On a mission to test out the new and very exciting rooftop tent, I have been making it a priority to explore more of the area where I live in recent times.
Enter D’Aguilar National Park, a patch of beauty on Brisbane’s backdoor.
Now that summer has hit here Down Under, road-tripping and camping is easy and a great way to enjoy the beautiful weather and landscape of the Sunshine Coast area of Queensland where I’m currently based.
Australia is blessed with numerous National Parks, which really are a budget traveller’s dream when it comes to free activities, cheap camping and some beautiful places to explore.
Perfect for us Big World Small Pockets people!
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Sunshine Coast National Parks
With my dedicated love of lists, I have gradually been making my way through all the Australian National Parks located within a few hours driving distance that offer camping– this means I can easily enjoy time there if we have just 1 or 2 nights off work together.
Some time ago I went to Conondale National Park, which is located just behind me here in Noosa and after that, I explored Amamoor National Park situated nearer to Gympie in the Mary River Valley.
I’ve also gone that little bit further out west, venturing almost as far as Dalby en route to the Bunya Mountains and this certainly has to be one of my highlights so far.
Last week however, it was the turn or D’Aguilar National Park.
I was really excited to hit up this place after seeing one of its campsites listed on Queensland National Park’s Facebook page – it looked stunning!
Where is D’Aguilar National Park?
D’Aguilar National Park sits just behind the city of Brisbane in Queensland and at the closest point is less than an hour drive from the city.
This makes it perfect for urban escapes and weekend jaunts.
The park is massive – long and skinny in shape and stretches right from Mount Coot-Tha just west of Brisbane all the way up to Woodford at the bottom of the Sunshine Coast.
Split between 2 sections – the South D’Aguilar part near Brisbane and the Mount Mee area, which starts at the back of the Caboolture – the park is vast and encompasses multiple campsites, as well as good lookout points, walking trails and forest drives.
I saw some great local wildlife while I was there including monitor lizards, skinks, snakes and kookaburras.
Getting to D’Aguilar National Park
With my base in Noosa, I decided to head for the Mount Mee section of D’Aguilar because it was closer.
Driving towards Woodford, I turned off onto Mount Mee road just before I hit town.
Here, as I climbed the range, I was blessed with a clear day and spectacular views back down to the coast.
I entered D’Aguilar National Park via the Gantry at Sellin Road and soon embarked on a great forest drive up through the park.
There are a couple of different routes you can take up through the park when heading north from here – one for 4wd and one for 2wd.
I ended up driving parts of both routes during my time in D’Aguilar National Park and to be honest, I didn’t notice that much of a difference in the quality of the 2 tracks.
Both are dirt trails with some bumps and uneven parts, but nothing that a 2WD couldn’t handle at a slower pace.
Being in the Landrover however, I was pleased to put my foot down and get some speed up!
From the Gantry, I headed north on the forest drive trail and actually took the 2wd route first as this allowed me to pass and explore more of the park’s tourist features on the way, including the lovely Falls Lookout and Bulls Falls.
Here there is a short trail to a beautiful platform with stunning views down the range.
In some ways, it reminded me a lot of the Bunya Mountains.
Camping in D’Aguilar National Park
After this, I continued on my way north to the selected campground.
As I said before there are multiple campsites in D’Aguilar National Park, but only 2 are reachable by vehicle – the others are all walk-in only campsites, accessible only as part of longer hikes.
For more info, check out the D’Aguilar National park info pages on the Queensland National Parks website.
Both of the vehicle-access campsites are in the Mount Mee section of D’Aguilar National Park and can be accessed by 2WD vehicles, albeit from different directions.
Give the fact I was excited to try out the new rooftop tent again, I wanted to opt for one of these rather than a walk-in campground on this trip.
Neurum Creek Camping Area
Neurum Creek camping area is the further south of the 2 vehicle-access campsites in D’Aguilar National Park and I arrived here not long after leaving Falls Lookout and Bull Falls.
Even though this was not my intended destination I drove around and had a quick look to check it out.
The camping here is in individual plots, marked out by forest trees and with dirt floors.
The place has plenty of shade and privacy, due to its forest setting, but, as a result, was quite dark.
To be honest, I was glad that I had selected that other vehicle-access campsite of Archers.
Archers Camp Ground
Arriving at Archers campground in the very north of D’Aguilar National Park confirmed this.
This campsite was much more open, meaning less privacy, but camp spots were situated on the edge of a lovely open grassland with fire pits and plenty of space for everyone.
As I said, I took the forest drive to get here, but you can also access Archers campground more quickly from the north via Woodford and Rasmussen Road.
This was the way I actually left the park and loved the drive through remote and rural farmland this route afforded.
I also loved Archers campground because of the beautiful little creek running past it.
Here you can take a dip or even jump into the water via a rope swing if you want.
It was the perfect refresh after a long drive!
I am also delighted to say that Archers campground was wonderfully free of mosquitoes when I was there.
As I sat around at night in a camp chair, enjoying the stars, I didn’t get bitten even once – a miracle for me!
It was also quite cool here at night, which meant it was lovely and cosy when I finally climbed into the tent.
All in all, I loved my time in D’Aguilar National Park and were so pleased I got to check it out.
Close to Brisbane, this place would make the perfect weekend camping escape and a refreshing trip away during the hot summer months.