If you are a family that loves exploring somewhere a little bit different, a place with a little bit of history where you can make memories that will last forever and take the kids down a road less travelled, then sit down, get out your notebook and read on for the perfectly planned family escape!
The Banana Shire is an incredibly diverse region where you can find something for everyone. It is the perfect place to get ‘off the beaten track’ and indulge in the space and rich history that surrounds the Shire. The perfect place to relax, indulge, learn and explore.
The Locals Take
As it is often the case, there is no better information station than a local! For this post, we chatted to born and bred locals and asked them for the scoop on what their favourite activities to do with their families during the school holidays and on weekends are. They came up with some gems and this is their top five.
1. Get off the beaten track in Kroombit Tops National Park
If you love exploring, look no further than Kroombit Tops National Park. Your adventure will begin once you say goodbye to the town of Biloela and head east. This stunning and diverse park has a little something for everyone, fun 4WD tracks, incredible history with the site of a WWII bomber, lush rainforest, scenic lookouts and an abundance of wildlife. The park is rugged, adventurous and a perfect family escape for an adventure filled with exploration and education.
For the residents of the Sandstone Wonders, Kroombit Tops National Park is the pick of the parks for the adventurous families, providing some of the best camping spots of the Sandstone Wonders. Get the kids off the gadgets and outdoors to see what the locals are talking about.
Love 4WD’ing? Explore the best 4WD spots in the Banana Shire.
2. Explore the friendly town of Theodore
If you’ve visited the town of Theodore, chances are you wouldn’t have forgotten it! Nestled between the Dawson River and Castle Creek, the palm-lined main street (the Boulevard) gives the locals and visitors a warm welcome. Not only does the town of Theodore present itself aesthetically, but it also is renowned for its friendly hospitality with an active and engaged community. Locals and visitors alike rave about the great little cafes with delicious food as well as the legendary community-owned pub which produces a great feed too! A popular local spot to set up camp or even just for a BBQ lunch is Junction Park. There’s also river cruises for further exploration if you wish. If you love a bit of history, check out this great self-drive tour from Theodore. This friendly little town has something for everyone!
3. Relax at Lake Callide
Camping, fishing, relaxing, kayaking, boating, sleeping, eating, adventuring, swimming, waterskiing, stand-up paddle boarding.… if any of these activities appeal to you or your family then a trip to Lake Callide is an absolute must! Located just a short drive from Biloela, Lake Callide is a recreation hot spot for locals and visitors.
Try your luck fishing for Barra, Golden Perch (yellowbelly) or a Red Claw Crayfish. Set up camp at the Lake Callide Retreat and stay a few days! The lake is a popular spot as almost all activities can be done from the lake’s shoreline, making it the perfect family getaway that guarantees hours of outdoor adventure for the kids and adults.
4. Experience one of the many Events held in the Sandstone Wonders
The best way to immerse yourself in the local culture is to experience one of the many events held throughout the year in the Banana Shire. The Sandstone Wonders region is host to a wide variety of events, so you are pretty much guaranteed that, whatever your interests are, the locals will have an event for it! From fishing competitions to local town shows, to campdrafts, classic cars, horse racing, rodeos, and motorcross trail rides, the list goes on!
With so much to choose from it can be hard to keep track of it all. Use the events calendar to help plan your trip to an unforgettable event of your choice. You are guaranteed a lifetime of memories from experiencing one or more events of the Sandstone Wonders.
5. Have a camp out under the stars
Experiencing the endlessness of the unpolluted night sky is an absolute must for any child or adult. One of the thrills of heading west from the eastern seaboard is the undeniable open spaces, big blue skies and the famous star-filled night skies. The best way to experience this is to set up camp for a few nights. One of the best things about camping is you can choose your own adventure – from camping with full facilities or ‘going bush’ with the most basic camp setup. Either way, disconnecting from the norm can reset us and our kids, allowing us to connect back to the simple pleasures in life like having a campfire, toasting marshmallows and if you’re lucky, wishing on a falling star! If you are super keen, read our post about how to take night sky photos.
Check out the camping options for the region, from glamping under the stars to bush camps, there is a camp for everyone!
Beat the crowds and step outside the norm for your next holiday – come and visit some of the local’s favourites in the Banana Shire. There are more than a dozen self-drive tour itineraries on the Sandstone Wonders website that helps you to plan your next adventure in the region.
For more details download the Sandstone Wonders regional brochure or pop into one of the local Sandstone Wonders Visitor Information Centres to get up-to-date visitor tips, brochures and maps.
Or check out some of the suggested self-drive tours.
Extra resources to find camping spots: Caravanning Queensland , Find a Campsite or the Camp Australia App
Book your camping spot
If you are planning to camp in a designated camp ground or National Park ensure you book and obtain the necessary permit.
Book online at www.qld.gov.au/camping or phone 13QGOV (13 74 68). Charges may apply.
For more on camping in the Sandstone Wonders read here.
And please help to care for our precious places and leave them clean as you go. Remember: take only photographs, leave only footprints.