Australia: The Land Where Time Began
Bunya Mountains National Park
Queensland's last significant stand of bunya pines. Unique flora and easily observed wildlife.
What's special?High above the cultivated plains of the Darling Downs and the South Burnett Valley, Bunya Mountains National Park protects the world’s most extensive remaining bunya pine rainforests.
The park is the most westerly rainforest park in southern Queensland and conserves valuable remnants of tall, cool subtropical rainforests with bunya pines, figs, red cedars and giant stinging trees, dry vine thickets with bottle trees emerging above the canopy, open eucalypt forests and rare high altitude grasslands. About a quarter of these grasslands have disappeared in the past 50 years. Some of the state’s tallest grasstrees grow in the park’s open forests and grasslands.
The park is home to about 120 species of birds and many species of mammals, frogs and reptiles.
About every three years in summer until the late 1800s, Aboriginal people visited the mountain when the bunya nut was in season to take part in what was known in Waka Waka language as the “bonye bonye” festival. Today, the park has great spiritual significance for the Aboriginal people who still visit the park.
Bunya Mountains became Queensland’s second national park in 1908.
Exploring Bunya MountainsStart your visit at the information centre at Dandabah, next to the camping area.
Have a picnic at Dandabah, Westcott, Cherry Plain or Burton’s Well. Dandabah has toilets, picnic tables, electric barbecues and tap water. See the local wildlife, but please do not feed them. Keep wildlife wild.
Camp at Dandabah or bush camp at Burton’s Well or Westcott. Dandabah has hot showers, toilets, a shelter shed, coin-operated electric barbecues and tap water. Open fires are not allowed. Take a gas stove. Westcott has toilets, picnic tables, wood barbecues, firewood and tap water. Cherry Plain has picnic tables but no barbecues. Burton’s Well has toilets, a shelter shed, picnic tables, wood barbecues, firewood, water supply and donkey boiler showers. Boil or treat the water before drinking. Be prepared for cold weather, even in summer.
The Burton’s Well and Westcott camping areas are suitable for tents only, not motorhomes, campervans or camper trailers. Vehicles must stay on nearby sealed carparks. The Dandabah camping area has vehicle access.
Enjoy watching wildlife. You will probably see red-necked and black-striped wallabies, red-necked pademelons, satin bowerbirds, noisy pittas, crimson rosellas, king parrots, honeyeaters, wrens, thornbills, scrub-turkeys, orange-eyed tree frogs and lots of butterflies. Go spotlighting at night to see mountain brushtail and ringtail possums, owls, frogmouths and luminous fungi.
Watch the nightly emergence around dusk of the chocolate wattle bats from the old schoolhouse at Dandabah. Go on a Ranger-guided walk during the school holidays to discover the special stories of the Bunyas.
For a special experience, visit in winter when nights are cold and mornings are frosty.
Apart from camping, there are plenty of places to stay on the mountain, but the park does not take bookings for private accommodation.
WalkingWear a hat and sunscreen and take drinking water. Walking can be hot in summer. Stay on the track and cover up to avoid being scratched or stung by nettles, stinging tree leaves, prickly vines and thorny shrubs. Wear insect repellent and check for ticks after your walk.
AccessibilityWestcott and Burton’s Well have wheelchair-accessible toilets.
Getting thereBunya Mountains is 63km north-east of Dalby or 58km south-west of Kingaroy. The drive from Brisbane takes about 3 hours via Yarraman and Maidenwell or Toowoomba and Jondaryan. The Maidenwell route has about 6km of gravel. No access routes are suitable for caravans or trailers.
|Author: M.H.Monroe Email: email@example.com Sources & Further reading|