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Take your family to Numinbah Forest Reserve and camp nearby!

The Numinbah Forest Reserve is the gateway to much of the beautiful Gold Coast Hinterlands. Has your family been there yet?

Where is Numinbah Forest Reserve?

The Reserve is 25km south-west of Nerang – about a 40 minute drive from central Gold Coast. This gorgeous area is nestled into the foothills of the mountain ranges. It is home to a large variety of wildlife as well as some eerily beautiful fauna – the ghostly flooded gums and orange-flowering silky oaks are particularly beautiful.

What can we do at Numinbah Forest Reserve?

First and foremost – you are NOT permitted to camp in the reserve. We have explored some camping options further down in this article.

If you have obtained the appropriate local permits, horse-riding and cycling is permitted in the reserve. You are also allowed to take dogs on leashes (providing they are controlled and cleaned up after at all times).

There is an amazing natural swimming hole here – look up the Forest Park Swimming Hole (Natural Bridge). Your GPS should be able to lead you there. If not, head for the small township of Natural Bridge and ask for directions – it should be 7km from there.

You are allowed to 4WD if you are a member of the QLD Association of 4WD clubs. Please ensure you follow all directions and behave in an appropriately respectful way of the natural environment.

There are some great walking options here if you’re interested in getting some exercise. While there are no formal walking tracks there are plenty of forest roads you can take. Be sure to take water, plan your journey, inform people where you are going and take any other normal precautions.

In terms of facilities at the Numinbah Forest Reserve, you’ll find:

  • Picnic, fireplace and BBQ areas
  • Shelter sheds
  • Toilets

Please take all your rubbish home with you.

Where can we camp?

As we said earlier, you are not allowed to camp in Numinbah Forest Reserve. We’ve found two great camping areas that are quite close by and will also offer you a wider range of family and nature based activities.

The Settlement Camping Area

The Settlement Camping Area

This is the only camping area in the Springbrook National Park and the closest to Numinbah. There are 11 sites that allow for camping beside your car (4 are large enough for trailers, campervans or small caravans).

We advise that you supply your own water as quality here cannot be guaranteed. If you use water from the site you must boil or treat it. No fires allowed but you can use camping stoves. Be prepared for inclement weather.

Mobile service is not great and no pets allowed.

Mt Nimmel Lodge Campground

Mt Nimmel Lodge campground

This very highly recommended campground is ten minutes from the Pacific Highway (about 30 minutes from the theme parks). Lots of privacy here and room to move! Large toilet and shower facilities, 52 beds, kitchen and campfire areas are available. You can camp or stay in cabins and large group bookings are definitely an option.

As an added bonus, the prices are cheap and the staff come highly recommended.

Benefits of a camping holiday for kids

Camping can help children develop resilience, increase patience and tolerance, develop problem-solving skills and greatly help with their communication abilities. Have you considered the positives that a camping holiday could provide for your family?

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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