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5 Big Things to See in the Granite Belt

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by Flynn Steele (subscribe)
Freelance writer living, working and mostly playing in Brisbane and wherever the action is. Check out my blog at
Published February 3rd 2023
Get your big thing fix only 3 hours from Brisbane
Within each Australian lies an irrational and implausible compulsion to drive ridiculous distances across this wide, brown land in order to see and be photographed with big things. Fruit, animals, inanimate objects - doesn't really matter - it's all about scale and alleged grandeur.

Where does this innate desire come from? Chocolate bars are getting smaller. Once bountiful packets of chips are getting smaller. The standard Aussie house block is on the shrink. The world is minimising around us as we post away our lives staring at tinier but apparently more technologically advanced screens.

Time to put the phone down, pack up the car and go find some big things to elevate the spirit and make you dream, well, big. Visit these five Granite Belt big things - only three hours or so from Brisbane - to fill that big hole in your big bag of love for bloody big things.

1. The Big Apple

Forget the culture and vibrancy of its namesake - this is the real Big Apple. Located 13km north of Stanthorpe on the New England Highway, it does exactly what it says on the box. It's big and it's an apple.

If you're travelling from Brisbane, you'll almost certainly be welcomed into town by this red delight and it's a fair enough symbol for a region chock full of orchards. Most importantly, nail the right angle and it's perfect for gag photos that will really up your likes on socials.

2. The Big Thermometer

It's rare to find a big thing with any sort of functionality but this stone-clad temperature gauge bucks the trend. Interestingly - not ironically Alanis - many visitors come to see the mercury plummet rather than upsize in what is renowned as Queensland's coldest region.

Located adjacent to the Stanthorpe Visitor Information Centre, the Big Thermometer resides on the banks of Quart Pot Creek. As the most picturesque park in Stanthorpe, it's the perfect spot for a picnic lunch in the shadows of what probably is the most useful big thing you'll visit.

3. Big Boulders

Contrary to commonsense, it's amazing just how many massive boulders present themselves in the Granite Belt. From the impossibly balanced behemoths of Girraween National Park, to rock massive formations in suburban parks, it really is the region to get your rocks off.

Big boulders seem standard inclusions in Stanthorpe backyards and it's hard not to wonder if the residents appreciate the bigness at their immediate disposal. Do they go for road trips to the city to find small things? Food for thought.

4. The Big Bottle Shop

Officially known as Castle Glen Australia, this sprawling room full of demon drinks - located 15 minutes north of Stanthorpe - could be one of the more Australian big things going around. What started as a winery now also produces and sells a range of beer, ciders, spirits and liqueurs.

While the castle schtick is strong here, it's the sheer scale of the place that impresses. For city folks used to overcrowded Bottle Marts or Vintage Cellars, the big bottle-o is an over-stimulating reminder of the power of space.

5. The Big Pyramid

Despite not being Giza, the Ballandean Pyramid offers a good couple of minutes of entertainment but rates less highly on the thermometer functionality scale. Constructed from leftover boulders, the 30-metre-wide and 15-metre-high pyramid sits on private property in the village of Ballendean.

Despite being a pyramid, the largely pointless 2006 construction stands about 25 metres from its Jacobsens Road address and this is about as close as you can to get it. Fear not though, still plenty of opportunity to cover yourself in glory with a pyramid balanced on the palm of your hand photo for socials.

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Why? To see and take photos with big things
When: At your leisure
Where: Granite Belt
Cost: Free
Your Comment

Nice find. I have been and The Big Apple and know of a couple others but did not know of the Big Thermometer, so will check it out next time I’m down that way.
by Susan J Bowes (score: 3|2795) 48 days ago
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