Even after staying at hundreds of different camp sites all over Australia, I still find it hard to wipe the smile off my face when we arrive at one that is amazing, and recently The Diggings Camp in the Crediton State Forest, right near Eungella National Park did exactly that. This is a ripper camp site, and even better if you go during the week when its nice and quiet!
We love camping off the beaten track, and if you’re away from hordes of crowds, in a spectacular location with 4WD tracks nearby and a plethora of wildlife, its just icing on the cake.
The Diggings Campground has all this, and more, and we took about 30 seconds to completely fall in love with it, and that was before we spotted a number of Platypus, which we’ve been trying to find for months.
Where is the Diggings Campground?
The Diggings Campground is only about 20 minutes drive from Eungella itself, and about 8km, which means you can get into town fairly quickly as needed. There are a couple of ways in though, and this is taking the entry from the north, on Eungella Dam road, and then onto Diggings Road.
Do you need a 4WD to get here?
This is a debatable topic, and I can only give feedback on the conditions when we went. We’d read comments back in 2021 saying that you could comfortably drive in with anything, and that was certainly not the case when we visited. We even took all 3 ways in, and none of them were suitable for anything but a 4WD.
You might (quite literally) scrape an AWD in, but there were ruts, holes and crests that required clearance that you simply don’t have in anything but a 4WD. I’m not sure if this road has been badly damaged, or just hasn’t been recently repaired, but don’t take your 2WD in without up to date road conditions.
If you plan on crossing the creek, you absolutely need a 4WD, and preferably one with a snorkel, and a driver who knows what is safe to cross, when to turn around and how to do a water crossing safely, as its not the shallowest water crossing around.
Can you tow a caravan in?
As per the above, there’s currently no way you’d get a normal caravan in here. You might just get a full off road one in, but clearance wise you’d be pushing it. We towed our Reconn R2 in without any issues, but this has a lot of extra clearance, and is much smaller than a regular caravan. Interestingly, when you look on the bookings website it makes no mention of caravans, so perhaps that’s enough reason in itself.
What does it cost to camp?
This is a normal Queensland national park fee arrangement, where you pay $7.25 per person, or $29 per family per night. We paid just under $22 for our family, which isn’t cheap, but its reasonable considering the amazing camp site.
Book online, and in advance
This is another site that requires you to book in advance, and online. You’ll get absolutely zero phone reception out this way, so book it well before you arrive!
There’s three camping areas
There are three places you can camp in The Diggings Campground. The first, and probably most popular is on the northern side of the creek crossing, and is the first one most people would get to. This is quite large, and has plenty of places to pull in and camp. It doesn’t have very good solar capacity with all the shade, but it’s a beautiful place to stop.
If you cross the creek the middle campground is on a massive green grassy area out in the open, with a number of flat sections with fire pits closer to the creek. We stayed here, and managed to get our camper in near full sun for the solar, with plenty of shade to sit and relax in.
The last camp site is the furthest south, and is a small version that sort of combines camp area 1 and 2. It’s more open, but has trees around, and some of the sites back onto a small creek, and not the main one that you see further along. This is probably the most private.
They’re all nice places to camp, and you won’t really go wrong anywhere. Probably the pick of the bunch is right on the river bend, but on the southern side, which is close to the water, semi open and right where you’ll see platypus.
Platypus at The Diggings Campground
We finally saw a handful of platypus in the wild, after trying to see them at a huge number of locations. Yes, it doesn’t help that we have two noisy and boisterous young boys, but we managed to keep them quiet enough to see the platypus on a few occasions.
On each occasion they were at the riverbend, just up from the creek crossing, and they only surface every 10 – 15 minutes or so, for a few seconds before diving down again.
This is one of the best places to see them though, as it shades early, is relatively quiet and has good access from a few places. We went to the local platypus viewing area on a week day, only to be met with hordes of other people, and no doubt much less chance of seeing them.
What’s the camping really like?
The Diggings Campground is comfortably up there in the top 5 camp sites in Queensland for us so far, and that’s no small feat. It’s absolutely perfect; big, lots of options for camping, close to the water, reasonably priced, 4WD access only, has amazing wildlife and it was amazing and quiet when we visited.
These places are very few and far between, and we contemplated staying a third night to soak it up, which we rarely do.
We saw some beautiful little finches, relaxed by the water, had a number of great fires, cooked nice meals and explored some of the 4WD tracks nearby. It’s a magic spot.
We’d heard that there were lots of goannas at this camp site, and were still quite shocked to see how many. At one stage, we were sitting around the fire and could count 4 of them wandering within 20 metres of our camp site. We saw them up trees, running across the grass and it was pretty incredible to just sit back and watch them.
How busy does it get?
We made a point of arriving on Sunday afternoon, so that the weekend crowd would have cleared out, and it paid dividends. I’m told this place can get quite busy, and noisy with chainsaws, motorbikes and even music. For us, Sunday night and Monday night couldn’t have been quieter; we had a couple of others in the entire campground and couldn’t hear them at all.
4WD tracks nearby
There’s a lot of different 4WD tracks nearby, and you can pick and choose to suit your vehicle, risk profile and skill level. We did the entire Diggings Track, and came back along the something loop, and Hazelwood South road. The Diggings road on the southern end is rocky and fairly rough, but nothing overly complicated with decent tyres and a bit of clearance.
The Hazelwood south road was OK in most spots, but there was a bit of mud around and the final descent requires good tyres, a bit of skill and plenty of clearance. We actually drove up the ‘chicken track’ after to see if it would suit our camper being towed on the way out, and decided against it.
You could tow a well built camper trailer or hybrid up the Diggings, or the Hazelwood South road, but we decided with the rain around, it wasn’t worth the risk and drove out the northern end, and back around to the dam.
There’s enough to do in the area to stay at least a couple of nights. We didn’t spend much time in Eungella itself, but we went to the platypus viewing platform, did a heap of 4WD tracks, drove out to Eungella Dam (and stayed a few nights), and did the Skytrek walk, which was epic, and short. There’s a heap of other walks you can do and the area is truly stunning.
How does it compare to other camping options?
We had a look at a number of the different camping options before booking the Diggings Camp, and as usual, Sarah picked the best one by a country mile. We had a look at the Broken River Bush Camp, which is tiny and right next to a main road. Fern Gully is nice, but far smaller again (and really not even suitable for camper trailers), Crediton hall looked OK, but not as good and we spent a few nights at the Dam, which was really good too (but not as good!).
If you have a 4WD, The Diggings Campground is by far and away the best place to go.
Would we come back?
No question about it. The Diggings Campground is magic, and we absolutely loved the area. Seeing platypus in the wild for the first time was icing on the cake, but even without that its just a great place to be.