Stanthorpe area - 13th and 14th April

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GridPack
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Stanthorpe area - 13th and 14th April

Post by GridPack »

We managed to get perfect weather for a run to Stanthorpe.
Saturday morning saw 5 members of the Parker family (in their new 300 Series LC), Cos, Brian and Jo, Scott and Tess, Maddy and Peter, Shane and Sophie, and Don and Tracey meet at the Toby Slatter park just outside Stanthorpe.
In a change from past trips, we were trying a new way to Stanthorpe and visiting a couple of National Parks in NSW. We were reserving Sunday morning for the usual shopping therapy at Jamworx, wineries etc.
We headed south from Boonah and went around Maroon Dam before hitting the dirt on backroads across the border into NSW. The scenery was magnificent – so nice to get away from the cities and highways in terrific weather.

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Once we hit the Mt Lindsay highway, we headed towards Tenterfield stopping briefly at the Liston Cobb and co Museum. The plan until 2 weeks before was to have lunch at the Liston Tea House but the owner had advised that she had closed due to inability to find local staff. However Don and Dave had both brought a pile of Croissants, cheese, ham and their little cookers. We decided that we would head for the Boonoo Boonoo National Park for lunch.
Although we were planning for this to be an explore trip, Cos was in the area a couple of weeks earlier and had already looked around and worked out that this was a park well worth the visit. It certainly was. The lookout for the falls was closed for construction but we had plenty of access to some very nice spots and rock pools with clear water running down granite lined creek beds.

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Maddy had to go ahead to find phone reception to sort out some urgent work issues, but the rest of us went to the “Trig Point” in the Basket Swamp National park a bit further towards Tenterfield. This was a high point for the area atop some large granite boulders. Not a bad view!

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On the way out we came across an echidna that scurried off the track and tried unsuccessfully to hide from a stampede of photographers.

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We ran in to Stanthorpe just before dark.

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After a magnificent evening banquet at Anna’s and breakfast at St Jude’s Cellar Door and Bistro, we set out on our morning’s activities. We walked around to Anna’s Candles at Ballandean which was just around the corner from St Jude’s. Cos left to do some more exploring in the National Parks as he was going to stay an extra night. The rest of us visited the pyramid at Ballandean.

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As everyone had their favourite Stanthorpe district venues to visit we split up to make best use of our time there. A few of us headed to Heavenly Chocolates and Balancing Heart Winery. Other venues visited were Jamworx (of course), Ashburn Farm to pick strawberries, Suttons Juice Factory, Granite brewery, Vincenzo’s etc. We gradually headed off individually to make our way home. The trip home was also eventful for some, as a traffic accident had closed the Cunningham Highway for a period and they were stuck in traffic – undoing all the relaxing good work that our trip to Stanthorpe the previous day had done. A few of us managed to find different ways home. Brian and Jo reported that we need to a Queen Mary Fall trip again as they enjoyed the run home over the Head. Cos has found and explored a new batch of tracks and roads in the area around and through the National Parks that we can try on a future trip.

A great weekend with terrific company.

Some of the attractions at the Balancing Heart Winery -

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CBM_64
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Re: Stanthorpe area - 13th and 14th April

Post by CBM_64 »

Great trip report as always Don and some great photos from Tracy as well. Thanks for organising a fantastic weekend.
After I left you all at St Jude’s I drove back to Basket Swamp NP to check out the waterfall. On the way I stopped at Thunderbolt hideout and the WW2 tank traps. The tank traps weren’t very exciting but I had fun exploring the area around the hideout.
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I found this carving as well. I’ve no idea what it is but it looks like it could have been done Thunderbolt himself.
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If you get high enough you get a nice view too.
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I also discovered that the hideout is a haven for mushrooms.
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It wasn’t a difficult drive to Basket Swamp falls but it was a steep 300 metre walk to get down to the viewpoint. It was worth the effort though.
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My maps showed that I should be able to drive through Basket Swamp NP straight into Boonoo Boonoo NP via the state forest on the dirt roads so I set off to find out if I could. There were a couple of unlocked gates but I got through with no problems and it was a nice drive through forest. I headed back to Stanthorpe and decided to check out Quart Pot Creek railway bridge. I’ve been meaning to find it for ages but never got around to it until now.
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The skies cleared at night allowing me to get some nice shots of the Milky Way. The first one is me outside the small telescope observatory at my motel. The last one is of the Ballandean Pyramid.
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On Monday morning I drove down to Tenterfield to see if the autumn colours had arrived. Some trees had turned red while others were turning yellow but they will probably look better later on.
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From there I took the scenic route home through picturesque farm land along Harrigans Lane. Don would have been in cattle grid heaven there were so many.

Look forward to catching up with you all on the next trip or at the next meeting.

Cheers,
Cos.
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