Girraween National Park 2014

Girraween National Park 2014

Here is our first Guest Post by a great family, and good friends of ours, all about Girraween National Park. When I read it I wanted to hop straight in the the car and head on out. Know you are going to like this one. Big, big thank you to Kees, Jay, Luca and Charli for sharing their Wild Family Adventure.


We packed up our little trailer and headed off with the kids to Girraween National Park on Thursday Morning. I had to finish an assignment the night before so that I could enjoy the weekend, so we got away a little later than expected. We think it is really important that the ‘life stuff’ doesn’t get ion the way of the fun stuff.

Girraween is just south of Stanthorpe, about a four hour drive from the Gold Coast. The plan was to camp with our good friends and some other families that they knew. We were eight or nine families in total, all with young kids. Our two girls, Luca (5) and Charli (3) were very excited to go camping and really love it. I packed the climbing gear hoping that I could get away and squeeze some climbs in if I could find another adult there with a harness.

Over the 5 days at Girraween we did some amazing things. There is soooo much to do in the little national park. The area is famous for the granite formations and the wildlife. There is also lots of wineries in the surrounds that are great to visit for an afternoon away from the campsite. We focussed on walks (short enough to carry them back to camp if a melt down happened!) and activities that were kid friendly.

The first day was taken up with travel and setting up camp, which is always a mission. Lots of practise camping now, so it was pretty streamlined. Luckily the kids made friends straight away and we were able to get on with it. On the first night we were very lucky to make friends with many other families and everyone got along like a house on fire. Lots of banter around the camp fire each night until late, and enjoying activities together during the day.

It was decided that the first adventure would be climbing Castle Rock. I had met Alex the night before who is a keen climber and we had hoped to get a few climbs in. I left early to find a good route or two that everybody could get on, but it was all very hard, or lacked an easy top rope position. By the time everybody arrived, there were kids everywhere, and it was the total focus just to get everyone to the top safely. Alex had found a really excellent place to set up an abseil and had started sending the kids down within minutes. Once we had a system going and the kids were all sitting safely, everyone was having a lot of fun. The view was great and we all had morning tea on the summit.

I had been keen to get Luca started with abseiling and this was my opportunity. We got harnessed up and jumped in for our turn. Having had a fair bit of abseiling experience and completing climbing/abseiling courses for work, it was very straight forward and safe to take my daughter down the cliff. I had Luca and myself hooked to a sling off a figure of eight further up. I was able to control the descent without worrying about little fingers getting caught and had a prusik for back up. Luca had a ball going down and we were lucky that a friend took a great picture for us to remember the day.

# Please, please, please don’t go out and buy climbing gear for your Wild Family Adventure without the proper experience and knowledge. Climbing and abseiling are very dangerous sports and should be treated as such. By all means get started but do it right. #

Over the next few days we had adventures up The Pyramid, swam in the freezing Dr Roberts Waterhole, walked to the underground creek and visited the chocolate shop. The kids played and played and were all best friends by the time we left. It was so good to see the kids have almost complete freedom like what we had as kids. They were able to play on the road, ride bikes, explore the rocks near the camp and go to the toilets by themselves (shock horror!). We even laughed when we heard ourselves saying ‘Go play on the road!’.

Thoroughly recommend camping with your kids anywhere, but especially Girraween in September. It is such a beautiful place and there is so much to do. You will need to be self sufficient with camping gear and water as there is no kitchen or electricity available. We have a basic tent set up with esky and gas cooker. It was fun looking at all the various camp set ups and camp trailers are getting so popular now.

So have yourself a Wild Family Adventure.


Kees, Jay, Luca and Charli Nyssen are a Gold Coast Wild Family that love to explore all that the coast and beyond has to offer. Thank you so much for sharing your adventure.

1 Comment

  1. Kees Nyssen
    Oct 13, 2014

    Was a pleasure getting out there and having a story to tell. Happy to answer questions if your thinking of going out there.

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