Even with no jobs and to-do lists longer than a female’s toilet que at a musical festival, there was no better way to escape the normality of life than an overnight mid-week adventure to an ancient wonderland, the Bunya Mountains.
Snaking our way through Bunya National Park, just over 1000m above sea level, the air became utterly revitalising, crisp and fresh. With temperatures forecasted to be below 0 in the next few days we had no idea what we were in for.
The National Park is a moist rainforest, dry rainforest, eucalyptus forest, woodland and grassland all in one that offers 25 kilometres of hiking trails. We managed to embrace the trails of the enchanted wonderland in the afternoon we arrived and the next morning. No surprise really, as we are the ultimate binge hikers.
We spent the afternoon wandering through the East side of the range. Barker Creek Circuit was 10 kilometres of dark dense forest, trickling creeks, mini waterfalls and fairy pools.
The myriad of fluttering leaves dancing in the boughs high above made the canopy feel alive and the gentle sway of the pine trees were hypnotic. The forest canopy would become so dense that it would block out the sunlight, as if the forest was forming a cage around us.
Moss hung from the decaying branches and twisted vines, like green cobweb curtains. All that could be imagined was becoming strangled by the vines if the forest was to come alive. It felt like we were in a Snow White scene. Even more so when Ben pulled out a red apple!
The deeper we ventured in to the tangled wonderland the more mystical and enchanted the forest became. We were inspired by the lush green ferns that sprawled over the forest floor to make our own tongue twister; On Friday, Freddy flipped through the flat fern forested floor. Trying to master the tongue twister broke the silence of the forest for the remained of the hike (we are still yet to master it).
So, I forgot to mention that while hiking through the Barker Creek Circuit, we were walking ice zombies. The winds were horrendously cold! The temperature was sitting at around 11 degrees throughout the day, dropped to 7 degrees by sunset and we woke up to a whopping 3 degrees.
Heartbreakingly, campfires were not permitted in the Dandabah campgrounds therefore we had to brace the howling winter winds to cook dinner and breakfast. We stood as close as we both could to the kitchen’s gas cooker to feel the radiating warmth but, the heat struggled to penetrate the icy cold air.
If wandering through the spell bounding forests and being left in awe at the size and majesty of the Bunya pines was not enchanting enough, then waking up to a burnt sky and being surrounded by wallaby’s sure was. It was the most perfect way to start a day of exploring the rest of the trails.
There is a dramatic change of landscape on the southern side of the range. The dense rain and pine forests become woodland, grassland and eucalyptus forest. With 6 different lookouts along the hiking trail, the range features panoramic mountain scenery over the South Burnett region and southern plains.