Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bunya Mountains National Park

Bunya Mountains National Park
Rising abruptly from the surrounding plains, the cool peaks of the Bunya Mountains reach more than 1100m and offer spectacular mountain scenery and views.

Embracing much of the mountains, 11 700ha Bunya Mountains National Park is best-known for its bunya pines, with their distinctive, dome-shaped crowns. But they’re just one of many plants protected in the park’s rainforests, eucalypt forests and woodlands. High altitude grasslands include rare grasses, and are internationally important.

Birdlife is abundant, with brightly coloured parrots popular visitors to picnic areas. Rare and threatened birds, reptiles and mammals are found in the park.

The Bunyas are also famous as a place where Aboriginal people gathered for seasonal feasts of bunya pine ‘nuts’. Europeans established a pioneer timber industry, relics of which remain today.

Just 90 minutes’ drive from Toowoomba, or three to four hours from Brisbane, Bunya Mountains National Park offers bushwalking, camping, heritage and unique nature.
Things to doPicnic, birdwatch, nature study, take photos.

Visitor facilities
Campgrounds, walking tracks. Picnic areas at Dandabah (electric barbecues), Westcott and Burton’s Well (fireplaces and firewood at both). Bring kindling and a fuel stove in case of wet weather.

Best time to visit

Bunya Mountains is generally cooler than surrounding plains. Night temperatures can fall below freezing in winter, and can be cold even in summer, so bring warm clothing whenever you visit. Summer days can be hot, with temperatures to 30deg. Annual rainfall is about 1050mm.

Best times to visit are generally autumn and spring, when days and nights are moderate — neither very cold nor hot.

In 1908, about 9000 hectares were gazetted as the Bunya Mountains National Park, the second National Park in Queensland. The National Park now covers 11,700 hectares of tall, moist rainforest, natural grasslands, eucalypt forests, woodlands and other dry rainforest communities. Vine thickets, dominated by bottle trees or brigalow and belah can be found on Western slopes.
Bunya Mountains National Park protects the region's bio-diversity, cultural heritage sites as well as its breathtaking natural scenery. Precious bush remnants, lush natural Heritage are permanently preserved in the National Park thanks to the foresight and tenacity of our environment conscious forefathers.

The National Park forms a microcosm for nature and environmental studies. Set in a wilderness location and featuring the largest forest of bunya pines in the world, enthusiasts flock here to study the remarkable variety of rare bird species, flora and fauna.

Bunya Mountains National Park enjoys a mild climate with an annual rainfall of approximately 1050 mm. Heavy fog and mists are common during extended rain periods. Temperatures range between freezing to about 30° C with low humidity. Early morning and evening temperatures may be quite low so come prepared with warm clothing, even in summer. Temperatures are at least 5 - 7° C cooler than the surrounding plains.

ActivitiesResident National Park Rangers offer various activities during school holidays or on busy weekends. You will enjoy a visit to the Information Centre to obtain walking track maps, rainforest information and a guide to Ranger led activities.

Groups can informally explore the 40km of National Park walking tracks, ranging from 500m to 10km walks.

Alternatively the National Park Rangers may help you with informative talks, guided bushwalks, slide shows and evening spotlighting walks. National Park interpretive officers are highly informed and excellent speakers. Contact No: (07) 4668 3127.

Bunya Forest Encounters group provides an excellent service for staff training sessions or environmental interpretation and educational groups. Contact No: (07) 4668 3020

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