Best Hiking Trails in the Bunya Mountains

To thoroughly enjoy the best hiking trails in the Bunya Mountains, you should wear stable hiking shoes and take a camera or at least your smart phone. Be ready to be amazed.

best hiking trails

4km Scenic Loop at the Bunya Mountains National Park, Queensland, Australia

#Australia Trip #7 Jo’s Monday Walks, Cee’s Which Way Challenge

Why Include Australia Posts In a Blog about Blogging and Writing?

The business of Always Write is to support you, mostly hobby bloggers, writers, and photographers. Bloggers blog for many reasons. However, most bloggers are hobby bloggers like I am. I want to teach and support you as a hobby or beginning affiliate blogger, aspiring or newly published author, and amateur photographer.

I have five years of experience in those fields, and over twenty as a teacher and educational consultant.

Teachers know that the best way to teach and support is to model what we teach. For that reason, I will post some of my photo challenges on Always Write for you to analyze and replicate if you wish.

On to the Best Hiking Trails in Bunya National Park

We chose the 4 km scenic trail which we estimated correctly to be 2.5 miles as the best of the hiking trails for us. The path was wide and covered with crunchy plant material like Bunya needles. Even though I had on my stabilization shoes, the group in front of us hiked along with nothing more than thongs.

Best hiking trails

Carol does not recommend wearing thongs on this trail.

“Wearing thongs on this path is not wise!” Carol commented that some of the plants are poisonous to the touch. These leaves and branches sound much worse than touching poison ivy in the United States. And that’s no picnic! I read that avocado could help the sting, but water made it hurt worse, even after several days.

best hiking trails

Giant Sting trees line the path.

The sign states that even after being dead 100 years the stingers on the leaves can still cause pain if you touch them. They can become airborne and cause damage to lungs. I carefully avoided them, but Manny had a bit of a mishap. He was swinging on a strangler vine when the accident happened. Luckily he did not break anything, nor pick up any stinging tree leaves.

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On to the Best Hiking Trails in Bunya National Park

Dragon in the Bunya Mountains

Little did we know that along the best hiking trail we would encounter a dragon.

“Dragons really do exist,” Manny said.

Teddy bears really do exist,” Dewy the Eastern Water Dragon said.

Manny was disappointed not to see fire blasting out his nose. Apparently, they do not cook the insects before they eat them.

Larger dragons eat small mice. They are much more likely to be eaten than to eat considering how many animals consider Eastern Water Dragons to be a delicious meal.

best hiking trails

Dewy, the Easter Water Dragon posed and smiled at us.

Birds in Bunya

According to the Official 2016-2017 Guidebook over 120 species of birds live in the park. You will get a closer look at them in a later post.

One thing I enjoyed about going with Mr. and Mrs. ET was that they pointed out details that I would have missed walking with my head down concentrating one where each of my next steps would land. On this trail, we encountered a brush turkey mound and saw several turkeys wandering around while we ate lunch. Apparently, they are not closely related to the American turkeys.

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Turkey mound

Male turkeys build mounds of combustible material and dirt. If you garden, you know what that is. The dominant male tends his compost pile by adding and taking out material to change the temperature. He checks the temperature of the mound with his beak. A succession of female turkeys visit the nest to mate and lay eggs. Since the temperature of the eggs affects the sex of the turkey, the mound keeper male is in charge. A hot egg will be a female, while the male egg is cooler. Maybe that is where the term hot chick originated. We did not see eggs, but we glimpsed a turkey in the brush.

I wonder what the female turkeys do after they lay eggs. Hmmmm.

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Climbing holes or where branches broke off?

Holes Carved on Purpose or a Natural Occurrence?

Controversy as well as holes pockmarked this bunya pine. Some historians believe that the Aboriginal people axed the pines to climb up to the top and harvest the pine cones.

The other conjecture is that the bunya pine lost its branches as it grew. They broke off and left holes. I think the first guess is more interesting. What do you think?

Though we did not experience this, the guidebook warns that 10 kg/22 lb cones drop on the trail under the bunya pines between December and March. The bunya nuts are quite soft and juicy when immature and great for roasting when they mature. Large groups of Aboriginal people gathered for festivals until Europeans logged the pines and began farming.

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Eventually, after passing many strangler vines, we arrived at the top of Festoon Falls.

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top of Festoon Falls

Saddle-tree Creek flows into Festoon Falls and is a tributary to Queensland’s Burnet River. (There’s a quiz at the end of this post.)

The Thong people left as we arrived at the bottom of the falls so we had it all to ourselves in spite of the fact we visited in the middle of the summer.

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Base of Festoon Falls

On the way back up we noticed that the strangler figs got more aggressive with the bunya pines. In some instances, they took over.

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We could hide inside the tree rearranged by strangler fig vines.

Hiding in trees brings out the kid in everyone. Who doesn’t want to have a special hide away?

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Peek a boo. I see you.

Our 2.5-mile hike, though easy, took us over an hour. The hiking guide said to allow 20 minutes per kilometer for this Class 3 hike, so we were not far off from one hour and twenty minutes. According to the guide, a reasonable level of fitness is required as are stabilization shoes to offset the uneven ground. 🙂

For more trails check out Jo’s Monday Walks, and Cee’s Which Way Challenge.

I hope you enjoyed this trail. I never dreamed I would be hiking in the Queensland Mountains. Because of blogging, I hiked in the Bunya Mountains.


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