We’ve decided to head down to Girraween National Park for a week these school holidays.  There are lots of great walks to do there and some nice wineries to visit too.

It was a nice drive through to Girraween today.  Took about 3 hours to get to Stanthorpe. We stopped for lunch and also to buy Cameron a hat.  His last one got lost on a “blokes fishing week” at 1770. I call it karma 🙂 Discovered that Woolworths isn’t open on a Sunday afternoon in Stanthorpe – Thank goodness for IGA.

New hat and other supplies in hand we headed out to the Girraween.  There are a couple of different camp grounds there, so we drove through Bald Rock camp ground first.  It was very scrubby and very full. Gotta love school holidays!  We tried Castle Rock campground next and were pleasantly surprised to discover that it was nicer and much more open and had less people. Found a good spot on the edge of the camping area and a nice distance from the amenities block. Hot showers and flushing toilets – Yeah!


The kids love the big granite boulders all around the camp ground.  The best playground ever!!! Full of secret lairs and awesome for hide and seek.


Walked to Castle Rock this morning.  There are amazing views from the top.  It was a little scary taking the kids across the sloping granite cliffs to get to the top. Once you see the views however you realise it was well worth the walk to get there. It was very windy at the top but the views were amazing.



Castle Rock

Trekked back down and had some lunch and quiet time at camp then a visit to the info office and onto Underground Creek and Dr Robert’s Waterhole.

Girraween - Underground Creek

Girraween - Dr Roberts Waterhole

Girraween - Dr Roberts Waterhole

Did a heap of walking today and the kids did really well. It’s 5.2kms return to Castle Rock & Underground Creek and Dr Roberts made the total walking for the day at 9.2kms!! The picture below best explains how the kids felt.

Tired kids


Next day we had a quiet day while everyone recovered. Went for a drive around Stanthorpe and visited The Granite Belt Maze. The kids had a ball solving the puzzle, did the kids maze about 5 times and then finished off with a couple of games of mini golf. Smiles all round.

Returned to camp to find a few more campers had arrived. Not sure if this was typical for the school holidays but it seemed that every morning a few groups would leave and by early afternoon a few new groups would arrive. Unfortunately this meant every evening was ‘first night’ for some group and the sounds of hyped up kids could be heard past 10.30pm each night. Speaking of noisy kids (don’t get me wrong ours are certainly not the ‘to be seen and not heard’ variety) but who would think it acceptable to let their kids play the tribal drum, badly at that, till late? Our fellow campers from Northern NSW of course. Got to love the serenity of a NP!


Tired and cranky from another bout of late night screaming and bongo playing we decided to head for a drive south to Wallangarra, Tenterfield and check out Bald Rock NP. Wallangarra is a border town and back in the day of mixed rail gauges the Qld train used to pull up at one side of the station and passengers would transfer across to the other side and board the NSW train to continue their journey. A really beautiful old station has been restored and is worth a look. Note the Qld style bullnose on one side and the more modern NSW style on the other. The kids loved the idea that they could put one leg in Queensland and one in New South Wales.

Wallangarra station

Wallangarra station plaque


Continued on through Tenterfield and out towards Bald Rock where we stumbled across Thunderbolts Hideout. The kids loved being in a real bush rangers hideout and sitting there gave you a real appreciation for the bush skills these guys must have had to live off the land.

Thunderbolts Hideout

Thunderbolts Hideout

With all the noise at Girraween at night we decided to scope out some alternate camp grounds with the view to maybe moving the next day. Pulled in to Boonoo Boonoo NP which is on the NSW side of the border and found a really nice quiet well laid out camp ground with free firewood. It’s about 12kms down a dirt road and the lack of showers must detract a few as there was only one other group there. Continued on to Boonoo Boonoo Falls and enjoyed a scramble over the rocks and a short walk down to the look out.

Boonoo Boonoo

Boonoo Boonoo

Boonoo Boonoo

Drove through Bald Rock camp ground which seemed nice but much busier and then took a few back roads back to Stanthorpe. There are a couple of wineries on the road between Stanthorpe and Girraween so we pulled in to a random one for some tasting. Couldn’t help but buy a couple of bottles to say thanks for the hospitality so late in the day.

Arrived back to camp to a few more new groups and some more random tribal drumming from our neighbours (please put the guitar away) and made preparations to pack up in the morning and head over to Boonoo Boonoo for our last couple of days. Unfortunately instead of bongo drums we awoke to the sound of our son vomitting in his bed at some point in the early hours of morning. Sleeping bag, pillow and Teddy all covered! Megan managed to clean him up as best she could, arrange alternate bedding and settle him back to sleep before succumbing to a good bought of projectile vomitting herself. After kneeling on the floor of the toilets in the dark (lights were on 5 min timers) for about an hour she managed to make it back to bed at about 4am.

Next morning we assessed the damage and with every one claiming their stomachs were pretty good we toyed with the idea of finding a hose, hosing out the sleeping bag and carrying on with our plan to move. About this time a rain squall swept in and dumped a good bit of wind and rain on us and at this point we decided to call it quits and pack up and go home. Lucky we did as it seems not everyone’s stomachs were back to normal and a couple of emergency stops were required on the way home.

Family Trip Tip: Next time you take a flight somewhere steal a couple of air sickness bags and keep them in your glove box. If you’re not likely to get on a plane soon a couple of good quality large size freezer bags work too.