About three and a half hours drive North West of Brisbane you come across a truly unique location. Traveling there you take a snake-like road through the scenic green rainforest vegetation that is magnificently breathtaking. The best time of the year to experience the Bunya Mountains is during the cooler months around June, as you travel along this road it is interesting to watch the temperature gauge rapidly fall as the low sleepy clouds surround you. It’s almost dreamlike. The feeling that you get upon arrival is one of sheer relaxation and peacefulness. As you hop out of your car the fresh cool mountain air hits your face and lungs, this is when you need to take a long deep breath, place your hands up to the sky and have a lengthy glorious stretch and let all the stress and worry of everyday life just melt away.
To take full advantage of what Bunya Mountains has to offer, we feel its important to stay a few days, but even then sometimes this doesn’t feel like enough, we like to take at least week on most of our visits. This leads us to where to stay. There is a variety of accommodation available that ranges from dusting off that old tent and camping to staying in the very cosy and homely chalets with all the creature comforts. You can also bring along your camper-van or caravan. Accommodation ranges in price and is very reasonable, affordable, and suitable for all different types of budgets. Of course if you are going to consider camping in the winter its best that you look at camping close to the facilities as that midnight toilet dash can sometimes be cold and very inconvenient.
Talking on facilities, you are not completely isolated in this piece of paradise. There is a general store as well as a café, and wonderful restaurant, we recommend the Bunya Nut Stew from the quaint café and the Bacon and Eggs with Turkish bread from the Cider Gum Restaurant this will totally warm you up, along with a delicious hot chocolate with marshmallows of course. The wonderful restaurant operators and staff are very friendly and welcoming and it doesn’t take long to feel as though you are part of the furniture. We always thoroughly enjoy ourselves and have a wonderful time. You can also take along your own provisions as the most of the chalets are self contained.
There are great activities to take pleasure in while you are there. There are loads of bush walking tracks from an enjoyable stroll along a short trail to the physically demanding circuits for “serious walkers” guaranteed to get the blood pumping. Being out in the country air is very romantic and there is a wonderful horse and cart ride that is pulled by the magnificent Clydesdales. To help cultivate the romance there are several sessions for different lengths of time throughout the day and in the evening, where you get to sit back and relax and watch the stars above as you leisurely move along listening to the rhythmic clop as they trot down the pathway. This amazing experience magnifies as you disappear off the beaten track into the Australian bush to a hidden location where a campfire is lit. As you sit and listen to the guide tell stories of the outback you consume fresh cooked damper and sip billy-tea while watching the hypnotic flames dancing in the midst of the campfire.
Bunya Mountains is home to an array of beautiful flora and fauna, including incredible bird life with an abundance of different types of species, some of which we have had the pleasure of photographing. Some of the types of birds are the King Parrot and Rosellas. These birds are not kept in cages but fly freely. There are set feeding times at 9:15am and 3:30pm daily and is quite a unique experience. The birds have a scout that keeps a watch and when he thinks its safe, he signals to the others who fly from high in the Bunya Pines to the feed filled trays carried by the tourists and if you are lucky, one may even land on your head.
Our first journey to Bunya Mountains was in June of 2007, when we experienced camping in the freezing temperature of 4°C. We awoke to the campsite covered in a lethargic low-lying fog and with very poor visibility. After a hearty Bunya Nut Stew for breakfast we embarked on our first adventure into the Australian Bushland tackling one of the more adventurous tracks, all rugged up, as you get moving you quickly shed the layers of clothes as you feast your eyes on the beauty of the landscape and interesting shapes and colours of the rainforest settings. We fell completely in love and we have been every year since then!