A sacred landscape home to a rich and diverse ecosystem - welcome to Queensland's unforgettable Bunya Mountains.
Read on to discover the best things to see and do at the Bunya Mountains, or find and book accommodation near the Bunya Mountains today.
About the Bunya Mountains
The Bunya Mountains, 200km north-west of Brisbane, rise more than 1100m, to form an imposing mass of basalt ridges that dominate the surrounding plains. This landmark is visible on all routes through the region, with the peaks providing stunning views over the Western Downs towards Dalby, South Burnett to Kingaroy and the Darling Downs to Crows Nest.
Fluctuating altitudes across the park’s 22,000ha nurture a wide variety of ecosystems, ranging from dense, cool rainforests, to open eucalypt woodlands, bottle tree scrubs and the ‘balds’. The mountains’ rich biodiversity embraces 354 species of native animals, more than 120 of which are birds, some of them rare or threatened.
Things to do at the Bunya Mountains
The best way to experience this magnificent environment is to walk it and there are 35km of well-maintained tracks, ranging from a pleasant 500m doddle to a challenging 12km trek. These rainforest tracks snake past streams and waterfalls, while native birds call out above from the eucalyptus trees.
Most of the tracks on the western side of the mountains start and finish at picnic areas along the bitumen Bunya Mountains Road and can be linked together to make a longer walk. All of these tracks follow the cliff-line through a variety of scrub and forest, including several lookouts over the Darling Downs. By far, the most spectacular walk on this side of the range is the 2.3km track that leads to the summit of Mt Kiangarow (1135m), the highest point of the Bunya Mountains. The track climbs gradually, winding around the mountain, and approaches the crest through an avenue of grasstrees, some of them 5m high and several hundred years old.
When the Bunya Mountains NP was gazetted in 1908 it became the second national park in Queensland, protecting the world’s largest remaining forest of bunya pines – the mountain’s namesake – some of which are estimated to be up to 600 years old. More than a park, this is a site of great spiritual significance to local Aboriginal people.
Bunya cones can grow to a great size – up to 40cm long and 22cm wide, weighing as much as 10kg – and visitors are warned not to linger under these towering trees between December and March, when the cones ripen and fall thunderously to the forest floor. Young soft and juicy seeds can be eaten raw but as they mature the seeds become drier and less palatable. They’re generally preferred roasted or pounded into a flour-like meal (called ‘nyangti’) to make scones and dampers.
The bunya pine is perhaps the only tree in Australia to have been protected by government legislation for its cultural significance to Aborigines.
Getting to the Bunya Mountains
Bunya Mountains National Park is 200 km north-west of Brisbane, 63km north-east of Dalby and 58km south-west of Kingaroy.
All access roads into the Bunya Mountains are steep and winding and not considered suitable for long and/or heavy vehicles. Roads from Kingaroy and Dalby are sealed. The road from Maidenwell is wider and less winding but is unsealed for 6km.
When to visit the Bunya Mountains
Bunya Mountains NP is a year-round destination, with a cool to mild climate and low humidity.