Drive, walk or mountain bike up Mt Marlay for great views
Stanthorpe is a great town and the heart of the Granite Belt and well worth a visit. Even better, you can get a great view of the town and surrounds from the lookout on the summit of Mount Marlay. Drive or walk up for views from the top.
There is a great view of the area from to the top of Mt Marlay
How exactly is the name pronounced? Most locals say it as MAR-LEE. However, some locals pronounce it MAR-LAY, which sounds a lot more fancy. The name comes from Edward Marlay, a tin miner who purchased land in Stanthorpe in 1872. This family name is normally pronounced MAR-LAY, but I would suggest that if you are in town, use the former pronunciation as most people will look at you strangely if you say MAR-LAY.
Local guide Tim pronounces it MAR-LAY, but I am sure he understands if you say it as MAR-LEE
The easiest way up is to drive. Walkers can walk up as well. It is not a particularly difficult 500-metre walk up and down the concrete well-staired pathway. The total elevation of the walk is about 100 metres. This walk starts off Alice Street, while the drive starts at the end of Lock Street. There is also a mountain bike trail up the mountain and some rough bush paths for people who want to explore further.
The lookout provides great views over the town. There is a free telescope and binoculars at the top if you want to get a closer look at any place in town and in the surrounding area. There are also benches to sit on and enjoy the view as well as picnic tables if you want views with your lunch.
If you are in Stanthorpe, one of the things to do is head up Mount Marlay for views. If you want to stretch your legs, then the 500 metre return walk up and down the concrete pathway is always worth doing. Whether you walk, drive or mountain bike up, at the top, you can enjoy a picnic with a view of the town. Of course, it is just one of many little things that make Stanthorpe a destination worth visiting or a place worth stopping.
The author enjoyed a guided visit to Mount Marlay as a guest of Southern Queensland Country Tourism.