Take the ride of your life and discover the wind beneath your wheels with a Granite Belt bike ride through the backroads of Stanthorpe with Granite Belt Bicycle Tours & Hire.
You’ll discover a castle with no walls. taste of apples freshly picked from the tree, cheese made from the milk of a single herd of Jersey cows and feel like you are fifteen again riding a bike without a care in the world.
Granite Belt Bicycle Tours has a range of well maintained, comfortable bikes for you to ride.
Granite Belt bike ride
If a four-hour Granite Belt bike ride sounds a little daunting, put your fears away. Granite Belt Bicycle Tours owners Jon Hendry and Vanessa Boulton have extensive cycling experience between them and an equally wide selection of high quality, easy-to-ride bikes for you to use. Plus, you are only riding for about two of the four hours.
I’m not a regular bike rider, and neither is K2, but this Stanthorpe bike tour morning was a huge success for us and a different way to see a part of the world we have often visited.
We met Jon and Vanessa at the Visitor Information Centre in Leslie Street, Stanthorpe and joined them in their car for a 15-minute drive to head out for a half day Castles, Cafe’s and Cabernet Granite Belt Adventure.
The Granite Belt Bicycle Tour started at Donnelly’s Castle in Pozieres State Forest.
Granite Belt bike tour starts at the castle with no walls
It started at in Pozieres State Forest at Donnelly’s Castle. Local legend has this as a bushranger’s hangout, but Jon found that the historical society had other ideas. They say it was a favourite picnic spot for the Donnelly family and became known as Donnelly’s Castle because of its high position. It is certainly an interesting place with huge, moss-covered granite boulders, a kinda creepy but deliciously cool cave, and a view that takes in a wide swath of the district.
Huge, moss-covered granite boulders at Donnelly’s Castle, Pozieres State Forest, Granite Belt.
I kept asking Jon was the ride downhill and his reply was ‘mostly’. After we had left Donnelly’s Castle, I found out what that meant with a short uphill section that had me off my bike and pushing. It wasn’t for long and it was mainly downhill, with some sections that made me feel like a ten-year-old racing my bike with the wind again.
We rode past apple orchards and rows of other fruit trees, and may, or may not have stopped to pick an apple or two.
By the time we reached our first stop, Stanthorpe Cheese, I was ready for a break and to enjoy the wonderful Ploughman’s Platter that was waiting for us filled with local produce. Vanessa joined us here and was able to take the purchases I could not live without, away in the van.
While I expected to remember that I’d been bike riding every time I stretched for the next few days, I was pleasantly surprised with my body’s resilience. I put it down to the excellent bikes provided by Jon and the ploughman’s lunch which obviously gave me all the energy I needed.
They say the experience is suitable for any reasonably active person who is comfortable riding a bike on sealed and dirt/gravel roads and I think that’s accurate.
Ed+bK rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Bottom line: The tour costs $125 per person (Feb 2020)
Best tip: Don’t forget your sunscreen and a water bottle
What else can you do on the Granite Belt?
Here’s my Foodies Guide to the Granite Belt for your eating options.
Take your dog and have a dog’s day out on the Granite Belt
Try the best apple pie in the world.
Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest of Southern Queensland Country Tourism and Granite Belt Bicycle Tours & Hire.
How do people carry bottles that they might purchase along the way? Looks a brilliant tour and such brilliant news that Stanthorpe and the Granite Belt has been awash with rain over the past month, though I’m not sure that the timing would have been all that good for the winemakers…probably made a challenging year even more challenging, but at least the dams and tanks will be full. Love the destination and love the idea of a (mainly) down-hill bike ride!
Don’t stress Peter, there’s a van loosely following the trail that will pick up your purchases. No excuses for you now. You have to make that Granite Belt trip.