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About Conondale

Getting there and getting around

A high clearance 4WD is required to access the Booloumba Creek camping and day-use areas. Photo: NPRSR.

A high clearance 4WD is required to access the Booloumba Creek camping and day-use areas. Photo: NPRSR.

Road view, Booloumba Creek Road to camping areas. Photo: Ross Naumann.

Road view, Booloumba Creek Road to camping areas. Photo: Ross Naumann.

From Brisbane, follow the Bruce Highway north, and take the Landsborough exit. Go through Maleny, and follow the signs for Kenilworth. On the way to Kenilworth, you pass through a small town called Conondale. The turn-off to Booloumba Creek day-use and camping areas is about 13 km past Conondale and the turn-off to Sunday Creek Road is a further 0.5 km.

Alternative access is via the Eumundi–Kenilworth Road, off the Bruce Highway. Kenilworth is about 28 km from the highway. The turn-off to Sunday Creek Road is about 7 km past Kenilworth and the turn-off to Booloumba Creek day-use and camping areas is a further 0.5 km.

All park roads are gravel and at present suitable for high clearance four-wheel-drive vehicles only. Booloumba Creek Road includes several creek crossings.

Nearby Imbil State Forest offers similar creek side camping experiences at Charlie Moreland camping area and is accessible by conventional two-wheel-drive vehicles.

When driving on forest roads—expect the unexpected!

For your safety please observe the following:

  • Obey all road closures—roads may be closed due to deep water levels at creek crossings or wet and slippery conditions.
  • Obey road signs—speed limits apply.
  • Slow down—allow time to react to unexpected situations and changed conditions. You share the road with other drivers, logging trucks, cyclists, walkers, horse riders and wildlife.
  • Be courteous—pull over to the left to allow vehicles to pass. For photography and enjoying the scenery, find a safe place to pull over or turn around. Do not stop on the roadway.
  • Watch out for corners—stay on your side of the road. Avoid sudden slowing as the vehicle may slide.
  • Take extra care on steep and wet roads—shift down a gear.
  • When creek water is across the road, check water depth and road surface before crossing. Water usually covers the Booloumba Creek crossings.
  • Warning! Heavy rain can flood creek crossings. Flood waters in this area rise and fall quickly and are a hazard to life and property.
    • Avoid flooded crossings. Submerged obstacles may pose a hazard. Traffic ahead may have created hidden hazards, such as deep holes. Cross at your own risk. If in doubt, wait it out!

Always check road conditions and weather forecasts before travelling.

Wheelchair accessibility

At Booloumba Creek 1 and 3 camping areas some wheelchair-accessible toilets are provided—assistance may be required to negotiate grass and gravel areas.

Park features

Artists cascades on the Conondale Range Great Walk. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

Artists cascades on the Conondale Range Great Walk. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

In the rugged Conondale Range, this park features luxuriant rainforests, tall eucalypt forest, waterfalls, boulder-strewn creeks and spectacular scenery.

The diverse forests provide homes for a wonderful variety of wildlife including more than 120 species of birds and many mammals. The threatened but seldom-seen yellow-bellied glider lives in the open forest. Some rare and threatened species which occur only in the Conondale and Blackall ranges are found here, including the cascade treefrog and red goshawk.

The 56 km Conondale Range Great Walk showcases the very best of Conondale National Park's natural features. A sculpture by internationally renowned artist Andy Goldsworthy is within a half day walk on this track and complements the stunning beauty of it's environment.

Mount Allan fire tower provides a panoramic view of the rugged mountain ranges and a glimpse of past forestry fire and plantation management.

At the junction of Peters and Booloumba Creeks, scenic Booloumba Gorge features a lookout over cascades, falls, rock pools and The Breadknife rock formation.

A changing land

Gubbi Gubbi, Wakka Wakka, Jinibara and Kabi Kabi people lived a traditional lifestyle in this area for thousands of years. Natural resources were plentiful and families were self-sufficient in all seasons. Bunya pines growing throughout this area were a very significant food source.

Arrival of European settlers changed the Aboriginal lifestyle forever. In 1842, Governor Gipps of the then New South Wales colony declared a large reserve to protect bunya pines because of their importance for Aboriginal people. It was illegal to settle or clear land where bunya pines occurred.

In 1860 the new Queensland Parliament rescinded the reserve status and settlement began in the early 1890s. Forests were cleared and dairy farms and fodder crops established. Townships grew around gold fossicking areas and a flourishing timber industry.

Today, strong cultural links with the land are maintained. Descendants of the traditional owners strive to share their knowledge and culture to help protect this region.

Sustainable timber plantations nearby continue to provide quality timber resources. Native forests are recognised for their high conservation and recreation values. These areas are managed to protect natural values and provide essential habitat for many plants and animals.

Camping and accommodation

Lace monitors and other wildlife forage around the camping areas. Pack strong containers for storing food and rubbish. Photo: Ross Naumann.

Lace monitors and other wildlife forage around the camping areas. Pack strong containers for storing food and rubbish. Photo: Ross Naumann.

Camping

The Booloumba Creek Road access to camping areas includes creek crossings that are accessible by high clearance four-wheel-drive vehicles only.

There are three camping areas at Booloumba Creek—camping areas 1 and 3 are for tents only; camping area 4 is suitable for high clearance caravans, campervans and camper trailers.

Nearby Imbil State Forest’s Charlie Moreland camping area, on Sunday Creek Road, is accessible by conventional two-wheel-drive vehicles.

Camping permits for all camp sites must be booked in advance.

Other accommodation

A range of holiday accommodation is available in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. For more information see the tourism information links below.

Things to do

Booloumba Falls walk track. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

Booloumba Falls walk track. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

Booloumba Falls is a scenic short walk. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

Booloumba Falls is a scenic short walk. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

Creek view from Peters Creek walk. Photo: Ross Naumann.

Creek view from Peters Creek walk. Photo: Ross Naumann.

A strangler fig grows as part of the sculpture artwork feature on the Strangler Cairn walk. Photo: Omar Bakhach, NPRSR.

A strangler fig grows as part of the sculpture artwork feature on the Strangler Cairn walk. Photo: Omar Bakhach, NPRSR.

Mount Allan fire tower provides expansive 360 degree views. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

Mount Allan fire tower provides expansive 360 degree views. Photo: Robert Ashdown, NPRSR.

Nature-based recreation opportunities are available in this area for:

Walking

Several walking tracks let you explore diverse forests, observe inquisitive wildlife and view cascading creeks and waterholes. The walks range from a short strolls to Booloumba Falls to the challenging 56 km Conondale Range Great Walk.

Key to track standards

Use the walking track grade listed with each walking track description to choose walks suitable for your ability and fitness level.

Class 2 track Australian Standards
  • Easy level, well-graded track, suitable for all fitness levels.
Class 3 track Australian Standards
  • Gently sloping, well-defined track with slight inclines or few steps.
  • Caution needed on loose gravel surfaces and exposed natural lookouts.
  • Average level of fitness and ankle-supporting footwear required.
Class 4 track Australian Standards
  • Distinct track, usually with steep exposed inclines or many steps.
  • Caution needed on loose gravel surfaces and exposed natural lookouts.
  • Moderate level of fitness and ankle-supporting footwear required.

Walk details

Peters Creek walk (Class 3)

Distance: 500 m return
Time: Allow 15 mins

Details: Walk through open forest and rainforest to a picturesque boulder-strewn creek with rock pools and cascades.

Booloumba Falls walk (Class 3)

Distance: 3 km return
Time: Allow 2 hrs

Details: Walk through tall open forest and discover this scenic creek's cascades, waterfalls and rock pools. At the junction of Peters and Booloumba creeks view The Breadknife rock formation.

Gold Mine walk (Class 3)

Distance: 5.2 km return
Time: Allow 2½ hrs

Details: This walk-through riparian rainforest has scenic views of Booloumba Creek and leads to an old gold mine from the 1920s.The remaining entrance can still be viewed but the mine is closed for public safety. Eastern horseshoe bats and common bentwing bats live in the mine.

Strangler Cairn © (Class 3)

Distance: 6.5 km return
Time: Allow 2½ hrs

Details: Beginning in the Booloumba Creek day-use area, this walk along the Conondale Range Great Walk track leads to an impressive 3.7 metre high Strangler Cairn © sculpture by artist Andy Goldsworthy. It is made from hundreds of blocks of hand-cut granite and includes a rainforest strangler fig sapling that is growing from the top of it. The artist’s intention being that over time the fig’s roots will grow to eventually cover and ‘strangle’ the cairn. Goldsworthy is internationally known for creating works in natural environments around the world.

Please do not climb on, damage or remove any part of the sculpture.

Artists Cascades (Class 4)

Distance: 10.6 km return
Time: Allow 4 hrs

Details: Walk through dense subtropical rainforest and wet sclerophyll forest along the Booloumba Creek Gorge to Artists Cascades.

A short side track leads to an impressive 3.7 metre high Strangler Cairn © sculpture by Andy Goldsworthy an internationally recognised artist. The return walk just to the sculpture is 6.5 km and takes about 2 ½ hours.

The sculpture is made from hundreds of blocks of hand-cut granite and includes a rainforest strangler fig sapling that is growing from the top of it. The artist’s intention being that over time the fig’s roots will grow to eventually cover and ‘strangle’ the cairn. Goldsworthy is internationally known for creating works in natural environments around the world.

Please do not climb on, damage or remove any part of the sculpture.

Booloumba Creek to Mount Allan (Class 4)

Distance: 11 km return
Time: Allow 3½ hrs

Details: Walk from Booloumba Creek day-use area to Mount Allan where you can climb the stairs of the 9.6 metre fire tower for splendid 360 degree views of the Mary Valley and surrounding ranges.

Mount Allan to Charlie Moreland camping area, Imbil State Forest (Class 4)

Distance: 8.8 km return
Time: Allow 4 hrs

Details: This walk follows steep State Forest roads through pine plantation from Mount Allan to Charlie Moreland camping area.

This walking track is often closed due to forestry operations—before you go, check park alerts for current access, closures and conditions.

Conondale Range Great Walk

Distance: 56 km circuit

Details: A range of walking experiences are offered within this Great Walk—from short strolls to the challenging four day, 56 km, full circuit walk. Whichever you choose, the Conondale Range Great Walk offers an adventure to remember! Find out more about the Conondale Range Great Walk.

Driving

Registered four-wheel-drive vehicles may be driven on roads in these forests. A special permit is not required unless it is a commercial activity, an organised group activity or a competitive event.

Conditionally-registered vehicles are not permitted. The driver must hold a valid licence to operate the vehicle.

Day-use areas

Picnic facilities, including barbeques, picnic tables and toilets, are provided at Booloumba Creek day-use area beside the creek. Bring your own drinking water and fuel stove or clean, milled firewood for cooking.

Mountain bike riding

Mountain bike riding is permitted on vehicle tracks within the national park unless otherwise signed.

Mountain bike riding is not permitted on walking tracks and beyond locked gates.

Ride safely:
  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Slow down when you encounter horse riders and walkers on shared trails. Give-way to horse riders.
  • Plan ahead; ride within your ability and according to track conditions.
  • Slow down and consider other track users.
  • Avoid riding in large groups.
  • Avoid riding on soft, wet and muddy tracks.
  • Carry a first aid kit and mobile phone. Be aware that mobile phone reception can be unreliable in this area.
  • Carry a basic repairs kit.
  • Check weather and if any closures are current before heading out on your ride. See park alerts.
Ride responsibly:
  • Stay on the defined trail bike tracks.
  • Observe and obey safety and advisory signs. Respect areas closed to riding.
  • Always expect to find someone or something on the track around the next corner. You may encounter other riders, wildlife, cattle and natural obstacles such as fallen trees and water-eroded tracks.

Horse riding

Horse riding is only permitted on the  SEQ horse trail network.

Nearby in Imbil State Forest horses are also permitted on state forest roads and overnight in the horse paddock adjoining Charlie Moreland camping area.

Horses are not permitted on designated walking tracks.

Ride safely
  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Plan ahead; ride within your ability and according to track conditions.
  • Avoid riding in large groups.
  • Avoid riding on soft, wet and muddy tracks.
  • Carry a first aid kit and mobile phone. Be aware that mobile phone reception can be unreliable in this area.
  • Check weather and if any closures are current before heading out on your ride. See park alerts.
Help protect the park environment by adopting a minimal impact approach to riding.
  • Ride only on formed roads and trails designated for riding—riding over vegetation, taking shortcuts and forming new trails damages plants and wildlife habitat.
  • Keep tracks in good condition and limit erosion by not riding during or immediately after wet weather conditions.
  • Please help to limit the spread of weeds by:
    • Ensuring your clothes, shoes, bike, horses’ coats, hooves, equipment and floats are clean and free of seeds before park visits.
    • Providing weed-free, good quality, processed feed to horses at least 48 hours before entering a forest reserve or protected area.
    • Avoid riding through patches of weeds especially if they are seeding.
  • Only cross natural watercourses at designated crossing points on the trail.
  • Minimise damage to vegetation. Do not allow horses to graze on any vegetation while in the area.
  • Tether horses at hitching posts or resting areas only for short periods to minimise soil erosion and compaction.
  • Follow the code of conduct (PDF, 68K)* for horse riding through parks and forests—a set of guidelines for horse riders to follow to minimise their impact on park environments, and ensure they are meeting the legislative requirements of the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and the Forestry Act 1959.

Read about Horse riding in forest areas and the SEQ horse trail network in this region.

Things to know before you go

Plan your trip carefully, be self-sufficient and ensure your vehicle is in good condition.

Essentials to bring:

  • Carry enough food, water, equipment and other supplies for your trip.
  • Pack a first-aid kit, sunscreen, insect repellent, sturdy shoes, hat and raincoat.
  • Bring suitable clothing. Temperatures in the area soar above 30°C in summer and drop below 0°C in winter. Nights can be cool at any time of the year.
  • Bring rubbish bags, and take all recyclables and rubbish with you when you leave. Rubbish bins are not provided. Remove excess packaging when you pack for your trip.
  • Preferably bring and use fuel or gas stoves. If you do wish to use the barbecues provided, bring your own clean, milled firewood, as it is illegal to collect firewood from the forest.

Drinking water

Treat all water collected from the park before drinking. Tap water is pumped from the creek and may contain organisms that can cause illness.

Opening hours

The park is open 24 hours a day. Walking tracks, roads and camping areas within the park may be closed during fires, adverse weather conditions, for essential track maintenance or safety reasons. Before you go, check park alerts for current access, closures and conditions.

Permits and fees

You will need a camping permit if you wish to camp in forests or parks. Fees apply.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted with the exception of horses, which may be ridden on the Horse Trail Network only.

Climate and weather

Temperatures in the area exceed 30°C in summer and drop below 0°C in winter. Nights can be cool at any time of the year. For more information see the tourism information links below.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available at Kenilworth, Conondale, Maleny and Kilcoy. For more information see the tourism information links below.

Staying safe

Stay on track—tell a responsible person where you are going and when you expect to return. Wear sturdy shoes. Carry adequate clothing, water and snack food.

Supervise children—natural areas have hazards with which children are unfamiliar: creeks, cliff edges, stinging plants and defensive wildlife.

Human food is not for wildlife—it can cause overpopulation, illness and aggressive behaviour.

Water hazards—never dive into creeks or rock pools, as they contain submerged rocks and logs. Water depth is unpredictable. Rock surfaces can be slippery.

Carry a first-aid kit—use repellent on exposed skin and shoes to discourage mosquitoes, leeches and ticks. Remove ticks immediately.

Treat all water—boil water for approximately three minutes to kill most pathogens or use water treatment tablets. Tap water is pumped from the creek and may contain organisms that can cause illness.

Take care with fire—use constructed fireplaces or fire rings and make sure the fire is out before you leave. Preferably bring a fuel stove.

Follow the give-way code—cyclists and walkers give way to horses.

For all emergencies call 000. Mobile phone reception is poor in these areas. If you have difficulty connecting to 000 from your mobile phone, try dialling 112. Public phones are located at Booloumba Creek camping area 1 and on the Sunday Creek Road in front of the QPWS Kenilworth office.

For more information about staying safe while visiting national parks, please read the guidelines: Safety in parks and forests.

Looking after the park

Help protect our natural resources by practising minimal impact recreation. Take all your rubbish out of the park. Remove excess food packaging at home before your visit to the forest, and pack strong sealable bags or containers to store food and rubbish.

Creeks near camping and picnic areas feed into to the Mary River and on to domestic water supplies for the Sunshine Coast, Gympie and Maryborough. Please keep them clean.

See Caring for parks and forests for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

Park management

The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service manages this park under the Nature Conservation Act 1992.

For more about Managing parks and forests.

Tourism information links

For more information about activities, tours and accommodation in this region, contact:

Kenilworth Information Centre
Elizabeth Street, Kenilworth Q 4574
ph (07) 5446 0122
email info@kenilworth.com.au

Sunshine Coast Destinations Ltd
www.scdl.com.au

Has nine accredited Visitor Information Centres across the Sunshine Coast providing a range of local and regional tourist brochures and information, as well as a tour, attraction and accommodation booking service.

  • 7 Caloundra Road, Caloundra
  • 77 Bulcock Street, Caloundra
  • Jessica Park, Nicklin Way, Minyama
  • Settler's Rotary Park, Reed Street, Glass House Mountains
  • 198 Main Road, Montville
  • Cnr Melrose Parade and Sixth Avenue, Cotton Tree (Maroochydore)
  • Cnr First Ave and Brisbane Rd, Mooloolaba
  • Tickle Park, David Low Way, Coolum Beach
  • Arrivals Terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport, Marcoola

ph 1800 644 969 (within Australia)
email info@scdl.com.au

Maleny Visitor Information Centre
www.hinterlandtourism.com.au
Maple St, Maleny QLD 4552
ph (07) 5499 9033
fax (07) 5499 9033
email malenyinforcentre@westnet.com.au

Somerset Tourism, Kilcoy Information Centre
www.somersettourism.com.au
Kilcoy Recreational Craft and Information Centre
Yowie Park, D'Aguilar Highway, Kilcoy QLD 4515
ph (07) 5497 1888
email kilcoyinfo@gmail.com

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see http://www.queenslandholidays.com.au/

Further information

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Last updated
4 December 2012