Visiting Benarkin safely
Getting there and getting around
Benarkin State Forest is about 150km or two hours drive north-west of Brisbane.
Turn off the D'Aguilar Highway at the Benarkin day-use area 3.5km east of Blackbutt. A scenic gravel road leads a further 16km down the range to camping and day-use areas beside Emu Creek. The steep and winding unsealed road is accessible for 4WD and high clearance vehicles with care in all weather conditions; however a high level of caution is required, especially after rain. Beware of logging trucks which frequently use this road.
Always check road conditions and weather forecasts before travelling.
- For road conditions please visit the Department of Transport and Main Roads website.
- For weather forecasts visit the Bureau of Meteorology website.
- Check park alerts.
Facilities at Benarkin State Forest are not accessible to wheelchairs.
Your safety is your responsibility.
- Supervise children. Natural areas have hazards that children are unfamiliar with, including creeks, steep slopes, stinging plants and wildlife.
- Take care near water. Never dive or jump into creeks or rock pools as they can be shallow or have submerged objects.
- Heed all signs. From speed limits to track information, signs give guidance on how to stay safe and enjoy your visit.
- Treat or boil water from all sources before drinking.
- Take a basic first-aid kit and don't rely on mobile phone coverage in emergencies.
- Stay together and keep on formed tracks. Wear sturdy shoes, a hat and sunscreen. Carry drinking water and nutritious snacks.
- Apply insect repellant on exposed skin and shoes to discourage biting insects and ticks. Remove ticks immediately by carefully levering them out of the skin with tweezers.
- Take care with fire. Use only the constructed fireplaces provided, and make sure the fire is out before you leave. Preferably bring a fuel stove.
- Drive carefully on unsealed roads—especially after rain. Watch for curves and steep slopes. Stay on your side of the road and avoid sudden slowing. Shift down a gear when roads are steep.
- Roads are shared with other cars, logging trucks, cyclists, walkers, horse riders and wildlife. Be courteous and allow time to react to unexpected situations and changed conditions.
In an emergency
In case of an accident or other emergency:
- call Triple Zero (000) or
- if you cannot reach Triple Zero (000) from your mobile phone, try 112
- if speech or hearing impaired call 106 using a text phone
- advise the location and nature of the emergency
- stay on the phone until you are told to hang up.
The nearest hospital is located at Nanango. Mobile phone coverage is not available within many parts of Benarkin State Forest.
For more information about staying safe while visiting national parks, please read the guidelines Safety in parks and forests.
Essentials to bring
- Be self-sufficient. Ensure you have enough food and make sure your vehicle and equipment are in good order.
- Bring drinking water, a fuel stove to boil water for drinking or chemical tablets to treat water.
- Bring insect repellent to ward off ticks, and tweezers to remove ticks from skin.
- Bring a first-aid kit, sunscreen, hat, suitable clothing, sturdy shoes and a raincoat.
- Bring sturdy garbage bags or containers in which to store rubbish and recyclables for proper disposal after you leave. Rubbish bins are not provided.
Bring your own drinking water, a fuel stove to boil water for drinking or chemical tablets to treat water.
Benarkin State Forest is open 24 hours a day.
Permits and fees
All camping areas within Benarkin State Forest require a camping permit and fees apply. A tag with your booking number must be displayed at your campsite. Permits are not available at the forest and must be purchased before you visit.
Dogs are permitted, under control and restrained by a leash at all times, in Emu Creek day-use area and Clancys camping area. Dogs are not permitted in any other parts of Benarkin State Forest.
Horses are permitted on logging and service tracks, the Bicentennial National Trail and on the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail. They are not allowed in the day-use and camping areas. See Horse riding for more information.
Climate and weather
Expect warm to hot summers and cool to cold winters. Temperatures peak at more than 35 °C in December and drop below freezing overnight in winter. Most rain falls during the summer months, often as storms.
Be prepared for Emu Creek and its tributaries to rise rapidly after heavy rain in the upper catchment. During periods of good rain, check river heights before visiting.
Fuel and supplies
Fuel and supplies are available at Blackbutt and Moore, with only limited supplies at the township of Benarkin.
- Showers closed at Emu Creek campground 15 March 2021 to 31 December 2022