THE SCENIC Rim area of south-east Queensland is known for its amazing views over valleys and mountain ranges, and Levuka 4WD Park is ideally situated on the south-western edge, offering some spectacular scenery.
Not only that, the park has an abundance of 4x4 tracks, ranging from easy to extreme, which pass through rocky gullies, sticky mud holes, hill climbs and ruts.
The park is accessible to 2WD and 4WD vehicles, which makes it easy for families looking for a nice scenic spot to go camping for a few nights. You can also bring the bikes for the kids, as they will have a ball just riding around the campsites. The four-legged children can also come with you as the park is dog-friendly, but as this is a working cattle farm it’s advised to have tick protection for your dogs before and after you visit.
A central location within the park is The Playground, where everyone can have a go at trying its different tracks and, like everywhere else, once a bit of rain falls it’s much more fun. There is a fair bit of space to park and watch, or you could be the one rolling in the mud having all the onlookers cheering you on.
Upon arrival at the park you are given a welcome pack, which contains a map of all the tracks. You have the choice of enjoying mud holes, rainforest tracks, rocky tracks or hill climbs. Each track is rated, and it’s stipulated that all the ratings on the tracks will change dramatically once there’s been a bit of rain.
Most of the tracks are one-way, which is handy as you don’t have to worry about oncoming traffic – there is usually no room to pull over in any case. If you like exploring, there is a small waterfall within the rainforest where you can pull over to the side of the track. It’s not that far and you can clearly see a trodden path you can follow to get a nice scenic photo with the waterfall.
Serious off-roaders can attempt the Rock ’n’ Roll Gully, which can do some serious damage to your vehicle. It’s best if someone jumps out to guide you through, as you don’t want to be changing a CV along this little track. It’s an exciting track, with a very tight left-hand turn that requires an (almost) eight-point turn to get the vehicles between the two trees either side of the track. Following that, you’ve then got a monster hill to climb!
If you’re after another challenge, Havoc’s Crossing is a doozy, especially after rain. It doesn’t look like much at first, but the steep decline to a tight left-hand turn that then leads to an equally steep ascent is difficult. Having no space for a run-up at the bottom throws a spanner in the works, but if you have a winch and a locker you’ll get up no problem.
Once the day of driving is done, head back to Levuka’s well-maintained campsite and indulge in a hot shower. Choose your time wisely, though, as you may end up lining up with everyone else. It’s these small luxuries that make a camping trip just that little bit more enjoyable.
Levuka is one of the smaller 4WD parks we’ve been to and we completed the map quicker than we anticipated, but it still has a lot to offer for beginners and experienced drivers alike.
During the school holidays – especially Easter – helicopter flights are available, and on the last night of the Easter long weekend there’s a spectacular fireworks display. We set up camp right at the entrance of the park and had front-row seats of the fireworks – it was the best way to top off a great weekend.
Levuka is situated on the south-western edge of the Scenic Rim in northern New South Wales
Levuka has a low-density camping policy, so even on the busiest of weekends and school holidays campers can enjoy space without camping on top of one another.
There are maintained toilets and showers spread evenly throughout the campsites.
The park is accessible to 2WD and 4WD vehicles.
All tracks are graded on the supplied map. If there has been rain, the grading on the tracks change and the area behind the main house is off limits. Permission is required to drive the tracks around Rosemary’s Track, even in the dry.
CONTACTS AND INFORMATION
Phone: (02) 6634 1338
READY, SET, GO
CAMPING trips can seem very stressful for families and those who only go camping once or twice a year. However, it doesn’t need to be. Take the time to plan your trip in advance so that everything is practically ready to go and all that’s left to do is pack the truck on the day.
Plan two to three weeks out by writing a menu for every day you are away, and then break down that menu into a shopping list. That list should be sectioned off into categories (deli/fresh produce/non-perishables/perishables) to make it easier when at the shops.
Prepping the food before the trip makes it easier once you’re at camp. Pre-chop all meat and vegetables and vacuum seal them to keep them fresher for longer. A great idea is to freeze them flat so that they can go straight in the fridge/freezer standing up on their ends like books. Labels make it easy to determine what each packet has in it.
A fully stocked pantry box – a pre-packaged meal kit – is a fantastic way to take the stress out of packing for a trip. By having the box already stocked, you just need to top it up with fresh items like garlic, onions and potatoes. Having one box makes it so easy to pack in the back of the truck.
Also keep all non-perishables and kitchen items like dishwashing liquid, scrubbing brushes, garbage bags, snap-lock bags, utensils and cooking appliances in one big box. Think about the items you currently use the most in your kitchen at home, and pack these items.
The remaining bulky necessities that need to be packed are bedding and clothing. The easiest and simplest way to pack and transport these items is by using a large duffel bag. These bags are showerproof, dustproof and are made from a hardy material, so they can be thrown around and won’t get damaged. Whack the duffel bag on the roof rack and ratchet-strap it down. It will be the last thing to go on and one of the first things to come off once you arrive at camp.