With camp sites fit for a king (and your dog) nestled on the bank of the Mary River and across 100 lush green acres, the Bluff Creek Campground Kenilworth have absolutely nailed their core values; space, privacy and tranquility.
- Kayak along the Mary River
- Pet friendly camping
- Have a mountain all to yourself
This spacious property is the perfect unplanned, spontaneous Sunshine Coast Hinterland escape. Although bookings are recommended, we only decided the night before to head out and spend a night by the campfire and discover the beauty of the Mary River. We were lucky enough to score a secluded site perched high on the bank of the river, which was ideal for launching the kayak.
From the adrenaline rush through the mini rapid-like sections in the afternoon to the peaceful paddle on sunrise, we experienced the best of both worlds kayaking the property’s section of the Mary River.
Although the afternoon was full of fun, laughter and almost tears when we had to try paddle back up stream through the rushing rapid water (we ended up walking and pulling the kayak haha), the sunrise paddle is what stole our hearts. The morning light penetrating the misty haze along the tree line and the mist rising in smokey swirls off the water was beyond magical.
After a relaxing time on the Mary River it was time to amp things up and hike up on to the plateau that loomed in the backdrop of Bluff Creek Campgrounds.
Known as Kenilworth Bluff, the plateau is several kilometres long with the highest point being 606m above sea level. This Sunshine Coast Hinterland gem is not a popular hike and although marked every now and then with pink tape and red arrows the trail is not distinct, it is extremely slippery, overgrown and in some sections washed out. Hence the hike is recommended for the experienced.
Kenilworth Bluff Track Notes
Don’t let this deter you entirely though! We made all the wrong turns so you don’t have to. Allow 3.5 – 4.5 hours for the return hike.
Driving from the campground or Kenilworth, the trailhead is on the right-hand side along Kenilworth Brooloo Road where there is a car park area and a “Kenilworth Bluff — Wilcox Family Park” sign.
From the sign, follow the fence line past farmhouses and you will soon be greeted by 285 steps. Yes, 285. We are not bluffing. At the top of the steps continue to follow the fence line until the footpad begins to veer right
A few metres down there will be a fork in the trail and although it looks like you should go right, do not. Follow the faint footpad that leads down to the creek. Cross the first creek and at the second creek, walk 50m to the left along the bank before crossing.
By now you would have recognised the red arrows and tape, which you will begin to consciously look out for. Continue following the trail up to the base of the cliff and then follow the base around to the South-East ridge.
The South-East ridge is where the ascent up on to the plateau begins. Even though marked with a rock cairn and rocks sprawled across the trail, the ascent up can be missed VERY easily. You will know if you have gone too far because the she-oak trees will start to become very thick.
Retrace the trail back to the car park.
Hiking around and up the plateau would be the perfect introductory hike for those wanting to start hiking off track and using basic navigational skills.
- Wild swimming
- Kayak (the campground does have some available to borrow)
- Camping gear (there is an amenities block with hot showers!)
- Good/reliable hiking shoes
How To Get There
Take exit 224 on the Bruce Highway and follow the signs to Kenilworth. From Kenilworth follow the Kenilworth Brooloo Road for about 4.7km, and then turn into Wilcox Road where the entrance to the campground is not far on your right-hand side. There is signage so you will not miss it!
Kenilworth Bluff — 5.5km — 606m above sea level.
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