Imbil State Forest Sunshine Coast

Imbil State Forest has magnificent forests, deep gorges, spectacular views, walking tracks, scenic drives and grassy camp sites near rainforests and mountain streams. Photo credit: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government

Be inspired: Enjoy a romantic getaway at Imbil State Forest... without breaking the budget!

So you want to lavish your significant other with a deluxe weekend away but you’re strapped for cash, we’ve all been there. Photo credit: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government

Be inspired: Five reasons ‘little campers’ love Imbil State Forest!

Camping with kids may seem like a daunting prospect, but at Imbil State Forest, in the beautiful Sunshine Coast hinterland, we’ve got you covered. Photo credit: © Queensland Government

Visiting Imbil safely

    Floodwaters can cut roads in Imbil State Forest. If it’s flooded, forget it! Wait it out.

    Floodwaters can cut roads in Imbil State Forest. If it’s flooded, forget it! Wait it out.

    Photo credit: Queensland Government

    Getting there and getting around

    From Brisbane, follow the Bruce Highway north and choose your access route to the Charlie Moreland camping and day-use areas.

    • From Kenilworth exit and follow the signs to Kenilworth—about 28km southwest of the highway. Travel through Kenilworth and continue 6.2km on the Maleny–Kenilworth Road, turn right onto Sunday Creek Road and drive another 5km to reach the camping area.
    • Leave the highway sooner by taking the Steve Irwin Way exit and following signs to Landsborough, Maleny and then to Conondale. From Conondale, the Sunday Creek Road turnoff is 14.6km on the left.

    Sunday Creek Road to the camping and day-use areas is a gravel road suitable for conventional, two-wheel-drive vehicles, however caution is required during wet weather.

    Beyond the camping area, Sunday Creek Road is suitable for high clearance four-wheel-drive vehicles and off-road motorbikes only.

    All motorised vehicles (including trail bikes) must be road registered and Queensland road rules apply.

    If you plan to explore into adjoining Conondale National Park, make sure you read Conondale National Park’s Visit safely and Park Alerts information.

    Warning: Heavy rain can flood creek crossings. If it’s flooded, forget it! Wait it out. Flood waters in this area rise and fall quickly and are a hazard to life and property. Even in a small amount of water the current can pick up your car and sweep you away.

    Firing range! If you are exploring on forest roads in the northern part of Imbil State Forest, west of Imbil township, know where the firing range is located and do not enter unless authorised. Signs indicate firing range danger area (PDF, 117.1KB) .

    When driving and riding on forest roads—expect the unexpected

    • Slow down—allow time to react to unexpected situations and changed conditions. You share the road with other drivers, logging trucks, cyclists, walkers, horse riders and wildlife.
    • Be courteous—pull over to the left to allow vehicles to pass. For photography and enjoying the scenery, find a safe place to pull over or turn around. Do not stop on the roadway.
    • Approach corners cautiously and stay on your side of the road. Avoid sudden slowing as the vehicle may slide.
    • Take extra care on unsealed roads and in wet conditions. Avoid driving on forest roads in or immediately after wet weather.
    • Obey road signs and closures—speed limits and road rules apply.

    Read more about four-wheel-driving and trail bike riding safety.

    Wheelchair accessibility

    Facilities suitable for people using wheelchairs (assistance may be required) are provided at:

    Staying safe

    Check before leaving home

    Emergency communications

    • Mobile phone coverage is limited in the Imbil State Forest.
    • There is a Telstra mobile booster and QldParks-Wifi available near the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service work base, adjacent to Sunday Creek Road.
    • Consider taking a satellite phone, personal locator beacon (PLB) or another form of communication.
    • We highly recommend you visit the Triple Zero website before visiting the forest.
    • Download the Triple Zero emergency app—to help identify your location.

    Important: where there is no mobile coverage on any network, you will not be able to reach the Emergency Call Service via a mobile phone.

    In an emergency

    • call Triple Zero (000)

    Walk and explore safely

    • Tell a responsible person where you are going and when you should return.
    • Stay on track.
    • Wear sturdy shoes and suitable clothing.
    • Carry sufficient water and food as well as a first-aid kit and insect repellent.
    • Supervise children—natural areas have hazards including creeks, stinging plants and defensive wildlife.

    Food and cooking safety

    • Check if there are fire bans and never use a fire during a fire ban—check Park alerts.
    • Take care with fire—use constructed fireplaces and fire rings.
    • Make sure your fire is out with water before you leave it.
    • Preferably bring a fuel stove.
    • Avoid food poisoning—store food at appropriate temperatures.
    • Store food safely in strong containers and out of reach of foraging wildlife.
    • If you are using tank water, boil water for at least three minutes to kill most pathogens or use water treatment tablets. Tank water is pumped from the creek and may contain organisms that can cause illness.

    Water Safety

    • Never dive into creeks or rock pools, as they contain submerged rocks and logs. Water depth is unpredictable. Rock surfaces can be slippery.
    • Tank and creek water is unsuitable for use without treatment.

    Wildlife safety

    • Check yourself and children daily for ticks, often found in body creases. Follow the recommended method for tick removal.
    • Stinging trees (recognisable by their very large, round leaves) can deliver an extremely painful sting—do not touch their leaves, including dead ones, or any part of the tree.
    • Snakes generally retreat when encountered. If they feel threatened, they can become defensive. If you come across a snake, back away to a safe distance and allow the snake to move away. Know how to treat a snake bite.
    • Never feed, handle or play with wildlife—you may get bitten or scratched, and animals can become aggressive towards people when fed.

    For more information about staying safe, please read the guidelines: Safety in parks and forests.

    Pack strong containers to store and protect your food and rubbish from foraging wildlife, including goannas. Human food is harmful to wildlife!

    Pack strong containers to store and protect your food and rubbish from foraging wildlife, including goannas. Human food is harmful to wildlife!

    Photo credit: Ross Naumann

    Photo of a kookaburras who are frequently seen around day-use and camping areas.

    Kookaburras are frequently seen around day-use and camping areas.

    Photo credit: Ross Naumann

    Before you visit

    Essentials to bring

    • Enough water for all your drinking, cooking and cleaning.
    • A first-aid kit (including snake bite bandages), sunscreen, insect repellent, sturdy shoes, hat, raincoat and suitable clothing for weather conditions.
    • Strong sealable containers or rubbish bags to store your food and to store your rubbish to take away with you when you leave. Useful tip: remove excess packaging before you leave home.
    • Bring and use a fuel or gas stove.
    • If you plan to use the barbecues or fire rings provided, bring your own clean, firewood (it is illegal to collect firewood from the forest). If there are fire bans you will need to pack a suitable fuel cooking stove instead—check Park Alerts.
    • A mobile phone and, as reception is limited in Imbil State Forest, consider taking a satellite phone, personal locator beacon (PLB) or another form of communication.

    Opening hours

    Imbil State Forest is open 24 hours a day. For your safety, plan to complete walks, trails and scenic drives in daylight hours.

    Permits and fees

    A permit is required if camping in forests. Fees apply.

    A special permit is not required for other recreational activities in Imbil State Forest unless they are organised events or large scale competitive events. If an activity or visit to a protected area includes commercial photography or filming—that is, to sell photographs or film footage taken on a protected area or use photographs or footage in a product which will later be sold, such as a book or postcard—a permit must be obtained and a fee paid.


    Dogs and other domestic animals are not permitted within the Charlie Moreland camping or day-use areas.

    Horse riding is permitted on shared trails and roads in Imbil State Forest. A large, enclosed paddock is provided adjacent to the Charlie Moreland camping area for horses. You are encouraged to bring your own temporary fencing for partitioning within the paddock.

    Climate and weather

    Temperatures in the area exceed 30°C in summer and drop below 0°C in winter. Nights can be cool at any time of the year.

    Always check the current weather forecast before you visit.

    Fuel and supplies

    Fuel and supplies are available at Kenilworth, Conondale and Maleny. For more information see the tourism information links.