Bunya Mountains National Park Southern Queensland Country

Bunya Mountains National Park is a haven the whole family will enjoy. Photo credit: © Tourism and Events Queensland

Things to do

    Find out more about the park at the QPWS Visitor Centre, at Dandabah. Photo: Karen Smith, Queensland Government

    Find out more about the park at the QPWS Visitor Centre, at Dandabah. Photo: Karen Smith, Queensland Government

    The Bunya Mountains park guide (available as a download from this site) contains maps, track notes and information to assist with your visit. Photo: Robert Ashdown

    The Bunya Mountains park guide (available as a download from this site) contains maps, track notes and information to assist with your visit. Photo: Robert Ashdown

    The cool mountain rainforest is an inviting place to walk. Photo: Tourism Queensland

    The cool mountain rainforest is an inviting place to walk. Photo: Tourism Queensland

    Tracks along the western cliffs weave out into the open and to lookouts giving views to the west. Photo: Queensland Government

    Tracks along the western cliffs weave out into the open and to lookouts giving views to the west. Photo: Queensland Government

    Outdoor interpretive displays near the Dandabah picnic area help you learn more about the park. Photo: Queensland Government

    Outdoor interpretive displays near the Dandabah picnic area help you learn more about the park. Photo: Queensland Government

    Please do not feed the king parrots or other birds which may visit your picnic or camp. Photo Bruce Thomson

    Please do not feed the king parrots or other birds which may visit your picnic or camp. Photo Bruce Thomson

    Camping and accommodation

    Camping

    The park has three main camping and picnic areas; Dandabah, Westcott and Burtons Well. All have toilets and picnic tables.

    Dandabah is a large open area suitable for a range of camping experiences. Westcott and Burtons Well are suitable only for tents as cars must remain in sealed carparks nearby.

    Camping permits are required and fees apply. Permits are best booked prior to arrival as permits cannot be issued by rangers on site. Book well ahead for school holidays and public holidays.

    Other accommodation

    Holiday accommodation (including cabins, guesthouses and houses for rent) are available near Bunya Mountains National Park. For more information see the tourism information links below or consult the local telephone directory or the internet.

    Walking

    Enjoy weaving in and out of diverse grasslands, eucalypt forest, rainforest and vine scrubs along the 35km of walking tracks. Walks range from a 500m stroll to a 10km hike, many with impressive views.

    Each track has been numbered and graded so that you are able to select a walk to match your walking experience and fitness. The classification system follows the Australian Walking Track Standards, and while each track is graded according to its most difficult section, other sections may be of an easier level.

    Key to track standards

    Grade 3 walking trackGrade 3 track

    • Gently sloping, well-defined track with few steps or steep inclines.
    • Track may be uneven and partially overgrown.
    • Some caution needed at unfenced cliff edges and naturally occurring lookouts.
    • Reasonable level of fitness and ankle-supporting footwear required.

    Grade 4 walking trackGrade 4 track

    • Distinct track. May be narrow, undulating and sometimes edged or overgrown with stinging nettles.
    • Some steps and steep inclines.
    • Exercise caution at unfenced cliff edges and naturally occurring lookouts.
    • Moderate level of fitness and ankle-supporting footwear required.

    Track notes

    • Allow 15–20 minutes to walk one kilometre.
    • Where tracks end at the road, halve distance if only walking one way.
    • The numbers in brackets before the track name are map references.

    Eastern rainforest circuits

    These walks start from Dandabah or the Paradise car park.

    Grade 3 walking track(1) Bunya Bunya track—500m return (10 minutes)

    A short but pleasant rainforest walk featuring bunya pines starts and ends at the Dandabah picnic area. This track is currently closed until further notice.

    Grade 3 walking track(2) Scenic circuit—4km return from Dandabah picnic area (1 hour 20 minutes)

    Perhaps the most popular walk on the mountain, this track from the Dandabah picnic area passes through bunya pine forest and a variety of mountain scenery. This easy walk passes through a huge strangler fig and allows you to discover delightful rock pools and Festoon and Tim Shea falls. Pine Gorge lookout offers a panoramic view of the valleys and hills of the South Burnett.

    Grade 3 walking track(3) Barker Creek circuit—10km return (3–4 hours)

    Access this circuit track from Dandabah or Paradise car park. The track passes through spectacular rainforest, grassland and some eucalypt forest. Take a 750 m side track out to Big Falls lookout to view the falls and the valley to the north-east. Have lunch on the grassy bald above Big Falls and view Barker Creek Gorge. This circuit passes Paradise, Little and Tim Shea falls.

    Grade 3 walking track(4) Barker Creek Lookout—5.4km return (2 hours)

    From the Paradise car park, follow Barker Creek past Paradise Falls and Little Falls to Big Falls lookout. The true splendour of the falls is only revealed after heavy rain. The valley beyond Big Falls has many large hoop pines.

    Grade 3 walking track(5) Dandabah to Paradise—6km return (2 hours) or 3km one way (1 hour)

    Access this track from either Dandabah or Paradise car park. The track passes through spectacular rainforest with giant bunya pines. This is a great walk to do either on its own, or as part of the Barker Creek circuit.

    Western walks

    Most of the tracks along the western cliffs start and finish at picnic areas along the bitumen road and can be linked together to make a longer walk. If you wish to avoid a long return trip, you should arrange for a friend to pick you up or park your car at an exit point.

    Grade 3 walking track(6) Paradise to Westcott—6.4km return (2.5 hours) or 3.2km one way plus 1.5km return by road (1.5–2 hours)

    This track follows part of the cliff-line on the mountains' western side with Westcliff lookout providing clear views over the open plains of the Darling Downs. Soon after leaving the Paradise car park, the track passes through Little Pocket, one of the small natural clearings or 'balds' scattered over the Bunya Mountains.

    Grade 4 walking track(7) Koondaii circuit—2.5km return (1 hour)

    Leaving from the Westcott picnic area, this track zig-zags down the steep mountainside to a lookout with views over the Koondaii Valley. The return is a steady uphill climb.

    Grade 4 walking track(8) Westcott to Cherry Plain—9.6km return (3–4 hours) or 4.8km one way plus 1.8km return by road (2–3 hours)

    From the Westcott picnic area, this track follows the cliff-line to provide views over remnants of bottletree scrubs protected in the park and on to the township of Bell and the plains below. Return to the road at Cherry Plain.

    Grade 4 walking track(9) Cherry Plain to Burtons Well—12km return (4 hours) or 6km one way plus 2.4km return by road (3 hours)

    The Cherry Plain–Burtons Well track is the longest of the western walks and features many lookouts such as Bottletree Bluff and Ghinghion. For the easiest walk, begin at Burtons Well. In spring, the cliff-lines are edged with gold as king orchids Dendrobium speciosum flower.

    Grade 3 walking track(10) Mount Kiangarow—2.3km return (1 hour)

    This track leads to the highest point of the Bunya Mountains—Mt Kiangarow's summit (1,135m). The track climbs gradually, winding around the mountain and leading to an avenue of grasstrees at the crest. From here the park and surrounding country can be viewed.

    What to take on walks

    • Carry drinking water and nutritious snacks.
    • Wear a hat and sunscreen, insect repellent and sturdy shoes.
    • Carry a first-aid kit and book.
    • Pick up a copy of the park's visitor guide on arrival and carry it (or this print out) with you on your walks.
    • Download and print out a copy of the park's visitor guide, or pick up a copy of the park’s map from the QPWS Information Centre at Dandabah and carry it with you on your walks.
    • Take warm clothing and raincoats as weather is changeable.

    Other walking tracks

    Russell Park, managed by the Western Downs Regional Council, also has walking tracks. They are not described here but can be accessed from the road heading south to Dalby.

    Picnic and day-use areas

    Dandabah, Westcott and Burtons Well also have picnic areas. All have toilets and picnic tables. Electric barbecues are available at Dandabah. Burtons Well and Westcott have wood barbecues. Please bring your own clean milled timber, free from pests or disease to use as firewood. Timber cannot be collected from anywhere within the national park.

    Viewing wildlife

    Brilliantly-coloured king parrots and crimson rosellas are sure to be seen on your visit, as are red-necked wallabies which feed in grassy areas. Look carefully and you might also see satin bowerbirds, green catbirds and the huge tadpoles of great barred-frogs.

    The night can also offer opportunity to view other interesting wildlife such as frogmouths, owls, possums, bats and frogs.

    See the description of the park's nature, culture and history for more details about the Bunya Mountains' diverse wildlife.