Sharon Gorge Nature Park is a rest stop and nature park between Bundaberg and Gin Gin, with a walk from the rest area to the Burnett River along a creek.
Gorge seems more of a confidence-building name for the creek gully because it doesn’t look like you would expect a gorge to be.
The walking track leads from the rest area along the creek, starting from the back right corner. The track is fairly well maintained and easy to follow, with a few log steps and boardwalk at the low areas and across other water courses joining the creek.
There wasn’t any water flowing while we were there, actually the creek didn’t have any noticeable water at all.
The trail ends at a platform above the 200m wide Burnett River to the banks of the farmland on the other side. We saw some cattle come to the edge of the water for a drink, which surprised me because I thought it would be salt water.
The trail was opened in 1988 as a Bicentennial commemoration, indicated with a plaque. An information board provides details about the subtropical rainforest in the gorge and how the gorge was formed.
The rest stop area has a view picnic tables around and some free BBQs for use. The picnic tables are covered, and the trees provide plenty of shade as well. The toilet block is clean with flushing toilets.
Free camping used to be allowed, but now it is restricted only to overnight stay in fully self-contained vehicles. I’m not sure when this change happened but it seems to be in the second half of 2018.
The wording changed from free overnight camping according to an internet archive of the Bundaberg Regional Council page from April 2018, so it is sometime after then.
A sign indicates no camping, no bikes, and no cars (presumably to stay overnight in), and motorhomes are permitted. Interestingly, the information board still states free overnight camping is available.
To get there:
From Bundaberg Visitor Information Centre , head east on Avenue St and turn right into Alexandra St. Follow to the next intersection and turn left into Whittred St and follow up to the traffic lights. Turn right onto Princess St and follow for 800m to the traffic lights and turn right into Scotland St towards Bundaberg CBD. Follow the road becoming Bourbong St for 1.1km crossing over the Kennedy Bridge and turn right. Follow the road for 1.1km to the roundabout, turning right to cross over the old bridge. Follow the signs towards Gin Gin to a large roundabout at Fairymead Rd and Bundaberg-Gin Gin Rd.. Continue straight ahead at Fairymead Rd following Bundaberg-Gin Gin Rd for 11.9km and turn left into the entrance of Sharon Gorge Nature Park.
From Bundaberg, go across the bridge to the north side and follow the signs towards Gin Gin. If you take the old bridge, head straight ahead at the roundabout at Fairymead Rd and Bundaberg-Gin Gin Rd, or from the new bridge, turn left at the roundabout onto Bundaberg-Gin Gin Rd. From the roundabout, continue for 11.9km and turn left into the entrance of Sharon Gorge Nature Park.
From Gin Gin, head east on Bundaberg-Gin Gin Rd towards Bundaberg, passing the Historical Village. Follow Bundaberg-Gin Gin Rd for 34.6km and turn right into the entrance to Sharon Gorge Nature Park.