Karen surprised us with a large telescope, so we were able to look at the stars. I'd never looked through a telescope before and it was absolutely fantastic to see Jupiter with four moons around it and Saturn with rings around it. Bunya Mountains is a wonderful place to look at the stars because there are no lights around and it is very dark.
On Saturday, we set out early and did a car shuffle to leave some cars where we planned to finish the walk at Paradise. It was pretty cold when we started but we soon warmed up and started taking off layers.
We walked from Burtons Well to Paradise, a distance of just over 15 kilometres. Our walk followed the cliff line on the west side of the mountain. We climbed up Mt Kiangarow, which is the highest point in the Bunya Mountains. We passed some lookouts along our walk including Westcliffe Lookout, Koondaii Lookout, Cherrie Plains Lookout, Ghinghion Lookout and Bottle Tree Bluff.
There were some lovely views from the lookouts overlooking open plains and valleys. We saw lots of beautiful spring flowers, including the beautiful yellow king orchids. We climbed down a cliff to get a better view of lots of the orchids clinging to the side of the rocks.
Unfortunately, there is still a lot of prickly pear on the mountain. We also came across a large python on the track. It raised its head and looked very threatening, so we just waited quietly till it slithered off into the bush. It looked like it had had a big meal recently because of the large bulge in its stomach.
The Bunya Mountains were formed about 30 million years ago and are thought to be the remnant of an old shield volcano. They are located about 200 km or just over three hours' drive northwest of Brisbane.
Bunya Mountains National Park was declared in 1908 and is Queensland's second national park, featuring the largest area of bunya pines remaining in the world. The park is known for its abundant wildlife and spectacular views. There are lots of wallabies around the cabins and beautiful colourful friendly parrots.
On Sunday, we walked the Barker Creek Circuit. This walk takes in the eastern side of the park. The trail passed Paradise Falls, Little Falls, Big Falls Lookout, Barker Creek Lookout and Tim Shae Falls. It is a lovely walk with lots of interesting trees. There are labels on some of the trees.
We finished the weekend with lunch at Poppies Coffee Shop, which was very close to our chalet. One of my friends did pick up a tick on his back, so you need to be aware they are there. There was also quite a few Gympie stinging trees close to the track on the Barker Creek Circuit, so you need to watch children don't brush against them as the pain is excruciating. I know from experience.