Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Boonoo Boonoo National Park

From a lookout platform you can watch the river plunge 210 m at Boonoo Boonoo Falls (pronounced 'bunna bunoo—a local Aboriginal term for big rocks). In spring, boronia, banksia, grevillea and a profusion of other flowering plants brighten the woodlands of this granite country.

Just 22 kms north of Tenterfield, Boonoo Boonoo National Park offers a great variety of scenic, natural and historic attractions for visitors.

The Boonoo Boonoo River is one of the park's most spectacular features winding its way through high granite country, strewn with boulders and covered by open forest.

Riverside vegetation includes banksias, melaleucas, grevillea, callitris, leptospermum and callistemon. The landscape along the river includes bare smooth stretches of granite dotted with tea tree, large pools with sandy banks lined with cypress pine, massive boulder-strewn stretches and secluded rocky pools.

A majestic dark pool is the final attraction before the river slides over the falls. The viewing platform gives a breathtaking view of the falls as they roar into the gorge 210 metres below. A gully of rainforest bathes in the moisture at the base of the falls.

The park is reached by taking a gravel road which leaves Mt Lindsay Road north of Tenterfield. The park entrance is 4km from the road and 12km from the Falls.

Camping and picnic areas are provided at Boonoo Boonoo Falls and bush camping is allowed.

Caravan, camping, hotel and motel accommodation is available in Tenterfield, to the south of the falls.

Self-contained cottages are available in Liston, to the north of the Falls

Due to the diversity of habitats a variety of animals occur such as the larger marsupials which include the Grey Kangaroo, Wallaroo, Red-necked, Swamp and Pretty-faced Wallabies. On the track to the bottom of the falls, the Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby has been sighted.

During the spring months the variety of wildflowers and attendant wildlife will reward the most discerning field naturalist - even on the road that traverses the park. The open forest, heath, swamp and river environments are easily accessible to the visitor.

There is evidence of gold mining during the 19th century in one of the creeks where the remains of sluicing and old machinery can be seen. The road to Boonoo Boonoo falls, and the path down from the Falls lookout are associated with "Banjo" Patterson's courtship and marriage.

The area attracts nature lovers, rock climbers and walkers.

Queen Mary Falls National Park

Queen Mary Falls is a feature of this 78 ha national park on the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range, next to Main Range National Park. Spring Creek flows through the park, plunging over the 40m Queen Mary Falls before continuing its journey west to the Condamine River.

The park includes many steep slopes and escarpments. These have formed where streams have cut gorges through horizontal layers of basalt and trachyte from the Main Range Volcano.

At the seam of the two rock types, cliffs and waterfalls formed as the basalt was washed away above and below leaving a trachyte feature. Waterfalls in the park are a good example of how water erosion can create interesting landforms.

The deep, sheltered gorge receives continual mist and spray from the falls. Hoop pines, silky oaks and Sydney blue gums are prominent in this area. Staghorns and orchids cling to trees and rocky ledges. Soft tree ferns, bracken fern and vines also add to the rainforest's luxuriant appearance. Open eucalypt forest grows over most of the park. Canopy trees include brush box, forest red gums and stringybarks with small trees of forest sheoaks, kurrajongs and wattles.

In drier areas of the park the open forest has a shrubby undergrowth and grassy forest floor.

Spring Creek provides a home to animals such as the platypus and a red spiny crayfish. Animals inhabiting the tree-tops include possums and gliders while antechinus (a marsupial mouse) and native rats, wallabies, bandicoots and pademelons are some of the animals to be seen on the forest floor.

The brush-tailed rock wallaby is one of the rarer animals in the park. Sleeping through the day, this wallaby is not easily seen by visitors. These rock wallabies move gracefully through the rocky gorge and are able to negotiate almost vertical rock faces. They graze and browse on a wide variety of plants n open grassy areas of the park.

About 100 bird species have been found in the park, including the shy Albert's lyrebird. This bird is rarely seen but can be identified by its extraordinary song and mimicry of other bird calls and artificial noises.

In the rainforest gorge, king parrots, crimson rosellas, golden whistlers and satin bower birds are commonly seen. The rufous fantail and superb blue wren are colourful birds that often frequent the shrubby undergrowth around the picnic grounds.

These small birds have a diet of insects and can be seen moving through the lower levels of the forest foliage. The active rufous fantail has a striking orange rump and an almost flamboyant fanned tail while the male superb blue wren can be identified by brilliant blue plumage on its back and head.

A short section of the walk has interpretative signs describing the park's geology.

The walking track descends from a lookout in open forest to a rainforest gorge at the base of the waterfall. The track then crosses Spring Creek and returns via the southern escarpment, finishing at the picnic ground. Allow 40 minutes to complete this 2 km circuit.

Sources & Further reading
Journey Back Through Time
Experience Australia
Aboriginal Australia
National Parks
Photo Galleries
Site Map
                                                                                           Author: M.H.Monroe  Email:     Sources & Further reading