TRAVELLERS UPDATE - TOURING AUSTRALIA - QUEENSLAND
Keep a check on road and track closures and conditions by looking at the following website:
RACQ Queensland - Road Information & Conditons (go into Road Conditions: then select the region you want)
Queensland Government - Traffic and Travel Informaiton -for up to date information on road conditions and closures, ph: 13 19 40, or check out their web site at: http://131940.qld.gov.au/Home.aspx
Closed Fishing Season for Queensland Waters
Keep up to date on closed fishing seasons for both fresh and tidal waters in Queensland. For more details, regulations, etc, go to:
The new "Qld Fishing App", which features fishing rules in Queensland, including size and possession limits, is available for download from Google play and the App Store.
Queensland Parks & Forrests - Dept of Environment and Science:
CAPE YORK & SURROUNDS NATIONAL PARKS QUEENSLAND GENERAL FREE CAMPING / CAMPING / FARM STAYS / ACCOMMODATION etc
Camping within Cape York National Parks - e-permits needed to camp
We aren't great lovers of this camp booking system on Cape York, but this is the way it is supposed to work.
All Cape York parks are now live on the NPs web site for campers to book their camp sites before travelling. Head to the 'Camp Bookings' page at: http://www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/experiences/camping/camping_bookings.html to book online or call 13 74 68.
However you may need to make a booking along the way (or alter or cancel an existing one) after you reach the Cape. To do this you can visit an authorised booking agent, (found at the Lure Shop, Cooktown; Mulley’s Market and Fuel, Coen and at Oz Tours Safaris, at the Moreton Telegraph Station). Or make use of the touch screen facilities provided at the ranger bases at Lakefield NP, Iron Range NP and Heathlands and at the QPWS offices in Coen, Cooktown and Weipa. You MUST have a permit before arriving at a national park campsite!
You MUST have a permit before arriving at a national park campsite!
Note: Lakefield NP is now know as Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park.
Bertiehaugh Track Open (Cape York)
The gazetted road through the Bertiehaugh property that runs between Stones Crossing on the Wenlock River, north of Weipa, to the OTL track near Bramwell Station is still open despite the Irwin’s family continual efforts to get it closed.
Thanks to the good work of a few Weipa locals the track is easy enough to follow but please do the right thing so there can be no excuses made to close it. Camping along the way, or leaving the gazetted road is not allowed. Best to stop and camp at Stones Crossing or at Bramwell station. Don’t dump rubbish or use weapons along the way.
Cooktown & Cape York Tourist Information
The informative Visitor Information Centre in Cooktown is now located at the very good James Cook Museum, 50 Helen Street, and is open 9am till 4pm, 7 days a week. Or, check out the Croc Shop for local and Cape York information - you'll find the friendly staff in the shop in the main street.
Website at: https://nationaltrustqld.com.au/visitor-sites/Cooktown-Museum
Peninsula Developmental Road (PDR) - Sealing Project
Travelling to Cape York is about to become a whole lot easier. Check out the Peninsula Developmental Road (PDR) being transformed. For all the details on the Cape York Region Package check out the web site: http://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/Projects/Name/C
You can also check out their Fecbook Page at:
Vrilya Point Road Closed
Vrilya Point is still closed and visiting and camping on the beaches around Vrilya Point on the western side of Cape York has been stopped. A gate blocka access and you are not allowed to access the area by sea. For more and the latest info, visit:
Palmer River Goldfield
There's easy access now from the west to Maytown in the Palmer River Goldfields Reserve. From the Chillagoe-Laura Road, around 170km north of Chillagoe and 4.3km north of Palmerville Station (where you cross the Palmer River - GPS 144°5’10.5”E 15°58’22.9”S) the public road heads east to Maytown. This public road swings south and crosses the Palmer River once again to join the original route between Palmerville and Maytown. It’s an easy and enjoyable drive.
Fishing out of Weipa
There are few places that can equal Weipa and the surrounding area for exciting action packed fishing. To get into the fish why not hire a houseboat - Weipa Houseboats, ph: (07) 4069 7469 Web: www.weipahouseboats.com.
Or if you really want to get away from it all why not Aurukun Fishing Charters who fish the mouth of the pristine Archer River – ph: (07) 4060 6800, web:
Elim Beach Coloured Sands
Day permits to the area are required and can be obtained at the service station in Hope Vale. You can contact the Hope Vale Aboriginal Shire Council for detials: (07) 4083 8000.
Elim Beach Campsite is located approximately 25 km outside Hopevale - this shady beachfront campsite is the perfect base to see the Coloured Sands dune formations. The campsite has toilet and shower facilities and fresh water supply. The campsite is accessed on a mostly bitumen road (only 3km of gravel) and is accessible to 2WD vehicles and caravans. The large expanse of beach faces Cape Bedford.
Bookings are essential. Email: email@example.com, SMS: 0419 730 463, or for more information please contact Eddie Deemal: ph: (07) 40 609 223
Hope Vale Aboriginal Shire Councihttps://www.hopevale.qld.gov.au/visitor-information
Also check out the Cooktown and Cape York Peninsula website on: http://www.cooktownandcapeyork.com/stay/hopevale/
Merluna Open for Travellers
The 400,000 acre Merluna cattle property south-east of Weipa now offers accommodation, camping, fishing, bow hunting and 4wdriving on the network of station’s tracks. For more info ph: (07) 4060 3209 or check the web at: www.merlunastation.com.au.
Alwal National Park on Cape York
A new 42,500h, the Alwal National Park has been created out of the once 80,000ha Kalinga station that adjoined the SW corner of Lakefield NP. The rest of the property is a declared traditional Aboriginal Reserve, which also includes another 2,700ha nature reserve. It is located west of the Hann River Roadhouse on the Peninsula Development Road, about 100 km north-west of Laura.
Cape York is now one of the most heavily protected regions of Australia, with 20 per cent of its area now listed as national park, traditional reserve, or designated under Queensland's controversial Wild Rivers law. Alwal joins Lama Lama, Kulla, Errk Oykangand and Marpa national parks, all listed since 2008.
Roko Island Pearl Farm - tented accommodation
The team at Roko are currently busy with setting up tents for accommodation with an ocean view for the coming year. Accommodation packages on Roko Island will hopefully be available in a few months time. For more information, contact Roko Island or see their web site:
You can also see more on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RokoPearls
Weipa Auto - RACQ
Weipa Auto in Iraci Ave, Weipa, now takes care of the RACQ in both Weipa and COEN, running two trucks. They cover from Bramwell Roadhouse right down to Laura and have been operating on Cape York for 5 years now. In Weipa they have a fully equipped workshop and cover all aspects of automotive and diesel servicing, mechanical repairs and engineering, diesel fitting and auto electrics. If you want more details on them and the services they provide check out their web site at:
Top Tropic Stay
Located about 5km NE of Mt Molloy, Wetherby Station provides cabin accommodation and a selection of camping sites along the Little Mitchell River, Rifle Creek or in nearby bushland. There’s plenty on offer here including bird watching, bush walking, mountain biking, cycling, horse riding and 4wdriving on the station roads and fire tracks. For more info, Ph: (07) 4094 1125; www.wetherbystation.com
Lake Bindegolly National Park
Located between Cunnamulla and Thargomindah in south western Queensland and on the edge of the fabled 'Channel Country' is the 14,000ha national park surrounding the wetlands of Lake Bindegolly. Camping is not allowed in the national park but there's a reserve nearby where camping is possible. The park has walking tracks and the bird watching is very good, while a rare tree, Acacia ammophila, a large gidgee-like tree with golden flowers clustered in balls, grows along the sand dunes fringing the eastern side of the lakes. For a visitors guide go to: https://www.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/lake-bindegolly/about.html
K'gari (Fraser Island) Camping
Camping and 4WDriving on Fraser Island is hard to beat but Fraser Island’s beaches and sand tracks are rough and only suitable for high clearance 4WD vehicles with low range capacity. All-wheel drive vehicles are not recommended.
Vehicle access permits (VAPs) must be purchased for every vehicle before entering Kgari (Fraser Island) Recreation Area. 24hr number plate surveillance cameras are in use. Please ensure vehicle number plate details are correct on your permit. For more information see: Automatic Number Plate Recognition System (cameras) - FAQs
Camping permits for QPWS&P camping areas are required and must be purchased before setting up camp—fees apply. When making your booking, you will need to know the name for the camping zone or area you are booking. You must stipulate the place and dates you intend to camp. You cannot camp elsewhere during that period unless you amend your booking beforehand. A camping permit booking number must be clearly displayed at your camp site. Camping bookings can be made up to 6 months in advance, which is strongly advised for peak period bookings—school holidays and public holidays. https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/camping/bookings
For the latest on camping and which areas are available, check out:
Don't forget your permits and remember, campfires are not allowed.
WW2 Underground Hospital - Mt Isa
During the dark days of WW2 the north of Australia was under threat of invasion by Japanese forces. Now a long lost gem of those days has been opened to the public - the Mount Isa Underground Hospital and Museum. The old underground hospital has been made into a museum recreating those times so when you are in the outback city of Mt Isa drop in and check it out.
For more info visit: https://undergroundhospital.com.au
FREE CAMPING / CAMPING / FARM STAYS / ACCOMMODATION etc
You’ll find details of all free and low cost camps on the following web sites:
Ringers Rest Bush Camp, Mareeba Valley
Ringers Rest is nestled in the Mareeba valley of the Cairns Highlands, 6km east of Mareeba. It is surrounded by open woodlands and the rocky remains of ancient volcanic activity. It offers quiet, secluded bushland. Vehicles of all sizes welcome. Facilities include water, toilet facilities with ramp access and pets permitted (restrictions apply). Cost is very reasonable.
Phone ahead to make a booking: 0447 136 865 / 0421 253 259, or fill in the online booking info. https://ringersrest.weebly.com/rv-park.html
Western Downs Qld
Travellers are welcome in the Western Downs, and for all there is to see and do around the areas, such as free camping sites, fishing, trails and tours, check out the Council web site:
Here are a couple of free camps worth checking out:
Caliguel Lagoon, Condamine
Condamine-Meandarra Road, Condamine
Approximately 7km south of Condamine is the attractive Caliguel Lagoon; “Caliguel” being the name of an early pastoral run in the area. In good seasons, the lagoon presents a fine stretch of water and is a favourite location for locals and visitors to enjoy waterskiing, boating, swimming, fishing and bird watching. Free camping is permitted and barbeques, picnic facilities and amenities will ensure you are comfortable and catered for.
Tara-Chinchilla Road, Chinchilla
Chinchilla Weir is a concrete-faced earthfill structure 8km south of Chinchilla and is known for the unique curved design of its wall. It’s a popular freshwater playground for both locals and visitors with waterskiing, canoeing, swimming and fishing (please note a fishing permit is required). Camping is free for a maximum of two nights and some power and barbecues are available. It is a shady, relaxing place where you can photograph a spectacular Western Downs sunset over the water and a top-rated bird watching spot.
Workman's Beach Camping Area, Agnes Water
Workman's Beach Camp Grounds is located off Springs Road, Agnes Water, approximately 1km from the Agnes Water township and 200 metres along a dirt/sandy road. This is a very popular spot, low maintenance facility and there are 38 camp sites available for tents and caravans. Allocation is on a 'first-in' basis only; none of the camp sites can be booked. Best suggestion is to get there early and wait for a site to be vacated.
Facilities include unisex and disabled toilets, a cold water beach shower, picnic tables, free gas barbecues and drinking water. Low noise generators are permitted from 7:00am - 7:00pm.
Dogs allowed but must be on a leash or tethered at all times
Fee: Family (2 adults & 2 children under 17 years) - $25.50 per day
Per person - $9.20 per day (2017-18 financial year)
Yarrawonga & Notch Point Reserves (14 km east of Ilbilbie)
Camp area is located 14 km east of Ilbilbie. Turn east onto Greenhill Rd, right onto Notch Point Rd, 9 km to gate (make sure you close it!!!), then 3 km of narrow rough (trees, rocky, bog holes) sandy track. Access is by 4WD only.
Need to be self-sufficient as there are no amenities.
Campsites on the river and over the mountain, as well as on the beach at the other side. You will share it with cattle.
Allowed to stay 7 days. Pet friendly.
It does get windy, and the tide is very high and low.
This is considered to be one of the best camping and fishing spots on the Central Queensland Coast. Fishing is particularly good here, but be sure to obey zoning regulations. The area is known for whiting, flathead, crabbing and live bait.
Check out your camping apps, or
Fletcher Creek Camping Reserve (37km north of Charters Towers),
This free camping reserve is beside Fletcher Creek, approx 37km north of Charters Towers, near the entrance to Dalrymple National Park, with access via the Gregory Developmental Road.
There is camping along both sides of the river.
Facilities: flushing toilets, cold showers, sheltered picnic tables and wood barbecues. Please bring in your own wood.
For more information on the Dalrymple NP:
Free Camp at Boulia
About 30 campsites on a first come first serve basis can be found amongst the beautiful gum trees at the Racecourse Reserve on the banks of the Burke River, at Boulia, in western Qld. It's a free camp and there is no water, no power or toilets so you gotta be pretty self sufficient. Phone and WiFi Internet available, while the town has all a traveller's basic requirements and a very good Dinosaur Museum.
Fabulous North Stradbroke Island
Straddie Camping offers easy access island camping on idyllic North Stradbroke Island which is within easy driving distance of Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Popular with 4WDrivers, surfers and fishermen, the island also offers scuba diving, swimming, kayaking, sand boarding and bush walking, and is renowned for dolphins, turtles, manta-rays, kangaroos and koalas, as well as superb views of the annual humpback whale migration. You'll also find a couple of 'dog friendly' camping areas.For more info go to: www.straddiecamping.com.au.
You should think about booking your camp sites before you go:
There are also a number of inland tracks, only accessible by 4WDrive vehicle. It is also possible to drive on the beaches with a 4WDrive vehicle but a Vehicle Access Permit is necessary for beach driving.
Bush Heritage Australia owns a 59,000ha block of land adjoining the fantastic Carnarvon National Park. You can camp here between April and November and access is restricted to no more than four 4WD vehicles at any one time and you must be totally self sufficient. Or, why not join one of their field trips or working bees.
For more info go to: www.bushheritage.org.au.
For camping information:
Flat Creek Station - Qld
Flat Creek Station is a family run beef cattle grazing property of about 14,000ha, situated in the Gulf Savannah region of North Queensland, approximately 50km from Georgetown. The friendly hosts are Peter & Adam and the property offers a bush camping ground with amenities with many guests coming to detect for gold in the nearby historic gold fields area, while Cobold Gorge is just a short drive to the south. There is an impressive array of native birds to be found here including the rare Gouldian finch and a bird list is available on request at the homestead.
For more info, ph: (07) 4062 5304,
Kenilworth Homestead is a privately run outdoor education, family camping and function centre, right on the bank of the beautiful Mary River and just 2km from the township of Kenilworth. Camping (powered and unpowered sites), Caravan, Camper, and Motor Home all are welcomed at the Homestead. Forll bookings and more details, check out:
Kilcowera Station Stay
Kilcowera Station is a cattle property 1000km west of Brisbane on the Dowling Track. There’s accommodation in the modern shearers quarters or you can camp by Cardenyabba Lagoon. Guided or self guided tours of the property are available, while you can also visit nearby Currawinya National Park. Kilcowera is open to visitors from 1st March through to 31st October. Please ask if you are wanting to visit outside these times as bush camping may be available.Check out: www.kilcowera.com.au
Camping at Murphy's Creek
Murphy's Creek Escape is a picturesque camping ground offering powered, non-powered, group and remote camping on large sites within an amazing natural bush setting. Only 1.5 hours from Brisbane and 30 minutes from Toowoomba, camping doesn't get any better in South East Queensland. Take your time to explore the area, hike into the White Mountain National Park, or take a dip from the sandy beach.
For more details go to: https://www.murphyscreekescape.com.au
Chinchilla Weir Camping Chinchilla
Chinchilla Camping, Chinchilla, located north-west of Toowoomba, offers a bush campground out at their local weir,10km from town on the Tara/Condamine Road. It is a day use area suitable for self-sufficient caravanners and campers. Set in a pleasant bush setting on the banks of the weir, the area offers a limited number of power outlets, a boat ramp, wood BBQs, picnic tables, toilets and bins. Stays are limited to two nights and an honesty system operates for power usage – donations taken at the Chinchilla Visitors Info Centre.
Chinchilla Weir is accessed on a first come, first served basis with no bookings required.
The oldest continually licensed hotel in Queensland, the Nindigully pub is located 160km west of Goondiwindi, 45km east of St George and 70km north of the Qld/NSW border. It is situated on the banks of the Moonie River and amongst other things offers free camping and caravan spots along the tree-lined watercourse. Or you can stay in one of the rooms availalbe at the pub. Between the cold beers you can always enjoy a swim, a spot of fishing or some yabbying. For more details phone: (07) 46259637 or visit: https://nindigullypub.com
Nindigully Pig Races - November each year.
Nindigully Pub’s world famous Pig Races are held annually in November and attract a larger crowd every year.
Publican of the Nindigully Pub, Steve Burns, and his late wife Debbie have forged a huge reputation for the commitment to providing ongoing support & donations to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
These contributions wouldn’t be possible without the help of Nindigully patrons and campers who stay at the pub each year.
The day features live musical performances from some of our favourite artists, raffles, auctions, market stalls, jumping castle, fireworks and of course the pig races.
Inglewood RV Stop - QLD
Situated on the Cunningham Highway between Brisbane and Goondiwindi, this is a good spot for an overnight stop. Located at the north end of town, just south of the MacIntyre Brook bridge. Self Contained Vehicles only. GPS is 28°24'42"S / 151°05'09"E. To find out more about Inglewood go to the website on:
For details of more free camping sites around Townsville checkout:
Bushy Parker Rest Area Campground (near Rollingstone)
Large open campground with plenty of shady spots and access to a shallow creek that is usually a great spot for a swim (depends on how much rain the area has had).
30 sites – free campsites with a 48 hour maximum stay. Suitable for big rigs. Very popular.
Facilities: flushing toilets, outdoor cold shower, electric/gas bbqs, rubbish bins.
Pets allowed with conditions.
Saunders Beach Campground (34km north of Townsville)
10 sites, free camping, maximum 24 hour stay. Campsites near the ocean. Can get busy at times.
Facilites: flushing toilets, kids playaground, picnic tables, rubbish bins, wood BBQs (bring in your firewood).
Pets NOT allowed.
Toomulla Beach (12km south of Rollingstone & 43km north of Townsville)
Free camping for a maximum stay of 48 hours.
Shady and level campground situated on a small inlet, beside the beach. This is a very popular spot and can get very busy.
Facilites: flushing toilets, boat ramp nearby (great fishing spot), wood BBQs (bring in your firewood).
Pets are allowed.
Balgal Beach Camping Area (50km north of Townsville)
Located about 50km north of Townsville there's over a dozen small campsites here. Maximum stay is 48hrs, but camping is free. Also available is a cold outside shower, toilets, BBQ and drinking water. And you can't get much closer to the sea!
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