The North Burnett region is located off the Pacific Highway inland from Childers, Maryborough and Gympie. From Childers it’s only about 20 minutes before you hit the outskirts of the region, this is the best route to access the region. If it’s not on your list to visit this area it should be as there is so much to see in the area.
If you love hiking, waterfalls, lakes and rivers and broad landscapes then it’s definitely the place for you. If you’re into photography there is a plethora of wildlife, fauna, and so much more to photograph.
The North Burnett region has a range of things to see from extinct volcanoes, waterfalls and craters to the oldest town in Queensland, Gayndah home of the Giant Orange. North Burnett has rodeos for every cowboy, ancient caves to see at the Cania Gorge or drive through the man-made Boolboonda Tunnel.
Most areas aren’t that difficult for children to hike but some areas are not suitable for young children under 5. Not all areas do you have to hike but will be explained below as to the level of difficulty below.
This can be a very low budget trip and most places can be seen in 1-2 days depending on your own athletic abilities. It is recommended to bring your own picnic lunch and plenty of drinking water, alternatively, the township of Biggenden has all your food needs.
Paradise Dam North Burnett Region
Paradise Dam if travelling inland from Childers is the first place you’ll come across, the dam is the main water source for Bundaberg’s agricultural industry, holding 170,000 megalitres. There are currently bills out to improve the infrastructure of the dam that could cost the council upwards of $600 million to repair.
Despite this, it is a popular place amongst families to camp or caravan, water ski, boating, jet skiing, kayak, and go fishing. Whatever fits your fancy you’re sure to find something to entertain you.
If you do plan to camp at paradise dam you simply need to call (07) 4127 7278 to book as there are only 50 sites available. Prices vary depending on the time of year and amount of people staying. There are both powered and non-powered sites available.
Overall it’s an exciting camping adventure or a place to visit for the day with the family. A 4wd vehicle is recommended to access the area but not necessary. Below is a list of facilities available at the Dam.
- Rubbish Bins
- Picnic Areas with BBQs
- Car Parking Spaces
- Boat Ramp
- Treated Water for Drinking
Biggenden North Burnett Region
Continuing inland from Paradise dam you come across the township of Biggenden. When travelling along your way there you will see many abattoirs as this whole region is well known for its beef industry.
Biggenden is one of the earliest towns in existence in Australia, full of rich history. There may not be much to see when first entering the town, but park your car get out and have a wander around and its history starts to come to life.
You will notice the main town street has a median filled with different types of rose bushes, along this street you will also see the first tailor shop, the old bank, the butchery, and many more making you feel like you’re back in the west.
Located behind the main amenities and a little park for kids is a free camp area for any grey nomad or family travelling through if you’d like to stop for a night or two. It’d be recommended to stop here overnight as it’s the centre of many other areas to explore.
There is a Foodworks grocery store for your needs, a western outfitters clothing store, and a fantastic little pub with a great feed. For some evening entertainment, if you’re lucky enough, visit Biggenden on a night of a local rodeo which is great fun for the whole family to enjoy, there are bleachers for seating to get a good view of all that’s going on.
Coalstoun Lakes National Park
If you want to visit one of the youngest volcanic formations in Australia then this is it, Coalstoun Lakes National Park has one volcano and two craters. Experts state that it formed more than 600,000 years ago. The Volcano and craters sit in amongst the Coalstoun National Park about 236 km from Bundaberg. It’s about a 15-minute drive from Biggenden and before hitting Ban Ban Springs.
Mount LeBrun is where you can hike to the craters however it is not for the faint of heart, and the entrance to the hike can be sometimes hard to miss as it’s on a bend. You can find it located off of Crater Lakes Road and the Isis Highway.
It is recommended only using a 4wd on the entrance track otherwise you have an additional 10-minute hike to the parking area, alternatively you can park along the road and hike in.
Once again this hike up the side of the mountain is quite steep both up and down and good walking shoes are highly recommended. Along the walk up you can see old pieces of hardened lava rock that are as big as a small child. Once at the top it has spectacular views overlooking Wilson Valley.
From the top, you can look down into the first crater, which sometimes of the year is filled with water becoming a good-sized crater lake. During the drier season, you will see cattle grazing in the centre of it.
Once you hike down to the bottom there is a viewing platform/overhead area to gaze into the crater. You can then continue following the path around to the second crater but it is a bit of a trail to reach it approximately an additional 40 minutes.
Do be mindful that this track isn’t always clear to the second crater and most find it overgrown and full of orb spiders.
Either way, it’s a good hike if you are at a good fitness level and not recommended for small children due to the steep track to reach the first crater. Some do attempt to drive the track up but is not recommended.
Ban Ban Springs North Burnett Region
What can we say about Ban Ban Springs other than it was a kid’s favourite to visit and is asked to visit again frequently. Where kids can explore through Thompson’s Crossing as if it was a little jungle, and float leaf boats down from sticks and leaves found around the area.
Head down Ban Ban Road to come across a spot called Thompson’s Crossing where the Burnett River flows through, bring a small rod and see what you can catch. There have been small fish spotted and red claw here.
A great spot to have a picnic and wander around. You will see areas where it appears people have camped along the riverside.
It is not deep at Thompson’s Crossing unless there has been a significant amount of rain in the area, and there are no bathroom facilities or shade unless you utilise the shade under the trees. You could bring a kayak and have a paddle around if you choose, but overall not a bad place to visit.
We would recommend bringing bug spray, plenty of water, and a picnic to enjoy the springs.
Ban Ban Springs was once the meetup place for the Wakka Wakka people before they would continue their journey up the side of the mountain to the Bunya Festival. A Bunya Pine is a tree-like giant Pine, producing the Giant Bunya Nut that is like the texture of a chestnut.
Today you will find people harvesting the Bunya Nut to make a pesto sauce which is delicious with many different types of food. The Aboriginal people today still use this frequently in cakes, to make flour, eat raw or boiled.
Gayndah Queensland’s Oldest Town
Gayndah is the oldest town in all of Queensland and is famous for its Orange Festival, in fact when you are driving into the town you can’t miss Gayndah’s Big Orange. Great for photo opportunities, so stop in and check out the little shop filled with flavoured olive oils, jams and chutneys, orange ice cream, and the best Devonshire tea in the region.
Gayndah is not a town you want to miss and just pass through, it has amazing outlooks to give you full panoramic views of the town. These include McConnell Lookout and Archers Lookout. You must drive these in order to reach the top but once you do the views are breathtaking.
Check out the museum while visiting to learn about its history and what drove people to make this home and establish the area. You may not think there is much to the town but it is much larger than it seems, with the Burnett River running straight through the middle.
The town also has a variety of art not only on the telephone poles but art through the streets and parks.
Stop in at one of the bakeries or have a feed at the Grand Hotel to fill your travelling stomach. Whatever you may choose to do, stop in and have a chat with the locals. They also have a jockey club if that suits you as well, or check out Mount Debateable. It’s great to get the kids out and explore the history that has made Australia what it is today.
Cania Gorge National Park North Burnett Region
Now here is one location not to miss, located in the northernmost part of the North Burnett Region lays the town of Cania, 25km north of Monto.
This is a national park where you can not only camp but discover giant rocks and mountainsides made purely out of Sandstone. this place definitely has some spectacular views hands down and is worth visiting the walks are a breeze with young children making it a likeable spot to visit.
The area is home to more than 90 different types of birds, so if you’re a “birdo” or love wildlife photography then definitely one place to visit. If you are travelling with pets please take in mind, pets are not allowed here as it’s a protected environment. There are toilets available for your use.
It is said that the aboriginal people have inhabited the area for the last 19,000 years and they used the sides of the sandstone for their art. another interesting fact is that it is one location where you can find brush-tailed rock wallabies and bent-wing bats.
The next time your travelling through inland Queensland whether you are on your way to Kin Kin or Bundaberg take a detour off the main highway and check out what the North Burnett region has to offer. There are many more places to discover in the area than have been mentioned so make your own adventure.
The Gold Coast is a popular destination for its theme parks, but there are plenty of other activities and attractions to enjoy in the area. Here are some of the things to do in Gold Coast besides...
The Gold Coast is a city located on the eastern coast of Australia, in the state of Queensland. It is known for its beautiful beaches, subtropical climate, and a wide range of entertainment and...