Visiting Vernon State Forest safely
Getting there and getting around
Vernon State Forest is located on the Fraser Coast close to the coastal town of Toogoom and 19km north-west of Hervey Bay.
- Vernon State Forest map —locality map, Toogoom mountain bike trails map and Takura Trail map.
From the Bruce highway: Turn off at Torbanlea and travel northeast via Torbanlea Pialba Road and continue to your destination:
- For Toogoom mountain bike trails: turn left onto Toogoom Road (7.5km from highway). The car park entry is on the right just before the O’Regan Creek Road intersection. The Toogoom mountain bike trails entrance is off O’Regan Creek Road.
- For Takura Trail: turn left onto Toogoom Cane Road (approximately 12km from highway) and travel approximately 1km to the trail head entrance located on the left hand side of the road.
From Hervey Bay: Access the Pialba–Burrum Heads Road via Hervey Bay Road at Eli Waters and continue to your destination:
- For Toogoom mountain bike trails: Take the second Toogoom exit to the right onto Toogoom Road. The car park entry is on the right just before the O’Regan Creek Road intersection. The mountain-bike trails entrance is off O’Regan Creek Road.
- For Takura Trail: Turn left onto Toogoom Cane Road and travel approximately 3.5km. The trail head entrance is off Toogoom Cane Road on the right hand side.
Mountain bike link trackSkilled mountain bike riders can use a mountain bike link trail to connect their ride between Toogoom mountain bike trails and Takura trail.
Vehicle access within the forest
Four-wheel drive track
There is one four-wheel-drive accessible road.
- Follow directional signs and ensure you keep to the defined four-wheel drive road.
- Do not access this road in wet conditions.
- Four-wheel drives are not permitted on any other tracks within the state forest.
- Drive with care—be aware you may encounter wildlife, mountain bike riders, trail bike riders, horse riders, walkers and runners.
Motorised trail bike access
- Ride only on the Takura trail and defined four-wheel drive road.
- Ride with care—be aware you may encounter wildlife, four-wheel drives, mountain bike riders, horse riders, walkers and runners.
- Do not ride on tracks which, are signed as ‘closed’, ‘entry prohibited’ or ‘restricted access’. Off-track riding is not allowed. Penalties apply.
- If you encounter barriers or obstacles and conditions beyond your experience, think about safety first—turn around and go back.
Roads within the state forest are for licensed drivers and riders using road-registered vehicles and motorcycles.
- Unlicensed drivers and riders, unregistered vehicles and bikes, unaccompanied learner licence holders or recreation-registered vehicles are not permitted.
- Queensland road rules apply for all motorised vehicle use. Penalties apply.
Vernon State Forest is not wheelchair accessible.
Plan to be safe
- Ride on designated trails and choose activities that suit your ability and fitness level.
- Make sure your bike is suitable. Mountain bike trails are designed for mountain bikes—they are not suitable for road bicycles.
- Never ride or walk alone! Go with a group; if someone gets hurt others can arrange for help.
- Keep track of where you are in case you need to re-trace your route or provide location details in an emergency. The Takura trails have marked meeting points for emergency services.
- Check the weather forecast and avoid visiting the forest in wet weather conditions—riding in the wet damages forest trails and can increase the risk of injury.
- Never enter the forest in high wind conditions (trees or branches may fall) or if you can see smoke in the forest—fire can spread rapidly.
- Have an emergency plan in place—leave a copy with a responsible person. If you change your plans, ensure you tell this person. Make sure they know to call the police if you don’t return as planned.
- Always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear.
- Pay attention to trail classification, directional, safety and closure signs.
- Only ride on trails that are open and suit your riding abilities.
- Expect the unexpected around the corner—watch for other trail users, fallen trees, water eroded tracks and wildlife.
- Share the trails and respect other users—slow down and warn other riders when approaching.
- Follow directional signs on one-way trail sections.
- Ride with extra caution on two-way trail sections.
- Give way when riding downhill.
- Ride according to trail conditions. If you encounter barriers or obstacles and conditions beyond your experience, think about safety first—turn around and go back.
- Avoid skidding and sliding around turns and downhill to prevent collisions and minimise trail damage.
Runners and walkers beware!
Walking and running on Toogoom mountain-bike trails and Takura trail is not recommended. These trails are designed and built for technical mountain bike riding. Trail bikes are permitted on the Takura trail.
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 and stay aware of your surroundings. It may endanger your life to walk or run whilst listening to any personal entertainment devices.
Wildfires can occur without warning, so be aware of and prepared for the dangers.
If a bushfire occurs while you are in the forest:
- Follow the trail/road away from the fire to the nearest forest exit/main road.
- Large logs, a ditch or burnt ground can also provide protection.
In high fire danger conditions the forest may be closed. Do not enter closed areas—for your safety it is essential to follow signed instructions.
If you see a bushfire, dial Triple Zero (000) or try 112 if out of mobile reception area.
In an emergency
In case of accident, other emergency or for reporting a bushfire or acts of arson, please:
- Call Triple Zero (000).
- Call 106 for a text-only message for deaf or speech or hearing impaired callers.
- Advise the location and nature of the emergency.
- Stay on the phone until you are told to hang up.
- The closest hospital is located in Hervey Bay.
For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.
Before you visit
Essentials to bring
- Adequate drinking water and snack food.
- Sturdy shoes, a hat and suitable clothing.
- Mobile phone.
- A well-equipped first-aid kit, sunscreen and insect repellent.
- Rubbish bags to carry your rubbish out of the forest for appropriate disposal.
There are no toilets within the State forest. The nearest public toilets are located beside Toogoom Community Hall, corner of Toogoom Road and O’Regan Creek Road.
Vernon State Forest is open 24 hours a day. For your safety, visit the forest in daylight hours only.
Permits and fees
Some activities conducted in Vernon State Forest may require a permit. These activities include commercial activities and organised events (weddings, organised group visits, school excursions and scientific research, competitive events).
Dogs are permitted in Vernon State Forest but must be kept on a leash and under control at all times.
Climate and weather
The Wide Bay Region has a subtropical climate with rainfall tending to be more concentrated from October to March. Daytime temperatures can soar above 30°C in summer.
Fuel and supplies
Fuel can be purchased from Torbanlea, Hervey Bay and Burrum Heads. General supplies are available at Toogoom, Torbanlea and Craignish.
- There are currently no park alerts for this park.