Bunya and Blackdown Tablelands NPs

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Bunya and Blackdown Tablelands NPs

Postby davidmorr » Tue 05 Oct, 2010 3:46 pm

I'm thinking of visiting these NPs in the first half of next year and would be grateful for some advice.

1. People who have been to Bunya told me it was very cold when they went there in May a couple of years ago. What is a good time of year to visit where it is cool enough to enjoy the walking, but not too cold for camping?

2. What is a good time to visit Blackdown Tablelands? Is it equally as cold or more temperate?

3. What are the best walks in each of the parks, both day and overnight? A request to the Blackdown ranger months ago for information on walks has yielded nothing so far. I'm not holding my breath. :-(

4. Are any of the campsites better than others?

5. Anything else I should know?

Thanks

David
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Re: Bunya and Blackdown Tablelands NPs

Postby Phil Box » Sat 09 Oct, 2010 2:58 pm

Late Spring Early Autumn is fine for the Bunyas. It's only a small park. Birdlife is fantastic though and so are the enormous Bunya Pines. Well worth a look and soooo different from the surrounding countryside.

Blackdown Tablelands is a pretty special place. It is as though God stepped on one corner of an enormous billiard table, it rises dramatically out of the surrounding plains. Huge steep cliffs bound it on the north and west and when aproached from the west it is just breathtaking to take it all in. Yes it is more temperate than the Bunyas however remember that it is a kilometre high so can get quite chilly in winter. The ranibow falls are high on the list of things to see and the huge waterfall on the west side is also something to behold. The cliffs are always worth checking out. Huge blocks of stone have calved off in times past and slid down the scree slope taking everything out on the way which leaves gargantuan stripey scars on the landscape.

The coal trains fully 15 to 20 k away can be heard as though they are up in the tree tops which is a bit different. You may not hear them at all though if the wind is blowing the right way. There are a couple of unique things up on the tableland. One is a very hairy tree that if you lean against it then you throw your clothes away because you won't get the splinters out and the other is a bug that lives underground and is not found elsewhere. It's a fairly large insect from memory, it's called something like the Blakdown monster, my brain is addled though so I may have that wrong and no it is not like the drop bears.

Dunno if they still do it but whilst in the area you really ought to take a tour through one of the vast open cut coal mines. Something to behold actually.
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Re: Bunya and Blackdown Tablelands NPs

Postby kbm63 » Sat 09 Oct, 2010 10:57 pm

There are three campgrounds at Bunya Mountains , Dandabah, Westcotte & Burtons Well. While Dandabah has lovely showers and flushing toilets it like camping in the Suburbs. Bunya Mountains has quite a few house for rent and Dandabah is located close to them.
I have not camp at Westcotte but it look more suited for small bushwalk style camping. A short walk from Westcotte there is good views out west.
Burtons Well has a few level spots but personally it my favourite.

Bunya Mountains has limited walking , about 25 klm of track. There is a walk along the Western Section of the park whci on a clear winter morning offer great views. There is also a 10 klm rainforest circuit that can be completed.

I have camp at the Bunyas when it was below freezing at 7 pm but that was in early June. May is normally pretty nice in SE Qld.
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Re: Bunya and Blackdown Tablelands NPs

Postby Miranda » Wed 15 Dec, 2010 11:18 am

Bunya Mountains NP is really very accessible, all tracks within the NP are in good condition and well graded. You could do all of them in a 2 or 3 day camping trip and don't need to be especially fit. There are a range of walks, from half an hour to half day/day walks. Only suggestion I would make is to do the ones on the western side in the morning. The forest is quite open there and the sun can really beat down. But generally walking is very comfortable, even in summer.

The map feely available from the NP office at Dandabah has all the track notes you need. The park has suffered quite a lot in recent years from the drought and looks considerably different than it did 10 or 15 years ago. Some of the older bunya pines have died and a lot of the undergrowth thinned out. Hopefully the last year of good rain will have made a difference, but I think this park will suffer in coming years from climate change. Most of the trees used to get a lot of moisture from 'cloud combing' but there just hasn't been any clouds around.

Camping at Burton's Wells and Westcott are really nice, but are right next to the road, so if you camp on a weekend you will have day trippers going backwards and forwards a fair bit.

It can be a spectacular place to visit in summer if you rent a house in the right spot (many very reasonably), as any evening storms all along the east coast, from Gold Coast up to Bundaberg can be seen in the sky to the east.

Well worth a visit if you are doing a bit of a tour of SE Qld.
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Re: Bunya and Blackdown Tablelands NPs

Postby Quoll » Sun 16 Jan, 2011 8:06 am

Bunya is a 'nice' NP but be ready for cold weather at any time of the year. Last time we were there was New Years 2008 and we took out some friends for their 'first ever' camp and the temperature would have been single figures. We camp at Westcott which is sort of midway through the park, nice cleared area, not too large or crowded given the layout, pit toilets but watch out for the overly freindly cat-birds! Dandabah, where the NP office is, gets really crowded with car campers but has most of the short walks including the ones out to the waterfalls. It also has a little takeaway, cafe etc - you'll get the feel for that area as soon as you drive down the road towards the NP office. Haven't camped at Burtons Well but it looks reasonably similar to Westcott. There is a longer (day) walk out to Cherry Plains - good views out over the Darling Downs. We live only an hour and a bit for it so its often our quick escape for a one night camp.

Another option for you might be Girraween NP down on the Qld/NSW border. Can get crowded, especially with the campervans, but a lot of half- and full-day walks as well as some overnighters if you're interested.
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