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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Bunya Mountains National Park, QLD. Part 3. Western Walks.

Walking at Bunya Mountains National Park. Part A: Western Walks.

There are two distinct areas for walking in Bunya Mountains National Park. Rainforest walks start from Dandabah or Paradise and offer waterfalls, Bunya trees and rainforest. Western walks offer dry rainforest, escarpments and lookouts. Here is a link for a map of the walks:

Russell Park is also an excellent walk just outside the national park.

Western Walks:

Summit Views from Mount Kiangarow
Mount Kiangarow Track is a Class 3, 2.3 km return walk. Although this is a walk to the summit of Mt. Kiangarow it is not steep or difficult. The Xanthorrhoea (grass trees) on the walk and the views from the summit are magnificent. This is one of our favourite walks and we have done it several times. The trailhead is opposite Burtons Well Day Use Area. There is a small pull up area at the trailhead and plenty of parking in the Burtons Well Day Use Area.

Avenue of Xanthorrhoea on the Mount Kiangarow Track
We especially like walking the Mount Kiangarow Track at sunrise and sunset.

Dawn on the Mount Kiangarow Track
Birds that we have seen most often on the track are Lewin's Honeyeater, Brown Cuckoo-Dove, Rufous Fantail, Black-faced Monarch and Eastern Spinebill.

Brown Cuckoo-Dove
Lewin's Honeyeater ( Ok it's really a photo of the spike)
Black-faced Monarch
Cherry Plain to Burtons Well is a Class 4 walk. This walk can be done in two ways. It is a 12 km walk if you return on the same track. Or you can walk 6 km one way and return by a 2.4 km section of Bunya  Mountains Road. We choose to walk the loop via the road. From Burtons Well, it is easier, gradient wise, to walk the road on the return of the walk but we choose to walk the road section first early in the morning while the road was quiet. This walk is the longest of the western walks but if you prefer an even longer hike it is possible to connect the western walks together.
Bunya Mountains Road, early in the morning
Bald at Bunya Mountains National Park
View from Cherry Plain Lookout
View from Bottle Tree Bluff
View back to Bottle Tree Lookout
View from Ghinghion Lookout
We had our first close up look at a bald on this walk. The ranger had told us that when Bunya Mountains National Park was first declared a lot of work went into planting trees on the balds as it was assumed that the trees had been removed. We noticed that the campsites appeared to have been developed on balds. It wasn't until much later that it was realised that balds are natural grasslands containing rare grass species.

We didn't see a lot of wildlife on the walk but we did startle a large flock of Topknot Pigeons as we approached one of the lookouts. We also saw one of the biggest feral cats that we have ever seen. It was black and when you see a cat like that you can understand why there are sightings of "pumas" from time to time.
Koondaii Circuit is a Class 4, 2.5 km return loop.

We parked at the Westcott Picnic Area and did the Koondaii Circuit. This is one of the shorter walks but it has steep sections.

View from Koondaii Lookout

There is also a 6.4 km walk from Paradise to Westcott and a 9.6 km walk from Westcott to Cherry Plain. This walk looks interesting as it provides views over remnant bottletree scrubs.

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