Looking to escape the rat race, but still only an hour from Brisbane or 45 minutes from the Gold Coast? Then look no further than Witheren Heights Bush Retreat. For that true-blue Aussie bush experience, you can’t go past one of the best-kept secrets when it comes to camping in the Scenic Rim.
But want to know the best bit? If you are anything like us and love to take your dogs camping, you’ll be happy to know that Witheren Heights is most definitely a dog friendly camping ground. They just need to be well-behaved.
WHERE IS WITHEREN HEIGHTS BUSH RETREAT?
Located in the Gold Coast Hinterland, Witheren Heights Bush Retreat is only 10 minutes and less than 10km from the township of Canungra.
If you’re following your GPS, type in 2665 Beechmont Road, Witheren, and it will get you close to where you need to be. While this is the correct street address for the property, you need to drive a couple of hundred metres past where your GPS will tell you to stop and look for the sign on the right.
From the southside of Brisbane, it is only an hour’s drive along either Beaudesert Road or via the M1. From the centre of Surfers Paradise, it is only 45 minutes via Nerang and a scenic drive up the range.
It’s great to know that if you happen to leave something at home, you can quickly pop into Canungra for supplies.
DO I NEED A 4WD TO ACCESS THE CAMPSITES AT WITHEREN HEIGHTS BUSH RETREAT?
The answer to this question can either be “Yes” or “No.” It depends.
Access to several of the campsites at the entry to the property is suitable for conventional, or 2WD vehicles.
If you like a bit more privacy when camping, there are several sites at the rear of the property. However, these are only suitable for 4WD vehicles.
CAN I TAKE MY CARAVAN TO WITHEREN HEIGHTS BUSH RETREAT?
It doesn’t matter how you like to camp; everybody is catered for.
For those that like to tow their vans, there are several level sites at the entry to the property.
If you want to bring your off-road camper trailer behind your 4WD, you have a few more options. As well as the main camping area, you can venture further into the property looking for that private spot away from everyone else.
If you like to roll out the swag or pitch a tent, your only limit is the vehicle you drive. Once again, for the more private sites, you’ll need a 4WD to gain access.
WHAT ARE THE CAMPSITES LIKE?
In total, there are 12 different campsite areas on the 140 acre property.
The main camping area at the front of the property consists of seven sites. This large, tiered area provides flat campsites perfect for tents, trailers or caravans.
Central to the main camping area are two dams that provide water for the property, as well as a place for campers to cool off in the summer months.
For those that choose to call the main camping area home for a night or more, beware of the goats. A small herd of goats roam freely around this area, keeping the grassy sites well-mown. They also have been known to take a liking to what’s on your plate as well!
The campsites in the main area are well spread out providing some privacy, with some sites large enough for a couple of tents or trailers.
Unfortunately, the main camping area is located alongside Beechmont Road, which does get its share of traffic. Especially on a weekend when the local motorbike riders descend on the twists and turns of the hinterland roads for an exciting ride.
To escape the road noise, you’ll need a 4WD to access the five camping areas towards the back of the property.
For us, these are by far the pick of the sites, as they allow for a lot more privacy and they are peaceful too. The sounds of birds, the wind through the trees and an occasional ‘moo’ from the cows are all that you will hear.
Our favourite site is Cattle Camp, which affords a beautiful view through the trees along the valley to the surrounding peaks.
We often come out to Witheren Heights when reviewing camper trailers and always try to set up on the ridge in time for a drink or two at sunset.
ARE THERE ON-SITE FACILITIES AVAILABLE?
When it comes to bush camping, in our eyes you have to keep it pretty simple. At the end of the day, this is ‘bush camping’, not ‘bush glamping!’
If you want all the bells and whistles of camping at a caravan park or similar, then a couple of days away at Witheren Heights might not be for you.
But if you don’t mind a little bit of ‘roughing it’, then we are sue you will love your camping experience at Witheren. And so will your dog!
Here is what you can expect when camping at Witheren Heights Bush Retreat:
WHAT CAN I DO AT WITHEREN HEIGHTS BUSH RETREAT?
The best thing about staying at Witheren Heights is that you can do as little, or as much as you want.
Kick back and relax around the fire with a good book, or put on your hiking shoes and go exploring. The choice is yours.
In the summer months, the dams are a great place to cool off, so remember to bring the boogie boards, pool noodles and inflatable flamingoes! An old canoe is provided for guests to use at their own risk. As always, children need supervision at all times.
If you’re up for a bit of exercise, head off for a walk. There are tracks all around, but some of the best walking is following the creek which runs through the property. Rock hopping and scrabbling along the often dry creek bed will keep you occupied for hours.
If that sounds like too much hard work, there a couple of tracks that you can engage 4WD and go for an explore. Just don’t expect a full-on 4WD park and make sure you ‘Tread Lightly’ and respect what isn’t yours.
Don’t forget your binoculars and camera when you visit, as there are numerous birds that call the trees on the property home: cockatoos, galahs, pale-headed rosellas and king parrots to name but a few.
ATTRACTIONS CLOSE BY
If you’re staying for a while, you may just run out of things to do on the property. If that is the case, and you’re looking for something else to pass the day, then you are in luck.
Witheren Heights is a great place to set up a base camp to explore this diverse region.
In 45 minutes, you could be immersed in the glitz and glamour of the Gold Coast, walking along the beach or visiting one of the many theme parks on the coast.
The quaint village of Canungra is less than ten minutes away. You could easily spend the day wandering through the shops or enjoying a cold beer at the Canungra Hotel.
Further west, the towns of Boonah and Beaudesert are there to be explored, along with the rural areas of the Scenic Rim.
If hiking is your thing, then the National Parks of Springbrook and Lamington will have you bouncing out of bed and lacing up your boots.
IS WITHEREN HEIGHTS BUSH RETREAT DOG-FRIENDLY?
As mentioned earlier, Witheren Heights Bush Retreat provides some of the best dog-friendly camping in the Gold Coast Hinterland.
There are cattle, horses and goats that roam the property, as well as other native wildlife, so your dog will need to be well-behaved. If not, they will need to be under control at all times.
We love nothing more than to be able to have our dog/s with us when we camp, so to know that there is a property like this so close to home is fantastic.
IS THERE MOBILE RECEPTION AT WITHEREN HEIGHTS BUSH RETREAT?
We can’t comment on the other mobile service providers, but we can reliably tell you that Telstra 4G is available throughout the property.
Just perfect for when you want to share an InstaStory or boast to your mates that you’re away camping for the weekend!
CONTACT DETAILS AND BOOKING
The best way to book a site is to give the owner, Terry, a call on his mobile. If he doesn’t answer, make sure you leave a message with your contact details, and he’ll get back to you. Remember that this is still a working property.
Terry – 0413 879 188
It’s also a good idea to give Terry a call when you arrive. Standard check-out time is 10am.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO CAMP AT WITHEREN HEIGHTS BUSH RETREAT?
At the time of writing, you can camp for $20 a night per site. That includes up to two (2) adults and two (2) children per site.
In anyone’s language, that is damn cheap. Is it any wonder that we keep coming back?
BEST TIME TO VISIT
We have visited Witheren Heights several times over the past two years at different times throughout the year. From experiencing torrential downpours and summer storms to cold nights and foggy mornings and everything in between.
But, without a doubt, our favourite time would have to be early spring. The nights are still chilly enough for a warming fire, while the days are mild, allowing for nothing more than a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. Just perfect!
The skies are also generally clear as well, so you can sit around the fire and stargaze all night.
MORE DIRT LESS BITUMEN RATING
We give Witheren Heights Bush Retreat 4 out of 5 Battered Akubras!
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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