Our Place was advertised as a wine bar (plus for Trav) and small plates restaurant (plus for everyone). When we walked in we were impressed straight away by how nice the place was. We headed straight for the outdoor area (we know where people with toddlers are welcome) and it was so cute with a wall of gorgeous fall greenery and fairy lights strung around.

Within a couple minutes of sitting down we began chatting with a man who turned out to be the owner. We were the only people outside after awhile and so Leighton had free reign to walk around while we talked about the restaurants, that he had just opened in October. We ordered a couple small plates that were both really yummy (rice ball and dips plate), and Trav took the owner’s recommendation on a local wine that he liked so much we ended up visiting the winery. Between her power nap and time change, Leighton was wide awake and on her best entertaining behavior so we stayed a bit later before calling it a night.

I still have quite a few pictures from the next two days when we checked out a farm, some wineries and another gorgeous hike, so I will continue this recap next week. Trav and I are off on our babymoon today. Have a great weekend!

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7 thoughts on “Easter Weekend in the Granite Belt

  1. Those pools look so cool! Sounds like Leighton did a great job walking (and throwing things 🙂 )

    I think if you have to stick a steak knife through your burger to keep it in check… it’s going to be a pretty epic one.

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