camping · nature · outside · travel

Flanagan Reserve camping

I always like to google camping spots before we go to see what they’ll be like, and blog reviews are the best of all, so here is my contribution. (As an example, The Fealy Family had a good post on Flanagan Reserve)

Flanagan Reserve  is just over an hour and a half from Brisbane, although it took us a little longer to get there because it poured with rain the whole trip. The drive home was a lot nicer!

The highlight of the campground for our kiddos was the creek area – here’s an overview shot. We couldn’t get them away from there without a lot of whinging happening about us being the least fun parents in the ENTIRE WORLD!

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This doesn’t show the upper creek where it was narrow with more “rapids”. This is the calmer end.

It was lots of fun but they mostly wanted to play in the slippery, fast flowing parts of it, not the nice sure-footed calm parts that looked quite lovely. It rained the afternoon we arrived, and the next afternoon too, which made the creek flow a bit heavier according to our friends who had been camped there for a few days before we arrived.

We did manage to pull the children away from the creek to go to Waterfall Creek Reserve, a place our friends had visited the day before and said was worth a look at.

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I missed the best parts on camera because there was climbing involved and my small children were impersonating mountain goats without fear. But it was pretty. 

Although we were the worst parents in the world, when we found the walk to the waterfall and they discovered it was a rocky gorge with multiple creek crossings, lots of parts where you’re not really sure where the path is (don’t worry, it’s a narrow gorge, there’s no where to get lost), A CAVE, A HOLLOW TREE and then finally a deep pool with a waterfall at the end and ledges to climb up and test out your mother’s limits between “it’s good to let children take risks and changes” and “OMG GET DOWN FROM THERE”, it was the most fun ever.

The pool looked like it would be a nice place to swim on a hot summer’s day, but then we saw a rock falling from high up in the gorge (it was so high I felt dizzy looking up) and come bouncing down and then land neatly on a ledge just above the water, so I wouldn’t recommend that in case you get hit by a rock. We took a scenic drive back around Maroon Dam, and arrived back after a rain shower.

The Flanagan Reserve campgrounds are quite big, and I think would be best enjoyed if you had your own toilet and didn’t have to camp near the toilet and shower block (there’s only one). There’s lots of drums to have camp fires in. The ground is fairly hard and rocky. People with children seemed to spend most of their time down at the creek paddling in the water. People without children set up further away from the toilet block and sat in the camp chairs overlooking their camp fires and the creek and watched the water flowing.

We spent two nights there and after packing up the camper most of the way, I took the kids down to the creek for one final explore. We wandered up and down, and were watching a woman kayaking when I spotted a turtle slip off a sunny rock into the water. The kayaker told me that she’d seen a platypus at sunset the day before. We saw kangaroos at sunrise in the paddock next door, and cows wandered past in the late afternoon.

Before we’d even left, the kids were asking when we’d be coming back, so it was a hit from their perspective. We want to explore some other campgrounds though, so we weren’t able to tell them when we’d be back, only that we’d look for other campsites with creeks nearby. Any recommendations?

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