There are unique and beautiful National Parks in every corner of the Granite Belt. Probably the best-known is Girraween National Park where you can climb the Pyramid, Castle Rock or Mount Norman or visit the Eye of the Needle. There are thousands of hectares of forests with rare and lovely plants. And everywhere, those house-sized granite boulders.
The rugged Sundown National Park, a wilderness area to the west of Ballandean is hidden in the Severn Valley. A 4WD is a distinct advantage and essential in some parts of the Park. A little further afield is Bald Rock National Park, just over the border. And don’t miss Queen Mary Falls in the Main Range National Park not far from Killarney.
Visit for the day or camp over. Picnic beside a stream or perched on a granite boulder.
More than 17km of well-made pathways beckon walkers of every grade through this magnificent and intriguing National Park. Girraween’s almost 12,000 hectares offer gentle 1.4km rambles to The Granite Arch, or more energetic summit tracks with steep slopes.
The winding 9km bitumen road to Girraween National Park can be entered 26km south of Stanthorpe (11km north of Wallangarra) at the turn-off to Wyberba. Another entrance can be found further south from Wallangarra off Mount Norman Road.
This gives access to a short but steep climb to Mount Norman and the Eye of the Needle (pictured).
South-west of Stanthorpe is the rugged Sundown National Park – a contrast to the rounded giant ‘marbles’ of Girraween. This is a wilderness park hidden in the Severn Valley to the west of the New England Highway.
The Severn River weaves its way through the park’s ancient rock, forming spectacular sharp ridges and steep side gorges. Access is from three directions. About 5km from the 4WD-only entrance via Ballandean, side track leads to the stunning Red Rock Gorge where 50m waterfalls tumble over cliffs stained red with lichen.
There are two all-vehicle entries that can be found south from Nundubbermere Road to Nundubbermere Falls and east from Glenlyon Dam Road to the Broadwater camping area.