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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Peach Trees Camping Area, Jimna State Forest, QLD. February 2017

Peach Trees Camping Area in the late afternoon.
Due to breaking my ankle recently our planned road trip didn't go ahead at the start of this year. In February we did manage to slip away and spend a few days camping at the idyllic Peach Trees Camping Area in Jimna State Forest. Peach Trees is a large grassy campground with plenty of shade trees. Eastern Grey Kangaroos graze throughout the campground. Although this campground is a bit out of the way it is very popular and is well worth the detour from Kilcoy. If you are a 4WD enthusiast you would enjoy camping here then driving along Sunday Creek Road to Charlie Moreland Camping Area in Imbil State Forest and Booloumba Camping Area in Conondale National Park. I blogged about our trip to Peach Trees Campground in January 2016, however, there have been a few changes since our last visit which are worth noting.

Eastern Grey Kangaroos. Some children never seem to notice it is time to leave home!
The public pay phone has been removed and QLD Parks and Wildlife now provide free 24 hour Wi-Fi in the park. Mostly this is to insure that everyone can make bookings on arrival as there is no Telstra phone reception available, although I believe there is phone reception for other carriers. There are limitations to the Wi-Fi use but it is handy for checking the weather and receiving emails.

Wi-Fi near the amenities blocks.
The Day Use Area which used to be a fenced off area inside the campground has now been removed. This means there are now only a couple of tables left in the campground. On Saturday we had day trippers set up either side of us to enjoy a BBQ and explore the park with their children.

There used to be an elaborate wooden swimming platform overlooking the creek but it was severely damaged by flooding and the area was out of bounds for a long time. The remains of the old platform has now been removed and has been replaced with a simpler and hopefully hardier design. The water in Yabba Creek is black and may not appeal to everyone as a swimming spot.

New swimming platform on Yabba Creek, Peach Trees.
Little Pied Cormorant, Australian Wood Duck, male (top), female (bottom).
There is a small Platypus Viewing Platform on the way to the swinging bridge. I was going to say that in all the times we have camped here we have never seen a platypus but at last we did see one. We saw the platypus while walking on the Yabba Creek Circuit on the opposite side of Yabba Creek to the platform but it would have been visible from the viewing platform at the same time. By the time we raised our camera the platypus disappeared in a trail of bubbles.

Information sign at the Platypus Viewing Platform.
Periodically, Peach Trees gets overrun with Sulphur-crested Cockatoos and we found this to be the case on this trip with large numbers of these extremely raucous birds roosting in the park overnight and hanging around during the daytime. There are so many cockatoos that many trees are showing signs of damage from their constant gnawing. There are quite a few Bell Miners (Bell birds) around and they have also caused some damage to trees in the area.

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo.
Medium sized goannas patrol the campground. They don’t lead a peaceful life here as both the Brush Turkeys and the Sulphur-crested Cockatoos harass them as they lumber by.

Lace Monitor (Goanna)
We were woken several times during the night by a Brush-tailed Possum which was trying to gain access to our sturdy rubbish bin. On the following nights we didn’t bother to get up as the possum never managed to get into our closed plastic bin. On our last night we were sitting under the stars when we saw a couple of Northern Brown Bandicoot. There are often owls in the campground at night but I thought it prudent not to go looking for them on this trip as I don't want any setbacks in the healing of my ankle.

I mostly sat around the campsite with my feet up and I found there was plenty to observe without venturing far. Indeed, on several occasions the wildlife came to me. There are some nice walks leading from the campground which I covered in a previous blog.

Apparently this Eastern Grey Kangaroo believed the grass in front of my seat was better than the grass elsewhere.
There were quite a few butterflies in the campground; mostly Lesser Wanderers and Blue Tigers. My ankle meant I was too slow to take many butterfly photos. Strangely, I did manage to get a photo of a Blue Triangle; a butterfly that became my nemesis in the past as I struggled for a long time to photograph one.
Lesser Wanderer Danaus petilia and Blue Triangle Graphium sarpedon
We saw an unusual looking male Regent Bowerbird. I inquired about this bird on the excellent Facebook page Australian Bird Identification and the very knowledgeable Nikolas Haass confirmed that it is a four year old sub-adult male emerging from it's immature to adult plumage. Unfortunately, it was a fair distance away and our photos are not very good but it is the first time we have seen a Regent emerging into adult plumage so we would like to record it here.

4 year old male Regent Bowerbird
Male Regent Bowerbird

Here are a few of the birds we saw:

Australian Brush Turkey
Noisy Miner
Blue-faced Honeyeater
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Satin Bowerbird

Australian King Parrot
White-throated Treecreeper

Wildlife viewed on this trip: This list was impacted by my lack of mobility.
Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Red-legged Pademelon, Lace Monitor (goanna), Long-necked Turtle, Eastern Water Dragon, Brush-tailed Possum, Platypus, Northern Brown Bandicoot, Hare.
Butterflies: Orchard Swallowtail, Blue Triangle, Blue Tiger, Lesser Wanderer, Monarch, Common Crow. I saw several types of Whites, Yellows and Skippers but wasn’t able to get photos or get close enough to make positive ID’s. We also saw an impressive 5 to 6 cm moth on our van one night which had an orange body and fairly plain brown wings.
Bird List: Regent Bowerbird, Satin Bowerbird, Australian Brush Turkey, Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Little Pied Cormorant, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Pied Currawong, Torresian Crow, Australian Wood Duck, Brown Cuckoo-Dove, Red-browed Finch, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Lewin’s Honeyeater, White-napped Honeyeater, Azure Kingfisher, Laughing Kookaburra, Magpie, Magpie-lark, Bell Miner, Noisy Miner, Black-faced Monarch, Australian King Parrot, Eastern Yellow Robin, Crimson Rosella, Pale-headed Rosella, Eastern Spinebill, Welcome Swallow, Bassian Thrush, White-throated Treecreeper, Eastern Whipbird, Willie Wagtail, Tawny Grassbird, Australasian Figbird, Variegated Fairy-wren.

Details for Peach Trees Campground, Jimna State Forest, QLD.
Where: 45 km north of Kilcoy. 145 km north-west of Brisbane.
Access: The road from Kilcoy climbs steadily but is quite pleasant. The last 2 or 3 kilometers into the campground are unsealed and on this trip we found it a bit corrugated.
Sites: Large grass area. No defined sites. Suitable for all rig types.
Fees: Adults $6.15. Family rates are available. 
Bookings: There is free Wi-Fi available at the campground for making bookings. Book before arrival during busy times. QLD Parks and Wildlife.
Facilities: Flush toilets, non-drinking water taps, free Wi-Fi, walks, fire rings.
Prohibitions: No pets. No generators. No collecting wood. Some restrictions on smoking.


  1. That's actually a really impressive wildlife list, even if you were fully mobile! How wonderful that you saw the platypus, no matter how brief. Love the kangaroo nibbling in front of your foot! Maybe it can sense you are injured and therefore not a threat 😁

    1. I think my lack of mobility impacted the bird list; I didn't see any "little brown birds" for example. It also held back my butterfly identifying but considering the challenge of my ankle I enjoyed the trip. Just goes to show that sitting quietly, although bad for the waistline, is an excellent way to observe nature. Seeing platypus never ceases to be a thrill!

  2. A very interesting & informative post! You still managed a very impressive list in spite of your lack of mobility. As always, a pleasure to read your blog!

    1. Thank you Liz. I was going a bit stir crazy at home. It was nice to get outdoors and put my feet up.