Search This Blog

Monday, October 16, 2017

Coomba Waterhole, Maidenwell and Harland Park, near Yarraman, QLD.

On our way from Bunya Mountains National Park to Jimna State Forest we stopped off at a couple of places of interest.

Coomba Falls
Coomba Falls
Coomba Falls is 2 km east of Maidenwell along Coomba Waterhole Road. The road drops steeply and is signposted not suitable for caravans. There are bins at the car park but unfortunately there are no picnic tables or toilets. There is a constructed stairway down to the waterhole. 

Looking back up the stairs.
The waterfall was not running when we were there due to prolonged dry weather but the waterhole was still worth the visit.

Coomba Waterhole
It is possible to camp in Maidenwell at either the Maidenwell Hotel or the Maidenwell Recreation Ground. We have not, as yet, camped at either place but they both have reputations as being excellent places to camp. Caravaners find Maidenwell a handy place to leave their vans while they explore Coomba Falls and Bunya Mountains National Park.

Harland Park
Harland Park
Harland Park is 6 km east of Yarraman on the D'Aguilar Highway. Free, overnight camping is allowed here. It is a large grassy area between the highway and Cooyar Creek. There is a picnic shelter but no toilets. There is access to the Rail Trail from here.

"These waters have been stocked by local funds and support from the Queensland Government Fish Stocking Programme"

Cooyar Creek at Harland Park

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Mt Kiangarow Track and Barker Creek Circuit, Bunya Mountains National Park, QLD.

View from the summit of Mt Kiangarow.
Our favourite short walk at Bunya Mountains National Park is the Mt Kiangarow Track. At only 2.3 km return it is well worth doing at any time of day. It is also one of those special places that has great light at both sunrise and sunset.

Scarlet Honeyeater on the Mt Kiangarow Track
The Grass Trees were in flower.

Barker Creek Circuit: 10 km circuit from Dandabah Car Park and Picnic Area.
As we were camping At Burton's Well Campground we drove to Dandabah early in the morning and parked at the picnic area. There is always plenty of wildlife around the picnic area and it is a delightful place to spend some time. Facilities include tables, toilets, information boards and a cafe. The Bunya Bunya Circuit 500 m Class 3, the Scenic Circuit 4 km Class 3 and the Barker Creek Circuit 10 km Class 3, can all be accessed from the Dandabah car park.

Some Dandabah Picnic Area Wildlife:

Male and Female Australian King Parrot.
Guardian of the walking track entry.
This Superb Fairy-wren landed on the window ledge of our car.
Satin Bowerbird, male.

The walk takes a pleasant path through cool, lush rainforest with a bracken understory.

Barker Creek Circuit.
We walked in a clockwise direction to Paradise Falls. The falls were barely flowing due to the dry weather. It is also possible to do a much shorter walk to the falls from the Paradise car park on Bunya Mountains Road.

We saw a Bassian Thrush and Rufous Fantails beside the track. Topknot Pigeons were feeding high in the tree canopy.

Bassian Thrush
Rufous Fantail
Topknot Pigeon
A native King Orchid caught the sun in a dark patch of rainforest.

King Orchid
As we made our way along Barker Creek we kept our eye out for the huge tadpoles of the Great Barred-frog.

Great Barred-frog tadpole in Barker Creek.
Little Falls was also a shadow of its usual self due to the prolonged dry weather. 

Little Falls
We choose to extend the walk by going to Barker Creek Lookout via the informative Tree Identification Walk. The track emerges from the shade of the rainforest into the open and passes across balds. At Big Falls Lookout there were no falls to be seen.

Big Falls appears to have dried up.
While the lookout isn't particularly stunning the tree identification signage is excellent and made the extra walking worth while.

Barker Creek Lookout.
We returned to the main Barker Creek Circuit and continued on in a clockwise direction through a section of eucalypt forest before reentering the rainforest and returning to the Dandabah Picnic Area.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Burtons Well Camping Area, Bunya Mountains National Park, QLD.

Burtons Well Camping Area. Our tent is in front of a huge Grass Tree.
It's no secret, we love the Burtons Well Camping Area at Bunya Mountains National Park. We have camped there many times and are particularly keen to camp there when the Grass Trees are in flower. Flowering time varies but it usually occurs sometime around September. The nectar attracts a wide variety of wildlife, from possums through to butterflies. Just be aware that the Burtons Well Camping Area is restricted to tents.

Booking tags are provided but there is no self-registration.
Wood pile, donkey shower with shower cubicles and toilet block.
There are hybrid toilets and a Donkey Shower in the campground and a dedicated disability campsite.

Disability campsite.
One of the things we love about Burtons Well is the awesome sunrises. There are also excellent sunrise and sunset views from the nearby Mt Kiangarow walk.

Sunrise view from our tent.
We got our timing right this trip and the Grass Trees were in flower which makes for some relaxing campground photography.
Satin Bowerbirds

Macleay's Swallowtail
Paradise Riflebirds
The male Paradise Riflebird kept his distance.
Eastern Spinebill and Crimson Rosella

Wildlife: Northern Brown Bandicoot, Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Red-legged Pademelon, Red-necked Pademelon, Pretty Face (Whiptail) Wallaby, Swamp Wallaby.
Butterflies: Purple Moonbeam, Large Grass Yellow, Macleay's Swallowtail.
Bird List: Satin Bowerbird, Regent Bowerbird, Australian Brush Turkey, Green Catbird, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Pied Currawong, Torresian Crow, Brown Cuckoo-Dove, Superb Fairy-wren, Frey Fantail, Rufous Fantail, Brown Gerygone, Lewin's Honeyeater, Scarlet Honeyeater, Laughing Kookaburra, Southern Boobook, Spotted Pardalote, Australian King Parrot, Topknot Pigeon, Wonga Pigeon, Paradise Riflebird, Eastern Yellow Robin, Crimson Rosella, White-browed Scrubwren, Yellow-throated Scrubwren, Grey Shrike-thrush, Eastern Spinebill, Brown Thornbill, Buff-rumped Thornbill, Bassian Thrush, Eastern Whipbird, Golden Whistler, Willie Wagtail.

Details for Burtons Well Camping Area:
Where: About 250 km north-west of Brisbane. Very steep access roads. Entry from Kumbia signed not suitable for caravans. Entry from Maidenwell signed not suitable for caravans. (I haven't driven in from the south so I'm unaware of the road conditions from that direction but please note access below). 4.2 km north-west of the information centre at Dandabah Camping Area.
Access: 2WD. Sealed roads. Steep roads into the Bunya Mountains. Please note that the Department of Transport and Main Roads advises that "all access roads are unsuitable for long and/or heavy vehicles".
Sites: 1 disability campsite. Large open grassy area for up to 30 people. Tents only. Vehicles in car park separated from tent area by bollards.
Bookings and Fees: Normal National Parks Queensland fees, $6.30 pp at time of writing. Maximum stay 14 nights. Book online or by phone 13 74 68.
Facilities: Hybrid toilets, tables, wood BBQs, wood pile, donkey shower (BYO bucket to take water to shower cubicle), 2 shower cubicles with canvas shower bags, taps (non-potable). We had Telstra phone reception at the campground but not throughout the park. Walks. No bins. 
Prohibitions: No pets. No generators. Don't collect wood from the park. No camping in the car park.
Caution: Check regularly for ticks. Tent only campground. No long and/or heavy vehicle access to the Bunya Mountains.
What's Special: Large Grass Trees. Lots of birds and wallabies.
Other Campgrounds in Bunya Mountain National Park: Dandabah: suitable for any rig that can drive into the mountains ie. not long and/or large. Westcott: tent only.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Jimbour Station, Jimbour QLD.

Jimbour Homestead
Truth be told, we hummed and hawed about visiting Jimbour Station. We love the great outdoors, bush walking and wildlife but our interest in history is more incidental than passionate. Fortunately, we decided to stop by on our way from Lake Broadwater Conservation Park to Bunya Mountains National Park, as we really enjoyed our visit.

Water Tower built in the 1870's.
There is a huge parking area suitable for all rig types which is perfect for travelers. Entry is $3 per person and this includes an excellent brochure for self-guided exploration of the grounds.

Chapel built in 1868.
Jacaranda Avenue, glorious even when not in flower.
Summer House seen from the shade of enormous fig trees.
We especially liked the Millicent Russel Kitchen Garden and so did a host of butterflies. Meadow Argus fluttered about, the lavender was alive with Cabbage Whites and the leek flower heads proved irresistible to hordes of Lesser Wanderers.

Millicent Russell Kitchen Garden.
Lesser Wanderer Danaus chrysippus on a leek flower.
We were impressed with the number of birds that we encountered on our stroll about the grounds: Red-rumped Parrots, Red-winged Parrots, Pale-headed Rosellas, Grey-headed Babblers, Crested Pigeons and Common Starlings.

Grey-crowned Babbler.
Even the back of Jimbour Homestead is stunning and the Blue Stone house impressed.

Deborah Russell Garden at the back of Jimbour Homestead.
Blue Stone building built in 1868.
There had been very dry weather prior to our visit but the grounds were quite green, perhaps due to the large water tower on the grounds. We didn't encounter anyone on our visit but special mention needs to be made of the gardeners as they clearly do a magnificent job.

Water tower overlooking the airfield.
Details for Jimbour Station:
Where: 238 km north-west of Brisbane. 30 km north of Dalby.
Access: Sealed roads suitable for all rigs. Huge parking area.
Open: 7 days a week during daylight hours.
Fees: $3 per person.
Walk: Easy, suitable for strollers. Allow a couple of hours to look around.
Contact:   07 4663 6108
Facilities: Modern toilet block in the back corner. You can picnic in the grounds but there are no tables. Brochures at the entry.
Camping: It appears that there may be camping allowed here during special events such as "Opera at Jimbour".

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Lake Broadwater Conservation Park, QLD.

Lake Broadwater
Truth be told, we were keen to camp here due to the hot showers which were very welcome after so many days on the road! We were also looking forward to camping on grass after the severe drought conditions we had been encountering. Unfortunately, it was very dry here as well and the grass was a shadow of its former self. At least the lake was full and we found it very soothing to gaze out over the water. 

Tent camping at Lake Broadwater.
We enjoyed a leisurely stroll from this campground to the Wilga Bush Camping Area and back; approximately 4 km. 

Walking track to Wilga Camping Area
We got quite a shock when we were confronted by a Landcruiser driving towards us on the walking track. We could see a couple of dogs in the back on the open tray. We stepped aside, and as it passed us, we clearly saw the dogs standing next to a huge dead feral pig. Previously, we have enjoyed seeing lots of reptiles on this walk but this time, although we saw lots of goanna tracks, we didn't see any wildlife other than birds. Perhaps not surprising given that we had seen the pig hunter and his dogs.


Little Corellas
Red-rumped Parrots: male (left), female (right)
Black Swans on the lake.

Black-fronted Dotterel and White-headed Stilt.
We checked out the bird hide but although we did see a few more shore birds on this trip compared to our last trip  there still weren't a lot of birds to see from the hide.

Bird hide at Lake Broadwater.

Eastern Grey Kangaroos near the bird hide.
I also wrote a blog about Lake Broadwater in May 2017.

Details for Lake Broadwater Recreation Area Campground in Lake Broadwater Conservation Park, QLD:
Where: 30 km south-west of Dalby. Off Broadwater Road.
Facilities: Two amenities blocks with flush toilets (one with hot showers, one with cold showers), bins, tank water, variable limited phone reception, TV reception, gas BBQ’s, fireplaces, picnic shelters and tables. Children's playground. Boat ramp.
Campsites: Suitable for tents and all rig types. Large campground. Grassy areas with some trees. No defined sites. No power.
Fees: $6.20 per adult, self-register, no bookings. Maximum stay 21 nights. Caretaker comes round every evening and checks payments.
Prohibited: Pets. Collecting firewood.

Wildlife: Common Brushtail Possum, Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Feral cats. As well as the dead feral pig.
Bird List: Apostlebird, Grey-crowned Babbler, White-bellied Sea-eagle, Whistling Kite, White-winged Chough, Cockatiel, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Little Corella, Galah, Pied Currawong, Torresian Crow, Australian Wood Duck, Grey Teal, Peaceful Dove, Superb Fairy-wren, Little Friarbird, White-faced Heron, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Australian White Ibis, Laughing Kookaburra, Rainbow Lorikeet, Australian Magpie, Magpie Lark, Masked Lapwing, Noisy Miner, Common Myna, Striated Pardalote, Australian King Parrot, Red-winged Parrot, Red-rumped Parrot, Australian Pelican, Easter Yellow Robin, Pale-headed Rosella, Rainbow Bee-eater, Eurasian Coot, Black Swan, White-headed Stilt, Black-fronted Dotterel, Weebill, Willie Wagtail.