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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Main Range National Park QLD: Goomburra Section.

The Goomburra section of Main Range National Park is about 175 km south-west of Brisbane. On the way there, we stopped for morning tea at Fassifern Reserve on the Cunningham Highway. This is a free overnight camping area with toilets and tank water. A Yellow-rumped Thornbill was fossicking on the gravel driveway. With their bright yellow rump it is easy to see why they are commonly referred to as Butter Bums.

Yellow-rumped Thornbill at Fassifern

From the Cunningham Highway we turned off at Gladfield and drove to Goomburra.

                                               Goomburra Hall                                         

From there, we took Inverramsay Road and drove past the popular private campgrounds of Gordon Country and Goomburra Valley. We continued on to Forestry Reserve Road, past the first national park camp ground, Poplar Flat, and arrived at Manna Gum camp ground at the end of the road.The last 6 km could get very sticky in wet weather.

Poplar Flat Camping Area
Manna Gum Camping Area

The Manna Gum camping area is fairly large with many fire rings (BYO wood) and several taps with clean non potable water. There are well maintained pit toilets and no showers. There is no phone reception. We were there in the Easter holidays and there was plenty of space available. Every day some horned cattle made their way through the campground and around the amenities block.

Cattle in front of the amenities block.

Bell Miners (Bell Birds) and Satin Bowerbirds are common in the campground.

Bell Miner

Female Satin Bowerbird
Young Bowerbirds look, for all intents and purposes, just like female Bowerbirds. However, from their fourth year males start to develop black feathers. Sitting at the campsite one afternoon, we were thrilled to see a shy young male appear.

Immature Male Satin Bowerbird
By their seventh year adult males attain full glossy black plumage.

Adult male Satin Bowerbird

Walking Tracks
Three walking tracks start from Manna Gum campground.

Dalrymple Circuit, 1.2 km. A pleasant Class 3 loop walk.


Wildlife encountered on the Dalrymple Circuit

Dalrymple Creek
Cascades Circuit, 6.5 km. 
We hadn’t realised that this Class 4 walk involved crossing Dalrymple Creek several times. I didn’t count them at the time but I estimate that there were at least 15 crossings. As we walked the track anti-clockwise we ended up doing the crossings at the end of the walk. Next time we would do the walk clockwise so as to enjoy the crossings more. 

Cascade Falls

The walk started well with sightings of a pair of Glossy Black-Cockatoos feeding on sheoak nuts.

Glossy Black-Cockatoo

It took a little extra time to negotiate a large tree that had fallen over the track.

Fallen tree on the Cascades Circuit

There was a loud whirring noise in the tree canopy as a huge flock of Topknot Pigeons moved from tree to tree to feed.

Topknot Pigeon

A small black snake was spotted sunning itself on a river rock as we negotiated the many crossings of Dalrymple Creek before returning to our campsite.

Ridge Track, 5 km. 
It is best to tackle this Class 4 walk anti-clockwise and climb up the ridge first. The initial climb is very steep with slippery shale underfoot. I would not like to try coming down on such a slippery surface. One of the main reasons for climbing up here is to see the great views from above, however, the higher we climbed the mistier it got as we ascended into the clouds.

Misty morning on the Ridge Track

We found this early morning walk quite magical and as we had hoped it was the perfect stage to encounter Albert’s Lyrebirds. We saw three Albert’s Lyrebirds and heard another one nearby. As it was quite dark in the forest our camera struggled a bit with the light.

Albert's Lyrebird

As a Grey Fantail posed for a photo a beautiful male Mistletoebird briefly landed in a bush next to it but I missed the shot.

Grey Fantail

The Start of the Ridge Track is challenging but seeing the lyrebirds made us feel like intrepid explorers and we came back to camp elated.


An interesting couple from Alaska were the only other people out walking on the trails. They vacation in Australia every Alaskan winter. They were very well informed about Australian birds and wildlife and we had an informative chat.

We didn’t see much on our night walks and were particularly disappointed not to see any frogs as Goomburra is a special area for Fleay’s barred frog.

We found it interesting that the family next to us were on a guided camping trip. The guide showed them how to erect a tent, did all the cooking and took them out during the day.

We would like to come back to Goomburra and walk the North Branch track which starts near Poplar Flat camp ground. There is also a 4X4 road to the Araucarta Falls track, Sylvesters lookout and Mount Castle lookout to explore.

On the way home, we had a quick stop for lunch at Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mount Coot-tha.

Brisbane Botanic Garden, Mount Coot-tha 


  1. These are some great photos of a place I've never been to! Some of the wildlife you've displayed here are actually not that easy to find or photograph in my opinion - Glossy Black-Cockatoos, Southern Angle-headed Dragons and Topknot Pigeons are all great sightings.

    Looking forward to learning more from your updates and facebook page, Sri! :)

  2. Thanks for your encouraging comment Christian. National Parks are such wonderful places to look at wildlife.

  3. Live your view of Goomburra- we love the Main Range National Park also- the pademelon is gorgeous!

  4. Thanks Judith, we really enjoyed our camping trip there and I'm sure we will go again.