WHETHER it's a family getaway or a desire to escape your urban concrete jungle, there is nothing like camping under the stars to bring you closer to nature.
The temperate Bundaberg region is filled with both bush and coastal camping grounds for that perfect nomadic retreat.
Camping is also permitted in the national parks around Bundaberg as well as on commercial camp grounds.
So it doesn't matter if you're pitching your tent on the white sands of Agnes Water, just metres from the sea, or perhaps in the remote bush setting under the shadows of Mount Walsh, Bundaberg's climate makes camping here even more enjoyable than anywhere else.
Here's our top three camping spots:
1 Deepwater National Park
How to get there: From Bundaberg, take the Rosedale-1770 Rd about 58km to Berajondo. Turn right into Tablelands Rd. Turn right after 2.8km into Hills Rd. Drive 19.2km to a T-junction then turn right into Coast Rd and follow it for 5.6km before turning left into Fernfield Rd. Travel 7.5km then turn left into Deepwater Rd. About 10km laterFollow the road or 10.5km, cross the concrete ford, swing right and then turn immediately left into Wreck Rock Rd. From here the Wreck Rock camping area turnoff is 5.5km and Middle Rock camping area (accessible only by high-clearance 4WD) a further 3km. Phew.
Why it's great: This park features diverse vegetation, creeks, beaches and a variety of wildlife. It is quite spacious with plenty of shade and provides excellent beachfront camping. The park is near the tiny town of 1770 where you can join a range of tours and boat trips to Lady Musgrave Island and Fitzroy Reef. The pristine Deepwater Creek is one of Queensland's few remaining undisturbed coastal freshwater streams.
Tips: Bring your binoculars and bird field guide to help you identify the abundant wildlife.
Watch out for: Goannas. They are frequent visitors to the camping areas. Please do not feed the goannas. It can make them sick and encourages them to scrounge around your camp site. Bad for them, bad for you.
2 Lake Monduran
How to get there: Lake Monduran is located 20km north of Gin Gin on the Bruce Hwy and 4km east down Monduran Dam Road. Lake Monduran Holiday Park is within five minute's walk from Lake Monduran.
Why it's great: It is recognised as one of the premier freshwater barramundi fisheries in Queensland. The camp area includes excellent amenities in a pristine location. Remember to bring a fishing rod.
Tips: Bring heavy pegs for your tent because it sits on volcanic rock; otherwise you won't be able to get a peg into the ground. Limited supplies are available, so it pays to stock up, or take the short run into Gin Gin where there are shops, roadhouses and fuel.
Watch out for: The best barramundi in the world.
3 Mt Walsh National Park
How to get there: Mount Walsh is about 50km south of Childers. Turn off the Maryborough-Biggenden Road 2km east of Biggenden.
Why it's great: The park is known for its exposed granite cliffs, rugged landscapes and range of vegetation and it offers excellent hiking for bushwalkers. There is no formal camping area but remote bush camping - accessible only on foot - is possible with camping permits required.
Tips: Open fires are prohibited. Fuel stoves only. No facilities so only self-sufficient campers should consider it. Campers must meet the park ranger at QPWS Maryborough to discuss their itinerary before embarking.
Bushwalkers should leave the route details and expected time of return with a reliable friend or family member.
Watch out for: The strenuous (unmarked) two-and-a-half hour hike to Mount Walsh's summit for spectacular views.
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