THURSDAY 7 JANUARY TOOWOOMBA
John slept in a little later than he had intended, so we did not get going until 11am.
Went to a dental technician to see about getting my bridge repaired – he will do it tomorrow afternoon.
Then we set off for the Bunya Mountains National Park – considerably later than we should have!
It was a boring drive as far as Oakey – just flattish cropland, but a bit more interesting after there, where we at least paralleled the railway and could watch for trains. Turned north at Jondaryan and still travelled through farming country, but with somewhat more varied terrain. At Maclagen, took the Bunya Mountains Road. The final climb up into the mountains was very steep and rather winding.
We stopped at the central area of Dandubah, to get a map and walk information, and eat our sandwiches at the picnic area there. There are quite a few private holiday houses there, and a couple of very pleasant looking camp areas. We liked the look of the one at Dandubah, and at Burtons Well.
There were lots of birds at the Dandubah Picnic Area – parrots, kookaburras, bower birds. The king parrots were particularly friendly, landing on John. They must be fed by a lot of the tourists.
Male King Parrot
The park is named for the special Bunya Pine trees that grow there. They are an ancient species and the largest remaining stand in the world of these is here. The Bunya Pine nuts are very large and have very tasty seeds in them. The parrots seem to like them! In past times, aboriginal groups from a wide area would congregate here, over summer, to harvest the nuts.
John communing with an ancient Bunya Pine tree
We walked the 4km Scenic Circuit walk, leaving Truck at the picnic area. It was excellent, through the forest, the best walk we have done in ages. The route took us past lookouts and a couple of little waterfalls. Lovely and green and cool seeming. We saw a satin bowerbird.
On the Scenic Walk
There are several other good sounding walks up there too, that we did not have time to tackle today. I toy with the idea of going camping up there, sometime. Or we could take the van a bit closer and commute up. There is absolutely no way to take the van up there, though! Kingaroy might be the closest caravan park?
We drove a longer way back, taking the Maidenwell road through to the New England Highway, meeting it a bit north of Cooyar. Then followed the highway back through Crows Nest to Toowoomba. It was a much more interesting route than the one we went out on.
I drove most of the way back, as John was very tired and felt like he was getting a cold.
We got back just after 6pm. Drove 290kms today.
Tea was soup, French toast and fruit.