Camp amongst a ‘Flower and garden’ show that outshines all others at Girraween
Issued: 5 Jul 2018

‘It’s bloomin marvellous’, as Australian gardening guru, Peter Cundal, would say. You don’t need to fly to the UK for the Chelsea Flower Show or trek to Melbourne for the International Flower Show because, when it comes to wildflowers and rock landscaping, Girraween National Park outclasses them all.

Photo credit: © Sarah Haskmann

‘It’s bloomin’ marvellous’, as Australian gardening guru, Peter Cundal, would say. You don’t need to fly to the UK for the Chelsea Flower Show or trek to Melbourne for the International Flower Show because, when it comes to wildflowers and rock landscaping, Girraween National Park outclasses them all.

Think massive granite outcrops and impossibly-balanced boulders, delightfully-clear streams and tumbling cascades, and, from late July until early summer, a profusion of native wildflowers splashing colour across the landscape. Add to that a backdrop of rolling mountain ranges as far as the eye can see, and an abundance of birds and other wildlife set in eucalypt forests, sedgelands and heathlands, all within easy reach on walking tracks.

Just over a 3-hour drive from Brisbane, or a short distance off the New England Highway near the state border if you are ‘on the road’, Girraween is ideal for a relaxing short break. And you don’t need to deal with Expo-sized crowds and queues for over-priced takeaway coffees! Instead, you’ll find million-star-rated camp sites, with pleasant walking tracks that lead to ‘garden beds’, water features and landscaping handiwork that would leave even Costa speechless! After a few days, you’ll feel completely nature-refreshed, and inspired to tackle those gardening tasks you’ve set yourselves when you return home…or ready for the road ahead, wherever your travels may lead.

Huge granite boulders sit balanced on a massive granite outcrop, high above a forested valley with mountains in the distance.The Pyramid walk | Maxime Coquard © Tourism and Events Queensland

Would you like a million-star upgrade on your accommodation? Done!

Navigate your cruiser towards Girraween and head to Castle Rock or Bald Rock Creek camping areas. Set up your tent, camper trailer, caravan or even motorhome (yes, we can accommodate them all!) and settle in for a relaxing holiday in the midst of one of nature’s most lovely landscapes.

Catch up on your magazines or newspapers in the shade as your nosy neighbours—eastern grey kangaroos and red-necked wallabies—go about their business. You’ll appreciate all the comforts of home—we’ve provided hot showers, toilets, picnic tables, water (needs treating) and communal wood barbecues to make your stay more enjoyable.

Slumber under starry skies and wake refreshed to a symphony of birdsong, ready for days of ‘gardening inspiration’.

A couple sit in camp chairs reading newspapers, beside their caravan, surrounded by tall forest.Bald Rock Creek camping area | © Robert Ashdown

Move over Haight-Ashbury—the power of flowers is alive and well

Girraween couldn’t be further from those heady days of ‘Flower Power’ in the ‘60s, but the idea of ‘masses of flowers’ still draws us in. Love Toowoomba’s Carnival of Flowers? Dally in the flower exhibits in country shows? Spend your spare time in your garden, sowing clay seed balls, planting spring bulbs and pruning, always pruning? You’ll love Girraween’s superb displays of wildflowers!

Gaze at golden wattles and peaflowers in July; be dazzled by delicate white heath bells and bold yellow, purple and red pea flowers, trigger plants, billy buttons, native bluebells, native sarsaparilla and daisies in September and October; and find flannel flowers, wattles, bottlebrushes, paperbarks and eucalypts in summer.

Enjoy these flower displays as you wander the easy Wyberba walk, where the peaceful waters of Bald Rock Creek with The Pyramid as a backdrop make for perfect Feng Shui; or amble the Bald Rock Creek circuit where wildflower displays are artfully-placed among beautiful water-sculpted rock pools.

Close up of pretty white wildflowers with insects collecting nectar.Wildflowers at Girraween | © Sarah Haskmann

Call that a rock? This is a rock!

Any gardener worth his or her, er, dynamic lifter, knows that rocks are an important element in the landscape—as symbols of the Chinese connection to heavenly forces, a sculpture representing ‘stability’ or, when paired with water, yin/yang balance.

Girraween’s dramatic granite landscape, the product of millions of years of nature’s forces, ticks all the boxes!

  • Stroll along the easy Granite Arch track to walk beneath the well-photographed balancing boulder that forms a natural archway. Stability sculpture, tick!
  • Ready for something requiring moderate effort? Tackle the 5km return Castle Rock track to one of Girraween’s signature granite peaks. Your reward is 360-degree views over the park’s granite landscape. Heavenly connection, tick!
  • Don’t miss the Underground Creek walk where the swirling eddies of Bald Rock Creek disappear beneath water-smoothed boulders. Yin and yang, tick!
A couple walking under massive granite boulders balanced on each other to form an archway. Granite Arch | Maxime Coquard © Queensland Government

Birds of a feather fly together … and nature lovers flock here!

As all lovers of nature (especially birdwatchers and gardeners) know, if you want to attract birds into your garden you plant multi-layered ground covers, shrubs and trees for year-round food and shelter. Girraween’s ‘gardens’ are home to more than 150 species of birds, so you’ll feel right at home among other nature enthusiasts, with binoculars and bird books in hand!

Around your camp site, watch the usual suspects—kookaburras, magpies and currawongs—and keep an eye out for superb fairy-wrens, satin bowerbirds and crimson rosellas. Listen for superb lyrebirds, masters of mimicry, as they incorporate different sounds from the bush as well as other birdcalls into their song.

You’ll be sure to see wedge-tailed eagles above grassy areas and treecreepers, flycatchers and honeyeaters among the eucalypts. The list goes on—in fact, you may need to keep a list to remember all that you see! Spend an hour or more on the Bald Rock Creek circuit for rewarding birdwatching.

A shallow creek meanders across smooth granite rocks, with large boulders and forest on each side. Bald Rock Creek circuit | © Sarah Haskmann

Fancy this?

Girraween is a perfect nature break—with the added benefit of all that gardening inspiration to get you motivated back at home!

Check out Girraween National Park for more information and take a closer look at your camping options. Remember to check park alerts before you go.