This national park has one of the best set of swimming holes I have seen in any national park in the area as well as good facilities. Queenslanders should be aware that there is an $8 vehicle entry fee for the national park paid based on an honour system. Remember to bring correct change.
Boonoo Boonoo is just on the edge of a comfortable day trip from Brisbane, though you are most likely to visit it as a weekend away, either to the National Park or to visit a neighbouring town such as Stanthorpe or Tenterfield. The most direct route is via Cunninghams Gap, Warwick and Stanthorpe.
The road up Cunninghams Gap is usually the quickest way from Brisbane to Boonoo Boonoo
The alternative route is more direct but slower going through Beaudesert and then Mount Lindesay and Mount Lindesay Road. This twisting and scenic road has little traffic, but ultimately it is quickly going via Cunninghams Gap.
Once you turn off Mout Lindesay Road to Boonoo Boonoo it is a well maintain dirt track suitable for all types of vehicles.
The Boonoo Bonoo Falls Lookout is along a short and easy track and provides great views down into the canyon and river fed by the falls.
There are two picnic areas. The main one is at the falls area. This location has toilets, covered and uncovered picnic tables, barbecue areas including gas barbecues and drinking water. This area tends to be fairly busy as the swimming holes above the falls are excellent and very popular in summer.
There is also a lovely little picnic area at Morgans Gully. This place tends to have few people visit which makes it ideal for a quiet picnic or barbecue. There are wood barbecues but you should bring your own wood as none is provided and gathering wood in a national park is prohibited (though everyone does it). The gully has a couple of small swimming holes if you want to cool off. There are no toilets here, but also, no need to pay the park entry fee as we could find nowhere to leave the fee.
The rock pools above the Boonoo Boonoo Falls is the place to swim. There are two main large rock pools that are interconnected by a small falls. Above the upper falls are additional small falls and little rock pools if you are looking for a natural spa. The water, especially in the lower pool, is not too cold and a welcome relieve from the summer heat.
You can also swim at the Cypress Pine Campground. These excellent little rock pools are great if you are camping here or want to avoid the crowds. Just push your way through the undergrowth from the camp ground and you are there.
There are also little swimming holes at the Morgans Gully Picnic Area and if you do the river walk you will find quiet places to take a dip as you walk. However as the walk goes to the rock pools at the falls, most people wait until they get there for a swim.
Little rock pools just above the main rock pools at Boonoo Boonoo
Other than the very short walks to the lookout and rock pools at the Boonoo Boonoo falls picnic area, there really is only one walk in Boonoo Boonoo. This is the 14 km return river walk. This starts at the Morgans Gully Picnic Area and follows the river up to Boonoo Boonoo Falls.
The walk follows the fire trails and it is not overly difficult , though in some areas the path is a little rough and steep. There are plenty of opportunities to cool off in the river. However you might consider starting at Boonoo Boonoo Falls and walking to Morgans Gully and then back to the rock pools at the falls for a swim.
The River Walk gives you plenty of opportunities to head down to the river
You can also make the walk a little shorter by starting and ending at the Cypress Pine Campground instead of Morgans Gully. Overall a pleasant walk.
There are also some other tracks that you can do. Cockatoo Walk is circuit that includes the walk from the Campground to Morgans Gully. It is perhaps more pleasant just to walk along the creek and return instead of doing the circuit.
Another loop is Mackays Walk. Once again this starts at the Cypress Pine Campground and follows the river part of the way. Even people who visit the campground often have never heard of this walk, so I just assume is mostly through boring bushland.
Boonoo Boonoo has an excellent campground with toilets, picnic tables and both wood and gas barbecues. The area is sandy rather than grassy, but it is well shaded with several quiet swimming holes nearby. Many people prefer to stay in Boonoo Boonoo and hike at Bald Rock.
The river near the Camping Area has plenty of places to swim
One of the best features of Boonoo Boonoo is that you can stay in a cabin in the national park. Robinsons Cabin has 2 bedrooms and can accommodate up to six people including a foldout double sofa bed in the living room. While it is a remote location (no mobile reception) the cabin has full cooking and washing facilities, making it a great place to stay.
Photo of Robinsons Cabin at Boonoo Boonoo courtesy of NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
Across the road trom Boonoo Boonoo National Park is Bald Rock National Park. This park has much better walks, including the hike up to the top of the eponymous Bald Rock. However Boonoo Boonoo is a better spot for camping.
Photo of Bald Rock courtesy of NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
The towns of Tenterfield and Stanthorpe are not that far away. Tenterfield is definitely the more interesting town to visit in the evening, at least according to Stanthorpe people we met there going for a night out in Tenterfield.
The town of Tenterfield is not far away from Boonoo Boonoo