I normally seek out remote hard to get to camps that instil a sense of adventure, but there are times when a quick dose of fresh air and green space is best served by a camp site that is near to home and doesn’t need a big clean up of the rig afterward.
Glen Rock National Park is just north of the Goomburra area where I’d camped previously, but is in the rain shadow on leeward side of the mountains which makes it drier with more open forest. Formerly grazing land, the park is also a state forest for mixed use access and is particularly well set up for mountain biking and horse trail riders.
The drive into Glen Rock takes you through the rich farming lands of the lower Darling Downs, with small crops and orchards surrounding the road for most of the drive once you turn off the Warrego Highway. Eventually the bitumen road narrows to a single lane that fords Blackfellow Creek several times, then becoming gravel for the final few kilometres into the Casuarina Camping Area.
Casuarina is a pretty little camping area in three parts; an open walk-in tent pitching area, a driving loop with camper sites and a large group area with a large rooved shelter shed. All areas were green and mowed when I was there, though I suspect they would get dry toward end of winter. And the reason I chose this one, camp fires are allowed, with fire pits provided at most sites. Some sites even have a picnic shelter if you want to leave your chairs and table at home.
I was lucky to be at Glen Rock mid week and found the main camping area empty, other than one tent site at opposite side of the grounds. It is an open camping area with no designated sites, so I parked and opened up the X3 in a quiet corner of the park and soon had a fire going, then settled in for the afternoon.
As well as fresh air and solitude I came out here looking for a place to experiment with with the camera, throw the drone up for a fly and shoot some video about safe use of the X3’s recovery points. Its a long story, but the video was short lived on YouTube because Patriot Campers asked me to take it down until they resolved some issues with testing and certification of their trailer recovery attachment points.
The rugged hills around Glen Rock were taking on a golden hue as the sun sank lower, illuminating the rocky knob on the adjacent hill after which the park is named.
I always like to camp and tour at places with a historical link or story, and Glen Rock has its very own pioneer slab hut, which was once a mustering outbuilding for the cattle property that occupied the valley.
A chill settled quickly across the park once the sun dropped below the ridgeline, which signalled that it was time to grill up some dinner. I took the easy option of firing up the Weber rather than cooking over the fire, preferring to use the hot coals to keep warm while the steak sizzled over a gas flame.
Clear skies after dinner were perfect to experiment with some long exposure photography and the camper’s electronic equipment lights added to the effects I could create.
After playing around with the camera for a while it was time for bed, and the comfort of the X3 was a step up from the swag I usually use when out on my own. It often feels unnaturally quiet on the first night in the bush, and this one was like that other than the occasional distant howling of a dingo far up the valley. Soon enough though, I was asleep with the morning to come around far too quickly.
Casuarina Camping Area at Glen Rock National Park is a great little camp site and quite pretty when there has been enough rain to green the grass. The camping sites were really well maintained when I visited, including well kept native shrubs to divide the sites. Facilities are basic National Park composting long drop toilets and there is non-potable water reticulated to some sites near to the amenities block. The camp site is highly recommended, particularly if you want somewhere accessible by a conventional vehicle and want to take a mountain bike or your hiking boots out on a trail.