Things to do
Camping and accommodation
Stay overnight at one of two camping areas situated on small flats beside Emu Creek, a tributary of the Brisbane River. Depending on what time of the year you visit, Emu Creek may be flowing, completely dry or anywhere in between. It usually flows following heavy to moderate rainfall in the local area. Both camping areas have toilets, barbecues and tap water (boil or treat before drinking).
Clancys camping area is beside the Bicentennial National Trail. The nearby creek is quite shallow, making this an ideal family camp site. You can camp with your dog at Clancys camping area, providing it is under control and restrained by a leash at all times. You can camp near your horse at Clancys camping area. Tether or yard your horses uphill from the fenced area, and either water them downstream from the camping area or carry water to them.
Emu Creek camping and day-use area, a further 2km on, has cold showers and is set among tall trees near a large waterhole. Dogs are not permitted in this camping area.
Camping permits are required and fees apply. Permits must be booked prior to arrival as permits cannot be issued on site.
- Find out more about camping in Benarkin State Forest.
- Book your campsite online or see camping bookings for other options.
Accommodation is available in Blackbutt, Yarraman and Moore and at farm stays out of town. See the tourism information links or consult the local telephone directory or the internet.
Picnic and day-use areas
Picnic amongst tall stringybark and ironbark trees at Benarkin day-use area beside the D'Aguilar Highway.
Emu Creek day-use area is a peaceful spot beside Emu Creek, 16km into the forest. Facilities include barbecues, toilets, water (treat before drinking) and rubbish bins. Dogs are allowed in the day-use area provided they remain on a leash and are restrained at all times.
The waters of Emu Creek are a pleasant place to cool off in summer. Supervise children at all times. Never dive or jump into the water—it may be shallow or hide submerged obstructions. Depending on what time of the year you visit, Emu Creek may be flowing, completely dry or anywhere in between. It usually flows following heavy to moderate rainfall in the local area.
Line fishing is permitted in Emu Creek. Depending on what time of the year you visit, Emu Creek may be flowing, completely dry or anywhere in between. It usually flows following heavy to moderate rainfall in the local area.
Horse riders can follow logging tracks, the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail, the Bicentennial National Trail or trails of the Blackbutt Trails Network. Horses must stay on existing roads and tracks and are not permitted in State forest camping and day-use areas.
You can camp near your horse at Clancys camping area. Tether or yard your horses uphill from the fenced area, and either water them downstream from the camping area or carry water to them. Full camping facilities including yards, water and showers are located in the nearby towns of Benarkin and Blackbutt.
Whether walking, driving or riding, a great variety of wildlife can be seen in among the towering blackbutt and ironbark forests, hoop pine plantations, dense vine scrub and open woodlands of Benarkin State Forest. The permanent pools and running water of Emu Creek are a haven for plants and animals that cannot survive far from moisture. Early morning and late afternoon are the best times for spotting birds, or to look for platypus swimming in the deeper pools.
See nature, culture and history for more details about Benarkin's diverse wildlife.
Other things to do
Logging and service tracks crisscross the forest and can be used for walking, cycling or horse riding. Motorised activities (i.e. four wheel driving and trail bike riding) are restricted to formed roads only. Stay on existing roads and tracks and be aware of the give-way code that operates in State forests: vehicles and bicycles give way to horses and walkers; and walkers give way to horses. A special permit is not required unless it is a commercial activity, an organised event or a competitive event.
Four-wheel-drive vehicles and trail bikes must be registered (conditionally registered vehicles are not permitted). The driver or rider must also hold a valid licence to operate the vehicle.
Entry into harvesting areas is not permitted. Obey all signs.
The Brisbane Valley Rail Trail leads up the Blackbutt Range. This hiking, biking and horseriding trail links Linville and Benarkin and is open to cyclists, walkers and horse riders. (Motorised vehicles are not permitted). See Brisbane Valley Rail Trail for more information.
What to take on walks/rides
- Carry drinking water and nutritious snacks
- Wear sturdy shoes, a hat and sunscreen and apply insect repellent.
- Carry a first-aid kit.
- Showers closed at Emu Creek campground 15 March 2021 to 31 December 2022