Bunya Mountains

August 23, 2023
Bunya Mountains
Bunya Mountains

Wren Cottage from the back on a foggy morning

I felt the need to get away again. When we were in New Zealand I had a bit of an ‘ah ha’ moment. I was reminded how much good it does me to be immersed in nature and free of the binds of domesticity and all that that entails. The freedom to be me and to explore and learn is so revitalising and uplifting. I vowed to not let too much time pass before I gave myself breaks away in the future, for my sake and for the sake of all who know me!

This was just a quick getaway – a good little pick me up. New Zealand has taught me that longer holidays are very important too and I plan to try for those at least once annually.

So my friend Mandy is living ‘in a shed’ on a property they own at Blackbutt in rural Queensland about 2 hours north west of Brisbane until their new house is built. ‘In a shed’ are her words and well it’s a few council approved ‘buildings’ but yes pretty rough. It’s a place her family often go to for family get together’s. She has 10 grandchildren and they love riding motorbikes on the property, the camp fires, the camping, poking around the waterhole etc.  I haven’t seen Mandy for just over 2 years and I wanted to see her again so I decided to have a getaway that would be somewhere near her so I could drop in on her on the way.  

It turns out that The Bunya Mountains are an hour west of Blackbutt and we haven’t been up there for six years almost to the day. We were last up there in August 2017. You can see reference to that fact in these posts: 

  1. Heading for the Hills
  2. Taking Stock – September 2017
  3. I’m dreaming of a winter getaway

So it was booked, a 3 night getaway from Monday to Thursday last week and a visit to Mandy and her husband was lined up for on the way up there.

There’s not a lot up at the Bunya Mountains which is what I love about it. There’s a General Store with an attached Tavern/Bistro/Cafe. There’s ‘Poppies on the Hill‘ cafe. That’s all besides the beautiful National Park with all it’s gorgeous walking tracks, and the cottages/accommodations scattered about many of which (including ours) are in private gated estates.

The Bunya Mountains are untouched by the outside world. It’s a wilderness area forming an isolated section of the Great Dividing Range, situated 150km from the coast and lying almost centrally between Kingaroy and Dalby. It’s dominated by ancient Bunya Pines that stand very tall above the rainforest canopy just as they did when dinosaurs ruled. Aboriginal people historically used Bunya Mountains as a meeting place for the various tribes scattered throughout Queensland and New South Wales. They feasted seasonally on the bunya nuts collected from the bunya pine trees (Araucaria bidwillii). Bunya pines drop cones containing edible seeds known as Bunya nuts from December to March. Heavy crops normally occur about every three years. You’ll see Bunya Nuts feature on the menu’s at the Tavern Bistro and at the cafes – Bunya Nut Scones for example, and the prawn salad you’ll see photographed within the gallery of photos below contained some bunya nuts too.

The Bunya Mountains are home to 121 species of birds, rare and precious varieties attract birdwatchers worldwide. Brilliantly coloured king parrots, crimson rosellas and satin bowerbirds are common sights. One of the most unique sounds you’ll hear up there is akin to a baby crying or wailing but is in fact the Green Catbird (see and hear the video below that I found on YouTube). Countless red-necked wallabies bound or preen in grassy areas. Swamp wallabies and pademelons prefer the cover of the rainforest but can be seen along the roadside.

We had a lovely time up there, and even included a drive to Kingaroy where besides having morning tea and a look around, we picked up some delicious peanuts from the famous The Peanut Van.

We stayed at the same cottage we stayed at in 2017 – it’s Wren Cottage in the ‘Titles Estate’. We love it there. It’s comfortable, has all you need, is very private, and there’s loads of wildlife around you to enjoy.  I always ensure I take a box of wild bird seed with us to feed the birds. 

Here are a collection of photos (just iPhone photos) and short videos that capture our Bunya Mountains getaway 2023.

And nothing is better than a few videos to truly share the wonder and ambience of a place. Well I can’t help myself, so here are a few short videos – ok eight (8)!

If you’ve been to the Bunya Mountains before, I hope you enjoyed a little virtual visit back there and if you’ve never been there well you have been there virtually now! Back to my NZ Trip posts next week!

Ciao for now,

Linking up with Denyse Whelan’s ‘Wednesday’s Words and Pics

 

 

 

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18 Comments

  • Reply Sue from Women Living Well After 50 August 23, 2023 at 8:01 am

    Oh my gosh, Min! What a feast for the eyes! My son and his family love getting away to the Bunya Mountains and I will definitely be putting that on our to do list for 2024. With all you have going on in your life you do need these little getaways. Even a couple of days and really recharge the batteries. xx

    • Reply Min August 23, 2023 at 10:25 pm

      I hope you get there in 2024 Sue. It’s a fabulous place to go to rest and revive and the walking tracks in the national park are just gorgeous. xo

  • Reply Joanne Tracey August 23, 2023 at 10:08 am

    Oh I could run away to there right now!

    • Reply Min August 23, 2023 at 10:25 pm

      Me too!!

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au August 23, 2023 at 5:39 pm

    It looks and sounds beautiful Min – really restful and quiet – perfect for you to catch your breath and recalibrate. Glad you got to schedule a visit to your friend into the mix too.

    • Reply Min August 23, 2023 at 10:27 pm

      Exactly Leanne! A perfect place to catch my breath and recalibrate. It was an extra bonus catching up with Mandy. We used to work together back in the 80’s.

  • Reply sherry August 24, 2023 at 12:36 pm

    that cottage looks wonderful. We used to camp at the Bunyas years ago, but haven’t done it for years. It’s so lovely up there! Yes i think it’s important to have a break in nature and rest your mind regularly.

    • Reply Min August 25, 2023 at 2:31 pm

      Thanks Sherry – it’s such a nice spot up there. I love the peace and serenity and of course I’m an animal lover so love the wildlife. I very much need nature and mind rest regularly, particularly of late. xo

  • Reply Bernie Cruikshank August 24, 2023 at 2:06 pm

    Your photos show many reasons to love the place! I am glad that you recharged your batteries. It is indeed very important. Thanks for introducing me to this area. Bernie

    • Reply Min August 25, 2023 at 2:32 pm

      Thanks Bernie. I’m so glad the photos show what a gorgeous place it is up there. Recharging the batteries can never be underestimated! xo

  • Reply Denyse Whelan August 25, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    I am so so glad you recognised the need for this break Min, and hope you can schedule more. As a carer to your Mum, this is even more important for you to self-care often. Lovely pics too.

    Thank you so much for sharing your blog post for the first link up of Denyse’s Words and Pics. I hope too, that you will be back next Wednesday. Warm wishes and appreciation from Denyse.

    • Reply Min August 25, 2023 at 2:33 pm

      Thanks Denyse – I hope I can schedule more too. I know I’m going to need them – and regularly. There’s a lot of stress on me these days. xo

  • Reply Debbie Harris August 25, 2023 at 4:15 pm

    It’s so peaceful watching your videos Min, what a delightful spot for a getaway. I’ve not really heard of the area before, but I can see why you felt recharged after being there. I agree mini-breaks are good for us especially when there’s so much going on in your life. How delightful #WWandPics

    • Reply Min August 28, 2023 at 2:36 pm

      Thanks so much Debbie. Yes it’s a lovely quiet and peaceful place and so beautiful. xo

  • Reply Leslie Susan Clingan August 30, 2023 at 12:04 pm

    How nice to have managed a quick getaway again. I think the best escapes are to places like Bunya Mountains, with its little cafe and general store…and not a whole lot more in the way of civilization. Looks like at least a dozen of the many varied birds found in the mountains shared your cabin porch with you. I played the catbird video and it piqued the interest of both of my kitties. Those birds sound like kitties in heat. Crazy coming from a bird!! Probably a fabulous defense mechanism.

    Your meals look scrumptious. The walks in the forest among those tall, interesting trees would be right up my alley. My daughter and fam are heading to the ‘forest’ of New Mexico in a few weeks. Hoping maybe they will let us tag along. We need a getaway, too.

    • Reply Min August 30, 2023 at 1:48 pm

      It was so lovely Leslie! Yes I do think that many of the birds found me! I was a pushover! I took up a big box of wild bird seed and by the time I left they were flying to me whenever I walked outside. They’d land on my head, shoulders, arms, hands. There was no fear from them at all. The first time I heard the Green Catbird call I thought it was a wailing child and then I wasn’t sure what it was. I never thought of a cat in heat! I eventually asked about it and was told it was a bird and then I Googled. It is incredible that such a noise comes from a little bird isn’t it?! I hope your daughter enjoys her time in the forest of New Mexico and yes – you should see if you could tag along. A getaway works wonders! xo

  • Reply Michael Billerbeck September 27, 2023 at 1:26 am

    The Bunya Mountains are a great place for a getaway, and I would really recommend it.
    There are several tracks – the nature and wildlife is amazing.
    I think we were also in the house in the first picture in January, 2015. It was really nice, and a bowerbird had a bower close to that house:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_loYsmE_p0
    In 2019 we were there again. But that time we were camping, and still it was and amazing place for me to enjoy wildlife and nature.
    Every time when I went there I encountered new species of birds for me. I still would love to go there again.
    Carnarvon Gorge is another place which I would recommend.
    All the best and thanks

  • Reply Michael Billerbeck September 27, 2023 at 1:35 am

    The video of the veranda of the house reminds me of when the King Parrots visited us there:

    https://youtu.be/q37qClwgLfk?si=sy4zRBt12jMe30pX

    Thank you

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