Andrew Drynan Park at Running Creek is a beautiful weekend escape from Brisbane or the Gold Coast. The campground offers freshwater swimming, campfire pits, BBQs, flushing toilets and lush greenery with a mountainous backdrop.
The picturesque Andrew Drynan campground is situated at the base of Mt Chinghee National Park about 47 km south of Beaudesert and 19 km from Rathdowney.
Travelling to Andrew Drynan Park from Brisbane will take 1 hour and 30 minutes (115 km) from the CBD. Or, if you’re heading from the Gold Coast, expect a 1-hour 45-minute drive from Surfers Paradise (104 km).
On-site are large, open grassy areas with a beautiful backdrop of rolling mountains. Take a dip in the adjacent Running Creek in the summertime or enjoy nightly campfires and misty mornings in the winter.
Andrew Drynan Park is a well-known campground located along Lions Road, which is a scenic drive running between Mount Lindsay Highway in Queensland and Summerland Way in New South Wales. Lions Road crisscrosses over Running Creek and Gradys Creek while following the Brisbane Railway Line through the forest.
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see our disclosures here.
Andrew Drynan Park Camping
I’ve personally been to Andrew Drynan many times as I used to live in the nearby Kooralbyn, before selling the house to hit the road. Running Creek at Andrew Drynan Park is a popular spot in the summer for locals to float in the cool water and gain some reprieve from the rural Queensland heat.
This particular visit of mine happened to fall on the second weekend after isolation restrictions had been lifted in Queensland (2020), so it’s fair to say that the park was busy! In fact, Barry the Park Manager reported that 400 people had stayed over the weekend. Those kinds of numbers are what they’d expect over the Easter break or even Australia Day!
But, we still had plenty of room as it’s a huge park. Be aware though, that the side behind the toilet block is rather hilly and not so easy to find level ground.
Andrew Drynan Campground
Andrew Drynan is split into two sections, across both sides of Running Creek Road.
The camping area is on the higher side of the road with large grassy areas. Some sections of the campground are quite hilly, with most of the flat area being to the right of the toilet block (when looking up from the road). Hence, the flat section tends to be the busiest.
As you kick back and relax, you can take in the surrounding views of Mount Chinghee, which towers over Running Creek, and the Border Ranges, which line the back of the campground.
💲 Cost: $5 – $10 per person, per night (see below)
🐶 Pet friendly (dogs on leads)
🚽 Flushing toilets
⚡️ Generators allowed
🔥 Camp fires
📶 Telstra reception
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes
🚙 2WD access, but slippery when wet
❌ NO: drinking water, power or showers
There are two amenity blocks at Andrew Drynan Park, each containing two flushing toilets – allowing four toilets in total for the campers and day-use visitors.
Outside each toilet block is a little tap for washing hands. If you do need to drink the water, its advised that you boil it first.
The amenities are very clean and well-kept, so please be courteous and be sure to always clean up after yourself.
Andrew Drynan Camping Fees
Barry Moran, the park manager, will be around daily to collect the fees. Should you need to contact him, please phone (07) 5544 1281.
Bookings are not required at Andrew Drynan, just rock up, set up camp and be available to pay the manager during his afternoon rounds.
|Off-peak Camping Fees|
• Child (5 – 15 years)
• Family (2 adults + up to 4 kids)
|Peak Camping Fees|
• Child (5 – 15 years)
• Family (2 adults + up to 4 kids)
Running Creek Swimming Area
Down on the lower section, just off Running Creek Road, is where you’ll find a covered picnic shelter and access to Running Creek for swimming and relaxing.
The water can be pretty cold, but beautiful to cool off in during the summer months. Go for a wander up and down the creek to find shallow rock pools and little waterfalls as well as deeper sections.
Since there are no showers at Andrew Drynan, using the creek to freshen up is definitely handy. But just remember to not use any soaps or detergents in the natural waterways.
Getting to Andrew Drynan Park
Whether you are travelling to Andrew Drynan Park from Brisbane or the Gold Coast, you will come to the rural town of Beaudesert. The directions below will get you from Beaudesert out to Andrew Drynan Park, Running Creek.
Directions to Andrew Drynan Park from Beaudesert:
- Follow Mt Lindsay Highway for 24 km
- Turn left onto Innisplain Road (becomes Running Creek Road)
- Follow Running Creek Road for another 24 km
- Andrew Drynan Park camping area will be on the left hand side of the road
|Andrew Drynan Park Address|
|185 Running Creek Road, Running Creek QLD 4287|
Exploring Lions Road
Lions Road Scenic Drive
Lions Road was built as a project by the Kyogle and Beaudesert Lions Clubs, which opened on 15 December 1970.
The road was originally unsealed all the way through, but by the second half of 1995, only 4km of gravel remained. These days, Lions Road is a fully-sealed scenic route, linking Mount Lindsay Highway near Rathdowney in Queensland, to Summerland Way in New South Wales.
No Caravans or Motorhomes beyond Andrew Drynan Park
Caravan and motorhomes are not allowed to go all the way along Lions Road as there are narrow winding roads and low bridges with height limits. If you’re towing a caravan to Andrew Drynan Park, you can come in from the Rathdowney/ Beaudesert end.
The Lions Road scenic drive will have you crisscrossing over Running Creek and Gradys Creek as you meander through the rainforest and lush country surroundings.
|Lions Road Scenic Drive|
|Distance||52 km (one way)|
|Time||1 hour (without stops)|
|Address||From the Mount Lindsay Highway and Innisplain Road intersection, QLD|
to the Summerland Way and Gradys Creek Road intersection, NSW
Lions Road Scenic Drive Map:
Use the interactive map below to see the full Lions Road Scenic Drive and help plan your own trip.
Border Loop Lookout
One of the things that Lions Road is famous for, especially within the railway community, is the Border Loop, otherwise known as Cougal Spiral.
For trains to be able to cross the Border Ranges, engineers had to find a way of gaining altitude at a reasonable gradient, which brought about the creation of the spiral loop. It was the first standard gauge railway linking two capital cities in Australia (Sydney to Brisbane) and opened in 1930, with construction starting after World War I.
For a bird’s eye view of the spiral loop, head to the Border Loop lookout and picnic area, which sits about 400 metres above the loop. Enjoy views of Border Ranges National Park and McPherson Range, which the railway line tunnels through.
Border Loop Lookout Facilities:
🥪 Picnic Tables
♨️ Wood BBQs (BYO wood)
🚗 2WD Access
As the railway line runs around the mountain right over the road from Andrew Drynan Park, campers will often see lights at night as a train passes by. The noise isn’t too loud and adds an extra unique element to the Running Creek camping experience.
Border Loop Walk
While you’re visiting the Border Loop Lookout, you can wander through the Border Loop Walk. It’s an easy 1.5 km stroll through the World Heritage-listed rainforest within the Border Ranges National Park.
|Border Loop Walk Details|
|Distance||1.5 km (return)|
|Time||15 – 45 minutes|
• No bushwalking experience required
• Hardened walking surface
• Gentle hill with occasional steps
|Fees||Border Ranges National Park fees:|
• $8 per vehicle, per day
• Self-registration fee collection at entry
• Bring correct change
• Display receipt inside your windscreen
More QLD Camps: