Quietly hidden at the southern end of the Bellthorpe Forest Reserve on the Conondale Ranges, is one of the Moreton Bay Region’s most spectacular natural swimming holes, Stony Creek. True to its name, Stony Creek is a boulder hopping paradise. With water cascading and trickling through pebbles and stone of every colour down into a large natural swimming hole, which flows towards Somerset Dam via Stanley River. The creek is surrounded by native bushlands and can be accessed from the Stony Creek Day-Use Area on Fletcher Road, west from Woodford.
Stony Creek Day Use area has a lovely grassy spot with picnic tables and wood fire BBQ’s, for you to enjoy a picnic with friends and family. Just double check fire restrictions in the park before lighting the match! Alternatively, if you don’t mind a short walk, grab your picnic blanket and head down the track south of the car park area. The track opens to a lovely shaded grassed area, right next to the main swimming hole. There are no bins by the swimming hole, so please take all rubbish with you.
Swimming is the most obvious choice of activity when visiting Stony Creek. The main swimming hole is located approximately 20 meters south of the car park area, down a flat dirt walking track. Bring along your pool noodle or that inflatable mat and have fun floating around the swimming hole. Kids will have a blast paddling on their kayaks or paddle boards. Just be mindful of other swimmers, especially during busy periods. Visitors that explore the northern end of the day use area will discover rock pools and small waterfalls to splash around in. These areas are perfect for little ones to enjoy the water and maybe even spot a native fish or turtle! If you don’t want to get wet, remember there’s no shortage of rocks to skim at Stony Creek.
Aside from swimming, visitors can enjoy a day of exploration and bushwalking along the creek bed and into the Bellthorpe National Park. Bellthorpe’s forests are beautiful and varied. There are many forest tracks for walking but you need to be very well prepared. Ensure you have a good map, water, water purification tablets, food and a basic bushwalking first aid kit. Remember, there is no mobile phone service in the area, so GPS, Google and Facebook can’t help you find your way out. It’s always a good idea to advise a friend or family member were you are going before you head out, so they can alert authorities if required.
Stony Creek day-use area is home to a wide selection of birds, insects and Australian wildlife. If you listen carefully during your visit, you might just hear the male whipbird’s high pitched ‘whip and crack’ call, followed by a sharp ‘choo-choo’ from the female. Or you might just spot one of the many species of frogs that live in the rainforest canopy.