Bunya Mountains National Park
|Bunya Mountains National Park|
|Nearest town/city||Bell, Queensland|
|Area||117 km2 (45.2 sq mi)|
|Managing authorities||Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service|
|Official site||Bunya Mountains National Park|
Bunya Mountains is a national park in Queensland, Australia. The park includes much of the mountain range called the Bunya Mountains. The mountains are covered by the most westerly forests in southern Queensland and the largest area of bunya pines remaining in the world. It is situated 63 km northeast of Dalby or 58 km southwest of Kingaroy.
The park is known for its abundant wildlife and spectacular views. The mild climate of the range means morning and evening temperatures are low. The park is accessed by a steep and winding roads and is well serviced with camping grounds, an extensive network of walking tracks and several picnic grounds.
The Waku Waku tribes were the first to populate the mountains. During the 1860s the park was logged for red cedar, bunya pine and hoop pine and the Aboriginals were pushed out. European settlers began to visit the area and enjoy the scenery in the same decade.
The Bunya Sawmill opened in 1883. As the 9,112 hectare national park was declared in 1908, it makes it the second oldest national park in Queensland. A further addition to the park was donated by WA Russell MLA in 1927. Timber was still removed from the national park until about 1917. The last sawmill on the mountains closed in 1945.
The first walking tracks were constructed in 1939. Carbine's chute was the first of many trenches built to assist the removal of logs off the mountains. It can be accessed by a 1.5 km track from Munros camp. The last sawmill in the area was at Wengenville, which closed in 1961. In a successful attempt to reduce the splintering and damage to logs from falling down the steep trenches the owner of the Wengenville sawmill, Lars Anderson, used a combination of tramway, winches, winders and flying foxes to transport logs.
Some of the parks Bunya Pines are estimated to be up to 600 years old and 25 metres high. The forests contain stinging nettles, wild raspberry, many vines and pockets of ferns. Other trees species in the park include White Beech and Silky Oaks. Grass trees on Mount Kiangarow grow nearly 5 m tall and some are least several hundred years old.
Scattered throughout the mountain forests are many natural clearings known as 'grassy balds'. These clearings are typically a few hectares in area and are caused by bushfires and geological conditions. Where there a slabs of unfractured basalt soil formation and root penetration is impossible, leaving a patch in the forest. There are about 100 balds, although those caused by fire are steadily being lost due to a lack of recent fires. The grassy balds have a higher biodiversity than the dense rainforests, because they are home to birds and rodents not found elsewhere in the forest.
The park is home to more than 200 frogs and reptiles as well as marsupials such as Pademelons, Rock wallabies, Swamp wallabies and the Bunya Mountains Ringtail possum. Some snake species common to the area are the Carpet snake, Red Bellied Black Snake and Brown Tree Snake.
The mountains are part of the Bunya Mountains and Yarraman Important Bird Area which contains what is thought to be the largest population of the Black-breasted Button-quail. There are 120 species of birds including the Wedge-tailed Eagle, Australian Brush-turkey, Eastern Whipbird, King Parrot, Satin Bowerbird, Goshawks and Finches. The Bunya Mountains support important populations of Green Catbirds, Regent Bowerbirds and Paradise Riflebirds, as well as being the western limit of the biome-restricted Australian Logrunner. There are also Currawongs, Noisy Pittas, King parrots, Crimson rosellas, Wonga pigeons and brush turkeys.
There is a visitor information centre and campgrounds at Dandabah. Other campgrounds are provided at Burton's Well and Westcott. There are a number of well-developed walking tracks, some with lookouts. Picnic facilities are provided at Dandabah.
- Explore Queensland's National Parks. Prahran, Victoria: Explore Australia Publishing. 2008. p. 42. ISBN 978-1-74117-245-4.
- Hema Maps (1997). Discover Australia's National Parks. Milsons Point, New South Wales: Random House Australia. p. 162. ISBN 1-875992-47-2.
- "Bunya Mountains National Park: Nature, culture and history". Department of Environment and Resource Management. 6 August 2010. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
- Shilton, Peter (2005). Natural Areas of Queensland. Mount Gravatt, Queensland: Goldpress. pp. 211–214. ISBN 0-9758275-0-2.
- "Russell Park". bunyamountains.com. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
- Department of Environment. (1996). Bunya Mountains National Park Visitor Information State of Queensland.
- A Walk in the Park: Queensland. by Stapleton, Jane and Penny, Roger. ABC Audio. 2007.
- "IBA: Bunya Mountains & Yarraman". Birdata. Birds Australia. Retrieved 2011-06-08.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bunya Mountains National Park.|
- Bunya Mountains National Park travel guide from Wikivoyage