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

Be inspired: Bunya Mountains ticks all the boxes for camping with kids!

Planning your holidays and short breaks tends to revolve around the kids, right? Well, you’re not alone! A recent survey of 500 families found that not only do most families consider their kids’ wishes, but 87% give their kids a say in planning family trips. Photo credit: Michael O'Connor © Queensland Government

Be inspired: A magical history tour of Queensland’s earliest national parks

South-East Queensland is the cradle of Queensland National Parks. So let’s take a tour of 4 of our earliest parks to learn the fascinating stories behind their creation and find out how to best enjoy them today. Photo credit: Nick Hill © Queensland Government

Be inspired: Cultural experiences in the Bunya Mountains!

The Bunya Mountains are like an island, surrounded by a sea of plains. They are a refuge of biodiversity, harbouring the world’s largest stand of bunya pines. Photo credit: Michael O'Connor © Queensland Government

Things to do

    Find out more about the park at the QPWS Visitor Centre, at Dandabah.

    Photo credit: Karen Smith, Queensland Government

    Camping and accommodation


    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.

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

    Photo credit: Robert Ashdown

    The cool mountain rainforest is an inviting place to walk.

    Photo credit: Tourism Queensland

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

    Photo credit: Queensland Government


    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.

    Protect bunya pines for future times

    Use washdown stations at track entrances. This helps prevent the spread of pathogen-containing soil on boots and equipment into the park, and from the Bunya Mountains to other areas. Phytophthora (a microscopic, disease-causing plant pathogen) has been found in the soil where groups of bunya pines have died. Limiting the spread of soil is currently our best chance of protecting bunya pines. Read more about Phytophthora and how to protect bunya pines for future times (PDF, 391.2KB) .

    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.

    (1) Bunya Bunya track

    Grade 3

    Distance: 500m return
    Time: 10 minutes
    Details: 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.

    (2) Scenic circuit

    Grade 3

    Distance: 4km return from Dandabah picnic area
    Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
    Details: 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.

    (3) Barker Creek circuit

    Grade 3

    Distance: 10km return
    Time: 3–4 hours
    Details: Access this circuit track from Dandabah or Paradise car park. The track passes through spectacular rainforest, grassland and some eucalypt forest. Take a 750m 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.

    (4) Barker Creek Lookout

    Grade 3

    Distance: 5.4km return
    Time: 2 hours
    Details: 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.

    (5) Dandabah to Paradise

    Grade 3

    Distance: 6km return
    Time: 2 hours
    Details: 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.

    (6) Paradise to Westcott

    Grade 3

    Distance: 6.4km return
    Time: 2.5 hours


    Distance: 3.2km one way plus 1.5km return by road
    Time: 1.5–2 hours

    Details: 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.

    (7) Koondaii circuit

    Grade 4

    Distance: 2.5km return
    Time: 1 hour
    Details: 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.

    (8) Westcott to Cherry Plain

    Grade 4

    Distance: 9.6km return
    Time: 3–4 hours


    Distance: 4.8km one way plus 1.8km return by road
    Time: 2–3 hours

    Details: 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.

    (9) Cherry Plain to Burtons Well

    Grade 4

    Distance: 12km return
    Time: 4 hours


    Distance: 6km one way plus 2.4km return by road
    Time: 3 hours

    Details: 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.

    (10) Mount Kiangarow

    Grade 3

    Distance: 2.3km return
    Time: 1 hour
    Details: 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.

    Outdoor interpretive displays near the Dandabah picnic area help you learn more about the park.

    Photo credit: Queensland Government

    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.

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

    Photo credit: Bruce Thomson

    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.