Things To Do


Food & Wine

What's On

When it comes to natural beauty, forget the face creams and serums, and set your sights on the raw and rugged Bunya Mountains.

Home to Queensland’s second oldest national park, there’s a special kind of beauty that comes from ancient nature.

Explore the walking trails, rainforest-clad peaks, roaring waterfalls and panoramic views, and stand in awe of the largest stand of bunya pines in the world. Leave with memories and a camera roll full of images of the native birds and black-striped, whiptail, red-necked and swamp wallabies.

Curb a long weekend or use some of your banked up annual leave to enjoy a family getaway, couple’s retreat or road trip with friends from Brisbane to the Bunya Mountains with this itinerary.


Friday morning

Buckle up and hit the road to the Bunyas from Brisbane. Within three hours you’ll have waved goodbye to the hustle and bustle of the city and be ready to be embraced by the unfiltered beauty of the Bunya Mountains.
Of course, all good road trips include a couple of pitstops along the way, so you’ll want to swing by Toowoomba to enjoy the urban cafe culture. Head to Café de Velo for brunch and a coffee - with an extensive breakfast, lunch and vegan menu alongside their cake cabinet you’ll be spoilt for choice.
If you’re looking to stretch your legs, grab your coffee to go and head to Queens Park and enjoy a kaleidoscope of colour as you stroll through the botanical gardens, promising different blooms across each season.


Friday afternoon

Take the scenic road and navigate the two hour (148km) Great Bunya Drive from Toowoomba to the Bunya Mountains heading through Oakey, Jondaryan and Dalby.
Take your time on the road and make a couple of stops along the way as you pass heritage museums and historic sites offering a glimpse into the history of the region such as the Australian Army Flying Museum, the Woolshed at Jondaryan, the Dalby Pioneer Museum and historic Jimbour House.
Make one final stop for a classic country pub feed at the Bellview Hotel before jumping back on the road to the Bunya Mountains.
In its entirety, the Great Bunya Drive traverses a whopping 390kms from Toowoomba to Gympie – well worth adding to the bucket list for another time.


Friday evening

For those who enjoy a cosy cabin rather than camping, check into one of the options via the Bunya Mountains Accommodation Centre.
Whether you’re travelling with a group, heading out on a couple’s retreat or away with the whole family, there’s plenty of chalets, cabins or lodge options to choose from, accommodating all group sizes, each with its own special flare.
If camping under a sea of stars is more your style, pitch a tent at one of the three Bunya Mountains camping areas. Dandabah, is the largest area that can be booked and enjoyed with tents and some caravans. (Note: access to the Bunyas is windy and most prefer to leave their caravan at the base before ascending the summit).
If you’re up for a short walk, Westcott or Burtons are only accessible by foot with a designated carpark close by. Keep in mind that all camping areas must be booked (via phone, online or purchased over the counter) and require a permit.
Whatever accommodation you choose, for the best sunset views, head to the Westcliff Lookout (not far from Westcott campground) and take a moment to sit back and watch as the sun dips below the horizon, turning the sky ablaze with colour.
Before calling it a night, make the most of the clear night skies, perfect for practicing astrophotography. Learn from the very best and book a Bunya Mountains Astrophotography Experience with Donna Glass, an award-winning photographer, and capture images of milky ways and star constellations. While waiting for the perfect balance of dark and stars, keep an eye out for fireflies. Most commonly spotted from October to November shine your flashlight from dusk until dark, and watch as they illuminate the Bunya Mountain trails.


Saturday morning

Start your morning nice and slow, embracing the quiet movements of nature in the Bunya Mountains National Park.
Arm yourself with a pair of binoculars so you can spot some of the 120 species of bird that call the national park home. If you’re after a more intimate experience, make your way to the General Store to purchase a local bird feed tray, a favourite for the Australian King Parrots and the Crimson Rosellas. Hold the tray aloft for a close encounter with the parrots.
Before spending the day exploring the mountains, you’ll want to grab a bite to eat at Poppies Cafe. Making all their food onsite with fresh and local ingredients, you know you’re in for a treat. For something a little more left field, try a bunya nut burger - a burger patty made from beef mixed with bunya nuts. The nuts come from bunya cones that grow on the bunya pines and can contain anywhere from 50 to 100 nuts in each cone, weighing up to 10kg.


Saturday afternoon

After a morning spent slowing down, it’s time to dial up the adventure and explore more of Bunya Mountains National Park. Lace up your hiking boots and fill your backpack with all the essentials before heading out for an afternoon making memories. You’ll find nine walking trails of varying lengths for a leisurely walk through the Bunya Mountains, suitable for all fitness levels. If you’re up for a bit more of a challenge the eastern rainforest circuits or western tracks will not disappoint. Head out on a four-hour hike along the Barker Creek circuit passing through a variety of terrains from rainforest to grassland and some eucalypt forest. The circuit also splits midway with the opportunity to take a short side track out to Big Falls lookout, gifting a scenic picnic location on the grassy bald above Big Falls overlooking the Barker Creek Gorge.
If a long hike isn’t quite your style, there’s plenty of shorter tracks to choose from, including the four kilometre Scenic Circuit. Beginning and returning to Dandabah picnic area, this walk will have you passing through the bunya pine forest surrounded by mountain scenery, looking for wildlife among the rock pools as well as enjoying the rush of water and misty spray from the Festoon and Tim Shea Falls. Reward yourself after your hike with an afternoon picnic back at the Dandabah area, where you can watch the native wallabies hop around while you indulge in a well-deserved break.
Looking for an authentic experience that pays respect to the traditional custodians of the land? The Bunya Bush University project gifts just that. Located in the Bunya Mountains the ‘in Country’ learning space welcomes everyone to recognise the significance of the land and learn of First Nations customs.
Explore the Bush University’s walking tracks, the sculpture commemorating the songlines, and three rainbow serpent coils with sections for women’s business, men’s business, and the central performance space.


Saturday evening

End the day sipping whisky from Australia’s highest whisky bar overlooking the mountains, Shackleton’s, at The Bunyas Coffee Shop & Tavern. Dine alfresco with the best seat in the house surrounded by the Bunya National Park and enjoy a tasty meal inspired by local ingredients.



Settle in for the night in the Bunya Mountains Accommodation Centre or your choice of the three national park camping areas.


Sunday morning

Waking up in the national park means enjoying a slow morning coffee and breakfast cooked over the open flame. Keep an eye out for the friendly red-necked wallabies who often graze the open grasslands surrounding the campgrounds, making very cute campsite companions.
On the last Sunday of each month, you’ll find the Bunya Mountains Community Markets operating from 9am until 2pm. Spend the morning wandering the markets with stalls crafting handmade goodies and selling local produce from jams and chutneys to fresh eggs and cured meat.


Sunday afternoon

Before starting the three hour drive back to Brisbane, make one more adventurous stop for a magical waterfall encounter. Follow the Festoon Falls and Mcgrory Lookout trail or the Mcgrory Falls via Pine Gorge trail both beginning from the Dandabah Picnic Area to find the national park’s biggest waterfall.
If you’ve got some extra time up your sleeve a long weekend in the Bunya Mountains only just scratches the surface when it comes to the untouched beauty of the area. Stay a little longer and embrace the slow way of life that allows room for unfiltered moments and raw experiences.

You might also love

Make your next road trip memorable with Country Drive Bingo!

Subscribe now to receive a free downloadable Country Drive Bingo template, and let us share our specially curated holiday tips, news and deals.

Acknowledgement of Country

Southern Queensland Country Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the lands and waterways that run through these regions. We pay our respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past, present and emerging.