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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Manna Gum Campground, Goomburra Section, Main Range National Park, QLD.

We have camped in Manna Gum Campground twice before. The first time was in our tent and that trip ended up becoming my first blog. Later we spent our first night in our new Kimberely Karavan at Manna Gum Campground on our way to Girraween National Park. This time we came back with the aim of doing the walks we hadn’t managed to do previously.

We were thrilled that quite close to our van a pair of Glossy Black-Cockatoos came in every evening to roost in a tree hollow. The female would arrive first and enter the tree hollow then the male would arrive and after quite a drawn out ritual the female would finally allow him to join her. Several times we saw them flying with one other Glossy and on one occasion we saw four together. These beautiful birds are listed as vulnerable.

Glossy-Black Cockatoo, female.
Manna Gum Campground is a lovely place to sit and listen to a large colony of Bell Miners. We noticed that there are a lot of dead trees around the campground and we had been wondering what was killing them. We found out from other campers that the trees are dying because the Bell Miners actively chase away other birds. Bell Miners don’t eat the lerp insects that damage trees and because they chase away the birds that would normally eat the lerp insects the trees become overrun by insects and over time the trees die. Apparently, this whole process is explained in the book Where Song Began by Tim Low. We will be getting our hands on the book as soon as we get the opportunity.

Bell Miner
Dead trees at Manna Gum Campground.
Satin Bowerbirds are popular residents in the campground and one of the few birds that seem to survive the Bell Miner harassment. We were able to locate a Satin Bowerbird bower in the Dalrymple Circuit.

Satin Bowerbird Bower.
Red-necked Pademelons like to graze on the grass in the early morning. They can also be seen along the trails but are fairly shy here and will dart away when they hear you coming. There were a few goannas wandering around checking out the camp sites and fire rings for tasty leftovers.

After seeing so many White-headed Pigeons at The Channon Village Campground we saw several at Manna Gum which is the first time we have seen them here.

I often mention the wonderful people we meet on our travels so it is only fair that I mention that on one side of us, for two nights of our stay, we had the most intrusive camping neighbours that we have ever encountered. Typically, people respect the boundaries of individual campsites but not these people and I ended up asking one of them to “Please leave” our campsite twice, so as you can imagine things were a bit frosty. Fortunately, in our experience, such problems are rare. We had a couple of lovely neighbours on the other side who were camping in an impressive camper trailer on it's first night out. We also had an enjoyable “Happy Hour” with two interesting couples who had been camping together off and on for years both in Australia and overseas.

A young Gympie Stinging Tree looking Innocent in the morning light.
There were quite a few Gympie stinging trees alongside the various walks and unfortunately one of the lovely ladies camped next to us accidentally brushed up against some Gympie stinging foliage when she was turning a corner on a track. Her arm became red and swollen and they quickly packed up and I hope she was able to get some relief with medical attention.

Bird List for this trip at Manna Gum Campground: (I will post separate bird lists in the blogs for the walks.) 
White-headed Pigeon, Glossy Black Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Australian King Parrot, Crimson Rosella, Laughing Kookaburra, Superb Fairy Wren, White-browed Scrubwren, Yellow-throated Scrubwren, Bell Miner, Noisy Miner, Lewin's Honeyeater, Grey Shrike-thrush, Willie Wagtail, Satin Bowerbird, Grey Butcherbird, Australian Magpie, Pied Currawong, Welcome Swallow, Red-browed Finch. We also saw a small flock of Common (Indian) Myna on the side of Inverramsay Road on the drive in.

Manna Gum Campground, Main Range National Park.
Details for the Goomburra Section of Main Range National Park:
Where: About 195 km south-west of Brisbane. From Brisbane drive up Cunningham's Gap. Turn right at Gladfield or Clintonvale. Turn right at Goomburra and drive along Inverramsay Road to the very end.
Campgrounds: Poplar Flat and Manna Gum. Both suitable for Big Rigs, Motorhomes, Caravans, Camper Trailers and Tents beside vehicles.
Facilities: Kurrajong Picnic Area has picnic tables and wood BBQ's, the nearest toilets are a short walk to Poplar Flat. Both campgrounds have fire rings, toilets and several non-drinking water taps. Walks. No showers. No phone. No phone reception. No internet.
Prohibitions: No pets, no generators.
Bookings: Bookings must be made by phone or on the internet before arriving. 
Phone: 13 74 68
Camping Permit: $5.95 per adult, $3.30 per child aged 5 to 17 years, free for children under 5 years. Family Rate: $23.80 for 1 to 2 adults with children under 18. Maximum of 8 people.
No vehicle fee.


  1. Looks like a beautiful spot and cheap!

  2. It's one of our favourites. Queensland national parks are great value.

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