Benarkin State Forest is on the D’Aguilar Hwy west of Kilcoy before getting to Blackbutt. The Benarkin township is on the northern edge of the entrance to Benarkin State Forest.
At the entry road from D’Aguilar Hwy, there is a day use area. The area is basic with not much there, though there is a covered picnic table and an old Tallowood log estimated to be 400 years old with a diameter of 1.77m, and 6m long.
At the bottom end of the forest are two camping grounds, Clancy’s camping area, and Emu Creek camping and day use area.
Clancy’s camping area is the first campground reached on the main road into the forest. It is the smaller of the two camping grounds, but still fairly large with plenty of open space. Flushing toilets, fireplaces, and non-potable water are available for use.
Clancy’s is beside the Bicentennial National Trail, the longest trail in the world, stretching 5,330km from Cooktown in Tropical North Queensland to Healesville in Victoria. There is an area next to the camping area to keep horses passing through on the trail, but are not allowed in the camping area itself.
Also allowed at Clancy’s are dogs while camping as long as they are kept on a leash. Dogs are allowed at the Emu Creek area in the day use area only, but not in the camping area.
Emu Creek camping area, about 2km further along from Clancy’s, is larger with lots of flat areas for camping spots. Even where the ground is more slopped there are some flattened parts to set up a camp.
Fires are permitted here too, and the fireplaces have flip-over BBQ plates. The toilets are flushing like at Clancy’s, but there is also a cold water shower. A hook in the shower cubicle allows for a shower bag with warm water to be used if you have one.
The Emu Creek day use area has some picnic tables for use, but none at the camping area. It also has wood BBQs for use.
Both camping areas have a turnstile to access Emu Creek, to walk along the banks and cool off in the water. When visited the creek was very dry with no water flow at all. Most of the creek was completely dry with water remaining only in a few deeper parts, not particularly inviting for a dip.
Benarkin State Forest is a forestry plantation. Logging vehicles may be operating, and some of the tracks are obviously well maintained especially for them. Keep an eye open for vehicles on the tracks, especially during weekdays when they are more likely to be operating.
To get there:
From Blackbutt heading east on D’Aguilar Hwy, turn right into Benarkin State Forest about 2.6km after leaving Blackbutt. It is about 700m passed the turn off to the Benarkin township, and there is a brown sign 100m before it. The day use area at the entrance is a few metres on the left.
From Moore heading west on D’Aguilar Hwy, turn left into Benarkin State Forest about 16.6km after leaving Moore. It is about 750m passed the turn off to the Benarkin township, and there is a brown sign 100m before it. The day use area at the entrance is a few metres on the left.
From the day use area at the entrance, follow the road for 14km with the forest signs towards Clancy’s camping area, and a further 2km to Emu Creek camping area and day use area.
Cost: Free for day use, Camping Queensland Park and Forest Fees
Tables: Yes, at Emu Creek day use area and entrance day use area
Seating: Yes, at Emu Creek day use area and entrance day use area
Water: Yes, not potable
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
Pets: Yes, on leash at Clancy’s camping area and Emu Creek day use area
BBQ: Yes, at Emu Creek camping and day use area