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About Cordalba State Forest

Getting there and getting around

The Promisedland mountain bike trail car park is accessible by conventional vehicle in dry weather conditions. Photo: Cathy Gatley.

The Promisedland mountain bike trail car park is accessible by conventional vehicle in dry weather conditions. Photo: Cathy Gatley.

Getting ready for a mountain bike ride in the Promisedland car park. Photo: John Gatley.

Getting ready for a mountain bike ride in the Promisedland car park. Photo: John Gatley.

Cordalba State Forest is located in the Burnett Valley between Childers and Gin Gin.

From Childers travel north along the Bruce Highway through Apple Tree Creek and take the Isis Highway turnoff, then take the Cordalba/Claytons Road turnoff to the left. Follow Claytons road for 1.1km to the T intersection with Hodges Road, turn right onto Hodges Road, travel 100m and turn left onto Promisedland Road. Travel for about 7.6km on Promisedland Road which veers right and then turns left (where Rapleys Road is straight ahead) before reaching the Forestry camp mountain bike trailhead turnoff on the left. Follow the unsealed forest road 150m to the Forestry camp trailhead. The Hilltop mountain bike trailhead is a further 1.6km along Promisedland Road from the Forestry camp trailhead turnoff.

From Bundaberg travel south along the Isis Highway for 22km until you reach the Phillips Road turn-off. Continue along the unsealed Phillips Road for approximately 16km and then turn left onto Promisedland Road. Travel for approximately1.3km before turning right at the signed turn-off for the Hilltop mountain bike trailhead. The Forestry camp mountain bike trailhead is a further 1.6km along Promisedland road.

The car parks for Promisedland mountain bike trailheads are accessible by conventional vehicles, in dry conditions.

Map

Wheelchair accessibility

Cordalba State Forest is not wheelchair accessible.

Forest features

The barking owl is one of many species that live in the forest. Photo: Chris Barnes.

The barking owl is one of many species that live in the forest. Photo: Chris Barnes.

Cordalba State Forest provides a peaceful day trip for those wanting to escape the bustle of town.

Open eucalypt forest, with remnant patches of hoop pine provide an excellent mix of plant communities for birdwatchers to catch a glimpse of a yellow-tufted honeyeater or a barking owl.

The Promisedland mountain bike trail network provides visitors to the park with a range of trails suited to bike riders of all abilities.

On the western side of Cordalba State Forest lies Cordalba National Park, which is home to one of Queensland’s rarest trees, the endangered Isis tamarind Alectryon ramiflorus.

Camping and accommodation

Camping

There is no formal camping area at Cordalba State Forest. The mountain bike trailhead areas are day-use areas only, camping is not permitted in them.

Bush camping is allowed in the forest. No facilities are provided so visitors must be totally self-sufficient.

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

Other accommodation

There is a range of holiday accommodation in and around Bundaberg and Childers.
For more information see the tourism information links.

Things to do

When walking along forest roads always walk facing the oncoming traffic and look out for other road users. Photo: Cathy Gatley.

When walking along forest roads always walk facing the oncoming traffic and look out for other road users. Photo: Cathy Gatley.

Mountain bike riders explore the Joey trail. Photo: John Gatley.

Mountain bike riders explore the Joey trail. Photo: John Gatley.

Take time out from your ride to enjoy the scenery. Admire reflections in the waterhole along the Gregory River. Photo: John Gatley.

Take time out from your ride to enjoy the scenery. Admire reflections in the waterhole along the Gregory River. Photo: John Gatley.

Drive carefully on forest roads. Travel at speeds appropriate for the road conditions. Photo: Cathy Gatley.

Drive carefully on forest roads. Travel at speeds appropriate for the road conditions. Photo: Cathy Gatley.

Walking

Walking is permitted on all management roads and trails in Cordalba State Forest unless otherwise signed.

Remote bushwalking in Cordalba State Forest requires special skills.

Bushwalkers must:

  • plan well
  • be physically fit, have bushwalking and navigation experience.
  • prepare an emergency plan. Leave details with a responsible friend or family member so they can take action if needed. Remember to let them know if you change your plans!
  • carry good communication equipment, such as a satellite phone
  • carry a topographic map, GPS and compass
  • carry a well-equipped first-aid kit and know how to use it
  • take enough drinking water
  • have good bush skills
  • undertake minimal impact practices

Bushwalkers intending to bush camp, must book a camping permit.

Horse and mountain bike riding

A leisurely ride through the park on horseback or mountain bike is a great way to experience the wonders of the bush.

There is a network of management roads and trails throughout the park that can be used for horse and mountain bike riding. A special permit is not required unless it is a commercial activity or an organised event and/or competitive event.

Some trails have been specifically developed just for mountain bike riding. Horse riders are not permitted on the mountain bike trails.

Horse and mountain-bike riding is fun provided you stay safe.

Follow the give-way code: cyclists must give way to walkers and horseriders, and alert others when approaching them. Walkers must give way to horses.

Read more information about horse riding and mountain bike riding in protected areas.

Mountain bike trails (horses and trail bikes prohibited)

In addition to riding on forest and management roads, the Promisedland mountain bike trail network provides dedicated trails for mountain biker riders. Most trails are suitable for intermediate riders with moderate fitness.

These tracks vary in length and difficulty, crossing rocky gullies and showcasing the changing vegetation types from tall open forests to patches of vine scrub.

The network of mountain bike trails at Promisedland is a project developed with Mountain Biking Bundaberg Incorporated. Volunteers from this group are working with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to provide and maintain trails for recreation.

Some Promisedland mountain bike trails are designed to be ridden in a one-way direction, others allow two-way access. Check the direction of each trail on the map below before commencing your ride. Watch out for other trail users and wildlife.

Walkers beware! These trails are purpose-built for mountain bike riding only. Walkers and runners who choose to use these trails do so at their own risk. The trails are narrow and rough in places. Bike riders may approach at speed from either direction—give way to them at all times.

Map: Cordalba State Forest and mountain bike trails map (PDF, 201K)

Use the trail grade listed to choose rides suitable for your ability and fitness level.

Trail classification
Classification Description
Easy mountain bike trail Easy mountain bike trail: wide trail with gentle gradient and smooth surface. Some obstacles such as roots, logs and rocks. Suitable for beginner mountain bike riders with basic mountain bike skills and off-road bikes.
Intermediate mountain bike trail Intermediate mountain bike trail: wide trail with gentle gradient and smooth surface. Some obstacles such as roots, logs and rocks. Suitable for beginner mountain bike riders with basic mountain bike skills and off-road bikes.
Difficult mountain bike trail Difficult mountain bike trail: for experienced mountain bike riders. Challenging trail. Large, unavoidable obstacles and features. Long steep climbs or descents and loose surfaces.
Mountain bike trails
Trail details Distance Traffic flow Classification
Trail 1
Features: Joey trail for beginner riders
800m return One-way: clockwise direction—refer to map Easy mountain bike trailEasy
Trail 2
Features: Grass tree trail, Start straight trail; and Dingo trail.
Trail includes a short section along a management road.
7.1km return Two-way Easy mountain bike trailEasy
Trail 3
Features: Cow bones link trail
1.25km one way Two-way Easy mountain bike trailEasy
Trail 4
Features: Drifty bars trail.
1.7km one way Two-way Easy mountain bike trailEasy
Trail 5
Features: Glider trail; Ironbark trial and Barking Owl trail.
Trail includes sections along an unsealed road and a management road.
6.7km return One-way and two-way sections—refer to map. Intermediate mountain bike trailIntermediate
Trail 6
Features: Beehive trail
3km one way Two-way Intermediate mountain bike trailIntermediate
Trail 7
Features: Lost trail, Cluncker trail and Hoo koo e koo trail.
Trail includes sections along an unsealed road and a management road.
10.8km return Two-way Intermediate mountain bike trailIntermediate
Trail 8
Features: Cow bones trail
3km one way Two-way with a one-way section—refer to map Difficult mountain bike trailDifficult
Trail 9
Features: Pin and Grin trail
2km one way One-way—refer to map Difficult mountain bike trailDifficult

Driving

Go for a scenic drive through the forest. Generally the forest roads are recommended for four-wheel-drive vehicles only and are not suitable for caravans, two-wheel-drive campervans, mobile homes or conventional (on-road) camper trailers.

The car parks for the Promisedland mountain bike trails are accessible by conventional vehicles.

Be aware that forest roads beyond the Promisedland mountain bike trailhead car parks are suitable only for four-wheel-drive vehicles, as the road conditions can often vary, requiring high clearance vehicles with differential locking capabilities.

  • Vehicle access is not permitted in wet weather or where vehicle tracks sink into the road more than 2cm.
  • Only registered four-wheel-drive vehicles and trail bikes may be driven in Cordalba State Forest.
  • Drivers must be fully licensed.
  • Only drive on forest roads and formed management roads; others may be unsafe.
  • All Queensland road rules apply on forest and management roads.
  • The speed limit on forest roads is 50km/hr.

Country gates have rules

Remember, the rule is ‘leave the gate as you find it’ when passing through State forest or park gates:

  • If a gate is open, go through and leave it open.
  • If a gate is closed, open it, go through and close it.
  • If a gate is closed and locked, do not open it or barge through it—a locked gate means no access.

Read more about driving safely and about four-wheel-driving in protected areas.

Things to know before you go

Be aware:

  • Mobile phone reception is not reliable in Cordalba State Forest.
  • Help can be hours away.
  • Police patrol the area anytime.
  • Logging trucks and heavy machinery use the roads.
  • Be aware—four-wheel-drive vehicles traverse management trails.
  • The roads and management trails are suitable for trail bikes, mountain bikes, horses and high clearance four-wheel-drive vehicles.
  • Walkers can access the park and use the roads and management trails too.
  • Camping permits are required before you set up camp.
  • Access into the forest is not permitted in wet weather or in conditions where vehicle tracks sink more than 2cm into the road surface.
  • Expect hazards and unexpected obstacles—it’s a natural area.
  • Logging operations are active in this forest; look out for and heed advisory notices and signs and expect logging trucks and heavy machinery on the roads.
  • If you can see smoke, do not enter the forest; bushfires can move fast.

Essentials to bring

  • Be self-sufficient—carry enough food, water, navigation and communication equipment—help can be hours away.
  • Take a satellite phone if going into and staying in remote areas.
  • Pack a first-aid kit, sunscreen, insect repellent, sturdy shoes, hat and raincoat.
  • Bring suitable clothing as temperatures in the area soar above 30°C in summer and nights can be cool at any time.
  • Bring your own rubbish bins or bags as rubbish bins are not provided.
  • Pack light and pack right—leave excess packaging at home, store your rubbish securely from wildlife and take it all out with you when you leave.
  • Preferably bring and use fuel or gas stoves—no campfires are permitted in times of fire prohibitions or bans.
  • Bring portable toilets if camping and remove the waste from the State forest.

Opening hours

Cordalba State Forest is open 24 hours a day.

Permits and fees

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

Pets

Dogs are allowed in Cordalba State Forest. They must be on a leash and under control at all times.

Climate and weather

The North Burnett area has a climate that is subtropical and sub-humid with rainfall tending to be more concentrated in the months from October to March. Frosts can occur throughout the region, mainly in June to August.

Average temperatures range from 5°C to 32°C, however temperatures as high as 40°C can be experienced over short periods during the summer months.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available in Bundaberg, Childers, Apple Tree Creek and Gin Gin.

Staying safe

Your safety is our concern, but your responsibility.

Plan ahead:

  • Leave a copy of your plans with a responsible friend or family member.
  • Ensure contingency plans are in place should something go wrong.
  • If you change your plans, ensure you tell this person too.

Drivers!

  • Be prepared for the unexpected—slow down, especially on gravel roads, and give yourself time to react to changed road conditions and hazards.
  • Ensure your vehicle is mechanically sound—carry essential spares, water, tyre gauge and air pump.
  • Keep to the graded roads—other roads may peter out into overgrown unused logging tracks with few or no opportunities to turn around.
  • Observe and comply with the instructions on all signs.
  • Stay alert for landmarks and distances in case you need to retrace your journey or tell rescuers where you are.

Riders!

  • Always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear.
  • Only ride on trails that suit your cycling abilities.
  • Pay attention to trail grades and safety signs.
  • Ride according to track conditions.
  • Always ride with others—keep groups to fewer than 12.
  • Be aware of walkers, fallen trees or wildlife.
  • Slow down and warn other riders when approaching.
  • Give way when riding downhill.
  • Avoid skidding and sliding around turns and downhill to prevent collisions and minimise trail damage.
  • Keep tracks in good condition by not riding during or immediately after wet weather.
  • Respect areas closed to riding—ride on open trails only.
  • Stay on marked trails and formed roads—riding over vegetation, taking shortcuts and forming new trails damages plants and wildlife habitat. Do not venture off-road. Penalties apply.
  • Plan ahead, ride within your ability and according to trail conditions.
  • Avoid riding during and after rain when tracks are soft, wet and muddy.
  • On mountain bike trails follow the give-way code—slow down or stop when approaching other trail users.
  • Trail bikes:
    • must be road registered and licensed.
    • must give-way to horses and mountain bikes.
    • are not permitted on mountain bike trails

For all emergencies

  • Call Triple Zero (000).
  • Advise the location and nature of the emergency.
  • Stay on the phone until you are told to hang up.
  • If mobile phone reception is not available, try UHF ch5 (emergency channel) for assistance.

In case of an accident:

  • The nearest hospital is in Childers, approximately 17km.
  • Call for help, but be aware that mobile phone coverage is limited.
  • Stay with and monitor any injured people.
  • Stay in or near your car if safe—a car is easier to find than a single person wandering through the bush.
  • Do not try to walk through the bush to find help—the area has many trails and roads, some of which are dead-ends.

For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

Looking after the forest

Stay on trails and keep the forest clean for future generations to enjoy. Photo: Cathy Gatley.

Stay on trails and keep the forest clean for future generations to enjoy. Photo: Cathy Gatley.

The forest is important habitat for wildlife—keep it clean.

  • Take rubbish, including disposable nappies and sanitary items, out of the forest and dispose of it properly.
  • Please leave all plants and animals undisturbed.
  • Use toilets at the Hill Top trailhead. When bush camping, ensure all faecal matter and toilet paper are properly buried, at least 15cm deep and at least 100m from trails, watercourses and drainage channels.
  • Do not feed or leave food or leftovers for wildlife, as some animals will quickly become pests and aggressive if reliant on handouts.

Horse riders: help reduce your impact on our natural areas.

  • Do not allow horses to remain in the forest overnight.
  • Never take shortcuts:
    • damages the environment
    • you can get lost
    • your horse could be injured
  • Do not allow horses to enter or remain in or near natural watercourses.
  • Do not allow horses to graze on any vegetation while in the area.
  • Tether horses at resting areas only for short periods to minimise soil erosion and compaction.
  • Avoid spreading weeds:
    • Ensure horses’ coats, hooves and equipment are free of seeds before you visit.
    • Avoid walking and riding through patches of weeds especially if they are seeding.
    • Provide horses with weed-free, good quality, processed feed for at least 48 hours before entering the park.

See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

Forest management

Cordalba State Forest was gazetted in 1941 and is currently managed by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS). Wildlife, recreation, pest and fire management are part of the custodial responsibilities.

Tourism information links

Bundaberg Visitor Information Centre
www.bundabergregion.org
271 Bourbong Street, Bundaberg
PO Box 930, Bundaberg QLD 4670
Phone: (07) 4153 8888
Email:

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see www.queensland.com.

Further information

QPWS Information Centre (Tewantin)
Sunshine and Fraser Coast Region
240 Moorindil Street, Tewantin QLD 4565
Open 7 days 8am–4pm except Christmas Day
Phone 13 QGOV (13 74 68). Mobile charges may apply.

Contact us

Last updated
11 October 2017