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Beerburrum and Beerwah state forests

Tomek.Z.Genek © Queensland Government

Beerburrum and Beerwah state forests

Explore by bike, canoe, kayak or on foot, then fish for dinner and camp by a creek, not far from Brisbane.

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Jump in your 4WD and explore exotic pine plantations surrounded by the Glass House Mountains in Beerburrum and Beerwah state forests.
Jump in your 4WD and explore exotic pine plantations surrounded by the Glass House Mountains in Beerburrum and Beerwah state forests. © MJL Photography
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Park Beerburrum
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Get your weekend dose of adventure in these forests, conveniently close to Brisbane. Immerse yourself in pine plantations, open eucalypt forest, coastal wallum, mangrove and rainforest, enjoy spotting a huge variety of wildlife and choose from an even greater variety of experiences on offer here.

Call into the Glass House Mountains lookout day-use area before heading into the park. The privately-managed Wild Horse Mountain lookout in Beerburrum East State Forest is another great vantage point.

Go four-wheel driving, trail-bike riding, horseriding and mountain bike riding on the parks' forest roads. If you prefer to explore on foot, follow the Glasshouse Mountains lookout track through the forest to breathtaking views of the spectacular Glass House Mountains.

If water adventures are more to your liking, visit Coochin Creek day-use area. Paddle your canoe to explore along the mangrove-lined waterway and try your luck with a fishing line. Bring a picnic and make it a day trip, or spend the night under the stars at nearby Coochin Creek camping area.

While you're there, keep an eye open for the local wildlife—goannas, echidnas and grey kangaroos, and for birdlife such as kookaburras, cockatoos, lorikeets, rosellas and peregrine falcons.

Keep discovering

Top things to see and do

Coochin Creek camping area is perfect for a weekend escape—bring your tent, camper trailer, caravan or motorhome!

Beerburrum and Beerwah's cam...

See Beerburrum and Beerwah's camping area.

Climb the fire tower at the Glass House Mountains lookout day-use area for stunning views.

Beerburrum and Beerwah's att...

See Beerburrum and Beerwah's day-use areas.

Getting there and getting around

About 70km north of Brisbane, the extensive forest areas of Beerburrum and Beerwah State Forests are located on both sides of the Bruce Highway. The forests extend north from Caboolture to Caloundra, and from Pumicestone Passage west to Woodford.

By vehicle

  • Access to most visitor facilities is by bitumen road, suitable for conventional vehicles.
  • Other internal state forest tracks are gravel or dirt roads that are only suitable for high-clearance 4WDs, and only in dry weather conditions.
  • Read 4WD with care for important information on 4WD safety and minimal impact driving.

Beerburrum West State Forest

  • Beerburrum West State Forest is west of Steve Irwin Way.
  • The Glass House Mountains lookout is located in Beerburrum West State Forest.
  • From the Bruce Highway (M1) turn off onto the Glass House Mountains Tourist Drive 24 (Steve Irwin Way)—from the south, take the Beerburrum exit; from the north, take the Landsborough exit.
  • From Steve Irwin Way there are multiple routes to connect to Old Gympie Road—from Beerburrum via the Beerburrum-Woodford Road; or from Beerwah via the Kilcoy–Beerwah Road; or from just south of Glass House Mountains via Barrs and Marshs Roads.
  • Turn off Old Gympie Road onto the Glass House–Woodford Road, and follow this for approximately 3km to the Glass House Mountains lookout.
  • The Bracalba running trails and shared trail are located in Glass House Mountains Conservation Park and Beerburrum West State Forest, just off the D’Aguilar Highway between Wamuran and D’Aguilar townships.
  • There are several access points—McConnell Road entrance is the best access for the running trails; O’Shea Road entrance is the best access for horse floats.

Beerburrum East State Forest

  • Beerburrum East State Forest is east of the Steve Irwin Way.
  • From the Bruce Highway, take exit 171 onto Johnston Road.

Beerwah State Forest

  • Beerwah State Forest is located to the north, east and west of the Bruce Highway around Beerwah.
  • Coochin Creek camping area is on the eastern side of the Bruce Highway, with access off Roys Road.
  • If you are travelling north, take the Bells Creek exit and turn right, using the bridge to cross the Bruce Highway. If you are travelling south, turn left at the Bells Creek exit. Turn right into Roys Road and drive about 4km to the turn-off to Coochin Camping Area road.
  • The entrance to the Coochin Creek camping area is 250m along this unsealed road, on the right.
  • The Ewen Maddock mountain bike trail is located in Beerwah State Forest, just off the Steve Irwin Way.

By boat

  • You can also get to Beerwah State Forest via Coochin Creek, 3km upstream from the Pumicetone Passage.
  • Read boat and fish with care for tips on boating and fishing safety and caring for parks.

Road conditions

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available at nearby local townships.

  • For tourism information for all regions in Queensland, see Queensland.com, and for friendly advice on how to get there, where to stay and what to do, find your closest accredited visitor information centre.

Wheelchair access

There are wheelchair-accessible toilets at Coochin Creek day-use area and Glass House Mountains lookout day-use area. Assistance may be required.

Camping

Coochin Creek is the perfect spot to set up camp, wet a line or take the canoe out for a paddle.

Walking

Take in panoramic views, then enjoy a short stroll through the forest. You can also enjoy walking along the park's forest roads.

Picnicking

Spread out a picnic blanket on the shores of Coochin Creek, or kick back on a mountain top with stunning views of the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

Viewing wildlife

This area is home to koalas, goannas, echidnas and grey kangaroos. You will also see plenty of birds, such as kookaburras, cockatoos, lorikeets, rosellas and peregrine falcons.

Mountain biking and cycling

Take a sun-dappled ride on state forest roads, or follow the mountain bike trail that meanders around the edges of Ewen Maddock Dam through fern gullies and melaleuca wetlands.

Horseriding

Experience the forest on horseback by exploring the extensive network of forest roads.

  • Horseriding is permitted on state forest roads unless otherwise signposted (just not in day-use areas, camping areas or on designated walking tracks).
  • Trail junctions in the privately-managed plantation areas may not be signposted.
  • Read more about the South East Queensland horseriding trail network.
  • Read horseride with care for tips on riding safety and riding with care.

Four-wheel driving and scenic driving

Head off the beaten track and onto the park's state forest roads. Wind your way through eucalypt forests and exotic pine plantations.

Trail-bike riding

Head out into the back country on the park's dirt and gravel forest roads.

  • Road registered trail bikes and licenced riders are permitted on state forest roads and vehicle tracks unless otherwise signed.
  • Trail bikes are not permitted on walking tracks.
  • Trail junctions in the privately-managed plantation areas may not signposted.
  • Read trail bike ride with care for tips on riding safely and riding with care.

Canoeing and kayaking

From the terraced creek bank at Coochin Creek day-use area, launch your canoe and explore the estuary.

Fishing

A terraced area on the creek bank at the Coochin Creek day-use area is a great vantage point to fish for bream, flathead and mangrove jack.

Boating

A public boat ramp provides deep water access to Pumicestone Passage at the end of Roys Road, about 7km east of Coochin Creek day-use area.

Other things to do

The Glass House Mountains Visitor and Interpretive Centre is a great place to familiarise yourself with the area.

When to visit

Opening hours

Beerburrum and Beerwah state forests are open 24 hours a day.

  • Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.

Climate and weather

The Glass House Mountains area has a mild, subtropical climate. In summer, the average daily temperature ranges from 18–28°C and in winter from 11–20°C.

Permits and fees

Camping permits

Organised events

  • If you are planning a school excursion or organising a group event such as a wedding, fun run or adventure training, you may need an organised event permit. Maximum group sizes and other conditions apply depending on location and activity type.

Pets

Horses

Dogs

All other domestic animals are prohibited.

Staying in touch

Mobile phone coverage

Unreliable. Check with your service provider for more information.

Tourism information

Brochure

Download this brochure and take it with you:

Information provided in this guide is correct at the time of printing. Check park alerts for the latest details.

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland, see Queensland.com, and for friendly advice on how to get there, where to stay and what to do, find your closest accredited visitor information centre.

Be prepared

  • Parks are natural environments and conditions can be unpredictable. You are responsible for your own safety and for looking after the park.
  • Some road junctions in the plantation areas may not be signposted. Consider taking a personal locator beacon.
  • Never begin a walk or ride if you can see smoke in the forest—bushfires can move quickly.
  • The state forest roads are also used by management vehicles.
  • Roads and shared trails within pine plantation forests may be closed at any time for harvesting operations. Check HQPlantation notices for more information.
  • Read stay safe and visit with care for important general information about safety, caring for parks and essentials to bring when you visit Queensland’s national parks.

Camping

Open fires

Drinking water

Rubbish

  • There are no bins. Take your rubbish with you when you leave.

Walking

  • When walking on shared trails, give way to horseriders.
  • Read walk with care for tips on walking safely and walking lightly.

Cycling

Horseriding

Driving

  • The maximum speed limits in Beerburrum and Beerwah state forests are:
    • 60km/hr speed on inland roads unless otherwise signposted.
    • 10km/hr in camping and day-use areas.
  • Slow down at blind corners. Logging trucks use the roads and shared trails.
  • Remain alert and courteous to horseriders, bike riders, walkers and wildlife.
  • Do not drive through floodwaters. Coochin Creek can rise quickly during large rainfall events.

Trail bike riding

Boating and fishing

  • Coochin Creek and the adjoining estuary are very shallow and only suitable for very small boats.
  • Launch and retrieve boats daily from the boat ramp, approximately 1km east of the day-use area.
  • Anchor off from the terraced banks as there are no fixed tie down points.
  • These waterways are tidal, so don't get caught.
  • For deep water access to Pumicestone Passage there is a public boat ramp at the end of Roys Road, approximately 7km east of Coochin Creek camping area.
  • The waters adjacent to Beerwah State Forest are in the Moreton Bay Marine Park.
  • If you're heading out on the water make sure you know your zones so you can follow the rules.
  • Fisheries regulations apply. You can obtain information on bag and size limits, restricted species and seasonal closures from Fisheries Queensland.
  • Read boat and fish with care for tips on boating and fishing safety and caring for parks.

Around water

  • Swimming in Coochin Creek is not recommended. There are no patrolled swimming areas and sharks are common in the creek and estuary. There may also be bullrouts.
  • Creeks near camping and picnic areas feed water into domestic water supplies and Moreton Bay Marine Park. Please keep the creeks clean.
  • Read water safety for important information about staying safe in and near water and caring for parks.

Natural environment

Animals

This area is home to koalas, goannas, echidnas and grey kangaroos, as well as an array of birdlife, including kookaburras, cockatoos, lorikeets, rosellas and peregrine falcons. The glossy black-cockatoo, which is considered vulnerable, is found in the Glass House Mountains area.

Geology

The Glass House Mountains are the eroded remnants of volcanoes that were active approximately 25–27 million years ago. These mountains were formed from plugs and masses of molten rock that solidified into hard rock called trachyte and rhyolite. Extensive erosion and lowering of the land surface since then have removed the exteriors of the volcanic cones and the surrounding softer sandstone rocks. As the volcanic mountains cooled, interesting vertical columns formed. The rock faces of Mount Beerwah, Mount Ngungun and Mount Coonowrin feature these distinctive columns.

Request a species list to see what plants and animals have been recorded here.

Culture and history

Aboriginal links to the land

The Glass House Mountains area was a special meeting place where many Aboriginal people gathered for ceremonies and trading. This place is spiritually significant, with many ceremonial sites still present and protected today.

Aboriginal people could 'read' environmental signs and knew that certain events (such as a tree flowering) heralded another food supply. The people here planned large festivals and gatherings such as bunya nut festivals at times when local food sources were peaking. This way, a crowd of hundreds of people could be catered for with minimal effort. Early missionaries in this area saw gatherings of thousands of people.

The bush here sustained people for thousands of years. The Glass House Mountains area provided many resources from a varied and rich environment that included river systems, open forests, coastal wetlands and mountain forests.

European settlement

The volcanic peaks of the Glass House Mountains rise dramatically from the surrounding Sunshine Coast landscape. The Glass House Mountains were named by Lieutenant James Cook in 1770. In The Genesis of Queensland (1888), the following extract from Cook's journal on Thursday, 17 May 1770 noted:

These hills lie but a little way inland, and not far from each other, they are remarkable for the singular form of their elevation, which very much resembles a glasshouse for this reason I called them the Glass Houses...

Settlement of the area during the 1860s brought much change for the Aboriginal people here. Vast areas of timber were felled and burnt to make way for farming and stock. The railway from Caboolture to Landsborough, built in 1890, opened the way for more intensive settlement. As part of the Beerburrum soldier settlement scheme in the early 1900s, ex-servicemen and their families were allocated land and grew pineapples. However, many farms were unsuccessful and farmers turned to the timber industry to survive.

Plantation forests

Beerwah has a long history in the timber industry. A substantial saw-milling town called Campbellville was established on the banks of Coochin Creek where timber was processed and floated downstream to Pumicestone Passage. Today the timber industry still provides timber from the exotic pine and native hardwood timber plantations.

Planting for the future

The forest plantations in this area were planted in the early 1930s and are managed by HQPlantations Pty Ltd.

The 'Tibrogargan' and 'Twins' forest management areas were re-planted in the 1980s and 1990s with Caribbean pine, slash pine, and a slash-Caribbean pine hybrid. Some of these commercial forests are scheduled to be harvested in 2020.

Buffer zones

Before harvesting forest plantations, native timbers along watercourses are marked as buffer strips so that they are preserved. These buffer strips protect water quality, prevent erosion and provide corridors for wildlife.

For further information about plantation forests contact HQPlantations.

Last updated: 15 October 2018
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