An hour and a half drive from Toowoomba is the village of Benarkin and a interesting place to stay at their free camp site.
Located on the site of the old railway station, now part of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail, 4.6 kilometres from Blackbutt. The village itself is off the main road so is easy to miss the turnoff. The site is reasonably flat and had a number of campers staying. No powered sites available.
The facilities were modern, showers hot and toilets clean. The council has asked campers to donate five to ten dollars to maintain these facilities which I fully support. (Complaining mode on) I have seen too many campers take these free camps for granted, whinging that they ask for a donation, complaining that they are not clean and then dumping their portable toilets in the toilets under the sign that points out this is forbidden. Find the local dump site people or use the toilets properly! Also support the local community and donate, many of these small towns are doing it tough. It takes money to clean and maintain these facilities. (Complaining mode off)
There is a reasonably stocked shop across the road which also takes your donations. We had a really nice light snack which came out freshly cooked and quick.
Access to the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail is a bonus while staying here. The site backs directly onto the rail trail. The old railway line from Wulkuraka to Yarraman has been cleared and is a great place to walk or ride. Being an old train line means that the slopes are gentle and easy to ride. The track is well cleared and marked with the pictured safety information regularly along the track. S and I only did a few kilometres which were really easy. We did contemplate a 4.6 kilometre walk to Blackbutt which has a few coffee shops for a Sunday breakfast. Alas we decided we were too lazy for that walk. Since we were parked right beside the trail, we saw many bike riders pass by in groups coming from that direction. As the trail winds through Benarkin state forest it makes for a lovely walk or ride. The birds were in full voice during our walk with an unusual call which we recorded below. Not sure what birds these came from, we suspect a Bellbird, but there were at least three birds contributing to the calls.