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About The Palms

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Getting there and getting around

Small in size, but big in nature, The Palms conserves a patch of remnant rainforest. Photo: K. Smith, Qld Govt.

Small in size, but big in nature, The Palms conserves a patch of remnant rainforest. Photo: K. Smith, Qld Govt.

The park is 8 km north-east of Cooyar along a sealed but narrow road.

To get there, turn east off the New England Highway just north of Cooyar, 94 km north of Toowoomba and 28 km south-west of Yarraman.

Contact RACQ to enquire about local road conditions.

Wheelchair accessibility

Facilities at The Palms are not wheelchair accessible.

Park features

Piccabeens grow best in water-logged soils. Photo: K. Smith, Qld Govt.

Piccabeens grow best in water-logged soils. Photo: K. Smith, Qld Govt.

Tucked away in the hills east of Cooyar, The Palms National Park is a gem worth making an effort to visit. Small in size, but big in nature, this tiny patch of remnant rainforest is filled with impressive piccabeen palms, towering fig trees and a rich suite of birdlife.

At the heart of The Palms is an almost-exclusive stand of piccabeen palms Archontophoenix cunninghamiana clinging to a waterlogged depression. Encircling the palms is subtropical rainforest and dry vine forest, leading to open eucalypt forest on drier exposed locations.

Wildlife finds refuge in the forest where it is moist, and thrives at the junction between different forest types.

The Palms is a great place for a stopover en-route to the Bunya Mountains, or when driving between Cooyar and Yarraman.

Camping and accommodation

Camping

Camping is not permitted in The Palms National Park.

Other accommodation

Limited accommodation is available in Cooyar and Yarraman with a greater range of options at larger towns in the region. See the tourism information links below or consult the local telephone directory or the internet.

Things to do

Visitors of all ages enjoy The Palms' short circuit track. Photo: K. Smith, Qld Govt.

Visitors of all ages enjoy The Palms' short circuit track. Photo: K. Smith, Qld Govt.

The small picnic area is regularly visited by brush turkeys. Photo: K. Smith, Qld Govt.

The small picnic area is regularly visited by brush turkeys. Photo: K. Smith, Qld Govt.

Have a bush picnic with the local wildlife or take a short walk through the rainforest.

Walking

The Palms Circuit – 650 m (15 min return)
Class 3

This short track encircles the palm forest—palms one side, dry vine forest on the other. Admire piccabeen palms, a large strangler fig, bunya and hoop pines, and buttressed trees along the track and boardwalks through the rainforest.

Look for grey-headed flying-foxes roosting in the palm trees above the creek in summer, or on the ground for noisy pittas and black-breasted button-quails during winter and spring.

Picnic and day-use areas

A small picnic area with picnic tables.

Viewing wildlife

The Palms National Park might be small, but that makes it even better for seeing the rainforest plants and animals for which it is a refuge.

The spring-fed creek running through the park is always damp and becomes quite wet after good rain. Listen for the calls of frogs in warmer months and watch the birds and other animals that come to the creek to drink.

Summer is also the best time to see the flying-foxes which rest by day in the park and fly by night to feed on forest fruits in the surrounding hills and valleys.

More than 90 species of birds have been recorded at the park. Watch for rose-crowned fruit doves or green catbirds feeding on fruits of piccabeen palms and figs. Listen for the distinctive calls of wonga pigeons or brown cuckoo-doves echoing through forest. See eastern yellow robins and white-browed scrub wrens flitting through the shaded understory and brown or buff-rumped thornbills feed busily in sunny patches at the forest edge. Barking owls have also been seen here.

Red necked pademelons and swamp wallabies can sometimes be seen thumping noisily through the gully.

Things to know before you go

The grey-headed flying-fox is the only Australian flying-fox to have a collar of orange-brown fur encircling the neck. Photo: M. Wright.

The grey-headed flying-fox is the only Australian flying-fox to have a collar of orange-brown fur encircling the neck. Photo: M. Wright.

Walking The Palms circuit. Photo: K. Smith, Qld Govt.

Walking The Palms circuit. Photo: K. Smith, Qld Govt.

Essentials to bring

  • Bring and wear a hat, sunscreen, suitable footwear and insect repellent to ward of biting insects and ticks.
  • Bring drinking water.
  • Bring sturdy garbage bags or containers in which to store rubbish and recyclables for proper disposal after you leave.

Opening hours

The Palms National Park is open 24 hours a day.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in The Palms National Park.

Climate and weather

Expect warm to hot summers and cool to cold winters. Temperatures peak at more than 35 °C in December and drop below freezing overnight in winter. Most rain falls during the summer months, often as storms.

For more information see the tourism information links below or the Bureau of Meteorology.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available at Cooyar and Yarraman.

Staying safe

Wear a hat, sunscreen, comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes with good grip. Stay together and keep to designated tracks. Always supervise children. Take drinking water.

Apply insect repellant on exposed skin and shoes to discourage biting insects and ticks. Remove ticks immediately by carefully levering them out of the skin with tweezers.

Do not pick up dead or injured flying foxes. Report injured animals to 1300 ANIMAL.

In an emergency

In case of accident or other emergencies please:

  • call Triple Zero (000) or
  • from mobile phones call 112 (if Triple Zero (000) not contactable);
  • advise your location and nature of the emergency; and
  • stay on the phone until you are told to hang up.

Mobile phone coverage is not available within The Palms National Park.

For more information about staying safe while visiting national parks, please read the guidelines Safety in parks and forests.

Looking after the park

Watch for pigeons feasting on the fruits of piccabeen palms. Illustration courtesy of M. Loi.

Watch for pigeons feasting on the fruits of piccabeen palms. Illustration courtesy of M. Loi.

Help care for the park:

  • leave pets at home; even their scent frightens native animals
  • leave all things exactly as you find them
  • take your rubbish out of the park
  • never light fires—the rainforest and its animals would be devastated by wildfire
  • never gather wood (or even kindling) from the bush
  • keep to constructed tracks; shortcutting causes erosion
  • protect streams from pollution
  • never feed, chase or scare native animals.

See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

Park management

Rainforest encircles the palm-filled gully. Photo: K. Smith, Qld Govt.

Rainforest encircles the palm-filled gully. Photo: K. Smith, Qld Govt.

The Palms National Park comprises two separate sections, together totalling an area of 73 hectares. The section open to visitors is 12.4 hectares in size and was first gazetted a national park in 1950.

Surrounded by cleared grazing lands, the park provides a refuge for many plants and animal communities that thrive in the sheltered spring-fed gully. It protects Auraucarian microphyll vine forest which is a regional ecosystem of concern.

Tourism information links

South Burnett Energy Centre

South Burnett Tourism

Henry Street, Nanango Qld 4610

ph (07) 4171 0100

email

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

Further information

Contact us

Last updated
7 December 2018