Overnight Hikes Where You Can Have Campfires in SEQ

Overnight Hikes Where You Can Have Campfires in SEQ

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Posted 2024-05-26 by Roy Chambersfollow

Not easy to find, but there are hikes to places where you can have campfires



For many people, one of the joys of camping is that you can have a campfire at night. But generally speaking in South East Queensland most hiking campsites don't allow campfires. But there are some exceptions worth exploring.

Image courtesy of Jupri at Pixabay


There are a few considerations with campfires. You should always light fires in designated fireplaces. You can't gather firewood in national parks, though often people will leave their unused firewood at car camping spots. If you are carrying in firewood, then you want at least 3 kgs of wood for a small fire and 6 kgs is recommended for a normal-sized campfire. With a group who each carry some of the wood, that isn't too burdensome to carry for an overnight hike. Oh, and always pay attention to fire bans before you even think of lighting fires.

Image courtesy of sagarkphotography at Pixabay


So while the campsites below are all places you can hike to, they are typically not the remote location in the forest far from other people that many people would be looking for. But still, some of them are, and the others are still interesting places to hike.

Lamington National Park: Binna Burra & O'Reilly's

Let's start with one of the best hiking locations in South East Queensland. Lamington National Park has two great camping areas, one at Binna Burra and the other at O'Reilly's . Both allow fires, and both sell firewood so that you don't have to bring your own. You can drive to these places, and there are multiple days of hikes from both. but you can also hike in.

Views from Binna Burra


The most common overnight hike is between O'Reilly's and Binna Burra and then return the next day. This hike is along the Border Track and is about 22 kms. But you can also make the hike a little more interesting by diverting onto side tracks, like Tooloona Creek Circuit or Coomera Falls Circuit . I would suggest that it is better to hike from O'Reilly's to Binna Burra rather than the other way around, as the Binna Burra campsite is nestled in the trees and is overall more natural. Plus the Binna Burra Teahouse sometimes has music on Friday and Saturday nights. But either direction is fine.

The border track is flat and easy to walk


Many people find the websites to book the campsites difficult to navigate. But look for the walkers' camps at either Binna Burra or O'Reilly's. The O'Reilly's website is more difficult to work out to find than the Binna Burra one, which is another reason I would recommend hiking to Binna Burra. The larger camping sites often need to be booked for 2 nights which is okay. as you can also extend the walk easily by hiking to one of the locations, and then spending another day doing one of the long day hikes, or multiple shorter hikes, camping another night, and then hiking back the following day. But remember, you can always call and talk to the friendly people running the campsites if you have any questions.

Lamington Teahouse at Binna Burra


Now there is an alternative option to hike into Binna Burra., after all, it is a stop on the Gold Coast Great Walk. So you can start at Springbrook, camp overnight on the way to Binna Burra and then on the second night, you will arrive at Binna Burra where you can buy firewood and have a campfire. You can also skip the first section and start the walk on the Nerang Murwillumbah Road, just going to Binna Burra

South D'Aguilar National Park

There are multiple remote bush camps across Mt Nebo and Mt Glorious in the South D'Aguilar National Park . Campsites have water and may have benches, tables and shelters. They also have fireplaces. What has been confusing for some time is that the National Parks website said that fires are not permitted, yet, it seemed as if the fireplaces were deliberately constructed. Luckily the last time I looked, the websites now say fires are permitted in the fireplaces, but the icons on the website for the campsites still also say no fireplaces. Of course, you need to bring your own wood.

The fireplace at Scrub Road Remote Bush Camp in South D'Aguilar National Park


There are a number of campsites available, and all are accessed by forest trails, which means that there are some steep sections, but the paths are wide and easy to walk on. The two most popular would be Northbrook Mountain, which has sunset views, and England Creek which is close to a small shallow creek. But if you just want to get out into the bush, and maybe test your gear, then Scrub Road, Dundas and Lepidozamia bush camps are the shortest walks in. You can even take a local bus to Lake Enoggera and then walk to the Scrub Road campsite.

Water tank and picnic shelter at Scrub Road Remote Bush Camp in South D'Aguilar National Park


Goomburra Section Camping

The Goomburra Section of the Main Range National Park has a multiday walk constructed by Spicer's Retreat. This walk is poorly signed, has destroyed areas of the national park to construct luxury cabins for Spicer's Retreat clients, built very minimal campgrounds for independent hikers, and imposed silly rules on independent hikers, such as having to walk only in one direction and having to book the 3 campsites together so you can't just do one section. However, I will tell you how to beat the system to do the best hike on that walk and get to a location where you can have campfires.

The private cabins that Spicer's Retreat built in the middle of a National Park


So there are 2 car camping campgrounds at Goomburra where there are toilets and fireplaces. Because of the Scenic Rim Trail, you can hike from Cunningham's Gap, ignore the little campground created by Spicer's Retreat (which you can't just book by itself, you have to book all 3 campgrounds on the trail even if you just want to do an overnighter), and instead continue on to the Goomburra campground.

The view from Bare Rock on the way from Cunningham's Gap to Goomburra


This campsite is a lovely spot by the creek under the shade of gum trees. While rarely busy, even during school holidays, you will almost always see people here. But you can find a nice spot at one of the two campgrounds to just chill out and relax if that is your thing. The campgrounds are right near the exit to the National Park, so you can wander down the road and try and find some wood for campfires along the side of the road. There are also commercial campgrounds just outside of the campground if that is more your thing.

Hiking tent at Goomburra Section Campground


If you want to make it a 2-night trip, you can also do another hike in the area. The easiest one to access by foot is the North Branch Track , but you could also follow the Scenic Rim Trail up to the 2 lookouts and back.

Sylvesters lookouts in the Goomburra Section of the Main Range National Park


Sundown National Park

If you are looking for a hike where there are walker camps where you can have fires, the Sundown National Park is an interesting and not often-visited option. There are a number of official walking trails in the Sundown National Park as well as 4-wheel drive roads. I haven't visited this National Park and the official information is limited, but I will share what I have found out.

Photo of Red Rock Gorge in the Sundown National Park courtesy of Tatters at Flickr


From the north, you can hike from Nundubbermere Falls to the Red Rock Gorge Camping Area, which is a 4 wheel drive accessible camping area. The hike follows the 32 km Mount Lofty Circuit and going clockwise, it is 14 kms in and 18 kms out. Bring your own firewood and you can have a campfire.

Dry creek bed in the Sundown National Park courtesy of Tatters at Flickr


From the Broadwater Campground in the south, there is a 30 km Blue Gorge–Ooline Creek Circuit. It is notable for its difficult, and if it rained recently, dangerous creek crossings. I believe that this hike takes you to the Sundown Remote Bush Camp, where you can have a campfire. But the campsite is not listed on the official maps. So if you are keen to do this one, do some additional research.

Bunya Mountains

The beautiful Bunya Mountains has 3 campsites linked by a 20 km hiking circuit. All 3 campgrounds are accessible by road and most visitors are focused on the shorter family-friendly hikes and activities. But people do hike the track with a full pack.

The Beautiful Bunya Mountains


Dandabah in the south has fireplaces, toilets, showers and WiFi (should I do a follow-up article on hiking campsites that have mobile and WiFi access?) It is also next to a shop, cafe and bar/bistro, and on Sunday mornings there is a market across the road. So if you want to hike from the north, this is the most comfortable place to end up. And you can buy firewood.

The Bunya's Cafe, Bar & Bistro at Dandabah


The most basic campground is Westcott which has toilets, picnic tables and fireplaces. But of course, you will need to bring your own wood. My favourite camping spot is Burtons Well, which has toilets, shower cubicles with a hanging bag shower, picnic tables, a picnic shelter and fireplaces. Again, you need to bring your own wood.

Hiking tents pitched at Burton's Well in the Bunya Mountains


It is nice to hike south to north, though it is mostly heading uphill. You can do the 20 kms in one day, though some start late and stop at Westcott. If you don't want to walk 20 kms back, then you can take the shortcut along the side of the road. There is little traffic and room to get off the road.

Woodfired barbecue with picnic shelter in the background at Burton's Well in the Bunya Mountains


Moreton Island/Mulgumpin

While not the ideal hiking destination. plenty of people hike around or across Moreton Island which is also known as Mulgumpin. The official campsites have toilets, some have showers, as well as fireplaces. So it can be a great place to camp and have a campfire. You can also camp along the beaches but there are no facilities and campfires are not permitted.

The camping area at The Wrecks on Moreton Island


A common overnight hike is to get off the ferry at The Wrecks and hike the 8kms along the beach to Bulwer. The Castaways Cafe not only has meals but also a shop. They of course sell firewood. If you continue along around the northern part of the island it is 12 kms to North Point and another 8 kms to Blue Lagoon. You will have to carry your own wood into these campsites.

The Micat Ferry arriving at Moreton Island


One of the most popular walking tracks is the Rous Battery Walk which crosses over the island. Camping at the beach here means the only facility is a water tap. There are no toilets and you should bring what is called a wag bag should you need to such facilities. Also, no fires are allowed.

A 4 wheel drive track on Moreton Island


Parts of the Conondale Great Walk

I didn't list this as Conondale National Park because the walk I am going to recommend is between Booloumba Creek in the Conondale National Park and Charlie Moreland in the Imbil State Forest. This is an unofficial part of the Conondale Great Walk and is essentially an extra section people can choose to do to add another day to the walk, going over Mount Allan .

Fire pit at the Booloumba Creek Camping Areas


Both the Booloumba Creek Camping Area and Charlie Moreland Camping Camping Area have fire pits. There are lovely open campgrounds, and outside of school and public holidays, they are reasonably quiet, with Charlie Moreland being the quieter area. Again, both areas require that you bring your own firewood.

Charlie Moreland Camping Area


To do this hike I would recommend starting at Charlie Moreland. One reason for this is that you can drive your car in and park, while at Booloumba Creek, you need a 4 wheel drive to cross the creeks. Though a lot of people park their cars at the entrance to the national park and walk the 1.5 kms in across the 3 creek crossings.

Hiking over Mt Allan


The Booloumba Creek area is more interesting and if you want to do a 2 night hike, you could hike to Booloumba Creek, then on the second day, ditch your pack and hike out to the Artists Cascades and even Booloumba Falls and back. Then return back to Charlie Moreland on the 3rd day.

Artists Cascades in Conondale National Park


Girraween to Bald Rock

There are 2 national parks back-to-back on the border of Queensland and New South Wales. Girraween lies on the Queensland side and Bald Rock on the New South Wales side. Both are accessible by car, with nice campsites with fireplaces, and interesting rock formations, though it seems that Queensland has the most interesting rocks. Note: Just to confuse everyone Queensland has elected to name some of the hikes and locations in Girraween things like Bald Rock Creek Day Use Area and Bald Rock Creek Circuit.

Hiking tents at Girraween


However, you can walk between the two national parks. There is a 40 km unofficial circuit that people do that goes on a combination of various trails. I understand it is a combination of the Border Fire Trail and on the Borderlink Trail. I am not sure of the name of the fire trails on the Queensland side.

Spectacular rock formations at Girraween


I would suggest starting on the New South Wales Side and hiking from there. You can probably spend 2 nights in Girraween doing various hikes and climbs there, before heading back the next day.

Overall

I love a campfire while camping and it can be a disappointment to not have one when you are out in the wilderness at a remote bush campsite. Most of the hiking campsites don't allow fires, however, there are some places where you can hike and have a campfire and even a few remote bush campsites with them. You will usually need to carry your wood in, but if you have to have a campfire on a hike, then you can do it.

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286691 - 2024-05-23 01:13:02

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