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 capital city in Australia, beckoning you for an easy weekend getaway.

Photo credit: Tom Genek © Queensland Government

Chores, what chores? Forget all that and treat yourselves to that fun, relaxing family weekend away you’ve been talking about for months.

Mount Mee, in D’Aguilar National Park—right on Brisbane’s doorstep—is beckoning! Located mid-way between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast (an easy hour’s drive from either location), the kids will barely have time to ask, ‘Are we there yet?’ before you arrive.

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

Mount Mee's shady camping areas, remote gorges, subtropical rainforest and spectacular views are so worth it!

Childhood memories

Toddler playing with toys on a blanket at a camp site surrounded by rainforest. Family camping | © Lizzy Hannaford Photography

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 telling stories under the stars?

Spending a night or two at Mount Mee, you’ll make new memories with your own kids!

There are many adventures to be had by day, then, after dark, the park transforms as animals come to life. This can be such a new and exciting experience for the young and old alike! Owls and possums are often active 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 near Neurum Creek, about 1km from the northern (Woodford) entrance to the park, is accessible by conventional vehicle. Bring the frisbee, the footy and the firewood. Just leave Fido at home!

If four-wheel driving is your thing, you’ll be able to explore the unsealed 4WD roads through Mount Mee, and stay at Neurum Creek camping area, nestled in enclosed forest in the middle of the park. This is a fantastic place for family ‘hide and seek’ and treasure hunts.

Don’t bring the trailer though—these camping areas are suitable for tents only.

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

Stay in the open grassy area of Archer camping area and spend a relaxing weekend, kicking back and watching the kids’ imaginations run wild as they explore nature’s playground. Toilets, water (treat before drinking) and fireplaces are provided; just remember to pick up a few bags of clean milled firewood on the way.

After running around and exploring all morning, a midday paddle or kayak in the forest-fringed Neurum Creek is in order. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for turtles and fish.

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 is the ultimate place for childhood adventures and parental relaxation. Each camp site is nestled in tall forest, creating a cosy and secluded home away from home with toilets, water (treat before drinking) and fireplaces. Pitch your tent, unfold your chair and sit back admiring 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 out for bush-based adventure in the nearby 4WD and trail bike road network before ending the day looking for nocturnal critters as they come to life foraging for food.

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 simple camp fire can be a great family bonding experience—from snapping the kindling to form a tepee, to lighting the fire and hearing it crackle, and then of course the grand finale of toasting marshmallows for dessert! There’s nothing quite like telling jokes around a camp fire and listening to the crackle, all the while being mesmerised by the ever changing flames. Just remember to bring your own clean-milled firewood! And put the fire out with water before you go to bed. Or if that’s all too hard, just make use of the barbecues at The Gantry day-use area!

Ready to adventure?

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