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Published October 7th 2018
So much of natures beauty concentrated in one spot
Every once in a while, you have one of those magical days where your life is drenched in sunshine and you seem to move from one scenic wonderland to the next. That is what my day spent in Byfield was like.
It wasn't quite planned as I assumed visiting the Capricorn Coast was all about the oceanó swimming, snorkelling, kayaking and catching boats out to the Keppel Bay Islands.
But fortunately, a local host who knew more about the area than I did, drove me the 25 minutes north from the Salt Apartments in Yeppoon where I was staying to Byfield, a stunning area surrounded by a national park.
The change of scenery was almost immediate. Gone was the brightness and newness of the multi-million dollar developments that now define Yeppoon as an important holiday destination. Instead, there we were in the cool, soothing, and scenic world of dappled sunlight, lush forests and tinkling streams.
My host took such delight in pointing out the plants and attractions in the area that even though I am 'such a city person' I found myself awestruck by all the scenery and serenity of this pristine area.
It slowly began to sink in that this is one of the largest unspoiled eco-systems on the east coast of Australia and I was highly fortunate to be there.
Byfield National Park and State Forest
Our time was short, just one afternoon, but my guide made sure I at least had a stroll through the Byfield State Forest.
Here she pointed out the rare Byfield Fern (Bohemia Serrata) that is only found in the Byfield area. Once you recognise this special fern, you begin to see how the locals have adopted it as their emblem.
We only did a 1km walk. But the sight of the towering rainforest trees, the bloodwoods and the visions of flitting colourful birds, and Water Park Creek which reflected nature's beauteous face like a hand mirror, would last a lifetime.
The Byfield Fern is unique to the area - photo @nadinecresswellmyatt
The menu sounded basic such as wraps and hamburgers but the dishes were far from ordinary. There were homemade sausage rolls, and wraps stuffed to the hilt with crisp salad and burgers so high they hit the rafters.
At Nob Creek Pottery, you can visit a world-class pottery on 10 hectares of land in the heart of the Byfield Forest making it a haven for both nature lovers and those who enjoy arts and crafts.
Steve Bishopric (professional potter for 35 years) and Sue McBurnie (a ceramic artist and art teacher) run this working studio. The couple also often have visiting potters who live and work on the property and they come from all over including the USA, Europe and Japan.
There are three large galleries and rustic firing kilns. And everywhere you will see how they incorporate the beautiful image of the Byfield Fern into their work.
They also display hand-blown glass, jewellery, sculpture, paintings, lacquerware and woodwork.
The pottery is in a beautiful setting. Photo Facebook Nob Creek Pottery Byfield
216 Arnolds Rd, Byfield.
P: 0428 192 601
Open Thursday - Monday
10 am to 4 pm. Daily during School Holidays
Also by Appointment - (07) 4935 116
Website: Click here.
Raspberry Creek Homestead
On the way home, we dropped in at Raspberry Creek Homestead in the grounds of the Byfield and District Historical Society.
The building contains a small library and local history depository but the librarian was happy to show us through the old homestead.
This heritage-listed building is a wonderful example of an early pioneer construction built from pit-sawn timber.
It is historically important to the local area because of its associations with James and Mary Hutton, early pioneers in the Shoalwater Bay area.
The couple moved with their children to Central Queensland, taking up the Raspberry Creek run, north of Rockhampton, in 1863. Their simple home grew with their increasing family resulting in various extensions over the years
Later the historic homestead ended up within the grounds of The Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area and was therefore off limits. It shows the tenacity of the locals that in 1988 by working with the army they managed to transport this historical building to the present site where more people could enjoy it.
It shows some of the tenacity of spirit to move this on the back of a truck and then restore it
The main building at Ferns Hideaway has a restaurant and bar with a large open fireplace. People come from all over on Saturday nights for the live music and guests also join in and have a rollicking good time. For some, this is one of the highlights of their stay in the area.
67 Cahills Road Byfield
There is more for you to explore in the area
While I only had one day in Byfield, you could base yourself here to enjoy even more of what this scenic area has to offer.
The National Park and Byfield Conservation Park extends over 15,000 hectares and you can enjoy the wonderful scenery, including massive sand dunes, beaches, swamps, rainforest-edged creeks and rugged granite pinnacles.
There are a number of spectacular swimming holes and rewarding walking trails. You will find 2WD accessible picnic areas with barbecues and toilets. Places such as Upper Stony, Red Rock and Water Park Creek are quite accessible and within 11km of Byfield Road.
Where:Byfield is located in the midst of the Byfield National Park in Central Queensland, 717 kilometres north west of Brisbane and 78 kilometres north of Rockhampton. If staying in the lovely coastal village of Yeppoon it is only a 25 minutes drive north.