If you’re looking for a true 4wd adventure close to Brisbane Sundown’s your best bet. The remote and rugged park has some great driving and some amazing scenery. Expect the winter months to be single digits on the thermometer and the middle of summer would not be recommended. Autumn or Spring would be the best times to visit the area for a more comfortable visit. If you’re coming from Brisbane or a similar distance allow at least 2 nights given the travel times.
The park is about 30 minutes south-west of Stanthorpe and takes about 3.5hrs to get to the eastern entrance from Brisbane. Once at the entrance to the park allow yourself about 2 hours to travel through to Burrows or Reedy’s camping areas.
Once you’re off the bitchumen it’s a short drive to the park gate through some picturesque farming country. Through the gate and on the right is a spot where you can let your tires down. This will not only help avoid punctures but also soften the ride.
The main track is slow, rocky and rough, but not challenging for most 4wd’s with reasonable clearance. You’ll notice a few sidetracks along the way through the park, if you’re a bit more adventurous these are some short, fun tracks that bypass a bit of the main trek, these sidetracks do get narrow and scrubby though.
The Rats Castle track, for the keen four-wheel driver is the reason to come to Sundown. This track is defiantly for skilled drivers, high clearance and low range capable vehicles only. Following the Rat’s loop around you’ll be driving some creek beds, a few small water crossings, one major crossing of the Serven River that will require some careful planning, and a few steep climbs and descents.
A camping permit from National Parks is required for any camping in the park. Its best to arrange your permits online or over the phone before you set off.
Take out what you bring in, no rubbish bin are provided. Mobile coverage in the park is not to be relied upon. Be mindful of snakes and ticks during the warmer months.
Information and Map www.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/sundown
Permit Booking phone 13 74 68 or www.parks.nprsr.qld.gov.au/permits
Although physical distance you are not that far away from Stanthorpe, travelling times make you very remote. Make sure you’re prepared with drinking water and supplies. A highway style tyre would not be recommended due to the chance of punctures. We suggest travelling in convoy and having a winch would be useful as snatching could be to forceful for most of the tracks.
3 camping areas are available for 4 wheel drivers. Red Rock Gorge, a small area with plenty of shade. Reedys Waterhole is a mostly open area and has no facilities. The pick of the bunch is Burrows Waterhole, it is a very clean area, well protected, easy access to the river, it has pit toilets, plenty of shade and space.
Things to do
Theres a number of 4WD tracks to explore and some nice spots where you can park up for a few hours and enjoy the serenity. The water holes provide a great place to fish, swim or kayak. There are also several walking tracks in the area and plenty of wildlife to see. At the right time of year you might even spot a deer.
Sundown gets a 5/5 Adventure rating due to its remoteness and the fact you can spend a weekend and not see anyone else. Although you’re actually only about 20kms back to the road the 2hr trek in makes it feel much further away.