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About Coominglah

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Getting there and getting around

Driving through Coominglah State Forest is a pleasant way to spend a day. It's always best to travel in small groups so people can help each other out if someone gets stuck. Photo: Beryl Bleys

Driving through Coominglah State Forest is a pleasant way to spend a day. It's always best to travel in small groups so people can help each other out if someone gets stuck. Photo: Beryl Bleys

Coominglah State Forest is about 500km north-west of Brisbane and about 220km west of Bundaberg. The main entrance is via the Burnett Highway—19km north of Monto or 76km south of Biloela.

Wheelchair accessibility

Assisted wheelchair access is available at the lookout. No water or toilet facilities are available.

Forest features

Spotted gum are a feature of Coominglah's forestry history. Photo: Maria-Ann Loi

Spotted gum are a feature of Coominglah's forestry history. Photo: Maria-Ann Loi

Coominglah State Forest, totalling 41,043ha, includes Hurdle Gully Scrub—a 950ha area of semi-evergreen vine thicket of the Brigalow Belt with crows ash and bottle tree alliance. Hurdle Gully Scrub is part of an area of 1710ha that was gazetted in 1999 as Scientific Area 33 to protect the scrub. The scientific area was classified as an Endangered Regional Ecosystem under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

The Gooreng Gooreng people have a 19,000 year connection to these lands. They gathered plants for food and medicines, hunted and lived from the land. Many worked as foresters during the early years of forestry in Coominglah.

Foresters logged this area for 70 years, cutting mainly spotted gum Corymbia citriodora, Gympie messmate Eucalyptus cloeziana and narrow-leaved red ironbark Eucalyptus crebra. The timber was used for power poles, fences, houses and railway sleepers.

Coominglah State Forest is home to about 650 plant and 440 animal species, with Hurdle Gully Scrub supporting 18 threatened species—10 animals and eight plants.

Camping and accommodation

Camping

Camping is not permitted in Coominglah State Forest. Camping is available in Kalpowar State Forest, north of Monto and Tolderodden Conservation Park just west of Eidsvold.

Also see: Parks of Monto and surrounds locality map (PDF, 373K) 

Other accommodation

Hotel, motel, caravan, cabin and camping accommodation is available in Monto and near Lake Cania—close to the Cania Gorge National Park—and in Biloela. For more information, see the tourism information links below.

Things to do

Drivers of 4WD vehicles can continue past the lookout and drive through Hurdle Gully Scrub where magnificent bottle trees stand on the edge of the dry rainforest. Photo: Paul Grimshaw

Drivers of 4WD vehicles can continue past the lookout and drive through Hurdle Gully Scrub where magnificent bottle trees stand on the edge of the dry rainforest. Photo: Paul Grimshaw

Driving

Coominglah State Forest has many roads and tracks once used to haul logs to local sawmills. Some of the tracks are maintained as fire control lines while others offer visitors a pleasant forest drive.

The nature of the soils throughout Coominglah State Forest—weathered sandstones and clays—dictate road conditions in wet weather. Visitors who want to experience Coominglah’s forest drives should always check weather conditions before heading off.

Warning! Do not attempt the steeper sections of the roads in wet weather. Even after a light shower of rain, some sections of the roads become extremely slippery and drivers will have difficulty maintaining vehicle traction on the road surface. Braking may be difficult and vehicles have slipped off the road to become stuck in soft, boggy patches on the road shoulders. Help can be hours away as mobile phone reception throughout the State forest area is very limited, and in places it is non-existent.

Be prepared! Tell a responsible person about your plans for the drive and an expected return time so they can contact police to activate a search should something go wrong. Carry recovery gear and extra food and drinking water for the day.

Road conditions vary

Some sections of the road are reasonably flat and offer good driving surfaces. Other sections are steep and winding. The roads are recommended for four-wheel-drive vehicles only.

Be aware that roads marked on the Coominglah State Forest map (PDF, 137K) as 4WD are suitable only for four-wheel-drive vehicles requiring high clearance and vehicles with differential locking capabilitiesas the road conditions can often vary. Some roads are 4WD but less maintained than the others, and drivers may encounter obstacles such as fallen trees or deep wash-outs.

Vehicle and trailer access

The forest roads are not suitable for caravans, 2WD campervans, mobile homes or conventional (on-road) camper trailers. Clearance and slippery road conditions are the main issues to consider.

Country gates have country rules:

Leave the gates as you find them.

  • If a gate is open, drive through and leave it open
  • If a gate is closed, open it, drive through and close it behind you
  • If a gate is closed and locked, do not open it or barge through it—a locked gate means no access.

Hurdle Gully drive

A pleasant day’s outing and circuit drive in dry conditions. 4WD recommended

Distance: 57km (sections 1 and 2)
Time: allow 2hr for the circuit drive from Monto and return.

Section 1—from Monto to Hurdle Gully lookout

4WD recommended

Distance: 29.3km one-way
Time:
allow 40min

Take the Burnett Highway from Monto and head towards Biloela. After about 19km look for the sign to Hurdle Gully lookout and rest area. Turn left into the rest area. This is the last toilet facility on the drive. Head towards Hurdle Gully lookout along Kington Road. The road winds through sclerophyll forest, predominantly eucalypt and spotted gum Corymbia citriodora, with tall shrub and grass understorey. This forest was logged in the past, but some areas were retained as original forest.

Take a break at the Hurdle Gully lookout—10.6km from the rest area—and enjoy the view into the valley of Three Moon Creek, across to the Mulgildie Plateau and further to the catchment of the Burnett River. The lookout has a small interpretive display, picnic tables and parking area. There is no water or toilet at this site or anywhere else along the drive.

Return to Monto back along the same route. In dry conditions, drivers of four-wheel-drive vehicles can continue the loop via Hurdle Gully Scrub.

Before visiting, download and print off the Coominglah State Forest map (PDF, 137K) and have it in the car travelling through Coominglah.

Section 2—from Hurdle Gully lookout to Monto via Hurdle Gully Road

Accessible in dry weather only—4WD only

Distance: 27km one-way
Time: allow 45min

If conditions are dry, continue driving south-west along Davies Road onto Scrubby Road and left into Hurdle Gully Road. Sections along this part of the road are steep and in wet weather can be hazardous. The road winds through Hurdle Gully Scrub—one of the last remaining patches of dry rainforest of its type in Queensland and perhaps the world—and continues to the State forest boundary and on to Airport Drive. Turn left at the T-intersection to continue along Airport Road—a sealed country road—to Monto.

To get back to the Mulgildie–Monto Road, turn right at the T-intersection of Hurdle Gully Road and Airport Road, then turn left into the unsealed Evans Road.

Please refer to the Coominglah State Forest map (PDF, 137K) for more details.

Coominglah to Cania drive including Hurdle Gully lookout

4WD recommended

Distance: 32km (Sections 1 and 2)
Time: allow 1hr

Section 1—from Monto to Hurdle Gully lookout

4WD recommended

Distance: 29.3km one-way
Time: allow 40min.

Take the Burnett Highway from Monto and head towards Biloela. After about 19km look for the sign to Hurdle Gully lookout and rest area. Turn left into the rest area. This is the last toilet facility on the drive. Head towards Hurdle Gully lookout along Kington Road. The road winds through sclerophyll forest, predominantly eucalypt and spotted gum Corymbia citriodora, with tall shrub and grass understorey. This forest was logged in the past, but some areas were retained as original forest.

Take a break at the Hurdle Gully lookout—10.6km from the rest area—and enjoy the view into the valley of Three Moon Creek, across to the Mulgildie Plateau and further to the catchment of the Burnett River. The lookout has a small interpretive display, picnic tables and parking area. There is no water or toilet at this site or anywhere else along the drive.

Before visiting, download and print off the Coominglah State Forest map (PDF, 137K) and have it in the car travelling through Coominglah.

Section 2—from Hurdle Gully lookout to Cania Gorge National Park

Distance: 32km
Time: allow 1hr

From the lookout, backtrack along Kington Road and turn left into Roths Road, which runs onto the short Main Camp Road and then veers right onto Mount Margaret Road and ends at the Burnett Highway. Drive across the highway onto Cedar Creek Road, drive on for 13km, then turn left onto Cania Road. After 7.4km stop and take a rest at the Cania Gorge National Park day-use facilities—picnic tables, toilets, electric barbecue and interpretation display.

This is the starting point for most of the park’s walking tracks through and around the top of the gorge, with long and short walks offering visitors a selection of walking experiences. Drive on through beautiful rural landscapes and views of the gorge escarpments to Lake Cania (11km), the area's water supply.

Facilities include a boat ramp, toilets, kiosk, picnic areas and two privately-run camping and caravan parks nearby. Canoeing, water skiing and fishing is permitted on Lake Cania.

Return to Monto by driving back along Cania Road, passing through the village of Moonford, back onto the Burnett Highway and head south-east to Monto.

Picnic and day-use areas

Picnic facilities are available at Hurdle Gully lookout, 10.6km off the Burnett Highway. There are no water or toilet facilities at the lookout. The only toilet is at the rest area, 19km from Monto, just off the Burnett Highway.

Other things to do

Enjoy Coominglah. Most visitors drive through Coominglah State Forest in four-wheel-drive vehicles. However, bicycles, trail bikes and horses can also be ridden on Coominglah State Forest roads.

Viewing wildlife

Coominglah State Forest supports about 650 plants and 440 animals. The Hurdle Gully Scrub—an extreme form of dry seasonal subtropical rainforest—supports 18 known threatened species.

Glossy black-cockatoos—an uncommon species—feed almost exclusively on allocasuarina seeds. Their strong beaks mangle the seed pod to get at the small seed inside. The mangled orts—remains of the seed pods—are discarded. Seeing these under trees gives a clue to the birds’ presence in the forest.

At night, yellow-bellied gliders come out to feed. They are big, noisy and gregarious and are often seen in spotted gums or other smooth-barked eucalypts. Tiny wildlife, such as the golden-tailed gecko Strophurus taenicauda, feed on a variety of insects hunted out from under bark and leaf litter.

Watch for eastern grey kangaroos in the grassy understorey and at the lookout. The area also offers good bird watching opportunities. Wedge-tailed eagles can often be seen soaring high over the canopy. Many different species of butterflies have been sighted in the Hurdle Gully area, and at night micro bats take flight to hunt for small insects.

Things to know before you go

Essentials to bring

  • Bring enough drinking water, food and a first-aid kit.
  • Although reception is limited in the forest, a mobile phone is still handy to take.
  • A satellite phone or at least a UHF radio is recommended if travelling alone within the State forest.
  • A small Personal Location Beacon (PLB) is recommended. This device is not a phone. It emits a signal allowing rescuers to pinpoint your location, if needed.

Opening hours

Coominglah State Forest is open 24 hours a day.

Pets

Dogs are allowed in Coominglah State Forest. They must be on a leash and under control at all times.

Climate and weather

Coominglah State Forest has a hot, dry climate. Summer days can be very hot, up to 42°C, and evenings a cool 11°C. Winters are dry and pleasantly warm, with day temperatures up to 30°C but very cold night temperatures as low as –3°C. Frosts are not uncommon in winter. Weather forecasts are available from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

Fuel and supplies

The closest fuel and supplies are available in Monto.

Staying safe

Take care when driving through Coominglah. Stop, rest and get your bearings. Photo: Beryl Bleys

Take care when driving through Coominglah. Stop, rest and get your bearings. Photo: Beryl Bleys

Please do not expect to be warned of every possible danger. Mobile phone coverage is not reliable in Coominglah State Forest. Follow these guidelines for a safe visit and enjoyable driving experience.

When driving:

  • be prepared—carry a first-aid kit and know how to use it.
  • assess your driving ability, your vehicle and weather conditions before setting out.
  • keep to the graded roads—other roads may dwindle out into overgrown, unused logging tracks with few or no opportunities to turn around.
  • carry extra food, drinking water and warm clothes.
  • leave a copy of your driving plans with a friend, relative or other reliable person willing to contact police if you are overdue.
  • carry a map of the drives (PDF, 137K) and stay alert for landmarks and distances in case you need to retrace your journey or need rescue.
  • drive with care—wildlife or cattle may be on the roads at any time.

At the lookout:

  • take care near cliff edges—they can be deceptively closer than you think.
  • stay on the formed area of the lookout as the edges may crumble underfoot.
  • supervise children at all times.
  • look where you’re going!—stand still when using binoculars or cameras at the lookout.
  • don’t take risks—a search and rescue can endanger other peoples' lives, is costly and can damage the environment.

Riders take care!

Safety is our concern, but your responsibility.

Never continue on roads that peter out to rough tracks, are signed as ‘closed’ or ‘entry prohibited’, have obstacles, or are dangerous. Think about safety first—turn around and go back.

  • Ride only on formed roads—do not venture off-road. Penalties apply.
  • Queensland road rules apply.
  • Riders should stay alert to other vehicles using the roads.
  • Trail bikes must be road registered.
  • Trail-bike riders must be licensed.
  • Tell a responsible person about your trip times, as they, not rangers, must alert police if you do not return on time.
  • Go with a group—if someone gets hurt others can arrange for help.
  • Take and know how to use a first-aid kit.
  • Wear safety gear.
  • Trail-bike riders MUST give way to horses and mountain bikes.

In an emergency

  • Call Triple Zero (000).
  • Call 106 for a text-only message for deaf or speech or hearing impaired callers.
  • Advise the location and nature of the emergency.
  • Stay on the phone until you are told to hang up.

If mobile phone reception is not available, try UHF ch5 (Emergency channel) for assistance.

The nearest hospital is in Monto.

In case of a vehicle accident

After calling Triple Zero (000) and following directions given:

  • stay with and monitor any injured person(s).
  • turn off the ignition if your vehicle is damaged and cannot be driven.
  • stay in or near your vehicle if safe—a vehicle is easier to find than a single person wandering through the bush.
  • do not try to walk through the bush to find help—the area has many tracks and roads—some are dead-ends.

For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

Looking after the forest

Keep Coominglah looking good!

You can help protect the forest by observing these guidelines:

  • Take rubbish, including disposable nappies and sanitary items, out of the forest and dispose of it properly.
  • Please leave all plants and animals undisturbed.
  • Use toilets if available.
  • Away from toilets, ensure all faecal matter and toilet paper are properly buried at least 15cm deep and 100m from tracks, watercourses and drainage channels.
  • Do not feed or leave food or rubbish lying around for wildlife, as some animals will quickly become pests and aggressive if reliant on handouts.
  • See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

Forest management

Coominglah State Forest was gazetted in October 1935 and is currently managed by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS). Wildlife, recreation, pest and fire management are part of the custodial responsibilities.

Tourism information links

North Burnett Regional Council
http://www.northburnett.qld.gov.au/
34–36 Capper Street, Gayndah Qld 4625
Ph: 1300 696 272 (1300 MY NBRC)

Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism
http://www.bundabergregion.org/
 36 Avenue Street, Bundaberg East Qld 4670
Ph: 1300 722 099

Monto Magic Tourism Action Group
www.montomagic.com.au 

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.

Further information

Contact us

Last updated
24 April 2020