Bald Rock National Park & Boonoo Boonoo National Park | Family Friendly Camping THE REVIEW
Camping in Tenterfield
Something unique is now hard to find. But in Tenterfield Shire we truly do have something unique with Bald Rock. Measuring about 750 metres long and 500 metres wide, Bald Rock is the largest granite monolith in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere. It is one of our area’s greatest, most beautiful natural gifts.
Whether you are staying in Tenterfield for a romantic short break, or visiting for a family holiday, Bald Rock National Park should definitely be on your list of places to visit. And practically next door to Bald Rock National Park is Boonoo Boonoo National Park—the place that inspired Banjo Patterson to propose to his sweetheart Alice Walker and to write “The Ballad of Boonoo Boonoo”.
Bald Rock National Park and Boonoo Boonoo National Parks are approximately 300 kilometres from Brisbane. It is a beautiful drive through Cunningham’s Gap, with a stunning view of the Main Range National Park. There are plenty of places to stop on the way for a break—a great idea if traveling with kids or animals—if you just want to make the journey as enjoyable as the final destination. Warwick offers plenty of food options though, and I highly recommend Vincenzo’s or Suttons, which are each about 15 minutes north of Stanthorpe. You will realize at both of these places that you are entering a different world; where local food and drink open little doorways to heaven!
Before heading out to the national parks, it is a great idea to stop in Tenterfield, where you can stock up on all your groceries at the local Foodworks. The Visitors Information Centre can also point you in the right direction or offer other suggestions for your stay and they stock an extensive range of local wines if you are looking for something to enjoy later in the day.
Both national parks are very easy to find, being just over half an hour from the Tenterfield post office. From Tenterfield, you follow the sealed Mount Lindesay Highway, where you will come across Boonoo Boonoo first with a turn on the right. There is about 13 kilometres of unsealed road to get to the Boonoo Boonoo camping and picnic areas. Although unsealed, the rest of the road is very well maintained and is suitable for 2WD, caravans and camper trailers. To get to Bald Rock, you will need to continue a little further along the sealed highway, until you come to the turning on the left. The access road to Bald Rock is completely sealed.
At Boonoo Boonoo you can spend time alternating between relaxing at the campsite, wildlife spotting and going on bushwalks. For those of you who need to cool down, there are fantastic swimming holes at the top. Along the road you will also find other various amazing swimming spots.
At Bald Rock you simply must climb the rock. It is non-negotiable and something I highly recommend to everybody. From the picnic area there a two marked tracks, a steep one up the exposed face or an easier gradient through bush land around the back. The summit offers panoramic views which are truly extraordinary. You can choose from either a gentle or steep descent from the rock, depending on what you prefer.
Every time I have climbed the rock, I have taken the slow way up and the steep way down, which is about a three hour round trip. I must admit, it is the way I would recommend. On the slow way up there are balancing rock arches and formations that you wind your way through. Once you reach the summit it is nothing short of breath-taking. To see our amazing country from this vantage point is truly humbling.
Occasionally things in life make you stop and think—sitting on the summit of Bald Rock is one of them. The sheer size of the rock; the beauty and grandeur of the incredible Australian bush that surrounds it—your Bald Rock experience will stay with you forever.
Facilities at Bald Rock & Boonoo Boonoo National Parks
- Camping & caravan sites.
- All sites within easy walking distance of the amenities
- Picnic tables & barbeques throughout
- Water is available but must be treated before drinking
- No power
- You must take all rubbish home with you
- Pets are not allowed
How to make the most of your stay at Bald Rock & Boonoo Boonoo
- Ensure you bring money with you, as you will need to pay on arrival. Park passes can be purchased online at www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au
- It gets VERY COLD during Autumn / Winter and Summer can surprise you so bring lots of layers!!
- Bring your own water, or be prepared to boil the water supplied.
- There are no local shops, so bring what you need or plan some day trips into Tenterfield.
- You also need to bring plenty of rubbish bags, as it all must be taken out of the park with you.
- In high wind / dry weather there can be total fire bans, so it is a good idea to bring a gas BBQ just in case.
- Pets are not allowed.
Bald Rock National Park is located in Boonoo Boonoo on the Queensland / New South Wales border, just north of Tenterfield. You can find more information on Bald Rock National Park here.
Boonoo Boonoo National Park is located in Boorook, to the east of Bald Rock National Park in northern New South Wales. You can find more information on Boonoo Boonoo National Park here.
Thanks to Lara from Tenterfield Visitor’s Information Centre www.tenterfieldtourism.com.au
Take a look at the Brisbane Kids list of Your Favourite Camping Spots for lots more recommended family camp locations to explore, like Girraween National Park in Girraween. We will be adding many more campsite reviews coming to the website in the very near future.