A Skydance Adventure

“Girraween. It’s a name that strikes emotion into anyone who has explored the great Granite Belt of South East Queensland.  For some it sparks awe, as the great granite monoliths lie basking in warm golden light. For others it draws on the amazement of carefully balanced stone, seemingly defying the laws of gravity.

My wife and I have spent many cold winter mornings and scorching summer days out at Girraween.  Being rock climbers, hikers, trail runners and general nature lovers we find it offers us everything we could want in a weekend.  With that in mind, a 4 hour drive each way, after a stressful work week, sometimes finds us abandoning our tent for the luxury of a closer destination (i.e. our daybed on the balcony).
skydance-stanthorpe-21aug-lowres-5877Bring in Sky Dance!  We heard about Josh and James’ company through a mutual friend of ours.  We had opted to drive out with Josh the night before the rest of the group arrived by air.  A strange decision for some but Josh’s promise of a warm cuppa on top of the pyramids for sunrise was too hard to pass up.  With this in mind we dropped off our car at Archerfield airstrip and jumped in the Sky Dance luxury Mercedes to take us out west.  A few hours later we had tents pitched out under the stars between towering granite blocks.

Sunrise on top of the pyramids is something to take your breath away.  We sat facing the warm glow of the sun as the granite came to life below us.  Josh had just finished brewing a warm cup of herbal tea as promised and we relaxed back to just take it all in.

skydance-stanthorpe-21aug-lowres-5214After the morning shadows slowly vanished we roused ourselves to wander around the rim of the great granite dome.  Josh was an outstanding guide, pointing out many previously missed features of the park including some strangely white bush carrots.  We casually chewed the tasty treats as we descended off the pyramid for a quick climb before meeting the rest of the group.

We listened intently as the newcomers described their flight out to meet us, winding their way around Mt Barney and the scenic rim before heading out to Stanthorpe.  They chatted excitedly about every detail of the flight as we took up another trail in the park, out to a rocky bluff known as castle rock.  Another spectacular viewpoint, made even more so as you exit a deep rocky cave to end up on top of the towering bluff.

With everyone still on their high from the morning’s adventure, it was time for the degustation.  We had heard rumours from the group about the upcoming late lunch being something a bit “special”.  Being accustomed to crackers, a tin of tuna and some cheese while out in the bush, we didn’t know what to expect.

We turned up at a local winery around 2pm, the rows of vines and antique feel of the venue set a warm and inviting tone.

Walking in Josh had tried to explain how taxing it had been to test out all the different venues in trying to find the absolute best in local knowledge and produce.  I’m not sure he had everyone convinced but by the end of the third course we knew he had found something truly unique.  Each course was more intricate, decadent and delicious than the one before.  With matching local wines and a description of each ingredient and preparation procedure straight from the chef who put it on the plate, the experience was almost as magical as the mornings sunrise while on top of the pyramids… almost.




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