Although Bunya Mountains National Park isn’t the biggest national park you’ll ever come across, it makes for a relaxing camping weekend away if you’re in southeast Queensland. There’s enough hiking to keep things interesting, or if you’re feeling lazy, spot a wallaby or read a good book.
Bunya Mountains National Park offers three campgrounds for pitching your tent and all those other essential things that people need when they go camping. If you want creature comforts or almost glamping, Dandabah is going to be your best option.
CAMPING AT BUNYA: DANDABAH
I can’t remember why we settled on Dandadah, maybe it was the only available spot, but that’s where we stayed over a long weekend in April.
Dandabah is an open, grassy area that’s more or less in the heart of the tiny settlement by the same name. There are no designated campsites, everybody basically camps in a circle, which I found a bit weird. It’s like you’re staring at each other.
The whole campground is sloped so you want to try and get yourself a site on the top section of the campground as that’s much flatter. We scored a site at the far end towards the picnic shelter and close to the ranger’s hut but unfortunately, on the down slope. Lots of mucking around with the tent until I was happy with where it was. This still meant that we were sleeping somewhat on a slope but it was manageable.
Dandabah is a family destination so whilst there was a lot of noise from children early in the morning, it also meant everybody went to bed at a reasonable hour. I approve. 🙂
During the day the campground was pretty quiet as most people headed off on walking trails or visited the nearby (very nearby) cafe.
As Bunya is at a higher elevation, expect cooler temperatures. In early April, it wasn’t cold but I was glad I had my fleece jacket for the evenings (especially since we always end up cooking really late).
PROS: Easily accessible; clean, flush toilets and hot showers; family-friendly; soft grass makes for comfy camping; wildlife everywhere; close to the Eastern walking tracks; vehicle-based camping
CONS: No designated campsites but an open area set up in a circle and with little privacy; almost no shade; lots of traffic going past (daytrippers visiting the cafe, picnic areas and walks); fairly busy over the Easter weekend (but not off-putting)
We didn’t have any trouble with insects or ticks in April but be aware that the area is known for them. Talk to the rangers if you have any concerns.
OTHER CAMPING OPTIONS
If Dandabah is too big for you (set up for about 70 people), you could also camp at Westcott camping area or the Burtons Well campground.
Westcott seemed like a smaller version of Dandabah with lots of grass and no individual sites. Burtons Well was bigger and with more trees and barbeques but also extremely sloped so you’d need to scout out a suitable site.
Neither campground offers vehicle-based camping, which would be a bit of a pain for us with the camping fridge etc. in the car. There are no showers and only composting toilets at both these sites.
That said, Burtons Well offers some beautiful views into the flatlands towards the east, and would probably be my preference. It might also be a lot quieter here as there wouldn’t be as much through-traffic as at Dandabah.
For more information on campground options, facilities and how to book online, check out Bunya Mountains National Park camping on the Queensland National Parks website.
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