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The Bunya Mountains: Jurassic National Park
Where are the Bunya Mountains?
The Bunya Mountains National Park is located approximately 200km north-west of Brisbane.

The Mountains can be reached from:
  • Nanango via Maidenwell
  • the Bunya Highway via Kingaroy and Kumbia
  • the Bunya Highway via Dalby and Bell
  • Toowoomba via Jondaryan and Maclagan, or
  • Yarraman via Cooyar


How big are the Bunya Mountains?
The Bunya Mountains National Park covers an area of 11,700 hectares (about 25,000 acres). The Mountains are shared between Nanango, Kingaroy and Wambo Shires but the overwhelming majority of the area lies within Nanango Shire in the South Burnett.

Dandabah - located immediately next to the National Park - is the main settlement in the area. It offers a range of accommodation and a 100-seat conference centre; a restaurant; a cellar door; a tea room; a craft gallery and a convenience food outlet, as well as extensive picnic facilities. Dandabah has a permanent population of around 40 residents.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service also maintain an office at Dandabah. The office provides advice on the area, walking trail maps and other current information about conditions within the National Park. The office also issues permits for camping at the Bunya Mountains' three principal camping areas: Dandabah, Westcott and Burton's Well. You can contact the Department to book a campsite by phoning 131-304. You can also find out more about the area by visiting Dandabah's Natural History Museum


What are the Bunya Mountains like?
The Bunya Mountains are an isolated section of the Great Dividing Range which rise abruptly from the surrounding countryside to an average elevation of 975m (1100m at Mounts Mowbullan and Kiangarow).

The views are spectacular but the nights can be cool - even in summer - so bring warm clothing. The area contains the largest natural Bunya pine forest in the world along with a number of unique features such as natural grassland 'balds' (themselves composed of rare grass species) and both wet and dry rainforests.

The Mountains are home to many species of Australian native birds including brilliantly-coloured king parrots and crimson rosellas, along with large numbers of rednecked wallabies, swamp wallabies and pademelons. Mountain brushtail possums and the smaller Bunya Mountains ringtail possum can also be seen at night. Many native animals also wander freely around the Dandabah picnic areas - but tourists are asked not to feed them (it's bad for wild animals to become dependent on humans).

The National Park itself is covered by an extensive series of well-maintained walking tracks covering approximately 40km with tree identification. These are very popular with bushwalkers and naturalists. The Park's three public camping areas offer inexpensive accommodation, while chalets and cabins at Dandabah provide more comprehensive accommodation facilities.

Because all access routes to the Mountains are very steep and all roads within the National Park are narrow, caravans and trailers are not encouraged. Visitors should also note that there is no petrol outlet on the Bunya Mountains and they should refuel at either Maidenwell, Kumbia or Bell.


When were the Bunya Mountains established?
The Bunya Mountains were formed in the Jurassic era and until the arrival of Europeans, they played a significant role in Aboriginal culture.

Every three years tribes from throughout south-east Queensland would trek to the Mountains (often over a distance of several hundred miles) for special ceremonies, feasting, hunting and corroborees. The visits were timed to coincide with heavy crops of Bunya nut pine cones.

Timber cutters arrived in the region in the 1860s and began to establish sawmills to harvest the Bunya pines. However - once the uniqueness of the area began to be appreciated - public agitation for preservation of the Mountains quickly grew.

In 1908 the Queensland State Government gazetted 9,303 ha as the Bunya Mountains National Park (the second declared national park ion the state). This was later extended to 11,700 ha - partly by land donations from locals who also wished to see this unique part of Australia preserved for future generations to enjoy.

It's now proposed to extend the Park by a further 40% to further protect its fragile ecosystems. This is expected to occur in 2005.


Useful Bunya Mountains information links




The view from a Bunya Mountain bald

Above: The Bunya Mountains offer spectacular views over the surrounding area. They're also home to unique natural formations called "balds" where lush forests suddenly give way to grasslands.

Inspecting a Bunya Nut

Above: Bunya pine cones are roughly the size of cannonballs and each one contains around 120 nuts. Collecting or consuming pine cones in the National Park is prohibited (photo courtesy of Clive Lowe)

Bunya Mountains chalets

Above: Dandabah offers a wide range of chalet and log cabin accommodation, and is a very popular weekend getaway (photo courtesy of Clive Lowe)

Bunya Mountains forests

Above: The Bunya Mountains National Park is the second oldest in Queensland. It's also one of the few National Parks in Australia that visitors can drive through (photo courtesy of
Clive Lowe)

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