When scoping out things to do in the South Burnett region, there is one place that you can’t go past. The isolated peaks of the Bunya Mountains National Park are the most beautiful, serene and picturesque place to escape to and many activities will draw you in time and time again, but it’s not the only incredible place to visit in this Gympie adjacent region.
While it looks like nothing but agriculture as far as the eye can see, there are some lovely hidden places between the pasture where you can get away from it all and walk amongst the peace and serenity of the country and explore the world at a slower pace.
Get Lost In A Rainforest
It’s also home to the largest concentration of natural Bunya Pine in the world. While these unique trees that resemble fishbones are plentiful here and a sight to see, it’s the other natural attractions that will draw you in time and time again.
The mountain range has numerous walks for the casual walker but also caters to hikers who like a long, hard slog. Natural lookouts and waterfalls are in plentiful supply around here, and so are the animals.
Pademelons are a bit more elusive, but a trip to the mountaintop township, Dandabah will have you surrounded by wallabies who look like they’ve taken over the joint. Fluffiness abounds!
If that’s not enough to draw you in, Bunya Mountains National Park is also listed as a Dark Sky Area, meaning if you catch a clear night, stargazing is at its most magnificent.
There are so many reasons this national park is a must-visit destination. It’s a special place, and no matter what you do here, they’ll become cherished memories.
- Click the links below for my adventure at Bunya Mountains Camping Trip:
Get High At Kingaroy
Mt Wooroolin & Apex Lookout
Head into Kingaroy, and you’ll find two beautiful lookouts with sweeping views. One has views over the city and extends to the surrounding agricultural lands (Apex Lookout) while the other is all country vibes (Mt Wooroolin). Both are unexpectedly beautiful, calming and easy to get to, and are lovely places to watch the day turn into night.
Enjoy A Picnic or BBQ Over A Serene Lake
Lake Barambah/ Blijke-Petersen Dam, Moffatdale
If you’re looking for a serene place to chill and perhaps fill up on some grub, pack a snack and head out to Blijke-Petersen Dam on the northern shores of Lake Barambah. It’s picturesque, calm and pretty.
It’s also home to a pod, a scoop, a pouch, a squadron or a fleet of pelicans. Seriously, never has there ever been more pelicans sighted together like this that I have ever seen.
It’s also prime munching ground for the grass-munching, land-dwelling rabbits, and surprisingly horses. Yes, randomly, horses!!! “Where did they come from, where did they go, where did they come from, Cotton Horse Joe?”
It’s a nice place to dine with the locals as well as doing some water-based activities if that tickles your fancy and is a good place to do some animal watching for all you animal-lovers out there.
Walk An Upside-Down Boat Shaped Mountain And Get Glorious Views From The Top
Boat Mountain Conservation Park, Tablelands
One word springs to mind when you think of an upside-down boat: Poseidon. Unfortunately, this mountain named so because it resembles the upturned hull of a boat has nothing to do with the fictional capsized ship, but it does have one hell of a view at the end, which is also unrelated.
Walks through the Boat Mountain Conservation Park consists of one main track to Daniels Lookout with Braithwaites Lookout on the way and Silburns Vine Scrub Walk which deviates from the main track and meets up with it further down the line.
The Silburns Vine Scrub Walk doesn’t have attractions in the way of lookouts or land formations, but the vegetation of dense softwood scrub is noticeably different to that of the open eucalypt woodland of Daniels Lookout walk.
While Braithwaites Lookout provides lovely views of the township of Murgon, the walk to Daniels Lookout takes you along a ridgeline and has incredible views looking east and west, with the very end of the track revealing the spectacular undulating landscapes of the north and east.
While the track at the beginning has numerous steps, Daniels Lookout is most definitely worth the calve and thigh burn.
- Click here for my trip to Boat Mountain Conservation Park as part of my NE South Burnett Drive: Day 2.
Go Bird Watching
Wooroolin Wetlands, Wooroolin
For peeps who want to go bird watching, a great place to do some avian spotting is a little place next to the main road in the tiny town of Wooroolin.
Wooroolin Wetlands is a wetland swamp that has thousands of dead eucalyptus trees creating a fantastic nesting area for resident and migratory birds.
It’s home to numerous birds, but one species that is particularly prevalent is the “here a galah, there a galah, everywhere a galah, galah,” galah. Those cute pink and grey cockatoos are the resident birds of a feather that flock together.
You can either lay in wait in a bird hide, or you can wander the wetlands see if you can spot any as you stroll around the fauna sanctuary, but don’t expect there to always be a lake.
It’s a seasonally flooded wetland that sometimes drains out. It’s thought to be because it lies in a volcanic area and tremors could create a wayfare for the water to leak into lava tubes below the wetlands.
Still, it’s a nice place to stop by on a road trip through the South Burnett region and quietly observe that flying fauna that inhabits these wetlands.
Take A Refreshing Dip At A Gorgeous Waterfall
Coomba Falls, Maidenwell
Not far off the New England Highway between Yarraman and Cooyar, lies the Maidenwell and lying within that quaint little town is the unexpectedly spectacular Coomba Falls!
A short walk from the car park and down numerous steps takes you to a gorgeous bouldered area that resembles areas of the granite belt and on a smooth, broad, steep slope between two cliffs is where the water of the Tanduringie Creek slides its way down into a beautiful large plunge pool.
Even when there is no water flowing as is often the case with waterfalls in Australia, the area is still spectacular.
Make your visit here even more special by cooling off in the plunge pools frigid waters if you dare. Call it refreshing and invite your friends in too. They’re more likely to take a dip with you if you make it sound more positive rather than saying you’re freezing your ass off.
Regardless of whether you swim in the natural pool in the summer or are crazy enough to do it in the winter or not at all, the wonderfully scenic Coomba Falls is a spectacular place you must visit.
Pay Respects To The Aboriginal Soldiers Who Fought In WWI & WWII
Anzac Memorial Park, Cherbourg
Nestled between the serene Blijke Petersen Dam/ Lake Barambah and their pelicans, rabbits and wild horses and Murgon and its many signs, lies a quaint Aboriginal town brimming with small country town charm.
The buildings are adorned with beautiful artwork, and friendly dogs roam freely, but the Anzac Memorial Park in the centre of town is a must when visiting here.
You’ll be able to read the story of their participation in the war efforts and how they fought so valiantly alongside their countrymen from all over Australia. But the fight for the Aboriginal community was not won.
You’ll learn that even though they gave as much as their white counterparts, they had to fight hard to get the same recognition for the sacrifices their men gave to fight for the freedoms of our country.
It’s a small but beautiful memorial to an often overlooked community, but you can pay your respects to those who fought and lost their lives in the greatest battles known to modern man and learn of their hardships surrounding the wars of the early 20th century.
Picnic At The Apex
Apex Kapernick Park, Tablelands
Are you thinking about cooking up a storm for breakfast, lunch or dinner next time you’re out exploring South Burnett? Rather than chomp down on your chow at a park in town with the constant flow of traffic eyeballing you as you bite, slurp or chug your meal, opt for a park with a view.
Apex Kapernick Park lies in the hills to the north of Murgon and is a lovely place to eat your tucker in the peace and quiet of the countryside. It also has some picturesque views of the undulating landscape and is a great place to chill and fill your belly, fueling you for your next adventure.
- Click here to read about my visit to Apex Kapernick Park as part of my NE South Burnett Drive: Day 2.
Follow The Rail Trail
Following the old railway line, the 88km trail takes you through gentle, undulating country landscapes through several towns in the north-eastern section of South Burnett and the north-western areas of Gympie such as Wooroolin, Murgon and Goomeri.
With most towns having free camping/ caravanning places in town right by the trail, you can opt to do one or two sections or complete the whole thing over a few consecutive days depending on how much you would like to do.
Additionally, much of the trail through the South Burnett section is sealed, and the relatively short distances between most towns make it an ideal long-distance adventure for those of average fitness who want to conquer the landscape by foot power.
Have you explored the South Burnett region? What were some of your favourite things you did there that didn’t rattle the change purse? Which ones would you like to see when you visit this quiet country area and its quaint towns?
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