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Visiting Mapleton National Park safely
From Brisbane, travel 105km north along the Bruce Highway to Nambour, then travel 11km west to Mapleton.
Roads in Mapleton National Park are unsealed. As a result of flood damage, most roads require four-wheel-drive vehicles for safe access and visiting in dry weather conditions is recommended.
Conventional vehicle accessible areas
Delicia Road is an all-weather road accessible by conventional vehicles and provides access to a Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk entrance point and short walks.
The Mapleton day-use area and eastern entrance to the Gheerulla Trail Bike Area is accessible by conventional vehicles in dry conditions only, via Delicia Road and a short section of Mapleton Forest Road. This road becomes very slippery in wet conditions.
Four-wheel-drive accessible areas
Point Glorious Lookout is accessible by four-wheel-drive vehicle in dry conditions. From Mapleton township travel north on Mapleton Forest Road, Buckby Road and Point Glorious Road. Alternatively, travel west from Yandina via Cooloolabin, Buckby and Point Glorious Roads.
To reach the Gheerulla camping area and northern access to the trail bike area from Mapleton, continue through Mapleton on Obi Obi Road for 19km and turn right into the Eumundi–Kenilworth Road. After 5km turn right into Sam Kelly Road. The camping area is 2km down the road.
To reach the Gheerulla camping area and trail bike area from the north, take the Eumundi–Kenilworth Road turnoff from the Bruce Highway and travel 24km, turn left into Sam Kelly Road and continue 2km to the camping area.
Roads may be closed due to weather conditions, road maintenance or high fire danger. For your safety, do not enter the park when closure signs are displayed.
Unsealed forest roads can be steep, rough and winding:
- Slow down. Allow time to react to unexpected situations and changed conditions. You may encounter other drivers, cyclists, walkers, horse riders, cattle and wildlife.
- Be courteous. Pull over to the left to allow vehicles to pass. Do not stop in the middle of the roadway for photography and enjoying the scenery. Find a safe place to pull over or turn around.
- Watch out for corners and steep slopes. Drive carefully around corners, especially after rain. Stay on your side of the road and avoid sudden slowing. Shift down a gear when roads are steep.
- All road rules apply. Obey speed limits. Always wear a seat belt. Never carry passengers outside the vehicle cabin.
- Avoid using forest roads during and immediately after wet weather to reduce damage to road surfaces and for your own safety. Do not attempt to cross flooded creeks.
- Roads may be rough. Forest roads are often rough, with potholes and wash-outs. Driving too fast may be dangerous or cause damage to your vehicle. Drive slowly.
Warning! Heavy rain can flood creek crossings and cause wash outs on forest roads.
For your safety please observe the following:
- Obey all road closures—roads may be closed due to deep water levels at creek crossings or wet and slippery conditions.
- Flood waters in this area rise and fall quickly and are a hazard to life and property.
- Avoid flooded crossings. Submerged obstacles may pose a hazard. Traffic ahead may have created hidden hazards, such as deep holes.
Before you visit, check current conditions:
- Park alerts.
- Weather forecasts at the Bureau of Meteorology.
- Road conditions at the Department of Transport and Main Roads.
There are no wheelchair-accessible tracks or facilities in Mapleton National Park. Nearby, Mapleton Falls National Park has a wheelchair-accessible lookout with views of the waterfall and rainforest valley below.
- Sheer cliffs and slippery rocks can be hazardous. Always supervise children, keep to the walking tracks, stay behind safety fences and follow all warning signs to avoid tragedy.
- Stay on track. Tell a responsible person where you are going and when you should return. Wear sturdy shoes. Carry adequate clothing, water and snack food.
- Supervise children. Natural areas have hazards that children are unfamiliar with, including creeks, cliff edges, stinging plants and wildlife.
- Water hazards—never dive into creeks or rock pools. They contain submerged rocks and logs. Water depth is variable and unpredictable. Rock surfaces can be slippery.
- Carry a first-aid kit—and know how to use it. Use repellent on exposed skin and shoes to discourage mosquitoes, leeches and ticks. Remove ticks immediately.
- Carry fresh water. Drinking water is not provided. Creek water is unsuitable for drinking as it may contain organisms that can cause illness.
- Human food is not for wildlife—it can cause overpopulation, illness and aggressive behaviour.
- Check park alerts for current warnings or closures. Closures can occur during severe wet weather, during high winds and for fire management. For your safety, do not enter the park when closure signs are displayed.
- Do not attempt to cross flooded creeks. If you are caught out on the tracks when creek crossings flood, wait until the water no longer covers the track. Water rises and falls in a short period of time.
In an emergency
In case of accident, other emergency or for reporting a bushfire or acts of arson, please:
- Call Triple Zero (000).
- Advise the location and nature of the emergency.
- Stay on the phone until you are told to hang up.
Mobile phone reception is poor in this area. Consider taking a satellite phone to areas without mobile phone coverage. The closest hospital is Nambour.
For more information about staying safe while visiting national parks, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.
Essentials to bring
- Bring insect repellent to discourage mosquitoes, leeches and ticks.
- Bring your own drinking water—this is not provided. Creek water is unsuitable for drinking as it may contain organisms that can cause illness.
- Wear sturdy shoes, a hat, protective clothing and sunscreen.
- No bins are provided. Bring rubbish bags to remove your rubbish and recyclables from the park.
The park is open 24 hours a day, but for your safety, walk and ride in daylight hours only.
Permits and fees
Camping permits are required and fees apply.
- Find out more about Gheerulla camping area.
- Book your campsite online.
- If you cannot book on line, see camping bookings for other options.
Follow this link for Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk walker's camps.
Climate and weather
Local temperatures can rise above 30°C in summer and drop to freezing point overnight in winter. Nights can be cool at any time of the year.
Always check weather conditions before your visit. Be aware that forest areas are hazardous during strong winds, as tree branches may fall.
During severe wet weather, which occurs mostly in spring and summer, some tracks flood and are closed for public safety. Check park alerts for current warnings or park closures.
Fuel and supplies
Fuel and supplies are available in Mapleton and other nearby towns. For more information see the tourism information links below.