Canungra sits firmly in the lands of the Bundjalung First Nations People – near what is today the border of Queensland and New South Wales behind the Gold Coast Hinterland.
Situated a very comfortable 77 kilometres south of Brisbane just off the Beaudesert-Beenleigh Road or a slower 32 kilometres west of Surfers Paradise up the Beaudesert-Nerang Road west of Nerang.
Heck, with those distances, you can use Canungra as your basecamp to visit Brisbane, the Gold Coast and much of the Scenic Rim Region.
History of the Canungra area
The valley of Canungra was First settled in the late-1880s for purpose of extracting Hoop Pine, a softwood tree found in this area – also known as Araucaria Cunninghamii (Yes, named after Allan Cunningham the explorer / botanist along with Cunninghams Gap). Source: Interpretative sign near the Tramway Tunnel and the Australian National Botanical Gardens (www.anbg.gov.au).
The Canungra town sawmill
The sawmill in town (in those days) was built by the Lahey brothers in 1884.
You will find the legacy of this early logging activity when you visit the Canungra Tramway Tunnel just one kilometre east of town along the Beaudesert-Nerang Road. You will find the carpark at https://w3w.co/finger.cherubs.sneeze.
Camping Options at Canungra
You can’t get much better than to base your stay at the Canungra Sports and Recreation Reserve (or Showgrounds to many).
It’s just under a minute’s drive south-west of the centre of town on the Lamington National Park Road. Entry to the Reserve is at https://w3w.co/angering.shapes.potato.
Camping ground Costs
Two people can stay the night on a powered site for $27.50, whilst an unpowered site for one is only $11. You can take dogs, but kids aged 6 to 15 are $3.50 each. (At the time of writing this blog).
Unpowered camping is in various locations at the reserve. But my choice would be on the lower level on the banks of Canungra Creek.
You can have fires in the reserve if you keep them 200mm off the ground. The sites on the creek bank have ready-made fire pits on the ground.
If you like Camp Kitchens, you just have to check out the one that they have ready for you at the reserve.
Sharp Park River Bend Country Bush Camping
The other camping spot worth checking out is Sharp Park River Bend Country Bush Camping.
The entrance to the park is on Beechmont Road just past the Australian Army’s Kokoda Barracks at https://w3w.co/stretcher.successively.sprinkle.
Prices here are $10 per adult and $5 for kids aged 5 to 15 – plus a $2 surcharge for public holidays.
There’s powered sites here and you can take your dog, use quiet generators and even have a campfire. But, there’s no showers.
If you have a canoe you could chose to explore some of the Coomera River where it flows past your campsite.
There’s more camping on the other side of the Coomera River at the James Sharp Memorial Park. But, my suggestion is that you take time to check it out first. Entry to the park and the day use facilities is at https://w3w.co/billowing.blunt.innovations.
As an added extra, Jess (one of the managers on site) has an ensuite caravan for you to rent if you’d like to stay in a bit more comfort than a tent.
There’s lots of other camping and accommodation options further afield and information on these can be found by having a chat to the friendly staff at the Visitor Information Centre in town – https://w3w.co/tangerine.droplet.hobby.
Canungra Hub Cafe & Deli
You can grab a coffee at Canungra Hub Cafe & Deli. This is my pick and Shona has offered to treat my readers a little special if you mention Out&About with Dayv. Head to https://w3w.co/recreational.electorate.sport.
If you wish to explore, simply check out the other coffee shops in town and let me know how you go.
Dinner at the Canungra Pub?
Now this is pretty simple…. There’s a pub in the centre of town and within walking distance of the Showgrounds. The Canungra Hotel will give you a good feed with pleasant views from most tables. Plus, there’s great staff who will make you feel welcome.
The pub is built on the site where the Lahey brothers operated a guest house (built in 1916). That guest house was destroyed by fire and the pub emerged. Source: ‘Explore Canungra On Foot’ available from the Visitor Information Centre.
Perhaps the best way to learn more about Canungra is to take a short one-day drive down there and have a look-see for yourself. But please take your time to explore, chat and learn.
What3Word addresses used in this blog provide a 3 word address refers to an exact 3m x 3m location. Tap the link or enter the 3 words into the free what3words app to find it. Refer also to my blog at https://campandtravel.com.au/a-navigation-tool-for-travelling-camp-and-travel/.