Rising abruptly from the surrounding flatland to an altitude of 1100 metres above sea level, the Bunya Mountains is an isolated section of The Great Dividing Range, situated at approximately 150 miles inland and two and a half hours from Brisbane, Queensland’s capital. The vegetation in this unspoilt and peaceful environment ranges from woodlands to eucalyptus forests to green subtropical rainforest, where you can discover the world’s largest forest of bunya pines. Spectacular views, rainforests and waterfalls, cool mountains and native fauna, including brilliantly coloured birds offer the holidaymaker the opportunity to become intimate with Nature.
This pristine Shangri-La in the mountains exudes peace and tranquillity with its majestic scenery, mist shrouded peaks and the songs and sounds of birds. The crisp, soothing mountain air creates an almost mystical ambience which invites rest and relaxation. This is a perfect setting for the nature lover, for the holidaymaker in search of a retreat to rest, relax and find their bearings, for honeymooners or couples on a romantic getaway, and a bonding retreat for families or groups in search of the simple and enduring pleasures of nature. The Bunya Mountains provide something for everyone, and likewise, they offer a diversity of holiday accommodation to suit every style of holiday and holidaymaker, from budget accommodation to luxury holiday villas.
As an isolated portion of The Great Dividing Range, The Bunya Mountains rise abruptly, like an island in the midst of a plain. The Bunya Mountains were formed in the Jurassic era, and are one of the only places in the world where both landscape and vegetation are the same as when the dinosaurs roamed the earth. A walk though the bunya pine forest is a walk back through time when ferns, followed by conifers and later flowering plants appeared on the earth. Holiday rentals are available amidst this Edenic setting, making it possible for you to enjoy animal and bird watching while relaxing on the veranda of your holiday house.
With 35 kilometres of tracks ranging in length from 500 metre strolls to 10 kilometre hikes, Bunya Mountains is a walker’s paradise. Keen, adventurous walkers may explore for waterfalls and secluded lookouts, while for the general public many of the tracks lead to inviting natural grassy balds from where they can enjoy great views. In the grassy areas such as picnic grounds, the holidaymakers will most likely spot pademelons and other wallabies feeding on the cool green grass.
Queensland’s second oldest national park, The Bunya Mountains National Park, is a sanctuary for an immense variety of plant and animal life, sheltering ancient species and rare and threatened species of fauna and flora, including rare orchards and small herbs.
The moist rainforests within the park are specially known for their abundant and colourful birdlife and their repertoire of songs, calls and cries. The visitor will be enthralled with the calls of the green catbird which resemble a baby’s cry, the calls of the eastern whip birds which mimic the sound of a whip-crack, and the noisy riflebirds, as well as the sound of the flutter of flocks of top knot pigeons lifting their flight in unison when approached only to land at another fig tree to continue feeding. Other rainforest birds include brush turkeys, yellow-throated scrub wrens, pittas and the colourful crimson rosella amongst many others.
The rainforest undergrowth is also home to red- legged pademelons and swamp wallabies. Holidaymakers in search of nocturnal activity will not be bored, as the rainforest is a neighbourhood that never sleeps and by shining a torch on the high branches of trees, it should not be difficult to spot mountain brush tiled possums or the Bunya Mountains’ very own species of ringtail possum feeding from the leaves, fruits and flowers of trees.
While the lush rainforest is a most attractive ecosystem, there are many creatures who could not survive inside its dense foliage. But thanks to the wealth and diversity of life in the Bunya Mountains, you can step immediately from the dark, closed rainforest into bright warm sunshine and open eucalypt forests, woodlands, and natural grasslands. It is in these eucalypt forests where the holidaymaker might spot the quintessential Australian favourite, the koala.
The birdlife is also different out here with wedge-tailed eagles gliding overhead, and fantails, honeyeaters and tree-creepers fleeting amongst the leaves and flowers. The sunny atmosphere also favours the tenancy of reptiles amongst the undergrowth where many native lizards find sheltered accommodation, while carpet pythons bask in sunny spots. The vibrant nightlife is frequented by sugar gliders, squirrel gliders, greater gliders and other possums foraging in the tree tops.
The national park is well appointed with facilities such as toilets, picnic areas and camping grounds with showers and barbecue areas, access for the disabled, and parking areas. There are three camping sites; the camping site at Dandebah has a restaurant and brasserie, shops, public telephone, tennis court, and a National Parks Office. Dandebah also offers self-contained accommodation in daily serviced apartments. As Dandebah is a very popular weekend getaway, there is a wide range of accommodation available for those wishing to stay close to the national park. There is family accommodation in holiday homes such as log cabins or mountain chalets as well as an accommodation centre catering to large groups. Although pet friendly accommodation is very common in Bunya Mountains, it is well worth noting that pets are not allowed within the boundaries of the Bunya Mountains National Park.
Although The Bunya Mountains are in an area which enjoys a mild climate, temperatures in the mountains can be at least 5ÂºC-7ÂºC lower than in the adjacent plain. Temperatures range between freezing point as the winter minimum, and 30ÂºC with no humidity as the summer maximum. Nights and early morning can be cool even in summer, so it is wise to carry warm clothing even if visiting during the hottest months from November to March. Annual rainfall of approximately 1050mm is also higher than the local average and heavy fog and mist are common during long periods of rain, although it is during rainy periods that waterfalls are at their most spectacular. The highest rainfall occurs during the summer months from November to February.
The Bunya Mountains are situated in South Queensland about 150 kilometres from the Coast. It is a two hour drive from the coastal city of Caboolture and just under three hours away from Brisbane, the state capital which is 240 kilometres east of The Bunya Mountains. It is 110 kilometres away from Toowoomba, the largest inland city in Southern Queensland. The best way to get to The Bunya Mountains is by road to enjoy a scenic ride through rural scenery with wonderful views. If travelling from UK, Brisbane International Airport which has connections with all major British airports would be your port of call, to then hire a rental vehicle for the pleasant drive via Toowoomba on The Warrego Highway.