Sandy Creek Campin’ | Family Friendly Camping THE REVIEW
Camping in Kilcoy
Just over an hour’s drive from Brisbane, between Kilcoy and Woodford, is this gem of a camp ground. The second week of the September school holidays saw us taking our annual family camping holiday in this beautiful spot.
We arrived on a Wednesday, so had our pick of the camp sites, and decided to set up right beside the picturesque creek in a quieter part of the campground, under the shade of a couple of enormous trees.
The campground is divided essentially into 2 sections – a lower level with direct creek access and the upper level near the amenities block, which is not beside the creek but is more convenient for larger groups.
After setting up, the kids had a great exploration of the creek, rock hopping and spotting ‘wildlife’ in the water. They also discovered some makeshift swings hanging from the trees in the adjacent campsite and made good use of these as well!
A dinner ‘round the campfire was followed by (of course!) toasted marshmallows! What could be better?!
The next morning was glorious and we decided to head for the swimming hole a little further down the creek, rather quirkily signed “swimenole” from the entrance road. The water was FREEZING, but that didn’t deter the kids who had a great time splashing each other (and us!) and sitting on the little ‘waterfall’ cascading over the rocks from the creek.
That afternoon we decided to drive into Kilcoy (about 25 minutes away) for the kids to have a play in “Yowie Park” and frighten the ducks on the lake there. It’s a lovely little town and, if you did happen to forget anything for your trip, you could get pretty much anything at Kilcoy. They have an IGA as well as the standard bakery, butcher, fruit shop, chemist etc.
Daughter number one spent the afternoon fossicking in the creek and found a freshwater shrimp and some dragonfly nymphs (according to Daddy), which she caught in her net and kept in a couple of jars to show off to everyone before releasing. She was very proud of herself!
Facilities at Sandy Creek Campin’ grounds
- Large, shady sites with designated fire pits
- Non-allocated sites—means you can pick the one that you like best
- Camping right next to the creek (so peaceful and calming, especially at night)
- Real flushing toilets, as well as hot and cold showers
- Easy 2-wheel drive access to the campgrounds
- 4-wheel driving tracks
- Numerous walking tracks
- Pets welcome (but must be leashed at all times)
- Low key/unobtrusive management
- Firm guidelines about noise
- Camping does cost money (prices current as of 2013 – $65 two adults and all the kids for two days, two night with $30 extra for every day after)
Activities to enjoy at Sandy Creek Campin’
- Rock hopping
- Fossicking for creatures in the creek and catching them
- ‘Spotlighting’ nocturnal creatures in the creek and in the trees
- Bike riding (there’s a great amount of open space and the owners are very sensible about what ‘full capacity’ is—it never felt crowded the whole time we were there, even though it was a long weekend)
- Swinging on log swings
- Swimming in the waterhole
- Ball/Frisbee games
- Drive to Kilcoy or Woodford if you need a change of scene
- Toasting marshmallows on the fire
- Amateur astronomy
How to make the most of your stay at Sandy Creek
- Bring your own water or be prepared to boil creek water for drinking.
- There are no rubbish bins, so have plenty of garbage bags (which you need to take with you when you leave).
- There are no powered sites.
- Generators are only permitted between 12-2pm daily.
- Time your showers carefully—the water is heated by a furnace, which is lit at about 5.30am and 3pm daily. It takes a couple of hours to heat, so showers aren’t available before 8am and the water goes cold again around 8pm, so be aware of this, with regards to the kids. The amenities are spotless though and we never had issues with having to wait.
- Bring your own firewood or you can buy it for $10 a bag or $35 for a quarter of a trailer. Brian, the owner, comes round once a day with his trailer of wood, so it’s easy to top up if you need to.
- Sites are not allocated, so arrive mid-week if you want choice as weekends are busy.
- Check yourselves and the kids for ticks each day. We didn’t get any, but other families near us did.
- The only way to book is to call the campsite in the evenings and payment is via direct bank deposit—refreshingly old school.
- There is no mobile phone reception.
There is so much for kids to do here and limitless scope for the imagination, without ever needing to leave the campsite. The overwhelming consensus in our family is—“We love Sandy Creek!”.
Sandy Creek Campin’ is located in Kilcoy.
To find Sandy Creek Campin’, drive north on the motorway over the Gateway Bridge from Brisbane, past the turnoff to Bribie Island, and take the Kilcoy exit on the D’aguilar Highway, towards Woodford. Turn right 12 kms past Woodford, at Mary Smokes Creek Rd, drive 16 kms to Cedarvale Rd, then left for 2.5 kms until you reach the campsite. A GPS is not recommended. Instead, take a look at the map that can be found here.
- Here is the Sandy Creek website http://www.sandycreekcampin.com.au/
Thanks to Karen McNamara for this camp site review!
Take a look at the Brisbane Kids list of Your Favourite Camping Spots for lots more recommended family camp locations to explore, like Bestbrook Mountain Resort & Farm Stay in Maryvale. We will have many more campsite reviews coming in the very near future.