With covid restrictions easing I was super excited to be able to get back out in the van for a few days of exploring and adventures!
Brooyar state forest, located just west of Gympie, is a popular spot amongst Queensland rock climbers so I have often visited the region, but the area around Gympie it is also home to an array of varied hikes and other interesting activities.
After a lot of searching we were lucky enough to book a site at Hangar-O Glamping & Camping Grounds. Arriving Tuesday we originally planned to spend just two nights, but there was so much to do in and around the site we didn't want to leave.
Located just over two hours north of Brisbane and set on around 100 acres, the grounds aren't your average campsite, with Luxe glamping tents and minimalist wood cabins all hand made by the owner available to hire for the night.
As you drive into the property the first thing you'll notice is the grounds namesake, a big white hangar sits proudly next to the driveway. In addition to accommodation the owners also operate a small airstrip offering flights in their powered hang glider over the local area, some locals even fly in from Gympie just to get their morning coffee.
The bush campsites are spacious and replete with massive fire pits allowing friends, family and strangers to gather sharing warmth and stories.
There are three communal social “hubs“ on the property, providing plenty of space for the kids and adults to hang out.
The first is the properties hangar. Housing the owners hang glider it is replete with plenty of comfy seating, as on a Saturday afternoon it becomes home to live music. With local artists performing and a food truck on site, it’s definitely an experience worth making time for.
Nestled next to the hangar the coffee truck sits, waiting patiently for you to wake up and come join him for your morning brew. With cute handmade seating its a great space to chill before you start the days adventure. They offer a selection of milks including Almond and Soy.
The 25m lap pool is another unique draw card where you can relax in one of the hanging egg chairs, cook brunch on the communal bbq and even enjoy a hot shower accompanied of an evening by the local green tree frogs.
After a day of climbing and hiking we all crave a massage and with its custom built pavilion overlooking the billabong this is one of my favourite features of the campsite, just make sure to book ahead so you don't miss out!
For general campers there is one hot shower located at the pool area but make sure to bring some gold coins as its $2 for 2.5 minutes!
Massages available to book online
Lots of room to ride bikes around the grounds
A creek for the kids to explore in
Coffee Truck available in the mornings
Joy flights available
Drop toilets in each camp area
Firepits and wood available to purchase
There is no store or water available on site although there is a large service station just km up the road.
Things to Do & Places to Visit in the Local Area
There’s just so much do around this area we found even four days wasn’t enough to get through everything and are planning on coming back up again soon.
I love trying traditionally brewed ciders so I was excited to visit The Silky Oak Tea Gardens. Positioned amongst a beautiful garden setting the name is a little misleading as its actually a traditional country pub and brewery!
Although the menu was disappointing with nothing cruelty free on it for my family to eat, the cider was worth stopping for and with an open fire and board games to play, I could easily have settled in for the afternoon.
Dagun Markets was by far the stand out stop on our trip. Located on the old railway station platform it is a collection of local growers who all contribute their produce to a communal stall.
Most of the veg was harvested that morning and the options so varied we ended up coming home with a selection of vegetables I’ve never used much before which has lent to some new culinary creations in the kitchen! I also bought some locally made chipotle vegan sausages which inspired me to make a paella that was sooo good it’s going down as one of our weekly recipes faves!
Tin Can Bay & Inskip Point
We had been told that seeing the wild dolphins that visit Tin Can Bay was a "must do" while we were up this way, so setting our alarms early we headed out there expecting to see dolphins cruising the river. Unfortunately the reality was extremely disappointing with families lined up like lemmings to collect their fish in a bucket before going to the water to feed it to the dolphin before being hustled on so the next person could have their turn. There was no education on the dolphins being given out and we all left feeling saddened by the experience.
To cheer ourselves up we decided to head over to Inskip for some beach time before making our way to Cooloola Berries, but the kids ended up having such a good time building underground bunkers in the sand we ran out of time. Saving that one for the next visit :)
Although mainly just where we stop to grab food on the way through Gympie Skate Park has recently had an upgrade and is INCREDIBLE!
We headed there a few times and although the climbing wall was sadly closed the bowl and flow area were open and heaps of fun. Just make sure to bring some a blanket and some snacks as once you get there no one will want to leave!
What we Cooked
Mushroom and Maca One Pot Pasta - click here for the recipe
Choco stuffed bananas - Really easy just leave the banana in its skin, slit open, stuff with your fave vegan chocolate , wrap in foil and cook on the fire till the chocolates melted!
Super easy and healthy Banana Pancakes - Recipe up soon make sure to enter your email address below so you know when its up!
Located an hour and a half from the Hangar O campgrounds Mount Walsh is the biggest hike in this area with expansive views across the valley. Its not too long and perfect for a half day out with a few sections of rock scrambling on it and a few boulder problems just off the trail as well if you feel like doing some climbing while you are out there.
You can read my fall post on Hiking Mount Walsh here.
For a shorter hike you can't go past the Rock Pool Walk in the Waterfall Creek Section of the Mount Walsh National Park. We’ve done the hike in there a few times now and the kids all love the rock jumping. It was a bit cold at this time of year so after a few quick dips we warmed up on the rocks before heading upstream for a bit of exploring. We love this place so much I’ll write a full review soon as it’s my must do hike in the area!
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“Lost is a state of mind, I prefer to think of it as exploring” - Lia Skye