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Bunya Mountains For Families

The Bunya Mountains is a spectacular wilderness range forming an isolated section of the Great Dividing Range situated about 150km from the coast and lying almost centrally between Kingaroy and Dalby.  The immense subtropical range of cool, green rainforest, eucalypt forests and woodlands is home to the world’s largest forest of bunya pines.

Helping Families Reconnect, Relax and Refuel their Spirit

Traditional custodians and visitors to the Bunya Mountains have a common belief that this area is a very spiritual and sacred place. The mountains exude calm, uplifting energy, their majestic beauty revitalizes your body and soul. Bunya Mountains is a nurturing giver; this timeless wilderness area is steeped in history that goes back eons.


About the Bunya Mountains

Bunya Mountains National Park is Queensland’s second-oldest national park and protects the world’s largest remaining bunya pine rainforest. The park features panoramic mountain scenery and breathtaking views over the South Burnett region and southern plains.

“Bunya” has four distinct seasons with corresponding dramatic changes in rainforest colour. In October at dusk the fireflies flash their bright white lights and the King Orchids display their brilliant yellow flowers on the canopy tops.  In winter the temperature regularly drops to zero and below resulting in cold morning frosts and days were you can see your breath condense in puffs when you talk.

Nights are alive with the sounds of the nocturnal creatures and a myriad of stars, while the lights of Dalby, Oakey, Kingaroy and Toowoomba are clearly visible from Fishers Lookout. Mist covered mountain scenery is a sight to behold on an early morning walk as you take in the fresh crisp, clean high altitude air.

The Bunya Mountains are home to 121 species of birds, rare and precious varieties attract birdwatchers worldwide. Brilliantly coloured king parrots, crimson rosellas and satin bowerbirds are common sights.

Countless red-necked wallabies bound or preen in grassy areas. Swamp wallabies and red-necked pademelons prefer the cover of the rainforest but are observed along the roadside.

Thinking about Dalby too? Check out our Things to do in Dalby with Kids post.

Things to Do in the Bunya Mountains:

Wilderness Walks

For a wilderness walk like no other, the National Park and Russell Park have a number of walking tracks well worth experiencing. Enjoy a short stroll or longer trek, the cool, lush rainforest and the world’s largest grouping of Bunya Pines, will have you marveling at the greenery and height of these forest giants.  The walks don’t just attract human families, though! Keep an eye out for wallabies and colourful native birds.

Bunya Mountains Markets

Check out the Bunya Mountain Markets on the last Sunday of every month. You will find 25+ stall holders with local homemade and home grown produce.  Buy art, craft, cakes and local Bunya nuts too!

Poppies Cafe Bunya Mountains

Savour the taste of the wonderful food at Poppies Café on the Hill. The Bunya nut is the local delicacy so why not try their Bunya Nut Scones or Bunya burger featuring a beef & bunya nut patty. Match your meal with a delicious hot chocolate (with marshmallows of course) or try Poppies Cafe special coffee blend for a cappuccino; latte or flat white.

Local Towns Near Bunya Mountains

Visit Coomba Falls at Maidenwell, just a short drive away. Pop in for a refreshing swim or just a picnic lunch by the water. Visit Cedarvale on Saturdays from 10am to 2pm to gain a greater insight into Bunya Mountains’ history and general information about the mountain range. Cedarvale is staffed by volunteers from the Natural History Association. Fishers Lookout is an amazing place. Walk up to the knoll to admire the view and orient yourself with the towns and cities surrounding us.  Enjoy the sunset over Bell and beyond.  Visit at night to marvel at the myriad of stars and the twinkling lights of the nearby towns and cities.

Activities Kids Love

  • Enjoy a game of tennis on the Bunya Mountains Accommodation Centres tennis courts.
  • Go spotlighting at night – walk up Bunya Avenue against the rainforest. With luck you may spot nocturnal animals such as sugar gliders, mountain brushtail possums and the smaller Bunya Mountains ringtail possums.  Watch out for Great-barred frogs waiting to catch unsuspecting insects.
  • The kids will love seeing the fireflies at dusk (October/November). Their flashing lights are readily seen on a walk down Bunya Mountains Road.  The fireflies are readily visible for about an hour after sunset.
  • Go on a horse and cart ride – enjoy the novelty of being powered by two enormous draught horses.
  • Explore the timber chutes in Russell Park – (Carbines Chute and Chute No. 3 are well worth a look). You can see the scars of Carbines Chute clearly from the Dalby Road.
  • Take a walk through the giant strangler fig – the 4 km scenic circuit features a walking platform which goes through the middle of a huge fig tree. Many a child has happily played hide and seek within and around the buttresses.  Make sure you also look for the large tadpoles of the great barred frog hiding in the quiet ponds of Saddletree Creek on the 4km scenic circuit.
  • See our top 10 things kids love to do at the Bunya Mountains here.

Seasonal Activities in the Mountains

  • During September and October, you will see King orchids flowering. You can see the bright yellow in the rainforest canopy or clinging onto the cliffs on the Westcott to Cherry Plains walk.
  • During February and March the Bunya nuts are falling – its spectacular but please be careful where you park! Bunya nuts can weigh up to 8kg and bring down branches as they fall to the ground.  Once on the ground our native animals enjoy a bunya nut feast.

Location of the Bunya Mountains

The Bunya Mountains are an easy 2½ – 3 hours’ drive from Brisbane or the Sunshine Coast.  Important to note:  Using your GPS may take you on longer, alternate routes. Refer to their website for directions via the shortest route.

Bunya Mountains Accommodation, getting there, map

Bunya Mountains Accommodation Centre

The team at the Bunya Mountains Accommodation Centre thoroughly enjoy helping people plan their Bunya ‘time out’. They have access to more than 100 local holiday houses including small cosy cottages and chalets to very large architecturally designed holiday houses.  Some are nestled amongst the rainforest or perched high on the hillsides with sweeping views across the spectacular wilderness range.  They can accommodate individuals, couples, small to large families and very large groups.  They have accommodation options to meet your group size and budget requirements.  It is their goal to ensure you get exactly what you are seeking from your time in your Bunya Mountains accommodation.

The Bunya Mountains Accommodation Centre team bring together more than 50 years of local experience and knowledge. They feel privileged to share the spirit of Bunya Mountains with all their visitors, it is a unique and truly amazing place to experience.

Please contact them for all your Bunya Mountains information.  If you have questions or would like assistance planning your holiday experience, they are available to assist at all times.

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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