Around Byfield

Not only is the Capricorn Coast home to some of the best beaches and reefs in Queensland, it also home of the Byfield National Park, a rainforest area located 25 minutes drive north of Yeppoon.

Canoeing on Waterpark Creek From Rockhampton the trip is only 50 minutes. Tall pine trees line both sides of the road. With mountains towering above in the distance you enter the fragrant green world of the Byfield State Forest and National Park. At the end of these roads there are many wonderful places to visit, including creek picnic areas at Stoney Creek, Waterpark Creek and Redrock, pottery & art galleries such as Nob Creek Pottery and great places to stay, like Rainforest Ranch, where you can relax and soak up the cool seclusion of a rainforest village.

A wide variety of services are available at the Byfield General Store and Bush Café and Fern’s Hideaway Restaurant provides a great venue for finer dining. All this makes Rainforest Ranch a great base from which to explore the wider Byfield region.

Byfield – Rainforest meeting the Coast

Mountains, rainforests, creeks and beaches; The Byfield State Forest marks the start of the largest undeveloped area on the Central Queensland coast. The National Park and Byfield Conservation Park extends over 15,000 hectares and boasts massive parabolic sand dunes (the oldest reaching more than five kilometres inland) and rugged granite pinnacles. It is rich in diversity where mountains, rainforests, creeks and beaches form one of the largest unspoiled eco systems on the east coast of Australia. The area supports many rare and endangered plants and animals. The endemic and abundant Byfield Fern and Byfield Grevillea thrive here.

A 4WD vehicle is needed to access the popular and scenic areas of Five Rocks and Nine Mile Beach. Here you will experience majestic untouched beaches and the best stunning coastal scenery that Australia & Queensland has to offer. Great fishing can be found here and at other places within the park. Refer to this map for road conditions or go to Byfield National Park more information

List of attractions
  • Byfield State Park
  • Waterpark Creek Waterhole
  • Stoney Creek Waterhole
  • Red Rock Waterhole
  • Nob Creek Pottery
  • Five Rocks Access (Nine Mile beach)
  • Corbett’s Landing (Boat ramp)
  • Raspberry Creek Homestead (Byfield Library)
  • Byfield General Store
Recommended Activities
  • Birdwatching
  • Fishing & Boating
  • Walking tracks (Upper Stoney & Waterpark Creeks)
  • 4Wdriving

The Byfield Fern

Bowenia serrulata


  • Zamiaceae
  • Botanical Name
  • Bowenia serrulata (W.Bull) Chamb.

Chamberlain, C.J. (1912) The Botanical Gazette 54: 419. Type: ?.

Common name

Butchers Fern; Byfield Fern


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrubby plant about 1 m tall but it should be noted that only the leaves are above ground level. The true stem is below the soil surface.


Compound leaf petiole to about 1 m or taller. Compound leaf spreading to 100 x 70 cm or larger. Leaflet margins serrate at least in the upper half. Leaflet blades about 7-19 x 1.2-4.5 cm, asymmetrical particularly towards the base. Upper surface of the compound leaf rhachis (both primary and secondary) with a ridge down the middle and a groove or channel on each side. Venation longitudinal and parallel without a midrib. Leaflets about 30-200 or more per compound leaf.


Male and female cones pedunculate and raised slightly above ground level. Male flowers: Flowers (microsporophylls) in a cone about 5-7 x 2.5-3 cm (?). Produced at the base of the plant just above ground level. Peduncle about 70 mm long. Anthers or pollen sacs (microsporangia) about 50-70, sessile, borne on the underside of each cone scale +/- at random. Female flowers: Flowers (sporophylls) in a cone about 10 x 7-10 cm (?). Peduncle about 25 mm long, produced at the base of the plant. Ovules borne on the underside of the cone scales, two ovules per cone scale. Outer surface of each cone scale clothed in numerous short hair-like dark brown glands.


Fruits produced in a globular cone about 10 x 7-10 cm (?) Seeds about 32 x 18 mm (?) Cones raised slightly above ground level.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland, occurs in CYP, NEQ and coastal central Queensland. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 700 m. Grows as an understory shrub in undisturbed areas, in open forest or wet sclerophyll forest but occasionally found in rain forest.

Natural History

Leaf material poisonous to sheep and cattle causing death and or staggers. Everist (1974).

This easily grown plant has been in cultivation for many years. It makes an attractive potted plant for indoor use.