OUR TOP 3 CAMPING, 4WDing LOCATIONS NORTH OF BRISBANE, QLD

Bribie Island

Just over an hour’s drive from Brisbane you can be on the pristine coast of Bribie Island, a great introduction to sand driving for novice 4WDers. Bribie offers many delights including wildlife and bird life in abundance, Naturalists and birdwatchers will delight in the variety of fauna that inhabit the Island and surrounding waterways. 




It’s not unusual to encounter dingoes, emus, wallabies or goannas in the Island’s interior and brahminy kites and sea eagles on the beaches. Pumicestonne Passage is home to dugong and is a stopping-off point for many species o migratory wading birds including grey-tailed tattlers, eastern curlews and ruddy turnstones. 




Those with an interest in history may wish to spend some time exploring the remains of Fort Bribie, built in 1939 to protect the shipping channel into Brisbane from Japanese invasion.  Many of the structures are still relatively intact, including the northern searchlight post and the gun emplacements, hidden behind the dunes. Bribie is also great place for anglers with the choice of ocean beach or estuary fishing, the rich waters of Pumicestonne Passage being accessible from Lighthouse Reach, Gallagher Point or Poverty Creek in the National Park on the west Coast.




Attractions:

Boating, fishing, swimming, birdwatching, bushwalking, unspoilt beaches, remains of historic fort to explore, tranquil, relaxed atmosphere, proximity to Brisbane.
Standard:

Easy to moderate sand driving suitable for soft roaders and camper trailers (provided our vehicle has enough power to drag one through some soft sand).






Burrum Coast

If you’re searching for a quiet coastal escape with some 4WD’ing fun thrown in and you don’t mind a bit of a drive to get there, then the unspoilt Burrum Coast National Park south of Bundaberg man well fit the bill. The park protects just over 23 000 hectare of coastal lowland wilderness made up of sandy beaches, mangrove-lined estuaries, wallum heaths, tea tree swamps, eucalypt forest and livistona palm groves. 




The National Park consists of three sections; Kinkuna, Woodgate and Burrum River, and the first two have plenty to entice the 4wd adventurer including 14 kilometres of vehicle-accessible beach, secluded campsites with uninterrupted ocean views, a tranquil wilderness atmosphere with birds, marine and wildlife in abundance and total peace and quiet. Although it’s a fair hike from Brisbane, if you visit the Kinkuna Section outside peak holiday times, chances are quite good that you’ll have the place entirely to yourself. Burrum Coast retains that laid back atmosphere that a beach holiday oncemeant, as well as the chance to enjoy those typical beach vacation activities; swimming,
 beachcombing, a ball game or just lazing in a hammock under the sheoaks with a good book. It’s also an ideal destination for keen anglers; the bountiful waters of Hervey Bay are accessible from the beach and the nearby Gregory and Burrum Rivers provide sheltered estuary fishing and crabbing.




When it comes to where to stay, you have the choice of ‘roughing it’ in the Kinkuna Section, provided you’re fully selfcontined, camping with basic facilities at the Burrum Piont Camping Area of enjoying all the ‘mod cons’ at the caravan park or the range of accommodation at Woodgate.


Attractions:

Fishing, swimming, Birdwatching, bushwalking, unspoilt beaches, uncrowded, relaxed atmosphere.

Standard:

Easy to moderate sand driving suitable for most ‘soft roaders’ and camper trailers.



Wongi

Anyone who has travelled the Bruce Highway between Maryborough and Childers would have noticed the signs marking the entrance to the Wongi State Forest. At first impression this are may appear rather uninteresting but if you have time, a detour through this delightful forest is well worth the effort. 





The forest roads provide an alternative, and much more leisurely and interesting route to Childers than the main highway “Wongi” means ‘Deep Water’ in the local Aboriginal Language and the string of permanent waterholes beside the camping and picnic areas provide the area’s wildlife with and important natural watering hole. 




Sitting quietly at the water’s edge around dawn or dusk is an easy way to spot the many birds, marsupials and reptiles that call the forest home. The patient visitor may glimpse a wide variety of birds ranging from tiny honeyeaters and kingfishers to larger species such as cormorants and hawks. Large goannas frequently patrol the picnic areas in search of an easy meal and wallabies and kangaroos are often seen. During this tour you may discover the remains of an old forestry camp, enjoy a refreshing swim in the tea-coloured freshwater waterholes at Wongi, follow part of the Bicentennial National Trail along the historic Old Gayndah Coach Road or take in the sweeping views over the Fraser Coast Region from the summit of Mt Doongul. Wongi’s attractive camping and day visitor areas have toilets, drinking water, BBQ’s and picnic tables plus easy access to the waterholes provided by decks with ladders.




 The unpowered sites are suitable for all methods of camping, including vans and trailers, and you can even bring our dog with you, provided ti is kept under control and on a leash at all times.

Attractions:
Easy access off the Bruce Highway, dogs are permitted in the camping area, swimming, birdwatching and wildlife spotting, bushwalking, ample space, vehicle-friendly camping.

Standard:

Easy driving on dirt or gravel. Suitable for ‘Soft Roaders’; low range gearing or high ground clearance not required. It is suitable for camper trailer with ample space available at the camping area.

//www.powr.io/powr.js

//s7.addthis.com/js/300/addthis_widget.js#pubid=ra-59a0a83bbefaf8c1

Advertisements

FLANAGAN RESERVE, SOUTH EAST QUEENSLAND

FLANAGAN RESERVE

Another camping adventure awaited us with a new social camping group.  Bright and early we left North Brisbane thru Beaudesert and followed the Mount Lindsey Highway 33km to Rathdowney. We then drove through Rathdowney and just past the school we turned right into Boonah-Rathdowney Road. We followed the road for 7kms then turn left into Upper Logan Road and approximately 4 kms followed it to the end the intersection. We then turned right into our destination, Flanagan Reserve.



Flanagan Reserve is 12 hectares of bush camping located on the upper reaches of the Logan River. Set in the shadow of Mt Maroon just near the border between Queensland and New South Wales, Flanagan’s Reserve started life as a large well treed paddock of 28 acres surrounded by private pastoral properties, with an occasional resident caretaker in a caravan at weekends. It then cost $2 per night with no charge for dogs. It is about Five years since our last visit and we found quite a few changes. The old tin shed drop toilets have been superseded by a small amenities block, with two toilets, one shower for each set plus a handicapped toilet and shower. Hot showers are 2 minutes for 20 cents and cold free. The washing up area is under cover and surprise, surprise, a free washing machine. The building blends in beautifully with the surrounding bush and extensive landscaping has been started.

The Logan River runs down one side of the camping area so you can, as we didn’t, choose a spot overlooking the river. The river, which is fed by Barney Creek, starts in the hills not far away near Mount Barney, so it isn’t the wide flowing river. Fire places and tables with bench seats are strategically placed around the grounds.

Since it has been a very dry summer, there is a decided lack of grass in some sections. The spring fed Logan River is flowing, but with water being drawn for amenities there isn’t the luxury of watering the sites. Management is very environmentally friendly and aware in other areas as well. Ashes from the fireplaces are compressed to fill holes in the roads around the reserve and camping on the riverbanks is strictly discouraged.


That night we had a communal campfire and camp oven buffet night. Everyone brought their camp ovens or dish to share and try to impress the group old and new.
Everyone mixed it up so we didn’t  cook the same thing. Eg. roast lamb/beef, tapas, entree, desert etc etc…


The plan was to place your camp oven or dish in a communal area to select from like a buffet. Dinner was served about 7pm, We then enjoyed the food and relaxed relieving stories of the past days 4wding adventures .


Next morning near the river bank, we walked to a little grave that’s dated back to the early 1800’s when this whole area was a stopover for the drovers and cattle drives. In this instance, the young mother didn’t survive the birth of a baby and the baby died as well. It is a very peaceful place where they are buried. The gravesite has been restored and will be getting a plaque put there to tell the story.



A couple of other items to look out for are the old survey tree, which is believed dates back to the turn of last century, and the billy tree.  Visitors are invited to hang their old billies in one particular gum tree – it makes quite a talking point.


Fishing is mainly for bass and believe it or not, other than lures, local grasshoppers are excellent bait for bass. There are photos of catches in the office Other visitors include lots of birds including grey babblers, who were very busy gathering sticks for their nearby nest, apostle birds chortling away, yellow tail black cockatoos in the tall trees plus the usual assortment of lorikeets, kookaburras and magpies. Possum family members are very regular visitors every Wallabies are on the adjoining cattle properties and very rarely come into the reserve itself.


We found the campers here extremely friendly. Flanagan’s Reserve is ideal for motorhomes, caravans and campers who are fairly self sufficient and very reasonably priced. In fact it is the best value camp in the area and the only one with hot showers that takes doggies. Gerard and Juanita work in with other camping areas nearby and have regular meetings. There is no lack of communication between the various owners/managers which is a nice change – they are all working together to make their district the most presentable they can to attract campers. There is a nice little site with reviews on other nearby camping areas to visit whilst in the area as well as a brief piece about Flanagan’s

//www.powr.io/powr.js

//s7.addthis.com/js/300/addthis_widget.js#pubid=ra-59a0a83bbefaf8c1

POVERTY POINT, COOLOOLA NATIONAL PARK. QLD

POVERTY POINT, COOLOOLA NATIONAL PARK. QLD

One of our secret campsites is Poverty Point in the Cooloola National Park. The Cooloola National Park is an incredible diversity of landscapes, stretching from the North Shore of the Noosa River, through open wallum heathland, to mangroves along Tin Can Bay.  There are tropical rainforests, crystal clear lakes and mammoth coloured sand dunes, including the Carlo Sandblow.   There are stunning beaches framed by high dunes, wildflowers, woodlands, Blackbutt forest, tranquil lakes, waterways and rainforest.



You’ll require vehicle permits when travelling within the Cooloola National Park.   Those permits extend travelling north of the Noosa River to Middle Rocks, south-east of Rainbow Beach. Also travelling along the Freshwater track between Bymien and the beach, the Pettigrew Road, eastern and western firebreaks (Kings Bore Circuit) and the Leisha track


.

A  Saturday morning, no so long ago Kim and I packed the Nissan Navara and headed north. First stop was the Eumundi Markets, which were interesting; Kim picked up a dress, a long dress as in down to her toes. She has always thought that long “maxi” dresses look weird and never tried one on. This one didn’t look too bad at all. It also means, I think that she has more dresses than I do jeans or shorts. Once we were done with the markets we headed north again to Gympie and onto Tin Can Bay rd, which lead us to our first destination of Seary’s Creek for lunch and a paddle.




 Seary’s Creek is a most wonderful place with a decent creek which flows out of a swamp. They have put in a lot of board walks and the two swimming holes where you can float and swim from one hole to the other. On a body board, you just float down, which is very pleasant. Both pools have tame yabbies. The yabbies come and nibble and tickle toes if you stand still.  Then we drove into Poverty Point, which is a campsite at the southern end of Tin Can Bay. The road in is loose to packed sand, and a 4wd is required to reach the campsites. There were a few long stretches of deep sand, but the Blue Smurf handled it with ease without airing the tyres down. We camped about 10m from the sand and our fire was just on the bank above the sand.




Poverty Point is a lovely little sandy beach and when the tide goes out it is sand flats rather than the expected mud flats. This little-known spot on the southern shores of Tin Can Bay was developed by the logging industry around 1873 as a despatch point for the timber trade.

Logs were brought to Poverty Point via light rail and, later, trucks to be rafted up and floated to the Dundathu timber mill in Maryborough. We unpacked and setup camp and started a fire and tried our hand at a little fishing at sunset.

The next day we headed to the town of Tin Can Bay. Where is Tin Can Bay you might be asking? And you might be forgiven for not knowing prior to reading this blog. However you absolutely have no idea what you are missing out on by never being there! The funny part is that you have probably driven right past Tin Can Bay on many occasions, yet not known it was nestled just off the Bruce Highway in Queensland just north of Noosa.

It is a very sleepy little coastal village and home to some of the most stunning scenery and fantastic ocean passage. If you are coming by boat then this is a fantastic spot to anchor down for a few days, as it is very sheltered. The beautiful harbour area is dotted with an array of yachts, fishing boats and houseboats all parked up and relaxing. Tin Can Bay offers sensational fishing, great watersports and an awesome doorway to explore the ocean.


But it is something quite out of the ordinary, which makes Tin Can Bay a stand out destination. It is the wild dolphin feeding which happens every single day of the year. Now this is no normal dolphin feeding attraction, these are wild Indo Pacific Humpback dolphins.We headed down to the Barnacles Dolphin Centre, located right next door to Barnacles Café, at the Norman Point boat ramp and ordered some breakfast and waited to see the dolphins come in. We then took a scenic 4wd trek down the Freshwater Track onto North Shore Beach to Double Island to walk up to the Lighthouse and thru the  Leisha track to the Carlo Sandblow. We watched some hang gliders and parasailer’s as they launched off the world renowned sandblow to ride the wind and witnessed a stunning sunset. Back to the camp for some drinks and yarns, we headed back to Brisbane early to avoid the carpark traffic on the Bruce.



COOLOOLA NATIONAL PARK AND FIVE ACTIVITIES NOT TO MISS!
1. CANOEING
As featured on Queensland Holidays, canoeing along the undisturbed Noosa River is one of the finest ways to experience nature at its most tranquil. Boats or canoes can be hired at Tin Can Bay, Boreen Point or at the Harrys Hut camping area. Make sure not to miss the peaceful everglades and the breathtaking reflections of the surroundings on the river’s clear, pristine waters.
2. FISHING
For keen anglers, Cooloola also offers a great spot for fishing. Cooloola and Teewah Beach includes catches of whiting, bream and Flathead, while inland river fishing is also popular. You need not worry about obtaining a fishing licence since none is required; however, there is established size and bag limits for fishing in the tidal waters that visitors need to comply with. Popular fishing sites include the Kin Kin Creek and Noosa River.
3. BUSHWALKING
Bushwalking or hiking is one of the most popular activities on Cooloola because of the numerous excellent walks in the area. Prepare your walking shoes because you’ll surely be in for a treat. Several walks start from the Elanda Point, and four at the Harrys Hut camping ground. Boronia walking track (1.8 km, 1 hour) along Kin Kin Creek reveals the life of cedar cutters who worked in this area from the 1860s to the 1890s. Poona Lake Walk (4.2 km return) leaves from Bymien picnic area and leads through melaleuca woodlands, scribbly gum forests and pockets of rainforest. Long distance walkers are also sure to enjoy the Cooloola Great Walk that’s up to 102 kilometres, complete with walkers’ camps. And if you’d like to try out more adventure, pack a tent for the two to four day Cooloola Wilderness Trail.
4. FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE
Like Fraser Island, access to Cooloola National Park also requires a reliable 4WD vehicle with high clearance. There are plenty of established tourist drives you can enjoy at Cooloola. You can take the Cooloola Way, a 32 km dirt road that connects the Rainbow Beach Road Kin Kin-Wolvi road, or drive through the banksia and taller forests with views over Cooloola sandmass. Other tracks include the Freshwater Road and Kings Bore Track. Before departing, though, it’s essential to be aware of the road conditions and directions by speaking with the area rangers.
5. CAMPING
Should you wish to experience and explore the Cooloola National Park for a longer period of time, then you can do so by setting up camp at one of its 15 camping sites. There are a number of formal and informal camping grounds, complete with facilities, as well as wilderness camps you can choose from. Take note, though, that the only camping area which provides safe fresh water is the Freshwater Camping Area adjacent to Teewah.
Whilst Fraser Island might be the more well-known section of the Great Sandy National Park, there’s definitely no denying that Cooloola National Park also have spectacular sights and activities you can never miss.


//www.powr.io/powr.js

//s7.addthis.com/js/300/addthis_widget.js#pubid=ra-59a0a83bbefaf8c1