4×4 Destination – Bellthorpe National Park, Queensland.
Nestled between Woodford and The Sunny Coast Hinterland lies Bellthorpe National Park. The park itself spans across 75km and there are plenty of 4wd tracks of varying difficulty levels, from easy to advanced.
We set off from the Woodford end, at the Stoney Creek Day Use Area, perfect for a breakfast bbq and even a dip in the beautiful natural swimming hole. There are picnic tables and toilets and plenty of space to stretch your legs before what could be a day of driving, depending on where you end up.
The tracks are unsealed and mapped as all weather or wet weather only on National Parks Website and we have only ever visited during dry weather so can not comment on the condition when wet. The track itself starts fairly easily, the tracks are rocky and vary between thick jungle with amazing canopies and open dirt tracks. Switching between different rated tracks you will find some steep inclines, plenty of ditches, rocks and other interesting obstacles (I recommend Dog Road – rated moderate, for a bit of challenge).
Beyond Dog Road, you almost loop back out and head back towards the day use area, or the main road, depending on if you’ve had enough.
However if you turn right and head up Brandon’s Road you will be met with mostly well maintained roads until you come across a little piece of Queensland History, Old Brandon’s Sawmill Site. With a few of the original relics of the yesteryear it is definitely worth stopping for a look and reliving a bit of the past. There’s also a couple of butcher birds that don’t mind sharing your lunch, taking a seat beside us as we sat down for a bite.
Again there are several paths you can choose to follow, on this particular occasion and thanks to missing the turn off, we continued North and head towards Conondale National Park (another family favourite). There are 2 tracks at this point, one for all vehicles and a 4wd only. No choice really. It was a long, rough track, uneven and full of deep ruts. Exiting through a couple of gates and private property, we finished our 3.5 hour (approx.) trip at Grigors Road, Conondale.
The tracks are also used for bush walking and horse riding so respect the other people enjoying this wonderful national park. A lot of the tracks are fairly narrow, so get ready to put yourself in some awkward positions if another 4×4 approaches from the opposite direction.
One more thing – Leave it like you found it, take your rubbish home with you & keep an eye out for wildlife.
Til next time,
The Pajero Sport