Granite Belt Bike Tours are a family run business in Stanthorpe, offering guided and self-guided cycle tours and bike hire.
If cycling through a region of wineries and apple orchards sounds like your thing then I recommend you get pedalling on their Castles, Cafes and Cabernet guided bike tour.
On the morning of our tour, we’re collected from our motel and driven to the start of the tour. Owners Jon and Vanessa are super friendly and happily answer all our questions.
The tour starts at Donnelly’s Castle…. not actually a ‘castle’ but there are spectacular views of Stanthorpe and some amazing granite boulders (great for photos).
Helmet’s on, we follow Jon down a gravel road to start our adventure. The bikes come with comfy gel seats and plenty of gears for easy riding (Vanessa follows behind with the van.)
Jon shares some fascinating history of the area, as we cycle through mile after mile of fruit orchards. Peach trees are in full bloom, laden with pink flowers, and tiny buds are starting to appear on the apple trees.
We stop to chat to a lovely old Italian farmer, he tells us his family has been farming in Stanthorpe since he was 3 years old. Many Italians settled the area after the war, introducing grapes and fruit trees.
A bit more pedalling and we arrive at Stanthorpe Cheese. After a delicious tasting I happily declare the creamy, soft double brie my favourite. Coffee, along with locally made bread, pickles and lots of cheese top up our energy for an excited pedal to our first winery.
We sip and nod as were given the rundown on some lovely local wines. Across the road I spy Sutton’s Farm, famous for their humungous apple pies. And while not part of the official tour, you might be able to twist Jon’s arm for a quick pie dash!
More pedalling rewards us with another fabulous winery, we enjoy the tastings very much. I buy a bottle of sparkling Shiraz and a wild ferment Syrah, and Vanessa stashes them safely in the van so I don’t have to ride with them. The vista among the grape vines is just lovely, and we vow to come back one evening for sundowners by the firepit.
We’re enjoying the ride so much that Jon suggests we ride back to town (most people jump in the van at this point, but keen riders are welcome to ride the last leg if time allows). We love this idea, and woop as we fly down the long sweeping road that leads straight back into town.
All up we’ve pedalled about 28 km, filling our bellies and supping lots of lovely wines. With a dash of local history, a good stretch of the legs and lots of fresh country air – the day was an absolute corker.
Find out about Stanthorpe bike tours at granitebeltbicyles.com.au
- ½ day guided cycle tour (15km)
Top tips for your cycle tour
- Be sure to book well in advance because tours are popular.
- Grab breakfast (or at least a coffee) before you start the tour as you’ll be riding for awhile before the first food stop.
- There’s a cold box on the van so you can purchase lots of delicious cheese to take home.
- While there aren’t too many hills, there’s lots of pedalling during the day (if you reach your limit you can always join Vanessa in the van).
- Apple blossom season is September to October, and the best time to see apples and grapes growing is from November through to March or April.
- Stanthorpe is in Queensland, just a 2 hour 40 min drive from Brisbane.
- For more things to do in Stanthorpe check out Granite Belt Wine Country.
Ps. Covid has had a huge impact on Jon and Vanessa’s bike tour business. Last minute cancellations are not cool, please…. don’t do it.