Visiting Byfield safely
Getting there and getting around
Byfield is approximately one hour from North Rockhampton, or 30 minutes north of Yeppoon. A four-wheel-drive vehicle is needed throughout the main section of Byfield National Park and to access Byfield Conservation Park. A four-wheel-drive is also recommended to access Sandy Point section of Byfield National Park. To assist with navigation, numbered symbols on the map match numbered signs installed at intersections on park.
Vehicle access is not permitted on Five Rocks Beach (Three Rivers Beach) north of the vehicle beach access point. See Five Rocks Beach regulatory notice for more details.
Byfield National Park (main section) and Byfield Conservation Park
Byfield Conservation Park and the main section of Byfield National Park are accessed via Water Park Creek in Byfield State Forest. Water Park Creek is signed along Yeppoon Byfield Road 2km before Byfield township. Allow one hour from Water Park Creek to reach Five Rocks and Nine Mile beaches or Byfield Conservation Park in good weather. Once past Water Park Creek you will need a high-clearance 4WD with low-range capacity and sand driving experience to drive the challenging tracks (with deep sand in places) down to the beach and to reach the day-use and camping areas.
Byfield National Park (Sandy Point section)
Sandy Point section of Byfield National Park is located in the southern part of Byfield National Park. It can be accessed by high clearance 4WD via Farnborough beach (accessed at Bangalee) or via a rough unsealed road through land associated with Capricorn Resort. Vehicles are not permitted west of the northern end of the Sandy Point spit.
Byfield State Forest
Byfield State Forest is 34km north of Yeppoon via Yeppoon–Byfield Road. Access is via unsealed roads and suitable for conventional vehicles (with caution).
The unsealed roads to the State forest recreation areas are marked on the sealed Yeppoon–Byfield Road. Drive with caution as trucks carrying timber share State forest roads. Some State forest areas may be closed at times due to forest harvesting operations—check the HQPlantations Queensland website for plantation closures. Remember, all visitors must comply with HQPlantations Queensland responsible recreation conditions.
Road and track conditions
All publicly-accessible vehicle tracks are shown on the Byfield State Forest and parks map , please follow on-site directions. Road and track conditions in Byfield can change quickly depending on the weather. Flash flooding and creek rises can cut access on all roads and tracks; visitors have been left stranded at Water Park Creek for days after heavy rain. To check conditions, visitors may like to subscribe to the RSS feed for the Central Coast via the park alerts page. Contact Capricorn Coast Visitor Information Centre for local weather and road conditions before leaving.
Check the Department of Transport and Main Roads for State road conditions and weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meterology.
If intending to drive on the beach, make sure you check local tide times and plan to drive within two hours either side of low tide. Beach driving is safer on the falling tide and on hard sand. The beach speed limit is 50km/hr unless signed otherwise.
Sand driving and four-wheel-driving experience is essential to drive safely in Byfield with minimal impact. Print off Driving on sand safety guide to take with you when you visit.
Remember, all vehicles travelling in Byfield National Park, Conservation Park and State Forest must be road registered.
The table below is an advisory guide for dry weather conditions only. Driving on dry sand tracks is more difficult, and road and track conditions change quickly after rain. The first big dune on Stockyard Point Track (Big Sandy) is highly variable and usually very difficult for first time visitors. Drivers should be vigilant for oncoming traffic in this area.
If you are unsure of your driving ability or vehicle capability, or have not driven through Byfield National Park before, go with another vehicle and someone who has visited before.
|2WD smooth||2WD rough||4WD easy||4WD medium||4WD difficult|
Water Park Creek
Banksia car park
Sandy Point via Sandy Point Road
|Sandy Creek crossing|
Sandy Point via Farnborough Beach
Five Rocks visitor area
Nine Mile Beach
Water Park Point headland.
|Five Rocks Beach|
|Conditions to expect|
Short gravel or dirt sections.
Unsealed gravel or dirt roads with corrugations and potholes.
Some one-lane sections with poor visibility sections.
Sand or dirt tracks.
One-lane track with limited visibility (use pullover bays for oncoming traffic).
One-lane track with poor visibility (use pullover bays for oncoming traffic).
Frequent or extended steep and/or slippery sections.
Extremely narrow track with poor visibility (limited pullover bays).
Frequent or extended very steep and/or slippery sections.
|Vehicle suitability||Road bikes, 2WD, caravans, camper trailers.||2WD, camper trailers. High clearance recommended.||Dual range 4WD, off-road camper trailers. High clearance with all terrain or road tyres.||Dual range 4WD, off-road camper trailers. High clearance with all terrain or road tyres.||High clearance vehicles with dual range 4WD and tyres suitable for the terrain. Not suitable for trailers.|
|Driver experience required||Suitable for novice drivers.||Unsealed-road experience.|
Sand driving experience.
Suitable for novice 4WD drivers.
Sand driving experience.
Suitable for 4WD drivers.
|Sand driving experience. Extensive 4WD experience and/or advanced training.|
|Recommended recovery equipment||Tyre gauge and compressor.||Tyre gauge and compressor. Recovery equipment.||Tyre gauge and compressor. Winch and recovery equipment.|
- All Queensland road rules apply on beaches and in Byfield’s parks and forests—use the same precautions and courtesies you use when driving elsewhere.
- Drive to your ability—driving in natural areas presents additional challenges and dangers.
- The beach is a shared zone without lanes—watch for other vehicles and pedestrians, and park at right-angles to the wave zone so other drivers can see you have stopped.
- Keep to designated tracks to protect the environment and ensure your safety. Designated tracks off the beach are marked with a vehicle access symbol at the entrance to the track.
- Surveillance cameras may be operating in the area—see the legislation page for more information.
Remember to follow the Parks and forests four-wheel drive with care guidelines.
A local Council boat ramp is available at Water Park Creek at the end of Corbetts Landing Road. Boats may be landed on any of Byfield’s beaches providing it is safe to do so. Vehicle access to boat launching from Byfield’s beaches is only permitted in certain areas and depends on access conditions, which can change overnight. If access conditions are suitable, boats may be launched from:
- Nine Mile Beach and Farnborough Beach (north of Bangalee)
- just north-west of Corio Bay car park (accessed from Nine Mile Beach) into Corio Bay
- just north of Sandy Point car park into Fishing Creek.
Vehicles and boat trailers must be parked in designated car parks or on the beach out of traffic circulation to ensure safe and easy access for other users. Parking vehicles and trailers on dunes or vegetation is not permitted. Please follow any directions on-site.
Water Park Creek is accessible to motorised boats only to 6km downstream of the causeway. Remember, this waterway and Corio Bay are tidal.
Remember to follow the boat and fish with care guidelines.
Toilets large enough for wheelchairs are provided in Water Park Creek, Upper Stony, Red Rock and Five Rocks camping areas, however assistance may be required as the area is sandy and all toilets have a small step. There are no railings in the toilets at Five Rocks.
Byfield National Park has no wheelchair-accessible facilities.
Some areas in Byfield are difficult to access and help can be far away. For a safe and enjoyable visit it is important you are self-sufficient and follow safety advice.
Flooding and access
Do not attempt to cross flooded creeks—if it’s flooded, forget it! Heavy local rain, especially November to March, can cut access across creeks and roads. Be aware that the causeway at Water Park Creek floods regularly during heavy rainfall events, isolating the National and Conservation Parks and Water Park Creek camping and day use area. Carry extra supplies in case you get stranded.
- Estuarine crocodiles inhabit the area. Take care particularly in and around Corio Bay and the lower reaches of Water Park Creek. Always observe onsite crocodile warning signs. See Be croc wise for further crocodile safety advice.
- Bullrouts (freshwater stonefish) live in freshwater creeks. Their sting can be extremely painful. If stung by a bullrout when swimming, immerse the affected area in water as hot as you can tolerate without scalding for 20 minutes and seek immediate medical advice.
- Creeks hide dangers such as submerged logs and rocks, and water depth is variable and unpredictable. Never dive or jump into creeks. Do not construct rope swings—serious accidents have happened. Interfering with a natural resource and building unauthorised structures in a national park or State forest is prohibited, penalties apply.
- Byfield’s beaches have no lifesaving service and some areas have strong currents.
- Marine stingers are prevalent November to May but may be present all year.
Dingoes may roam the area. They can appear at any time of day or night, perhaps following a food scent to your camp site or picnic. They are not pets. They are wild animals and have become aggressive in other locations. To avoid encounters, please put your food away immediately after you've eaten. Never leave any food available. Secure all food and food-like items (wine casks, empty beers cans, toothpaste, soaps) in strong lockable storage containers that are securely strapped. While camping, store food and rubbish in your vehicle not in your tent or hanging from a tree. For more information, print off and read these be dingo-safe information leaflets before you visit and follow the be wildlife aware guidelines.
Become a citizen scientist! You can help QPWS Rangers to accurately profile dingoes in Byfield. Email any information about any encounter with a dingo—good or not so good—to email@example.com. Remember to include the time, date and location, nature of the encounter and note any distinguishing features of the dingo.
General safety guidelines
- Never walk or swim alone. Tell family or friends where you are going and when you expect to return.
- Carry a first-aid kit and drinking water. A first-aid kit is essential at all times. Carry extra water in case you take longer than expected.
- Wear protective clothing. Venomous bites and heat exhaustion are a danger on land and in the water. Wear sun protective clothing and sunscreen during the day. Good sturdy footwear is recommended to protect against stings and bites on land and in the water.
- Watch out for wildlife. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and heed wildlife warning signs. Never put your hands and feet under rocks and logs. Native animals, especially dingoes, can become bold and aggressive if fed. Keep food and scraps stored securely in closed containers or your vehicle so they are not attracted to your camp. See living with wildlife for further advice.
- Watch for vehicles. Be alert for vehicles at all times, especially on Farnborough and Nine Mile beaches and on causeways at Upper Stony and Water Park Creek. Remember, Queensland road rules apply on beaches and tracks.
- Don’t get trapped. Wildfires and floodwaters can rapidly become a threat. Be prepared to pack up and leave early when warnings are issued. Check local ABC radio for updates.
- Douse all fires completely with water. Embers in fire rings stay extremely hot for hours and can cause serious burns.
- Fish bright at night! Use high-visibility vests and reflective stickers when beach fishing.
In an emergency
For all emergencies phone Triple Zero (000).
Carry at least one form of communication equipment. Satellite phones and Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) are the most effective in this area. Limited mobile reception may be available at Stockyard Point headland in the national park, on the beach at low tide or on the last rise of the road to Upper Stony in the State forest.
We recommend you visit the Triple Zero website before visiting the national park. You can also download the free emergency + app before you leave home, the GPS functionality can provide critical location details to emergency services. Important: if there is no mobile coverage on any network, you will not be able to reach the Emergency Call Service via a mobile phone.
For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.
Before you visit
Essentials to bring
- A well-stocked first-aid kit suitable for remote and marine situations.
- Reliable communications equipment.
- Sufficient drinking water as untreated water on-site is not suitable for consumption.
- Insect repellent to guard against mosquitoes, sand flies, midges and ticks.
- A portable fuel stove or your own clean firewood (collecting bush wood is prohibited). Remember campfires are only permitted under strict conditions—please follow Parks and forests camp fires and cooking guidelines.
- Animal-proof containers to secure food and waste.
Byfield’s parks and forests are open 24 hours a day. Some areas may be closed at times due to extreme weather, fires and management operations. Check park alerts for the latest information on national park and forests access, closures and conditions. Visit HQPlantations Queensland for State forest plantation closures.
Please be aware
Shoalwater Bay Training Area lies to the north of Byfield National Park and includes the land above high water mark on the northern part of Five Rocks (Three Rivers) Beach. Access to this area is prohibited by the Australian Department of Defence. Camping is not permitted on Five Rocks Beach.
Permits and fees
Camping permits are required and fees apply. A camping tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.
- Find out more about camping in Byfield National Park, Conservation Park and State Forest.
Various activities conducted in Byfield's parks and forests may require a permit. These activities include commercial tours, social events such as weddings, organised group visits, school excursions, scientific research, and sale of photographs or vision of Byfield's parks and forests. View permits and fees for further information.
Dogs, cats and other domestic animals are not permitted in Byfield Conservation Park or Byfield National Park—including Sandy Point section and Water Park Point headland—or on beaches adjoining the parks.
However, domestic dogs are allowed on the public access road in Byfield State Forest and the Red Rock visitor area. Domestic dogs must be kept on a leash and under control at all times.
Climate and weather
Byfield area has a unique subtropical climate and receives more rain than surrounding areas. It can be hot, humid and wet. The drier months of the year, from April to October, are the best times to visit. Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.
Fuel and supplies
Fuel and supplies are available in Byfield or Yeppoon.
For more information, see the tourism information links.
- Temporary closure of Byfield National Park and Byfield Conservation Park for pest animal management activities 9–15 July 2023
- Temporary closure of Venusta Circuit Walking Track 23 March to 1 July 2023
- Long term closure of walking tracks in Upper Stony Creek area 11 November 2021 to 8 November 2023
- Drive with care due to road hazards 13 January to 30 June 2023