We wanted to escape the heat of a Queensland summer, so we planned an escape to the mountains.  Washpool National Park was recommended by a friend so we thought we’d check it out.  Here’s what we found:

Private campsites

Most of the campsites are like private areas surrounded by forest, which is really cool.  We felt like we had our own little area and we liked the privacy.  The campsites all have fireplaces and there was plenty of dry wood available when we were there.

Cooler temperatures

It was warm, but it was much cooler than most places, which was exactly what we were looking for.  We even reached for our jumpers a couple of times.  In winter, this place would be freezing.

Limited sunlight

Because of the forest setting, we didn’t get much sunlight into the campsite.  This made it hard to dry towels and the clothes that we washed after getting caught out in the rain while hiking.  Things just didn’t dry at all, it was so moist.  The ranger said that in Winter, Bellbird campground is very cold and moist and hardly gets any sun at all.

Great hikes

The 8.5km Washpool Walk was great and we loved visiting Summit Falls on that hike.  We also loved the short Coombadjha Creek walk.  The creek is so beautiful and clear and we went swimming in Coachwood Pool, which was heaps of fun.  The creek and the swimming hole is a good 10-15 minutes walk, or you can drive down the hill (1 minute) to the creek as well.

There are also a ton of great hikes around Mulligan’s Hut in the Gibraltar Range National Park, about 5 minutes up the highway.  We did a walk to Murrumbooee Cascades and also to Anvil Rock.

Washpool-National-ParkRain

It is a high rainfall area and it rained almost every day we were there.

Fireflies!

We were there in December and we were delighted to see the fireflies in the forest all around the campsite.  Initially there were a few and before long, there were thousands!  Nature’s Christmas lights!  Stunning!

Other creatures

Birds in abundance… lyrebirds and rosellas … rock wallabies … noisy cicadas … lizards … (also leeches and ticks but hey, it IS a rainforest).  We also spotted an eel in the creek – the water is so clear we could see it really clearly which was really cool.

Amenities

There is a camp kitchen with a BBQ.  The water from the taps comes from a spring that feeds into the creek, so we were happy to drink it untreated.  (NSWNP recommends treating it)  There are 2 composting toilets in the campground and they were nice and clean, didn’t smell too bad.

So … we camped here 4 nights and had a great time together as a family. We loved the cooler temps, the layout of the campsites, the fireplaces, the rainforest, the creek and of course, the fireflies were amazing!  Scott wasn’t completely sold on this spot because it felt a bit claustrophobic to him … he likes spots that are more open and have more sunlight.  Still, it was a great base and most importantly, we made some awesome memories!