Enjoying Riding and a Great Natural Beauty.
Getting to Girraween NP is something which can be done from many directions: mine was via Canungra, Beaudesert, Aratula, Warwick and Stanthorpe. Nothing too magical in that – a few twisties, a bit of open highway and a damn lot of COLD! The temperature plummeted as I went up the mountain towards Warwick – and it got even colder getting to Stanthorpe. Do you really want to know how cold Applethorpe and Girraween were? No I didn’t think so.
I had many reasons for being at Girraween that weekend – but that wasn’t going to stop me enjoying the place for its natural beauty. To be honest, it’s not the place if you can’t walk varied environments. I hiked relatively steep granite rocks/mountains and walked across some rather fast moving water. It was however one of those times when it was worth every minute of it.
Girraween National Park is famous for its granite landscape, eucalypt forests, sedgelands and heathlands. These varied environments are home to a wealth of plants and animals – some of which are unique to the area.
Girraween is an Aboriginal word which means “place of flowers” – an appropriate name for this park. In Winter (July), the wattle trees burst into blossom and are a sight to see, but Spring (September and October) is the best time to visit, for the countryside is bright with colour as a profusion of native wildflowers put on their spectacular annual show. Summer is when the flannel-flowers, bottlebrushes, paperbarks and eucalypts bloom.
Animals, of course, can be seen all year round. Dawn and dusk are the best time to spot the local mammals. Some, like the Eastern Grey Kangaroo and Common Brushtail Possum are quite used to people and regularly venture into the day use and camping areas. Kookaburras, magpies and currawongs also frequent the day use and camping areas. The park is home to over 150 bird species.
Girraween National Park is approximately 260 km by road south-west of Brisbane (about three hours’ easy drive via Warwick) and is located on the border of Queensland and New South Wales, on the northern end of the New England Tablelands. It covers 11,800 hectares, with an average elevation of 900 meters above sea level.