A family camping favourite, D’Aguilar is right on Brisbane’s doorstep!
Issued: 4 Sep 2018

Are we there yet? Well kids, almost! D’Aguilar National Park is the closest, large-scale national park to any Australian capital city and is beckoning you for an easy weekend getaway.

Photo credit: Tom Genek © Queensland Government

D’Aguilar National Park—right on Brisbane’s doorstep—is beckoning! Located mid-way between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, the park’s camping areas are an easy hour and a half’s drive from either location. The kids will barely have time to ask, ‘Are we there yet?’.

We often put packing the camping gear and kids into the too-hard basket, but we recommend you take it right back out!

The park’s shady camping areas, remote gorges, subtropical rainforests and spectacular views are so worth it!

Childhood memories

Photo of a family sitting around a campfire at a camp site surrounded by rainforest. Family camping | © Queensland Government

You may have happy memories of camping as a kid. Was it the thrill of sleeping in a tent? Or using a torch to find the loo in the dark? The freedom of nature play with sticks and mud? Or was it telling stories under the stars?

Spending a night or 2 at Archer camping area or Neurum Creek camping area, you’ll make new memories with your own kids!

There are many adventures to be had by day, and then, at dusk, watch and listen as the park’s nocturnal animals become active. This can be such a new and exciting experience for the young and old alike! Bats, owls, possums and gliders are often feeding in the forest canopy, so remember to pack the torch and pop some red cellophane over the light with a rubber band to protect the animals’ eyes. Who knows what you might see! Introducing children to camping while they’re young has a huge influence on developing their appreciation of nature and love of the outdoors.

Two wheels or four?

Four-wheel-drive vehicle drives across a creek crossing, surrounded by rainforest.Mount Mee forest drive | Maxime Coquard © Queensland Government

No 4WD? No worries! Archer camping area is about 1km from the northern-most entrance to the park (Rasmussen Road) and can be accessed by conventional vehicle in dry conditions.

If four-wheel driving is your thing, you’ll be able to explore further into the national park along the unsealed 4WD roads and stay at Neurum Creek camping area. Nestled amongst the eucalypt forest, this is a fantastic place for the family to relax, spot some wildlife and experience the soothing sounds this beautiful spot has on offer.

Don’t bring the trailer though—these camping areas are suitable for tents only. And don’t bring your pets, as domestic animals are not permitted in national parks.

Kick back in nature

Small blue tent is dwarfed by tall timbers of the open forest that surrounds an open grassy clearing.Archer camping area | Tom Genek © Queensland Government

The open grassy area of Archer camping area is a great place to spend a relaxing weekend, kicking back and watching the kids’ imaginations run wild as they look up and look down, carefully observing the beauty all around.

After running around and exploring the extensive camping area, a paddle in the forest-fringed Neurum Creek is in order. Be sure to always keep children under close supervision, while they can keep their eyes peeled for kingfishers, turtles and fish.

Toilets, water (treat before drinking) and fireplaces are provided; just remember to bring a few bags of clean milled firewood and kindling (such as untreated mill cut-offs). Do not bring in or collect bush wood.

Creek-side camping

A fire ring and logs defining a camping area in a leaf-litter carpeted clearing are surrounded by the green foliage of open forest. Neurum Creek camping area, Mount Mee | Tom Genek © Queensland Government

Neurum Creek camping area offers a more secluded camping experience. Each camp site is nestled in tall forest, creating a cosy home away from home. Pitch your tent, unfold your chair and sit back to admire the natural beauty that surrounds you.

Wander along the nearby Lophostemon walk and discover Neurum Creek. Keep an eye out for Richmond birdwing butterflies flitting above the water—Neurum Creek is one of the D'Aguilar Range's last natural breeding sites for this threatened species.

Head further out for bush-based adventures along the 4WD and trail-bike road network before ending the day looking up at the stars and listening to the peaceful sounds of the bush.

Toilets, water (treat before drinking) and fireplaces (BYO wood) are provided here too.

Snap, crackle and … toast!

Picnic tables and picnic shelters are set in an open grassy space with an historic corrugated iron building and surrounding forest in the background. The Gantry day-use area, Mount Mee | Tom Genek © Queensland Government

A safe, simple camp fire can be a great family bonding experience—from forming a small kindling tepee to lighting the fire and hearing it crackle, and then, of course, the grand finale of toasting marshmallows! There’s nothing quite like telling jokes and sharing stories around a camp fire, all the while being mesmerised by the ever changing flames. Only use the fireplaces provided, and bring your own clean-milled firewood and kindling (to get that fire started)! Remember to put the fire out with water before you go to bed.

Or if that’s all too hard, travel to The Gantry day-use area and make use of the electric barbecues!

Ready to adventure?

Visit D’Aguilar National Park for more information about camping in the park. Remember to always check Park alerts before visiting a national park or forest!