Get off the beaten path and into an unforgettable adventure when you embark on one … Exploring Australia in a 4WD is one of the best ways to see the country.
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.
Boating, fishing, swimming, birdwatching, bushwalking, unspoilt beaches, remains of historic fort to explore, tranquil, relaxed atmosphere, proximity to Brisbane.
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).
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.
Fishing, swimming, Birdwatching, bushwalking, unspoilt beaches, uncrowded, relaxed atmosphere.
Easy to moderate sand driving suitable for most ‘soft roaders’ and camper trailers.
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.
Easy access off the Bruce Highway, dogs are permitted in the camping area, swimming, birdwatching and wildlife spotting, bushwalking, ample space, vehicle-friendly camping.
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.
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