The Swinging Bridge Park is a park between the Cooyar Creek and Back Creek. A suspension bridge crosses over the Cooyar Creek from the park to the north side of town.
The bridge was replaced in 1988 when the original bridge was destroyed in a major flood in the same year.
At the far end of the park is a grave of 5yr old Ethel Tebbs, who drowned in 1904 when attending with her mother to get water from Back Creek. An excerpt of the drowning is displayed at the grave.
The park appears to operate primarily as a free camp location. It sits on a road behind the pub, not too close to the main road so noise should be low during the night.
An interesting feature of the free camp is the option for power. There are a few spots where you can plug in for the night, after paying a fee to the pub. The pub also sells firewood to keep a warm fire at your camp.
Using free camps to attract travellers to stop in a town are being recognised by communities as a way to attract spending in their town. Toowoomba Regional Council is trying to quantify the value of travellers spending with a box to drop in receipts of purchases made locally.
I’m not sure how accurate a picture the box can create, I generally prefer not to have receipts bulking up my wallet unless I need them for some reason. It is worthwhile however to take the time to put in a receipt or two if it helps to provide free, clean and maintained campsites.
The park is flat offering plenty of space for setting up a camp. In addition to the park space itself, there were a few camps set up behind the pub itself.
There are a few picnic tables, and a free electric BBQ available for use. There is water from a water tank but would need treating before use.
There are no toilets at the park, but there are public toilets in a memorial park across the road from the pub that is in walking distance with toilets and a playground. There are swings at the Swinging Bridge Park.
To get there:
From the New England Hwy, turn into McDougall St at the Cooyar township, and immediately left into Fergus St. If coming from the north you can turn sharp left directly into Fergus St. Follow Fergus St for about 180m behind the pub to reach the Swinging Bridge Park on the left.
Cost: Free, Power $5.00
Toilets: No, toilets at park on other side of pub, or at the pub
Water: Yes, not potable
Food: Yes, at the pub
Wheelchair accessible: Yes, ground is flat though no toilets. Toilets in memorial park are wheelchair accessible.