Byfield National Park 4WD tracks; conquer Big Sandy and see insane scenery

It’s no secret that Queensland has some of the best coastline in the country, and when its paired with a whole heap of great 4WD tracks with magic scenery, you’re onto a winner every day of the week. Byfield National Park had been our next destination on the list when our Isuzu Dmax suffered a major failure, causing us to limp from Stanage Bay north of Rockhampton down to Brisbane for repairs.

Nonetheless, we kept it on the list, and have just spent 3 days exploring this beautiful part of the world, and thoroughly enjoying the 4WD tracks in the Byfield National Park.

Exploring Byfield National Park
We had a ball exploring the Byfield National Park 4WD tracks
Parked up at Nine Mile
Parked up at Nine Mile Beach
The beach at Five Rocks
Its’ even more stunning than this shows

Where is the Byfield National Park?

You’ll find this epic part of the world directly north of Yeppoon, and roughly a hundred kilometres North East of Rockhampton in Queensland.

9 mile beach at Byfield
Yeppoon is directly south

Where do the 4WD Tracks start?

The most common place to start is on Byfield Road, turning right onto Waterpark Road. This then turns into Stockyard Road, which goes into Five Rocks. The road is bitumen to start off with, then it turns to gravel, then rougher gravel, and then a slow 4WD track that is quite rough, with a few puddles, a bit of mud and rocky sections, and then it goes to sand up Big Sandy.

Gravel road to Byfield National Park
Driving into Byfield National Park on the gravel
4WD tracks at Byfield National Park
You need a 4WD not long after it goes to gravel

You really need a 4WD not long after it goes to gravel, and especially to get up Big Sandy, and to do the tracks around Five Rocks and nine mile beach.

Big Sandy is soft as
You’d struggle to get anything other than a 4WD up Big Sandy

How difficult are the 4WD Tracks?

We’ve done a lot of sand driving, and 4WDing in general, but despite this, I generally do a bit of research before heading somewhere new. For the most part, this all seemed pretty straight forward, with exception to Big Sandy, which I watched numerous videos of vehicles struggling to get to the top, some running down to around 12 PSI.

I’d been told the day before to drive up the right side (the descent lane), as ‘you’d never make it up the left’. Of course, I took this as a bit of a challenge, and the following day, we headed off.

Once you get off the gravel road, the track becomes quite rough, and you need to take it nice and slowly to have a comfortably ride. It didn’t take long for me to stop and drop tyre pressures, down to around 16 PSI and 18 PSI, knowing I’d probably have to go lower for the sandy section.

There’s some ripper holes, and bumps on this section and if you’re going too fast, or with high tyre pressures its going to be mega uncomfortable. I remarked again, as I often do, that the moment you air down its like riding on cushions!

At the bottom of Big Sandy is a small area where you can pull over, and there’s a sign that says to check tyre pressures. I decided to proceed slowly, and air down further if we needed to. It starts off with a pretty gentle slope, but with lots of rocking back and forth, and little wombat holes that are often offset.

The further along you go, the worse the track gets, with the ruts pretty deep, and the holes getting larger. I did stop at one section to engage the rear locker, to stop any wheel spin on the rear as each wheel dropped into the holes, and we just cruised up at about 1800 RPM, in third gear, low range. I hugged the left side the whole way (like you’re meant to), and when we got to the top, I said is that it? Is there more?

Driving up Big Sandy in the Dmax
Cruising up Big Sandy
Big Sandy is deeply rutted
Big Sandy is no small hill, but with low pressures and a bit of clearance its not that hard

It was surprisingly easy, and in some ways, Calcup Hill in Yeagarup is more challenging. 

The rest of the tracks are fairly straight forward, but they’re also chopped up, particularly the one coming out of nine mile beach.

Now, I want to make a couple of other points. We went in the middle of the week, when it was quiet, with limited vehicles, which means the track is going to be in better condition. It was also quite cold, meaning the sand is firmer, and easier to drive on.

There’s also been a fair bit of rain in the area, meaning the sand is decent. It was still soft, but I would imagine on a busy weekend, when its hot, and there’s been no rain for a while things could get harder much quicker. A locker absolutely makes a big difference too, and means you don’t need to rely on momentum (which is never a good idea on a rough track anyway).

Rutted tracks at Big Sandy
The ruts aren’t small, and if you have limited clearance its a challenge

On the way out, we came across an older Prado with saggy springs, and normal size tyres, who’d barely made it 30 metres up Big Sandy before getting bogged. I explained a bit more about tyre pressures, dropped them down to 13 and 15 PSI, and sent him on his way. If you have limited clearance you’re going to have a harder time, and we bottomed out a number of times, which is not that common for us.

Coming down Big Sandy
We have a decent amount of clearance and still bottomed out a few times

What tyre pressures do you need?

This is going to be very vehicle dependent. I’m going to say if you are running above 18 PSI, you’re too high, unless its a very heavy rig, or truck, or something else very different.

I would have been quite comfortable going down to 10 or 12 PSI, and our vehicle weighs around 3 tonnes. As long as you take it easy, the extra floatation is unbelievable, and means you don’t have to spin your wheels, or bounce your way to the top.

Climbing up Big Sandy
The lower you go, the easier it is

What’s worth visiting?

We started off at 5 Rocks, and walked down to the beach. At low tide you can walk out to the rocks and I’m told there’s a cave you can check out. This is absolutely stunning, and worth a look, with the kids being able to play in the freshwater creek, and waterfalls above it.

Walking down from Five Rocks
Walking down to little five rocks beach
Insane views on the way down
The views are astounding
Enjoying the beach
Enjoying the beach with Five rocks in the background

From there, we drove to Stockyard head, which has stunning views at the car park, and you can walk down to the point. We then drove down onto Nine Mile Beach, and spent some time exploring this, before driving south along the beach and out the second exit.

Drive out to the head
You can drive out to the headland easily too
Five Rocks views
The views once again, are astounding
Nine mile is stunning too
A drive onto Nine Mile topped it off nicely
Dmax at Nine Mile
We stopped at Nine mile for a while to relax before heading out

You can drive further down to the camp sites, but we were running out of time, and the kids had already had a pretty big day.

Nine Mile beach driving
We headed down Nine Mile, and out the southern exit

Also, if I had my time again, I’d drive to the northern most point, as you can get onto the beach with your vehicle just north of Five Rocks, which would be epic.

How long do you need?

All of this is easily doable in a day trip, or you can stay a few nights out at Five Rocks, or the southern camp sites. It’s a stunning bit of coastline, and absolutely worth at least a solid day to enjoy it all.

In terms of the actual driving, you can probably get in and out in an hour each way.

Five Rocks at Byfield
You need most of the day to visit here, if you aren’t camping overnight at one of the national park spots

Camping in Byfield National Park

Now, you might think we’re done, but we are not. Make sure you book a night or two (or more) at Stony Creek, just out of the Byfield National Park. We spent a few days here, and absolutely loved it. The creek is absolute paradise, and the camp sites are really decent too.

Stony Creek at Byfield
Stony Creek is pure bliss
Epic campin at Stony Creek
There’s few places more scenic than this
Stony Creek Paddle Board
We spent many hours enjoying the creek

If you haven’t visited Byfield National Park, put it on the list. It was absolutely worth the effort to get to after missing it the first time around, and I’d comfortably rate it as one of the best places in Queensland to visit.

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *