How to do the 5 Pyramids of Ballandean
Hidden away in Southern Queensland, lies of cluster of pyramids that beg to be discovered on a country drive, around Ballandean, 15 minutes drive south of Stanthorpe.
Within 250kms of Brisbane and the Gold Coast, the tiny village of Ballandean is surrounded by wineries, National Parks and an intriguing trail of pyramids, some big, some awe-inspiring and some delicious.
This drive starts and finishes in Ballandean, a mere tiny village on the New England Highway, but home to the trendy St Jude’s Cafe & Cellar Door where the menu and coffee tempt as a perfect start or finish the day with breakfast/brunch or afternoon tea (before you leave, check with cafe for current open dates).
1. The Curious Case of the Ballandean Pyramid
Yes it’s a giant pyramid. Yes it’s sitting in a farm paddock! The giant stone pyramid sits by a quiet roadside, unknown and unseen by many travellers, so don’t make the same mistake. The Ballandean Pyramid is on private property, so no climbing it or walking to the base, but approach within 25m at the nearest roadside and stop for an impressive view and photo opportunity.
It’s built with 7,500 tonnes of granite rock and sits 17.5 m high. But why you ask? …Just because they could! The owner had surplus rocks after farming excavation works and what began as a humorous suggestion, 8 months later was a finished reality.
DIRECTIONS: Turn off the highway (eastward towards the Ballandean Tavern) on Eukey road, then turn immediately right onto Jacobsens Road. Follow Jacobsons Road for 1.7km and you’ll see it!
2. Heavenly Pyramids
A heavenly indulgence awaits when you tick the next pyramids off your list. Find delicious ‘ganache truffle pyramids’ amongst the enticing array of chocolates at the chocolate shop down the road – along Pyramids Road in fact.
Wisteria Cottage & Heavenly Chocolates make a large range of chocolates onsite and are a popular stop for visitors, with offering a quaint setting with native birds feeding amongst a pretty garden setting and a rustic verandah to sit and enjoy a sinfully decadent European hot chocolate with your ‘pyramid’.
Tip: If you’re buying take-home chocolate and it’s a warm day, don’t spoil your chocolates in the car – visit instead after the National Park, or ask this friendly store to hold your chocolate and drop by to pick it up as you drive past later.
Location: Pyramids Road, Wyberba. Open 10am-4pm Friday to Monday and all public & school holidays.
3 & 4. Pyramids of Girraween National Park
Time to walk off the chocolate calories and onwards to the the First and Second Pyramid that dominate the landscape of Girraween National Park.
The climb to the top of the First Pyramid will take your breath away and so will the views from the top, where you have the best views of the Second Pyramid (there are no walking trails to the Second Pyramid).
A good level of fitness is required to climb up The Pyramid (First Pyramid) and it pays to read ahead about the climb… but be assured that all who reach the top are awed by the view of a uniquely balanced 10 tonne ‘Balancing Rock’ and views of the entire National Park. Allow 2 hours. Read more: Aussie Bushwalking and How to Do Balancing Rock.
There are many walking trails to choose from within the Girraween NP, ranging from easy walking to challenging. If the The Pyramid sounds a bit much for you, you can see it from the visitor carpark and instead embark on the less challenging and beautiful Bald Rock Creek Circuit and Wyberba Creek Circuit on to The Granite Arch. …More about Girraween National Park
5. Cheers to Pyramids Road Wines
Pyramids Road Wines is close to Girraween National Park – it’s the closest Granite Belt winery and bears this fact proudly on its wine bottle labels, which depict the First and Second Pyramids of the National Park. A friendly country welcome awaits here, where husband and wife team Warren and Sue do everything from tending the vines to crafting the wines and pouring your glass. The easy-going personalised style of wine tasting experience you’ll get here begins with a friendly welcome from Ralph the wine dog.
Sue is in fact also a part-time Park Ranger in Girraween National Park, so is a wealth of knowledge and happy to share some of her own tips if you decide to visit the winery before the National Park.
Location: 25 Wyberba Lane, off Pyramids Road. Open: 7 Days, 10am – 4.30pm