Byfield National Park, Conservation Park and State Forest Capricorn

Photo credit: Photo: Naomi Scott © Qld Govt

Things to do

    Water Park Creek camp site. Photo: Matt Kayes, Queensland Government.

    Water Park Creek camp site. Photo: Matt Kayes, Queensland Government.

    Upper Stony camp site. Photo: Matt Kayes, Queensland Government.

    Red Rock tent camping area. Photo: Matt Kayes, Queensland Government.

    Little Five Rocks Beach trail, Byfield Conservation Park. Photo: Jo Kurpershoek, Queensland Government.

    Little Five Rocks Beach trail, Byfield Conservation Park. Photo: Jo Kurpershoek, Queensland Government.

    Bowenia Circuit, Water Creek Park. Photo: Kin Walters, Queensland Government.

    Bowenia Circuit, Water Creek Park. Photo: Kin Walters, Queensland Government.

    Tracks through Byfield State Forest provide extensive walking, cycling, mountain-bike riding, horse riding, trail biking and four-wheel-driving opportunities—but remember these are shared tracks.

    • All tracks in State forest areas, including the Venusta and Stony Creek walking circuits departing from Upper Stony, may be closed at times due to routine forestry operations.
    • Unlawfully constructing tracks or modifying roads, tracks or fire lines is prohibited.
    • For your safety, please heed all safety and track closures signs and visit the HQPlantations Queensland website.

    Whether you’re seeking an easy afternoon walk or something more challenging—it is essential you read things to know before you go and staying safe before undertaking any activity in Byfield parks.

    Camping and accommodation

    Camping

    Camping is permitted at three places in Byfield national and conservation parks: Five Rocks camping area in Byfield Conservation Park, and Nine Mile Beach camping area and Scouts Camp at Water Park Point headland in Byfield National Park.

    Camping is permitted at three places in Byfield State Forest: Upper Stony, Red Rock and Water Park Creek camping areas.

    Camping permits are required and fees apply. A tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.

    Byfield camping permits can only be issued for a maximum of seven consecutive nights and are only valid for the number of people and the specific camp site you have booked.

    Other accommodation

    Byfield township offers a range of accommodation, including cabin-style lodging, and there is a wide range of accommodation available in Rockhampton and Yeppoon. For more information see the tourism information links below.

    Walking

    Byfield National Park and Conservation Park

    Improve your fitness while you enjoy the sights but ensure you match the walk to your fitness and mobility. Most of the walks listed below are suitable for beginners but require a moderate to good level of fitness. Undefined tracks require walkers to have suitable navigation skills and experience. The northern peaks have no marked tracks but are popular for longer treks. Contact us for important safety and walking advice if planning to visit remote areas.

    From Banksia and Sandy Creek car parks

    Banksia Robur Circuit (Grade: easy)

    Distance: 2km return from Banksia car park
    Time: Allow about 1hr walking time

    Visit the swamplands and marvel at the contrast of hardy banksia leaves against tiny-leaved wet heaths and swamp ferns.

    Sandy Creek Circuit (Grade: easy)

    Distance: 2km return
    Time: Allow about 1hr walking time

    Take a short walk to experience a mosaic of microclimates and plant communities.

    From Five Rocks visitor area and Stockyard Point

    Stockyard Point headland (Grade: easy)

    Distance: 540m return from Stockyard Point
    Time: Allow about 20mins walking time

    From the top lookout enjoy uninterrupted coastal views to the north and south. Take a short stroll further along the headland to enjoy a more sheltered lookout to the Keppel Islands group. Please remember the top lookout is an emergency air evacuation point, do not block the road with your vehicle.

    Little Five Rocks Beach (Grade: moderate)

    Distance: 1km return from Five Rocks visitor area (access also from Findlays Creek car park)
    Time: Allow about 1hr walking time

    Passing Findlays Creek wetland and shady pandanus stands, follow a picturesque stepped track to vehicle-free Little Five Rocks Beach.

    Little Five Rocks headland and beyond (Grade: moderate)

    Distance: Undefined
    Time: Allow 3–4hrs walking time return

    From Little Five Rocks Beach track, continue 900m north along the beach at low tide to explore the headland and then Five Rocks Beach beyond. Check tide times before leaving.

    From Nine Mile Beach

    Freshwater Creek (Grade: easy)

    Distance: 500m return (track entrance 400m south of Nine Mile Beach Access Track/Junction 19)
    Time: Allow about 30mins walking time

    Park at the mouth of Freshwater Creek and stroll 250m to picnic among shady she-oaks beside the creek—take a towel for a freshwater splash along the way.

    Orange Bowl (Grade: moderate)

    Distance: 1.45km return (track entrance 1.4km south of Nine Mile Beach Access Track/Junction 19)
    Time: Allow about 1hr walking time

    Stroll just 250m on a well-formed track through shady foredunes to the base of Orange Bowl sand blow. Continue another 475m across exposed sand to enjoy panoramic views over Byfield’s coast and hinterland. Take a picnic to enjoy at any time of day but walk in the cool of the day.

    Queen Mary (Grade: moderate)

    Distance: 4km return (track entrance 9.9km south of Nine Mile Beach Access Track/Junction 19)
    Time: Allow about 2hrs walking time

    Explore Queen Mary sand blow, Byfield’s largest active sand blow on the southern end of Nine Mile Beach. The track is marked from the beach to the base of the sand blow only.

    Stockyard Point Access Track (Grade: moderate)

    Distance: 2.15km return from northern end of Nine Mile beach (550m north of Nine Mile Beach Access Track/Junction 19)
    Time: Allow about 1hr walking time

    From the northern end of Nine Mile Beach climb Stockyard Point headland and walk to the eastern-most lookout for uninterrupted views north and south along the coast and out to the Keppel Islands group.

    Water Park Point headland (Grade: difficult)

    Distance: Undefined
    Time: Allow about 4hrs walking time return

    Navigate around Water Park Point headland at low tide to enjoy secluded beaches and views of Corio Bay. Only attempt this walk if you are fit and have navigation and rock-scrambling experience. Sturdy footwear with good grip is required. Leave at least 2hrs before low tide to ensure you have enough time to return safely.

    From Sandy Point section

    Fishing Creek (Grade: easy)

    Distance: 800m return
    Time: Allow about 20mins walking time

    Take a short walk to Fishing Creek at low tide through mangroves and salt flats. A small sign marks the start of the walk.

    Byfield State Forest

    Tracks through Byfield State Forest provide more extensive walking opportunities, but most are shared tracks through commercial pine plantations around Upper Stony, Red Rock and Water Park Creek. The coastal range has no marked tracks but is popular for longer treks.

    Contact us for important safety and walking advice if planning to visit remote areas.

    At Upper Stony

    Venusta Circuit (Grade: easy)

    Distance: 900m return from Upper Stony day-use area
    Time: Allow about 20mins walking time

    Stroll along the creek valley through pockets of Byfield grevillea, which flower in spring.

    Stony Creek Circuit (Grade: moderate)

    Distance: 4.3km return from Upper Stony day-use area or camping area
    Time: Allow about 4hrs walking time

    Wander beside picturesque Stony Creek through eucalypt forest and mature exotic pines with heath understorey. Enjoy a quick dip in Stony Creek at Freemans Crossing to cool off. Logging operations may close this track at any time; check the HQPlantations Pty Ltd website for information.

    At Water Park Creek

    Bowenia Rainforest Circuit (Grade: easy)

    Distance: 1.2km return from Water Park Creek day-use area
    Time: Allow about 30mins walking time

    Catch glimpses of Water Park Creek through small openings in tall turpentine forest and enjoy the cool rainforest that features the ancient fern-like cycad, Bowenia serrulata (Byfield fern).

    Picnic and day-use areas

    Five Rocks day-use area in Byfield Conservation Park offers shady tables for keen picnickers. Toilets and cold showers are just a short walk away in Five Rocks camping area. A walking track provides access to a vehicle-free beach.

    Freshwater Creek, Orange Bowl and Corio Bay car park are ideal locations (without facilities) for a shady picnic stop along Nine Mile Beach in Byfield National Park.

    All three camping areas in the state forest have adjoining day-use areas with picnic tables and toilets. Upper Stony and Water Park Creek have automatic barbecues, while Red Rock has wood barbecues—you must bring your own clean, milled timber for firewood.

    Bicycling

    Exploring Byfield State Forest by bicycle is a perfect way to enjoy the area. Main access roads between Byfield businesses, Water Park Creek, Upper Stony and Red Rock are suitable for road cycles—however, be prepared for sections of gravel. Mountain bikes are recommended to explore State forest tracks. Most of the tracks in adjoining Byfield national and conservation parks are sandy and unsuitable for mountain biking. Be alert for vehicles when riding.

    Horse riding

    Horse riding is not permitted in Byfield National Park or Byfield Conservation Park or adjacent beaches; however, at Sandy Point horseriding is permitted along Farnborough Beach up to 8.4km north of the Bangalee beach access. Horses are not permitted on the beach adjacent to Byfield National Park.

    Horse riding is permitted along most State Forest tracks—however horses are not permitted in Upper Stony or Water Park Creek visitor areas.

    Water-based activities

    Farnborough, Nine Mile, Little Five Rocks and Five Rocks beaches are popular surfing destinations, while Water Park Creek and Corio Bay are perfect for canoeing and kayaking—Corio Bay and the lower reaches of Water Park Creek are tidal. Findlays and Freshwater creeks on the coast offer a quick, freshwater dip. Creeks may be dry or stagnant after prolonged dry weather, so check conditions before you go.

    Freshwater swimming is recommended at Upper Stony, although Stony Creek may be dry or stagnant after prolonged dry weather, so check conditions before you go. Be alert for bullrouts at all times.

    Water Park Creek upstream of the causeway is perfect for canoeing and kayaking. Launching is possible from the western side of Water Park Creek, just north of the causeway and at council boat ramps. Water Park Creek is accessible to motorised boats only up to 6km downstream of the causeway—see boat access for more information.

    Fishing and boating

    Corio Bay and Byfield’s beaches are popular fishing destinations. All waters around Byfield are protected marine parks and zoned to balance recreation and commercial use with long-term conservation goals. Farnborough Beach and most of Nine Mile Beach are in a yellow conservation park zone, which allows certain activities and has some limits on line fishing. Corio Bay and the waters east of the yellow zone are, in general use, blue zones. Fish size and bag limits apply—contact the Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol for details. Contact the department, local bait and tackle shops, or Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority for a Great Barrier Reef Marine Park zoning map with permitted activities.

    Water Park Creek is accessible to motorised boats up to 6km downstream of the causeway; however, please remember that this waterway and Corio Bay are tidal. See boat access for information on boat launch and landing sites.

    Vehicle-based activities

    Byfield provides beginner to advanced four-wheel driving and trail bike riding opportunities—read Getting there and getting around.

    Four-wheel driving experience is recommended to drive safely in Byfield parks and forests with minimal impact. Remember all motorised vehicles must be registered and drivers must be licensed. For safety and conservation, vehicles are only permitted on marked tracks. Print off Driving on sand safety guide   (PDF, 2.8MB) to take with you when you visit.

    Viewing wildlife

    Anywhere in Byfield's parks will bring you closer to nature; however certain times of year will delight visitors with special displays.

    February to March: an ancient cycad—the Byfield fern—fruits at Water Park Creek.

    April and August to September (depending on season): heathland wildflowers cloak the dunes in the hinterland of Byfield National Park beaches.

    August to September: whales come close to the coast on their migration south.

    September to March (peaking December to February): migratory shorebirds roost, feed and nest along the coast and in Corio Bay. In the state forest the vulnerable and endemic Byfield grevillea sets small but beautiful flowers at Upper Stony.

    October to April: rainbow bee-eaters bring colour and movement to heathlands and headlands along the coast. Forest pigeons feed at Water Park Creek.

    • There are currently no park alerts for this park.