I have been going camping my entire life. What I love about camping is that it forces you to simplify your life. You take only the essentials, you focus on the experience and the company without the distraction of technology.
My husband also loves camping and it has been something that we have been unable to do together for the last couple of years due to conflicting work schedules. But this year that changed, and I have suddenly found myself feeling as though I have gained so much free time due to a job that doesn’t require me to work on weekends or public holidays! There is a lot to be said about the importance of making the most of your time away from work, especially to get outside and connect with people away from technology.
Roping in a couple of friends we decided to get out of the city for the May long weekend here in Queensland and head somewhere picturesque to relax and unwind. With so many amazing National Parks nearby it was a tough choice but in the end I chose Bunya Mountains. There were a couple of main reasons for my choice, firstly as I had never been there before, and secondly the pictures just looked so darn pretty!!
Bunya Mountains National Park is about 3 hours drive north-west of Brisbane, through some scenic countryside. The final stretch is quite steep and narrow, and if you are lucky enough to not be the driver then make sure you look out the window to catch some breath-taking views! If you are the driver, take it easy, this road can be a bit scary!
We chose to camp at Dandabah Camping Grounds due to the facilities. As I said, I hadn’t been camping for a while so I thought it best to ease back into it by remaining close to toilets and hot showers! The camping ground backed onto some epic forest making us feel like we were in the middle of nowhere, however if you walked the other way you could still grab a latte. Not your traditional national park camping, but coffee is important!
We set up our camp site whilst being watched by wallabies and their quick young joeys as colourful little birds hoped around us. The sites are unmarked, so it is always beneficial to get in early to secure a good site especially on a long weekend! It was then time to settle down and start relaxing.
First up on the agenda the following morning, after a latte of course, was a hike through some of the beautiful subtropical rainforest. We chose to pack up some food and wander along the Barker Creek Circuit Track which is 10km return. It is a relatively easy walk, with a very defined track making it suitable for most people wanting to experience all areas of the forest.
I loved the variation in the forest around me. With every kilometre we walked the landscape changed. The dense rainforest lead us to a clearing with panoramic views across the gorge. We walked past little waterfalls and through winding paths surrounded by enormous Bunya pines. This is easily one of the prettiest walks that I have done.
That night, the weather was kind to us and I got my very first chance to photograph the stars! This was both challenging and exciting, standing in the dark unsure if it was wallabies or wild pigs running around behind us, all while we were fixated on trying the get the perfect settings for that perfect shot. I was so excited to get some results and can’t wait to point my camera towards the Milky Way again soon!
Bunya Mountains is a great spot for a quick getaway, giving a taste of some of this country’s remarkable beauty. As always it is important to look after these amazing places we are lucky enough to be able to visit, so make sure you leave no trace and take all your rubbish with you.
What is your favourite national park? Do you love camping, or are you yet to give it a go?