The Burrum Coast National Park is located to the south of Bundaberg and consists of four sections: Kinkuna, Burrum River, Woodgate and Buxton. Camping is allowed at Burrum Point, which is part of the Woodgate section, as well as Kinkuna.
A 4WD is required to access both of these camping areas and sand-driving experience is highly recommended. The tracks to the campsites can range from soft to very soft! Camping permits must be booked in advance. Unfortunately, domestic animals are prohibited from the park, so we had to leave Ernie at home for this trip 🙁
Burrum Coast National Park covers over 26 000 hectares and protects the largest area of coastal plains within South East Queensland. A wide variety of plant and animal life occurs within the park, with tidal wetland areas being of national significance.
Bundaberg is located roughly 360km to the north of Brisbane, the capital of Queensland. The drive along the Bruce Highway is an easy one and will take just over four hours. This will depend on how long you stop at the smaller towns along the way.
No trip to Bundaberg is complete without a visit to the Bundaberg Rum Distillery. You can join one of the many tours and learn the secrets of making Bundy Rum. On special tours, you can even blend your own rum!
Before leaving town, take the opportunity to fill your fuel tanks and stock up on any last minute supplies.
KINKUNA SECTION – BURRUM COAST NATIONAL PARK
Upon entering the park, it’s a good idea to drop your tyre pressures. Both the tracks behind the dunes and the beach access tracks can get very soft at times.
Finding the perfect campsite is not a hard thing to do at Kinkuna. Set amongst the shady Casuarina trees are numerous campsites which sit atop the dunes for 10km along a pristine stretch of beach. Even at the busiest of times, you’ll never feel crowded while camping here.
You can camp anywhere behind the dunes underneath the she-oaks. The sound of gentle lapping waves will lull you to sleep. That’s another great thing about this spot. Fraser Island protects the waters of Hervey Bay, which are generally calm and crystal clear.
The calm waters are home to a great variety of fish, so make sure you pack your fishing rod. You just might get lucky and catch dinner.
All campers must be totally self-sufficient, including water as there are no facilities provided. You must take all of your rubbish out with you.
There is plenty more to see and do in the area, with a track to the south taking you through to the township of Woodgate, which offers more beachfront camping at Burrum Point.
The soft sand tracks give way to a well-maintained gravel track that winds through low lying heath and eucalypt forest for approximately 14km before hitting the bitumen at Woodgate Road. Take a left for a short drive into Woodgate Beach.
On the way to Woodgate, there’s a great side track that takes you out to a secluded little picnic area on the banks of Theodolite Creek. Set amongst towering cabbage palms, mangroves and gum trees, it’s the perfect spot to boil the billy up and have a cup of tea.
Woodgate Beach is a quaint beachside community complete with colourful fibro beach shacks, while grey kangaroos roaming the streets. It is surrounded on three sides by National Park. The fourth fronts an expanse of beach 16km long which is protected by Fraser Island. The water off Woodgate is calm and inviting. Humpback whales are often seen from the beach during their annual migration.
Woodgate Beach offers up a variety of accomodation options, from the caravan park just 20m from the beach to holiday rental properties with ocean views, just perfect for that family beachside holiday. There’s also a general store and a bowls club.
Along the foreshore, there is a paved walking and cycling track that meanders beneath the she-oaks that is very popular with the friendly locals. BBQ’s and picnic areas are also provided.
Just to the north of Woodgate is the mouth of Theodolite Creek. Popular with the locals trying for a feed of fish for dinner, it’s also a great place to watch the sunset. Just don’t forget your insect repellant, or those little biting buggers will try and drag you back to their lair.
For those looking to explore and enjoy the natural bush around Woodgate, there is a great walk that starts from Acacia Street.
The Banksia Track is a 5.4km circuit which starts with a 400m long wheelchair friendly elevated boardwalk through the lush paperbark wetlands.
The sandy track through more paperbarks, red bloodwoods, stands of cabbage palms and of course, many varieties of Banksia. In winter and spring, the wallum heathlands come to life in a burst of colour and birdlife.
BURRUM POINT CAMP GROUND – BURRUM COAST NATIONAL PARK
On arrival at the Burrum Point Campground, you will find 13 numbered campsites. Being run by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services, you need to book your site online ahead of time.
The sites are suitable for vehicle-based camping, camper trailers and off-road caravans. There is a toilet block, along with cold showers and water provided. If you could have a fire, this place would be close to perfect!
With the campground being located so close to the beach, it wasn’t long before we followed the pathway to the sound of the waves gently lapping the shoreline. A pristine estuary awaits your arrival with crystal blue water, white sand, marine and bird life aplenty. A spot of beach combing, or an afternoon of fishing is definitely on the cards when camped up here.
Starting from the Burrum Point Campground is the 12.3km return Melaleuca Track.
The sandy track winds its way through a variety of flora types; from paperbark swamps and melaleuca woodlands, to towering blue gums, wallum heath and mangrove forests, all to the beautiful backing track of the numerous birds that call this place home.
Part way along the track, you can take a short diversion to the Bird Hide, which has been built on the edge of a tidal wetland fringed with mangroves. Just don’t forget your camera and binoculars! Posters adorn the walls of the hide to help out the casual observer with trying to identify some of the many birds you will no doubt encounter.
Back on the track proper, and not far from Walkers Point (the turn around point of the walk) you pass through more mangrove wetlands and over the what was once the remains of the old timber rail bridge that ran through to Maryborough.
Paperbark swamps and tidal flats greet you on your return to the Burrum Point campground as you track along just inland from the coast.
WALKER’S POINT AND HOPPY LARK’S CREEK
Not far from the campground is the small beachside community of Walkers Point. The locality consists of about 30 houses, a picnic area and a boat ramp which provides access to the Isis River. Getting a special mention, is the ‘Thong Tree.’ For those that don’t want to part with their worn-in, prized possessions, it may be the reason why the convenience store at Woodgate has such a large selection of the iconic Aussie rubber footwear!
We followed Heidkes Road (which also happens to be another 4WD only access road) to Hoppy Lark’s Creek and Day-use Area. There are no facilities here, but you will find a picnic table on an elevated timber deck surrounded by eucalypts and mangroves with views to the creek.
If fishing is your thing, be sure to have a cast or twenty, as rumour has it that mangrove jack can be caught from the platform. Unfortunately, I can’t confirm these rumours, as not even a catfish was interested in my offerings!
After trying and trying to catch dinner to no avail, we packed up and headed back the same way we had come in, only this time stopping at the site of an Aboriginal Shell Midden, which is coming under threat from natural erosion and human activity in the area.
Back at camp, we had time for one last walk along the beach, where we were joined by a couple of local white-bellied sea eagles and a pair of Brahminy Kites.
HOW TO GET TO BURRUM COAST NATIONAL PARK
Let’s assume that you’ve made your way to Bundaberg first (well, you do have to check out the rum distillery), so we’ll call Bundy our start point.
GETTING TO THE KINKUNA SECTION
Starting on the main street through town, Bourbong Street, head south on Barolin Street for 3.5km. Barolin Street becomes Goodwood Road, which you follow for another 10km. Before the railway bridge, take a left into Coonarr Road for another 8km. Then it’s a left onto the dirt and Palm Beach Road which you follow all the way to the beach and the camping areas at Kinkuna.
All up, it’s around a thirty minute drive from Bundaberg, so if you do forget, or run out of anything, it’s not too far to go back into town to re-supply.
GETTING TO THE BURRUM POINT SECTION
Leaving Bundaberg, you follow the same path towards Kinkuna. But instead of taking a left onto Coonarr Road, you stay on Goodwood Road for another 22km. When you reach the T-intersection with Woodgate Road, take a left and follow Woodgate Road for 19km before reaching the township of Woodgate.
From Woodgate, you have two options to reach the Burrum Point Campground. One is a drive along the beach. The other is via a soft sandy track through the bush. Both options require a 4WD and sand driving experience.
BURRUM COAST NATIONAL PARK PERMIT
The only permit you need for a visit to the beautiful Burrum Coast National Park is if you are going to camp for the night. Thankfully, a ‘permit to traverse’ or similar is not required for any of the tracks or for driving along the beach.
WHAT TO TAKE TO BURRUM COAST NATIONAL PARK
Don’t worry if you leave something at home, as Bundaberg isn’t too far away. You can also get basic provisions from the general store at Woodgate if required.
Here are a few things that you will need:
Mobile phone reception is quite reliable in the area, especially if you head out onto the beach.
BEST TIME TO VISIT BURRUM COAST NATIONAL PARK
You can Burrum Coast National Park visit all year round thanks to its mild, sub-tropical climate. The summer months will allow you to make the most of the beautiful waterways, but be prepared for humid nights.
If you’re chasing the wonderful blooms of the wildflowers, then late winter and spring will be best.
THE FINAL WORD
Burrum Coast National Park has some of the best camping and beach four-wheel-driving in the region. It is also one of the least well-known! It is also home to a couple of fantastic walking tracks and a diverse range of flora and fauna. When visiting the region, make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to take it all in.
These are the resources we used when planning this trip:
About the Author:
Hi, I’m Matt. I camp, four-wheel drive, explore the outdoors and get paid to take photos.
I’m happiest when I’m doing all four at once.
Occasionally, I’ll even tap out a couple of words on my keyboard.
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