Rising up like an island of deep green in the midst of the surrounding plains, the Bunya Mountains is a spectacular wilderness range covered by lush rainforest. It’s a pleasant surprise to experience the change in vegetation from dry plains to dense rainforest as you make the trek up the winding Bunya Mountains Road. The extensive rainforest is filled with towering, stately trees, a whole host of animals, birds and plants, as well as rock pools, little creeks, waterfalls and awe-inspiring views. The rainforest-clad peaks of the Bunya Mountains are also home to the world’s largest collection of ancient bunya pines that exists today.
The mountain paradise is renowned for its cool, green rainforest, and is almost entirely covered by at least nine different kinds of rainforest. The lush subtropical rainforest is the most common type, sheltering many distinctive types of rainforest plants along with the iconic bunya pine emergents. But you’ll also encounter drier rainforests, vine thickets, moist rainforest, open forest, very tall Eucalypt forest, high altitude grasslands and woodland communities at various places around the mountain.
A walk through the spectacular rainforest will lead you through ferns, palms, giant stinging trees, strangler figs (one of which you can literally walk through), staghorns, majestic bunya pines and many species of rainforest trees. You’ll also make your way past waterfalls, rock pools, hidden glades and open grassy areas, all backdropped by spectacular views. Everywhere you look, there’s an oasis of green for the eye to feast on, as well as a wealth of birdsong to enjoy and friendly native wildlife to encounter. The rainforest at the Bunya Mountains is a truly delightful ecosystem where you can experience being at one with nature in a way that’s completely missing from the hustle and bustle of modern life. It’s a calm, revitalising and peaceful place to relax, and will leave you with a sense of awe and wonder. Most visitors to the Bunya Mountains find their soul renewed and their mind refreshed by the calming influence of the majestic rainforest.
Plus, spending time in beautiful natural areas has been shown to do wonders for both your physical and mental health. Take some time to just stand quietly in the cool, green rainforest and reconnect – with nature, and with yourself. Or go for one of the many walks winding their way through the rainforest, each with unique and different delights to discover. The bright yellow king orchids that flower in October along the cliff faces on the Westcott/Cherry Plains track are a spectacular sight. Hunt for wildlife or go spotlighting for nocturnal birds and animals at night, seeking the gleam of eyes in the torchlight. Try a bit of birdwatching amongst the complex rainforest ecosystem, with over 120 different types of birds to discover. Or take your camera and get some great photos – there’s plenty of scope for the imagination in the rainforest. You can capture everything from the awe-inspiring grandeur of the giant bunya pines right down to the delicate detail of a mossy log or ferny rock pool, or the rare grasses of international interest. And a walk through the rainforest in fungi season can provide countless opportunities to bring the intriguing world of fungi to life in new and interesting ways. This beautiful wilderness area is chock full of scenic rainforest delights and a rich, diverse and ancient landscape that you’ll want to explore and appreciate. As one of the most spectacular rainforest areas in Queensland, it’s a truly special place to discover.