Destination Good Scrub National Park
A peaceful bush retreat within striking distance of Brisbane and Fraser Island, Chris Whitelaw takes us along some of the most beautiful stretch of Australia, settling into Good Night Scrub National Park, Queensland.
Good Night Scrub NP, found beside the Burnett River, halfway between the rural townships of Mt Perry and Biggenden, Qld.
The North Burnett region is about four hours’ drive north of Brisbane and only one hour west of Bundaberg. The Circle is a side trip on the Burnett Highway (A3), which is an alternate route to the Bruce Highway (A1) from Brisbane (or Sydney) to Rockhampton. It’s only 115km from Hervey Bay, also making it a handy extension to a trip to Fraser Island.
The region is a traveller’s delight, with well-maintained sealed and gravel roads giving easy access through imposing mountain ranges and serene rural countryside. Nestled in the hilly sub-tropical Burnett Valley, Good Night Scrub NP is a peaceful bush retreat with ancient hoop pine rainforests and spectacular views. The 6680ha park also protects one of the few remaining pockets of dry vine scrub in the district.
Heading south out of Mt Perry, the Gayndah Road passes through grazing properties and open woodland before reaching the Kalliwa Connection Road that branches east to the national park. A good gravel road crosses more sparse woodland, intersects a small creek at a concrete ford then rises noticeably to the national park entrance. This marks the start of the Paradise Dam Tourist Drive (aka Back Creek Road), a good gravel circuit through the park to the shores of Paradise Dam, with a challenging side trip to the top of One Tree Hill Lookout.
Good Night Scrub National Park History
has a long history of logging stretching back to the early 1900s, when a forestry office, workshop and timber workers’ accommodation were established at the base of One Tree Hill. The infrastructure built for timber harvesting has been removed, while the World Heritage-listed Kalliwa slab hut was moved to its present location in 1936 and is now only accessible by watercraft.
Things to do
The semi-remote, rugged nature of the landscape lends itself to adventure recreation and the park is bounded and crossed by gravel roads suitable mainly for 4WD vehicles, although 2WDs can be used in dry weather. The most challenging track in the park is the steep climb to One Tree Hill Lookout, which can be impassable even to 4WD vehicles in the wet. The 360-degree view must have been spectacular from the old fire tower site on the summit, embracing Bundaberg to Mt Walsh on clear days. Sadly, the tower (and the one tree) has been removed and the view from the carpark is hedged by dense scrub climbing from the surrounding slopes. However, grand views can still be had through the upper forests and beyond the track as you descend the hill.
"The semi-remote, rugged nature of the landscape lends itself to adventure recreation"
Fast facts - Good Night Scrub National Park
Good Night Scrub National Park is situated on the Burnett River, about 270km north-west of Brisbane and about 35km by road, south-west of Gin Gin.
The gravel road accessing the park is only suitable for conventional vehicles in dry weather and can be impassable to 4WD vehicles in the wet. The steep access road to One Tree Hill lookout is only possible by 4WD vehicles in dry conditions.
- trail bike riding
- Boating, skiing and fishing are popular activities at the nearby Paradise Dam recreation area.
- Camping is not permitted in Good Night Scrub National Park but is available at Paradise Dam and Mingo Crossing, both managed by the North Burnett Regional Council.
- Paradise Dam: non-powered sites from $17/night (booking recommended), toilets (no showers), drinking water, picnic shelters, free gas barbecues, concrete boat ramp, fish cleaning stations, information centre and kiosk. Located at 353 Campbells Road, Biggenden, (07) 4127 7278, www.paradisedam.com
- Bundaberg West Visitor Information Centre, 271 Bourbong Street, Bundaberg, (07) 4153 8888 or 1300 722 099, www.bundabergregion.info
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