Australia, Queensland

Byfield National Park – beach driving to forest creeks

Byfield National Park in Queensland is AWESOME !

 

Why is it awesome?

Well… you can drive on the beach, slide down sand dunes and do some proper sandy track 4WDing. When you are finished with the sandy stuff, you can head on over to the state forest for a dip in an extremely picturesque creek.

There is no charge for driving the tracks here either.  This means that unless you decide to camp, a day trip cost nothing but fuel and a pre-packed lunch.

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Upper Stony Creek…. You can actually camp right alongside this lovely waterhole!

The Highlights of Byfield National Park

4WD Action

Driving the Stockyard Point Track through to the beach is a lot of fun.  As someone who suffers from motion sickness fairly easily, I felt a bit ill by the time we reached the beach. Jason had a huge smile on his face and both kids screamed ‘weeeeeeeeeeee’ and ‘boing’ excitedly over every bounce.

You will need a high clearance 4WD and some experience for this one.  Expect one lane sandy tracks with limited visibility and limited pull over bays. You will not get through in a 2WD so don’t even attempt it.

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Helping daddy let down the tyres before doing some fun 4WDing

Beach Driving

The beach driving here feels similar to Rainbow Beach/Inskip Point but it’s slightly less pretty.  The bonus to Byfield beach driving though is the lack of traffic.  We visited in winter school holidays (still warm enough for just shorts and shirts) and didn’t see one other vehicle on the beach.

Don’t forget to keep an eye on the tide!

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Driving on the beach at Byfield National Park. This photograph was taken someone near the “Orange Bowl”.

The Sand Blows

This is where it gets really fun!

There are two well known sand blows, The Orange Bowl and The Queen Mary. Tide times meant that we only visited The Orange Bowl.  It’s easy to drive past the walk in entrance so keep your eyes peeled for the small sign announcing it’s existence as you drive along the beach.

Make sure you take something to slide down on and also plenty of water.  It’s thirsty work walking up the dunes, especially when carrying a kid with tired legs.  The view looking back over towards the ocean is worth the huffing and puffing, as is the slide back down.

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“Go Faster Daddy!!” she yells

Upper Stony Creek

This creek is picture perfect and you can camp right near it!  There is a large well maintained grassy area for day visitors as well as a few good walking tracks ranging from 900 metres to four kilometres.  Take a dip or just find a secluded rock and do some turtle spotting.

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Learning how to skim stones at Stony Creek

The Camping

There are six very different camping areas spread over Byfield National Park and State Forest.  Check out the Queensland Government Department of National Parks Camping in Byfield page for more details and how to book. You will need to get in early during school holidays and be self sufficient.



The Walking/Hiking Tracks

The short walk around upper stony creek and into the orange bowl can be managed by young kids with a bit of help. You might need to carry them on your shoulders or in a carrier for longer walks.  Older kids will have no problems here at all with the majority of the longer walks being suitable for beginners with a moderate to good level of fitness.

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The short 250m walking track into the base of the Orange Bowl. These bollards have ‘memory plaques’ on them. By reading these and talking to locals, you soon realise that this place holds a special spot in many peoples hearts, especially when reminiscing of youth. 

The Byfield General Store

This seems like an odd highlight.  However, this small store has a HUGE personality which includes a cafe capable of serving up the best homestyle burgers in Queensland.  There is a lovely undercover eating area on the verandah as well as picnic tables out on the grass.  It’s the perfect place to stop for lunch when switching between the national park and the state forest.


Visiting With Kids

Byfield National Park and State Forest is a fantastic place to visit with kids.  It’s particularly awesome if you are craving a camping and outdoors type holiday or day trip. If visiting the beach, the kids won’t be bored with all that sand to slide down and water to play in.  If visiting the state forest side, they can occupy themselves around the creek.

At the ages of two years and four years, both my kids had a really great time visiting Byfield National Park. According to them, the highlights were sliding down the sand dunes and throwing rocks in the creek.

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Trillian (aged two) would have been happy throwing rocks in this shallow pond of water all day

How To Get There

Byfield is around one hours drive from North Rockhampton, or 30 minutes drive north of Yeppoon.  You will absolutely need a 4WD through the national park section.  If you are only visiting the state forest section, you can get through in a standard vehicle but some of the roads are unsealed.


Want To Learn About More Awesome Places?

For more blog posts, photographs and information on my travels through Central Queensland and the Capricorn Coast with kids, please check out this page: Central Queensland

For more information on ALL of my travels, please check out this page: My travel destinations


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