Australia: Bigriggen QLD

This slice of country camping just outside Rathdowney and across Dog Leg Gully is set on 60 acres where the waters of the Burnett Creek and Logan River meet. Years ago, Bigriggen was my camp of choice for our family. Here our kids rode their bikes, swam the rapids in tyre tubes, made mud pies, ate hearty camp oven tucker and toasted marshmallows on the open fire. It was easy camping then and it still is, since not much has changed in this part of the Scenic Rim.

We arrived mid week and pretty much had Bigriggen to ourselves.  Well, not quite true since we crossed paths with a raft of kangaroos, kookaburras, lorikeets and goannas.

Keeping a close eye on us

The opening act here is the friendly owner who drove us around the park in his jalopy to select a site. All sites are grassy green, some are powered, all are huge.

Trying to beat the February heat, the large swimming hole which feeds into rapids and rock pools was worth its weight in gold.

Just outside Bigriggen is The Shed Cafe at Rathlogan Olive Farm – open on weekends for meals and good coffee. A well stocked shop sells interesting knick knacks.

Away from Bigriggen is Lions Road which connects Rathdowney to Kyogle. This 96 kms scenic drive which cuts through lush pastures and running creeks was opened in 1973. Thousands of hours of Lion labour were devoted to building the road so drivers had a shorter route between northern rivers and Brisbane.

End of Lions Road – authentic Kyogle; a little bit Nimbin, a whole lot of country. In May, the town is hosting a Writers’ Festival.
We returned to Bigriggen via Woodenbong and were treated to views like this one

Lower Portals in nearby Mt Barney National Park is a must see. The Grade 4 track takes hikers up and over ridges and running creeks. The joy on reaching ice cold rock pools on a scorching summer’s day cannot be underestimated.

Recent flooding has gouged out much of the track.
Creek crossing
Finally here – nature’s swimming pool
For something more difficult, try climbing Mt Barney. Experienced climbers only. Plenty of rescue tales are told in these parts; most involve helicopter winchings.
Finding comfort at the Rathy Hotel after a day’s hiking. A courtesy bus operates from Bigriggen on the weekend.

A quick 30 minute drive from Bigriggen is delightful Boonah. Stop along the way at Maroon and Moogerah Dams.

It’s easy to make the call for camping in this nice part of the world. We came for 4 nights, but stayed for 6.

Will leave you with these photos. A fire, a hearty stew bubbling away and a cold beer make for one happy hubby.

Hot tip 1: Stay away from Bigriggen on long weekends as the crowds pour in. Hot tip 2: Bring bikes. There’s plenty of tracks. Hot tip 3: Don’t bother with too much technology. Internet doesn’t work.

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