Dog Friendly Travel: How to do the Granite Belt
A ‘pawfect’ holiday escape to dog-friendly Stanthorpe & Ballandean
We’ve sniffed out some pawfect dog friendly spots, making it so easy to plan your trip to Stanthorpe, Ballandean and surrounds with your furry friend.
Pictured: Balancing Heart Vineyard
Pawfect Days at Dog-friendly Cellar Doors
Welcome Inside Cellar Doors
Dogs are welcome inside the cellar door of Balancing Heart Vineyard and the vineyard walk here to see the iconic heart-shaped balancing rock is fun for the whole travel party. Also enjoy the views from the verandah or at the picnic table under the trees.
Picture: Hidden Creek Winery
Hidden Creek Winery Cafe Vineyard dogs welcome inside the cellar door, with water supplied for visiting dogs. Friday to Monday there is also alfresco dining under the trees overlooking the water and vineyard. Phone to book a table, or order a picnic basket to enjoy on the property.
Picture: Summit Estate Wines
Summit Estate welcome dogs inside their cellar door, with a water bowl provided and lots of space to enjoy the verandah and lawns overlooking the vineyard. There’s even bean bags for you to sit and join your pet on the lawn.
Pictured: Heritage Estate Wines
Small dogs are welcome inside the cellar door at Heritage Estate Wines (at Cottonvale north of Stanthorpe) and dog bowls are provided at the door. Larger dogs are welcome tied up in the shade on the verandah areas, or if they need a to stretch their legs just ask about the fenced old school yard behind the winery.
Welcome on Verandahs & Outside Cellar Doors
• Dogs are welcome at Twisted Gum Wines cellar door, where they can join you for tastings on the gorgeous heritage style verandah.
Pictured: Jester Hill Wines
• Jester Hill Wines are dog friendly and have a couple of big friendly danes that love to play with the visiting fur babies. No dogs inside the cellar door, but there’s a lovely verandah area for sitting together and also a tie-up pole and water dish on the verandah where your fur babies can see you through the windows as you wine taste inside.
• Robert Channon Wines are dog friendly and resident dog JS Bark is always happy to meet new friends. There’s plenty of outdoor space and outdoor seating to enjoy lunch or glasses of wine with your canine friends.
• Casley Mount Hutton Winery welcome visitors with dogs and offer lots of run around space suitable for dogs at this secluded winery in the countryside outside Stanthorpe. All visitors given a winery and vineyard tour here.
• At Ballandean Estate Wines dogs are welcome to be tied up in the shade at the front of the cellar door while you visit inside. Ask the Barrel Room Restaurant onsite about outdoor seating or vineyard picnic basket options for dining here with your dog.
• Pyramids Road Wines welcome dogs to be walked around the property and tied up outside the cellar door in the shade.
• Girraween Estate welcomes doggie visitors, especially well behaved ones, who may be on or off leash outside and there are plenty of shady spots for them to sit at the cellar door entrance while you wine taste within view inside.
• Rumbarlara Estate Wines welcome dogs at their cellar door. Depending on how many people are visiting at the time, well behaved dogs may on occasion be permitted inside, but all dogs can guarantee they’ll find it’s a great quiet spot to take a run around outside.
• At Sancerre Estate – View Wines pets are welcome by arrangement, so mention you pooch when you phone to book your wine tasting (all tastings are private tastings, by prior appointment).
• Symphony Hill Wines are dog friendly.
• Just Red Wines is a dog-friendly cellar door, for dogs on leash.
• Mason Wines welcome pets on leash, outside only
• Tobin Wines offer water and a tie up spot for dogs outside their cellar door.
• Banca Ridge cellar door and Varias Restaurant at The Queensland College of Wine Tourism welcome dogs and dining on their verandah on request
And a Dog-friendly Brewery & Castle of Liqueurs too…
Picture: Granite Belt Brewery
Sit outdoors to enjoy an ale or two with your doggie best pal by your side at Granite Belt Brewery. Dogs on a lead are allowed on the veranda of the brewery and restaurant.
For a spot that has wine, beer, liqueurs and many more heavenly Granite Belt made liquids onsite, drop in to dog-friendly Castle Glen Australia. Yep it’s a castle and dogs are welcome to play around on the large grassy area in front of the castle, plus small, well behaved dogs are welcome inside.
Dog Friendly Wine Tours
Filippos Tours welcome your dog to join you on a wine bus tour, if the tour is booked as a private group tour.
Pawsitively Wonderful Spots to Explore
Picture: Donnelly’s Castle & Lookout
Donnelly’s Castle & Lookout is the perfect spot to discover the giant granite boulders of the Granite Belt with your dog (a great dog-friendly alternative to Girraween National Park). You’ll love the excitement of discovering this spot as as much as your dog does, squeezing through narrow crevices between giant boulders, into cave-like openings and also views from lookout up the top.
It’s only a few hundred metres of walking here, but lots of twists and you never know what you’ll see around the next turn. Signage isn’t great to this little hidden gem, but if you follow Google Maps directions they are accurate. There are very basic toilet and picnic table facilities. P.S. Don’t be confused by the name, there is no actual ‘castle’ here, it’s actually an old Thunderbolt Bushranger’s Hideout!
Picture: Mt Marlay Lookout, Stanthorpe
Check out Mt Marlay Lookout in Stanthorpe, up the short steep winding road for amazing views of the town. At the top find free mounted binoculars and while you’re there make sure you follow the pathway and have a short walk to encircle the summit of the mountain (it’s not signposted, but easy to find).
Picture: The Ballandean Pyramid
This man-made pyramid is certainly not what you’d expect to find in the middle of a Queensland paddock! Find the Ballandean Pyramid on Jacobsons Road, just outside of Ballandean. Walk, cycle or drive the 1.9kms with your dog along the quiet county road from Ballandean (Jacobsens Road begins opposite the Ballandean Tavern). The pyramid is on private property, but it’s viewable from the road and worth a look! Dog on leash recommended by the roadside.
Down the road from Ballandean, next door to Girraween National Park, the Heavenly Chocolate Shop is a lovely spot to indulge in a coffee or hot chocolate to enjoy with some delicious handmade chocolates selected inside the quaint store. The gardens around the store are beautiful, with dog-friendly dining areas dotted on the verandah and on the lawn.
More Dog-friendly Walks & Swimming…
Picture: The ‘Red’ Bridge
The walk to historic ‘Red’ Bridge along Quart Pot Creek in Stanthorpe is dog friendly (on a lead). OK no, the bridge is no longer red, but it’s still really impressive and historic, built in the mid 1880’s!
Walk along the pathway by the waterside of Quart Pot Creek through Stanthorpe the other direction with your dog on leash for a lovely town walk, plus find off-leash areas accessed from Connor Street between Talc Street and Britannia Street, or Allison Street, off Archibald Street.
Storm King Dam is a great spot to take your canine friends. The southern part, near the causeway, is best for swimming with dogs, as powered crafts are not allowed in the narrow tail of the dam. NOTE: Storm King Dam water levels are currently low (as at May 2020) and not recommended for powered boats.
Picture: Sutton’s Juice Factory, Cidery & Cafe
Sutton’s Juice Factory, Cidery & Cafe on the apple farm north of Stanthorpe is a must-do delicious tourist stop for their famous ‘best-ever’ apple pies. You’ll find a ‘dog parking area’ in the shade with a water bucket at the entrance. Join your doggie seated here, or sit inside, just a short distance away.
Jamworks Grourmet Foods Cafe & Larder is like the equivalent of a cellar door, but for jam, sauce and relish-lovers! They use local Granite Belt produce to make around 100 products, all onsite and many can be tasted either on the menu or at the jam tasting bar before purchasing. There is a dog-friendly dining area on the covered verandah, with a ceiling fan and doggie water bowl.
Picture: Jamworks Gourmet Foods Cafe & Larder
Dine with your doggie in the lovely verandah cafe seating after a spot of cheese tasting at Stanthorpe Cheese Factory. It’s not far from our favourite dog friendly walk – Donnelly’s Castle, so we highly recommend you do both spots!
Hidden Creek Winery Cafe Vineyard is very dog-friendly, with plenty of outdoor dining tables under the shady trees and they can even pack a picnic basket for dog owners who would prefer to wine and dine further away from the cafe near at the dam or vineyard. Water supplied for visiting dogs and a Schmacko for especially well behaved pooches!
Girraween Country Inn Restaurant is open 7 days a week for breakfast and dinner by pre-booking. Furry friends are welcome here, just mention you’re bringing your dog when booking.
Wallangarra Railway Café & Museum welcomes dogs to dine with you at the expansive undercover dining areas on the station platform. The countryside views are beautiful, the meals generous and the station building itself is beautiful and full of history! There is even a free entry museum onsite.
Picture: Wallangarra Railway Station Cafe
MORE DOG FRIENDLY DINING…
• St Jude’s Cellar Door & Bistro in Ballandean has dining outside at the front of the bistro – a great position to enjoy breakfast, brunch, lunch or even dinner with your pooch.
• Ashbern Farms Strawberry Farm has a cafe open during strawberry season (October to May). Small dogs on a leash are welcome to dine with you in the outside picnic area of the cafe which overlooks the strawberry patches (dogs not permitted in the café or the strawberry patches).
• Mason Wines cafe welcomes dogs on-leash outside while you dine inside.
• Sit outdoors on the verandah restaurant dining area to dine your doggie at Granite Belt Brewery.
• Dine at Heritage Estate Winery with your dog seated at one of the many outside verandah areas, kept warm in cooler months with gas heaters. Pre-book and check with the winery for current dining hours.
• Singing Lake Cafe at Robert Channon Wines is open for lunch Saturday and Sunday and is dog friendly. Resident dog JS Bark is always happy to meet new friends and there’s plenty of outdoor space and outdoor seating to enjoy lunch or glasses of wine with your canine friends. (Check when planning to go, as at the time of writing the Cafe had not re-opened yet)
• Varias Restaurant at The Queensland College of Wine Tourism welcome dogs and dining on their verandah. Request when booking.
Picture: ‘Medley of Mains’ signature lunch dish at Varias Restaurant
Where to Rest Your Paws at Night
There is a huge range of options for staying overnight on the Granite Belt with your dog. Click here to view all about some of these great accommodation spots.
Have we missed a spot?
Tourism operators, let us know if we’ve missed your favourite dog friendly spot on the Granite Belt by emailing email@example.com
Pictured: Balancing Heart Vineyard