Published On: October 6, 2022542 words3.1 min read

Girraween National Park

One of my favourite places in Queensland has got to be the Granite Belt region and more specifically, Ballandean. Ballandean is about 3 hours south of Brisbane and sits about 20 minutes drive north of the Queensland and New South Wales border. It has only the smallest traces of a town visible from the highway – a service station and small general store, a café, a beautiful little primary school and a heritage train station complete with a dinosaur statue (yes, his name is Fruitisforus – FRUIT-IS-FOR-US I am guessing).

But it’s what is hidden from the main road that really makes Ballandean one of my favourite places to visit. It has the most beautiful rolling hills, amongst which you will find many beautiful vineyards. It also has the most amazing granite rocks and boulders sprawled across the earth in both fields and gardens alike. One of the best places to experience these natural wonders is in Girraween National Park.

Girraween is certainly famous for its granite rocks but there is something else I go there for too. The flowers. “Girraween” is an Aboriginal word meaning “the place of flowers” and even though this particular word did not originate from local traditional language it does describe the area aptly.

There are wonderful flowers to be found throughout the national park, and in fact all over Ballandean all year round. But it is in late July that the floral display in Girraween really starts to build in its magnificence. With splendid wattle blossoms that line the roads and pathways, the bushland takes on a beautiful golden tone. The tea tree flowers too are abundant and gleam in almost a wintery way against their grey shrubby backdrops. There are the less common finds like the delicate Linear-leaf Grevillea, the brightly coloured Hop Bitter Pea, the festive looking Conesticks shrub and the exploding Round Leaved Phebalium. 

Then there are the little blooms, some so tiny you can walk straight past them. I must admit that these tiny flowers are my absolute favourite. And at the time of writing this blog post I was literally at a standstill trying to identify some of them. I can find them online as images but everyone lists them as “Girraween wildflowers”. I think I have confirmed one of the types I have photographed as the Heath Myrtle but you are going to have to watch this space for the names of the others.

This incredible array of Australian native flora is just pure immersive inspiration for me. I have photographed the plants and flowers on many occasions and I never seem to get bored with the process. Each time I am trying to get a better photograph than the last. This time around I had a different purpose and was working in a more methodical way because I knew I wanted some good solid reference shots for some of our future works and collections. But it really doesn’t feel like work when it’s in such a beautiful environment. I will end my post here but I can assure you this isn’t the last you have heard about my love for Ballandean.  I haven’t even got into discussing the leaves, moss and rocks I saw!

Kerrin :)