Wilderness camping?

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Wilderness camping?

Postby jaclynn » Wed 15 Jul, 2020 1:10 pm

Hi everyone,
I've been becoming more interested in camping recently but I'm very new at it all.

Some background: I'm in QLD (brisbane area), I'm more interested in hiking/camping (survival mode), not glam camping. So everything in my backpack, hiking a few kms and setting up a camp and staying overnight, then hiking back. I wouldn't mind just driving somewhere too and just camping there for the night too.

Now on to some questions:
- Where can I go?
I've read that QLD national parks and forests are protected and I can't find my own wood to create fires. Am I allowed to hike on a trail and setup camp anywhere for the night? Are there only some places I can go? It would be great if there was water (river/stream) where I go.

- Do I need permits?
I've also read with camping sites that you need to book them and pay a fee (no problem with this btw), but obviously with these camp sites, you need to bring everything with you. So assuming the first question has places I can go, do I need a permit or anything like that?

That's all the questions I have at the moment :)

Thanks so much in advance!

(thank you to the whirlpool community for sending me here)
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Re: Wilderness camping?

Postby Wazza1 » Wed 15 Jul, 2020 5:23 pm

Join a bushwalking club
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Re: Wilderness camping?

Postby Huntsman247 » Wed 15 Jul, 2020 5:30 pm

This must be the biggest redirect of all time. Lol
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Re: Wilderness camping?

Postby gbagua » Wed 15 Jul, 2020 5:45 pm

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Re: Wilderness camping?

Postby crollsurf » Wed 15 Jul, 2020 5:58 pm

Hi jaclynn,

Welcome to the forum, lot of good advice here but look around, there are some bushcraft specific forums that you would like.

I wouldn't go wilderness to start. Camp at a few known places first and get your act together. Better known as a shakedown.

Everywhere is different, some require booking some not, some allow fires some not... so you need to do your own research and that is all part of the fun.

One thing for sure, get a PLB, Personal Location Beacon and tell people what your plans are if going off track. Even the best most experienced walkers do that.

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Re: Wilderness camping?

Postby DavidB » Wed 15 Jul, 2020 5:59 pm

This is the website for Bushwalking Qld https://www.bushwalkingqueensland.org.au/
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Re: Wilderness camping?

Postby jaclynn » Thu 16 Jul, 2020 9:36 am

Thank you everyone :) I really appreciate the advice.

I definitely had plans to camp at camping spots first, but I wanted to know what was possible as it would define what things to buy upfront :)
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Re: Wilderness camping?

Postby flingebunt » Thu 16 Jul, 2020 2:24 pm

In the Brisbane area, this is pretty difficult.

First, in South East Queensland and surrounds, there is really little opportunity to do proper bush camping. Rather there are designated tracks and campsites. You can start local, camping in South D'Aguilar National Park without even leaving Brisbane.

All of these campsites require that you book in advance, and it is usually $6-8 a night, with some hiking campsites being a little more expensive if they are run by a commercial operator. There are lots of overnight campsites, including remote sites. Some can be a stroll to get to, others you can drive up to or hike to. Then of course, some, like the top of Mount Barney, are much more difficult. But you are not allowed to collect firewood and most don't allow campfires. Those that do, require that are made in designated barbecues and fire rings.

While this is not quite what you are looking for, we are talking a wide range of walks, including hiking Fraser Island, walking Conondale National Park, or even the Bunya Mountains (which is a good easy one to start with). So there is a lot that you can do to get started. So there is a lot of adventure to be had.

Of course, you need to bring in your own food and, if you want to cook, bring in your own stove. National parks don't let you forage for food, but you can collect water. The exception is the coastal walks, where you can catch your own fish (some areas ban fishing though, but usually you can find a fishing spot).

Do people light fires. Certainly, I see fire pits made at some campsites. Do they collect the wood from the local forest? Yes they do they. Is this allowed? No it is not.

Can you just camp anywhere along the trail? Well most the hikes in this area is dense rainforest, or if not, dense bushland. Short of setting up your tent in the middle the track, it is rare to find a place to camp that isn't a designated campsite. You might be tempted to do hammock camping, but in national parks you can't attach things to trees, that limits you from doing that.

Now of course, it is rare for the National Parks service to patrol remote areas at night, so you can get away with a lot of things. However, national parks are something we should work together to protect, so it is better to respect that. I would suggest, start off with your basic hiking/camping, take a stove with you, and if you really need a fire, do car camping at places where you can light a fire.

Of course, go further afield, especially up north, and there is more freedom to do things, like light fires and camp on a random river bank.
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Re: Wilderness camping?

Postby Lyrebird » Thu 16 Jul, 2020 6:50 pm

So everything in my backpack, hiking a few kms and setting up a camp and staying overnight, then hiking back

What flingebunt and crollsurf said.

If you wanted some practice doing this in a semi-remote environment, there are remote campsites on the Border Track in Lamington NP that you can book online. The BT is expected to reopen fully in August, though in the meantime it's half open and I believe the Bithongabel and Echo Point remote campsites are available. The advantages of using these as a dry-run (so to speak) is that they're only a few hours walk from the Green Mountains trail head on a graded track, so if you hit a hurdle or your gear wasn't suitable, you could beat a retreat back to civilisation without too many dramas. They also have some degree of mobile reception, though it's not guaranteed. Springbrook has options but it doesn't have as much of a remote feel to it.
Booking information is here (I must say, their website has improved enormously) : https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/lami ... ng-summary

This must be the biggest redirect of all time. Lol

I know, right? I wonder what they're saying about us on Whirlpool... :mrgreen:
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Re: Wilderness camping?

Postby jaclynn » Fri 17 Jul, 2020 9:40 am

Thank you so much for all the information. Kind of makes me sad that I can't do much in the Brisbane area as I do want to respect laws as I do understand. If everyone did it, I'm not sure everyone would treat our parks with respect (sadly).

flingebunt wrote:do car camping at places where you can light a fire.

So if I were interested in just driving somewhere to camp, and having the ability to do everything that doesn't break laws (fishing, collecting wood for campfires, hammocking, etc), how/where would I find these kinds of spots?
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Re: Wilderness camping?

Postby flingebunt » Fri 17 Jul, 2020 10:56 am

jaclynn wrote:So if I were interested in just driving somewhere to camp, and having the ability to do everything that doesn't break laws (fishing, collecting wood for campfires, hammocking, etc), how/where would I find these kinds of spots?


So if you want to do all this, you need to drive up north to North Queensland, past where the Burdekin River meets the coast. In this area you have a wet and dry season. Don't go in the wet. But during the dry season, many rivers have 2 banks, the regular river and the wet season river bank, which might in 10 metres or more higher than the regular river. Because river banks are crown land, you can camp on these river banks. Often you are in a spot surrounded by private property, but they don't own the river bank. Mind you, their cattle might still wander through your campsite. You are free to dig a hole for a toilet, collect wood for your fire, fish from the river. There are many of these places. The Burdekin River is good for this (as it comes down from the north). There are also lots of other rivers and even campsites that are similar.

There are probably places out west where you are free to camp where you feel like it and more or less do what you want.

But until you do that, why not just enjoy a local camp. Yes, you should buy some firewood (from a farmer's roadside stall on the way to the campsite to support our struggling rural communities), hike in the mountains with a little stove (they are pretty cheap when bought online) and a tent, not a hammock. Commercial campgrounds will probably let you set up a hammock, but they will sell you firewood. Yes, it will always be a compromise, but it isn't that bad.

- I know you can fish at Coochin Creek
- You can have campfires at Booloumba Creek and wood fired barbecues at Bunya Mountains.

You have to start somewhere.
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Re: Wilderness camping?

Postby jaclynn » Fri 17 Jul, 2020 11:31 am

Thank you again flingebunt!

This gives me so much more of an idea of what to do and what I can/can't do.

Just another question, is this just a QLD limitation? Are the laws much different in other states (NSW for example)?
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Re: Wilderness camping?

Postby ofuros » Fri 17 Jul, 2020 11:50 am

General camping...
http://www.findacamp.com.au/search-camp ... 00&dis=200

https://www.scenicrim.qld.gov.au/our-co ... ampgrounds

You can base camp at most National Parks using them as a stepping stone for a wilderness overnighter. Just visit the Qld or NSW NP's website to find out more.
https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/sundown/camping
https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/lamington/camping
https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/mount-barney/camping
https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/springbrook/camping
https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/main-range/camping

State forests have campsites too, fires usually allowed except during fire season.

Dams are another option...https://www.seqwater.com.au/

Best to bring your own wood if your drive-in base camping, saves deforestating the camp areas. Cut wood usually available at petrol stations or along the way at roadside farmers stalls.
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Re: Wilderness camping?

Postby flingebunt » Fri 17 Jul, 2020 11:55 am

jaclynn wrote:Just another question, is this just a QLD limitation? Are the laws much different in other states (NSW for example)?


As a blanket rule for national parks, the answer is that these rules are pretty universal. Those that are well trafficked, such as the ones near cities, this is definitely true. But the further outback you go, the less stringent the rules (or people following or enforcing the rules). The fun is about finding and exploring new places with each place having its own appeal.

Yes, it is fun to camp in a remote place, but then more popular places are often easier to get to and also have more amazing views and attractions.
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Re: Wilderness camping?

Postby ofuros » Sat 18 Jul, 2020 4:40 am

Lyrebird wrote:
Booking information is here (I must say, their website has improved enormously) : https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/lami ... ng-summary


Yes, it's not bad.
They even had the remote bush campsites(a few marked in the wrong place) on the interactive maps last week.... they've either pulled them completely or they're fixing a few errors, because they're not there anymore.
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Re: Wilderness camping?

Postby ofuros » Fri 24 Jul, 2020 8:35 pm

ofuros wrote:
Lyrebird wrote:
Booking information is here (I must say, their website has improved enormously) : https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/lami ... ng-summary


Yes, it's not bad.
They even had the remote bush campsites(a few marked in the wrong place) on the interactive maps last week.... they've either pulled them completely or they're fixing a few errors, because they're not there anymore.


Qld Parks are altering the remote camp locations on the interactive maps....They'll be back when they're finished fixing the errors.
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Re: Wilderness camping?

Postby commando » Sun 26 Jul, 2020 4:11 pm

Well if you got lost and are just surviving the night you can camp any where...
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Re: Wilderness camping?

Postby flingebunt » Sun 26 Jul, 2020 5:11 pm

commando wrote:Well if you got lost and are just surviving the night you can camp any where...


If you fall in a creek, and it is cold, you can start a fire to warm up.
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Re: Wilderness camping?

Postby Aardvark » Sun 26 Jul, 2020 8:28 pm

flingebunt wrote:
If you fall in a creek, and it is cold, you can start a fire to warm up.


That might be considered much more irresponsible. No fires in National Parks. That's been promoted for a long time now. It should be more avoidable.
It amazes me how many people still think it's necessary to have a fire when camping. OR that it's a right or simply a must. ( A camping alternative to the TV)
It would be better if people thought more about their preparation and carried suitable clothing.

I still see people feeding fires in the middle of the day in Qld when camping. What the?
Goomburra last weekend for example.
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Re: Wilderness camping?

Postby flingebunt » Sun 26 Jul, 2020 8:41 pm

Aardvark wrote:That might be considered much more irresponsible. No fires in National Parks. That's been promoted for a long time now. It should be more avoidable.
It amazes me how many people still think it's necessary to have a fire when camping. OR that it's a right or simply a must. ( A camping alternative to the TV)
It would be better if people thought more about their preparation and carried suitable clothing.


Are you at all familiar with a concept called a joke? At the very start of this discussion thread, I clearly stated the rules around fires, attaching hammocks to trees, fishing and collecting firewood. To imply that I do not know the rules or do no believe that I would follow the rules, is very insulting.

However, when attempting to save your own life or the life of others, lighting a fire in a national park with collected firework is not illegal, as it is generally accepted that the rules for national parks can be broken when your life is in danger. For example, in winter, when you may have gotten soaking wet, and need a fire to stop freezing to death, it is acceptable. In such a circumstance, if someone from the National Parks service were to catch you, their priority would be your safety and wellbeing.

Now, in case you didn't understand the joke, the idea was to deliberately throw oneself into a cold stream, for the purposes of having an excuse to light a fire....ha ha ha. See, funny. It is funny because it follows on from the person doing the old excuse of having to camp wherever you feel like it when you are lost.

PS: There are a number of campsites in South East Queensland National Parks that allow for campfires in dedicated fire rings or barbecues, when there is no fire ban. If you wish to change this policy, feel free to right to the government, including the appropriate minister, shadow minister and your local state representative.
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Re: Wilderness camping?

Postby Lyrebird » Sun 26 Jul, 2020 9:15 pm

if someone from the National Parks service were to catch you

IME that would be highly unlikely. Far from being caught by a NP ranger, in Queensland the challenge is usually in finding one :mrgreen: . If I were stranded in a park soaking and wet, freezing to death I'd be reluctant to start the process of multiple emails, phone messages and unanswered queries to get in touch with NP, and stick with calling 000 or relying on my hopefully trusty call-out person to advise the local police that I'd failed to return. Finding a ranger is a bit like finding a yowie; they're rumoured to exist, but rarely spotted in the wild by reliable witnesses.
It amazes me how many people still think it's necessary to have a fire when camping.

That's very true; the number of campfire remains in places where they shouldn't be is testament to that. It's very persistent :(. However, in fairness a number of Queensland National Parks allow for fires. I've just returned from central Queensland and Carnarvon, Expedition and Nuga Nuga NP (among others) have well-used, authourised fire pits. Unlike the SEQ parks they also have remarkably little rubbish, which was a pleasant surprise. Given the numbers of people who visit the Carnarvon Gorge Section of CNP (there were a large number of cars each day) the main track was incredibly tidy.
lighting a fire in a national park with collected firework is not illegal,

Do let me know how that works out for you (joke and all :twisted: ). Creekfire 2020 should be a fantastic event :)
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Re: Wilderness camping?

Postby Aardvark » Mon 27 Jul, 2020 6:05 am

flingebunt wrote:
Are you at all familiar with a concept called a joke? At the very start of this discussion thread, I clearly stated the rules around fires, attaching hammocks to trees, fishing and collecting firewood. To imply that I do not know the rules or do no believe that I would follow the rules, is very insulting.


Just a tad sensitive aren't we? Maybe you meant it as a joke and maybe i didn't mean to be insulting. The comment however, could have been interpreted as a vote for fires.
flingebunt wrote:However, when attempting to save your own life or the life of others, lighting a fire in a national park with collected firework is not illegal


I never said anything about illegalities. Merely that it is irresponsible. Maybe i really meant unsustainable. Whatever.

I only mean to draw attention to the fact that the general population hasn't gotten over the idea that they need a fire to have a camp.
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Re: Wilderness camping?

Postby flingebunt » Mon 27 Jul, 2020 9:40 am

Aardvark wrote:I only mean to draw attention to the fact that the general population hasn't gotten over the idea that they need a fire to have a camp.


OMG, love a fire when camping.
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Re: Wilderness camping?

Postby Neo » Mon 27 Jul, 2020 8:40 pm

Unfortunate quadruplicate post! :)

Fire is not essential but can be really nice.
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Re: Wilderness camping?

Postby commando » Tue 28 Jul, 2020 9:50 pm

Our ancestors have determined that fire not only wards off wild animals, provides heat, light, and the ability to cook
meat, having a fire is an instinct deeply embedded in the human sapien psyche and without those instincts maybe you
wouldn't be around.
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Re: Wilderness camping?

Postby Aardvark » Wed 29 Jul, 2020 5:52 am

commando wrote:Our ancestors have determined that fire not only wards off wild animals, provides heat, light, and the ability to cook
meat, having a fire is an instinct deeply embedded in the human sapien psyche and without those instincts maybe you
wouldn't be around.


Ahh yes.. the good old days. MOST people have evolved to this day and age and recognise that they share the planet with billions of other humans and that animals also need their space and are integral to our own existance.
If only the world was still so black and white. North and south. Yes and no. We now have technology available to us and although we choose as individuals to deny ourselves some of it, we have other choices.
There's a woman though that i have been eyeing off from the tribe next door. I think i'll go and club her and drag her back to MY camp.
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Re: Wilderness camping?

Postby flingebunt » Wed 29 Jul, 2020 9:41 am

Aardvark wrote:Ahh yes.. the good old days. MOST people have evolved to this day and age and recognise that they share the planet with billions of other humans and that animals also need their space and are integral to our own existance.
If only the world was still so black and white. North and south. Yes and no. We now have technology available to us and although we choose as individuals to deny ourselves some of it, we have other choices.
There's a woman though that i have been eyeing off from the tribe next door. I think i'll go and club her and drag her back to MY camp.


Exactly, the world is not black and white. Few people choose to only use fire to cook, but use it as a treat. Just as when it comes to clubbing a woman in the tribe next door and dragging her back to my camp is only something I do on special occasions, like Christmas and the day after taxes are due. [Because some people don't recognise a joke when they see one, I will explain that the last sentence was a joke, and I will then look forward to them indignantly claiming that of course new it was a joke, and there was no reason to point out that it was one]
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Re: Wilderness camping?

Postby north-north-west » Wed 29 Jul, 2020 9:44 am

commando wrote:Our ancestors have determined that fire not only wards off wild animals, provides heat, light, and the ability to cook
meat, having a fire is an instinct deeply embedded in the human sapien psyche and without those instincts maybe you
wouldn't be around.


Oh yes, in this country we most definitely need a fire at night to ward off the hordes of marauding man-eating ... *checks notes* ... wombats.
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Re: Wilderness camping?

Postby Huntsman247 » Wed 29 Jul, 2020 10:18 am

north-north-west wrote:
commando wrote:Our ancestors have determined that fire not only wards off wild animals, provides heat, light, and the ability to cook
meat, having a fire is an instinct deeply embedded in the human sapien psyche and without those instincts maybe you
wouldn't be around.


Oh yes, in this country we most definitely need a fire at night to ward off the hordes of marauding man-eating ... *checks notes* ... wombats.
I've woken up once to hear someone 'ok googling' if wombats are vicious because it was 'clawing its way into the tent'.
Never underestimate how dangerous a wombat is nnw.
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Re: Wilderness camping?

Postby CBee » Wed 29 Jul, 2020 10:38 am

South D'Aguilar NP and the system of fire trails/bush camps with fire rings is the perfect place for beginners. Choose your own itinerary. Add some off-track variations as you gain confidence in navigation and you can visit some spectacular gorges. Campsites have water tanks (handy) but water can be collected in various creeks. Terrain is generally easy and vegetation not too harsh. The area is not huge and close to main roads if in needs of an escape. Fires are another thing, we all have our own opinion. If there is a fire ban, it is very important to respect it.
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