You will pass through rich red agricultural land to Queensland’s second oldest National Park for some breathtaking views and mountain walks through subtropical rainforest. Flora and fauna abound from wallabies and paddy melons to bower birds and king parrots. Travelling over the top of the Mountain and on to Maidenwell, Nanango then back to Kingaroy takes you to an observatory and Pottique Lavender Farm.
Length: 145km round trip
Time: 2 ½ hours without stops (allow half to full day to experience all attractions)
Kingaroy to the Bunya Mountains – 60 kilometres 45 mins
Bunya Mountains – Maidenwell – 28 kilometres 30 mins
Maidenwell – Nanango – 33 kilometres 25 mins
Nanango – Kingaroy 24 kilometres 20 mins
Generally the highways are in good condition and sealed bitumen all the way. The road up the Mountain is sealed but is narrow, steep and winding. A seven kilometre section of road between the Mountain and Maidenwell is gravel, well maintained but requires some caution.
Starting at the Kingaroy Information Art and Heritage Precinct, drive along Haly Street through the CBD to the second set of lights and turn left on to the Bunya Highway, a direct route to the Bunya Mountains through the small township of Kumbia.
Keep and eye out for Kingsley Grove 11 kms from Kingaroy. It’s our newest winery and please phone 4163 6433, open Wednesday to Sunday. Nearby is Taabinga Homestead, one of Queensland’s oldest and best preserved homes – built in 1846. It is open to visitors at certain times of the year, appointments are necessary.
Before reaching Kumbia (aboriginal word meaning place of white ants), you will pass through some of the South Burnett’s richest farmland featuring our famous red volcanic soil (great for growing peanuts!). Keep an eye out for a large stand of Paulownia trees on your left. You may also catch a glimpse of the area’s thriving stone fruit industry under netting on your far right.
Stop in Kumbia for your last chance for fuel, provisions and local knowledge before ascending the steep road to the Bunyas. Take the time to stretch your legs around this well tended village. Kumbia town can be found in Land Court files as far back as 1890; however sales of the first residential land did not take place until 1912.
After passing through Kumbia, take the signed Bunya Mountains turnoff 5km from town. Take the Dandabah turnoff on top of the mountain. You will pass Bunya Forest Gallery and Tearoom – a rewarding place to stop, have lunch and browse the quality craft/art works. There is a focus on bush foods on the menu and in products sold.
From the Gallery continue on to Dandabah picnic and camping area. Walking tracks cater to most fitness levels and range from 500m to 10km.
Traditional Custodians from south-east Queensland and northern New South Wales gathered together for celebrations coinciding with heavy crops of bunya nuts. Visitors picnic, camp, walk or relax in the cool climate of this isolated section of the Great Diving Range featuring the amazing ancient Bunya Pine forest.
Meals and refreshments are available from the restaurant or general store. Should you wish to stay on the Mountain, there is an extensive range of accommodation from B&B’s to campsites, cabins and chalets.
When leaving, turn left after Bunya Forest Gallery and Tearoom and follow the signs to Maidenwell/Nanango. In Maidenwell, signage shows the way to the South Burnett Maidenwell Astronomical Observatory – open daily, phone 4164 6194. A turnoff from the main round near the general store takes you down to Coomba Falls via a short, stepped bush walk – a popular swimming spot for the locals. (The road is difficult in wet conditions)
Follow signage back to Nanango (keep an eye out for the many murals in town depicting some of its history and development). The newly opened South Burnett Energy Centre in Henry Street Nanango is a must see. The centre has interactive displays, working engines from ‘yesteryear’, the local history of energy and the future of energy as well as console where you get to, in a virtual world, power up the Tarong Energy Power Station.
Back to Kingaroy. 15kms from Nanango on the Kingaroy-Nanango Road you’ll find Pottique Lavender Farm on the left. This is a must stop for lovers of craft, pottery, lavender, and antiques and wine. Entry is free and caters to all interests. Guests are also welcome to take a leisurely stroll around the garden and cropping areas, which change depending on the season.