At The Urban List, we’re huge fans of the ol’ weekend escape! Now that we’ve said goodbye to winter, we’re on the hunt for places where we can truly embrace the impending summer sun.
Enter the Bunya Mountains. This stunning mountain range is packed with bushwalks, waterfalls and just generally spectacular scenery everywhere you look—not to mention ample opportunities to cosy up by a fire. If you’re looking for a weekender where you can fully switch off from the demands of life and acquaint yourself with nature—the Bunya Mountains is definitely for you.
Here’s our guide to spending a weekend in the beautiful Bunya Mountains.
The most direct route is a three-hour drive west along the D’Aguilar Highway, but you can also head north and loop through Gympie, Kilkivan and Barambah. Road trip!
Where To Eat And Drink
Poppies on the Hill Cafe
Everyone who’s been to the Bunyas LOVES Poppies! Serving up plenty of opportunities to sample the local Bunya nut, the infamous bunya nut cake and ice cream has been lovingly chowed down by many a traveller pre or post-bushwalk! Pop in to Poppies for a great coffee, scrummy breakfast, a specialty pie for lunch, or d) all of the above.
The Bunyas Bistro
This restaurant has recently been renovated and everything about it is schmicko—an extensive food menu, a divine wine list, and stylish interiors to rival any restaurant in the big smoke! With nothing but rave reviews this year, at least one meal at The Bunyas Bistro during your weekender is a MUST.
Venture out to Kingaroy
If you’re looking to turn your mountain escape into more of a foodie experience, just jump in the car! There are plenty of wineries, restaurants and local providores in and around Kingaroy, just an hour’s drive from the Bunyas. You can read more about the South Burnett region here.
Things To See Or Do
Scenic Circuit is one of the most popular tracks in the area, and when you get there, you’ll see why! It’s a gorgeous 4km track encompassing falls, rockpools, and a lookout offering breathtaking views over the valley to the north and east. You’ll also get to walk through the famous strangler fig!
Barker Creek Circuit
Up for something a little longer? Barker Creek is a 10km track and an extension of the Scenic Circuit. Make sure you stop along the way to take in all the spectacular waterfalls that you can see from this track – there’s Paradise Falls, Little Falls and Big Falls. Make a day of it and take a picnic!
Arguably the best vantage point for horizon sunsets in the Bunyas, Fishers Lookout has lovely views of surrounding towns and cities by day, and starry skies by night. Simply divine!
Just a short drive away in Maidenwell, Coomba Falls is a relaxing spot to spend a day. If you’re prepared to brave it, the swimming hole is a gorgeous spot for a dip! Otherwise, Coomba Falls is another prime picnic location. Maidenwell, short drive.
The Bunya Markets take place on the last Sunday of the month, from 9am to 2pm. There’s usually about 30 stalls there, comprising of handmade gifts and local delicacies. Sample all the yummy goodies and then walk it off with a rainforest stroll!
Where To Stay
For the complete in-touch-with-nature experience, camping is sooo the way to go! The most popular campsite in the Bunya Mountains is Dandabah, offering both small tent sites and more open areas for groups. If you don’t need your car right at your fingertips, Westcott and Burtons Well sites are tent-only, with cars needing to be parked away from sites. Read more about the camping options here.
After a long, hard day of bushwalking and exploring, check in to Rice’s Log Cabins! Complete with full cooking facilities, TV and a fireplace (pretty much a must-have for all mountain lodges), Rice’s Log Cabins are as picturesque as they are cosy. Plus, that fire is just begging you to sit by it with a glass of local red wine. Ahh, bliss!
This is mountain accommodation at its most gorgeous! Godshill is a private and peaceful retreat sittin’ pretty at the highest point in the Bunyas rainforest estate. The lodge is great for a group vacay, while the studio makes for a luxe romantic getaway. Enjoy the tranquil rainforest and lush green grass by day and cosy up around one of the several fireplaces by night. How’s the serenity?
Want more? We've rounded up the ultimate weekend at Rainbow Beach here.
Image credit: Tourism Queensland