Short Stories – Funny Stories

Roger's Humourous Stories from Australia and the World

BREATHTAKING BUNYA

Written By: Roger Crates - Jan• 09•12

  AUDIO

If you find yourself in Dalby or Kingaroy or need to go from one to the other, take a moment to go off the main Highway, the Bunya highway up route 49 and follow the Bunya signs, The Range is a small very steep set of mountainous ridges forming the Bunya Mountains Nation Park, the second gazetted National Park in Queensland. The peaks are isolated from the parent Great Dividing Range sitting proudly on the surrounding western Plains.

 

The ranges are the result of continuous Basalt flows from the original Shield volcano which formed over 23 million years ago in the Paleozoic age. The highest peak is the towering Kiangaro Peak at 1,135 metres above sea level.

From my point of view the amazing thing about this range is the manner in which it appears plonked onto the surrounding Darling Downs plains and the way in which the Flora changes so suddenly as one rises.

From the normal temperate gum forest to a dazzling array of semi-tropical trees, shrubs and grasslands and that wonderful plant the Grass Tree, in less politically correct times they were called Blackboys why? well their woody trunk was often dark and very often bore the signs of the regular bush fires that sweep its habitat. Sometimes they are all that is left standing and as such stick out as black trunks with a growing thatch emerging from the topmost point of the plant, tenuous explanation but the best I can do.

 

The scene soon changes again as we continue to climb and the trees suddenly change genus and magnificent conifers and varieties of pines draped with parasitic mossy grey beards, emerge on all sides. The atmosphere here becomes hushed and quiet, broken only by the occasional birdsong. If you find a safe place and there are some on the side of the road, stop, turn off the engine and sit quietly and even if nothing happens you will experience the sort of quiet found in the very heart of a pine forest. I could almost feel the silence broken as a garden of fungi pops out of fallen tree trunks as they rotted amongst the mossy rocks and leaf litter to add their goodness to the humus beneath.

Here in the Bunya Mountain Range you very likely will hear or even see King Parrots, Rosellas, Bower Birds even a Bush Turkey and many other species, I am sure all Ornithologists in Queensland know of this Birdie Paradise.

In the resort area of the National Park you will find lots of ducks and swans wandering about quite unafraid of people, If, while you are sitting quietly enjoying the overwhelming peace and the cooling drop in temperature, you might hear a faint rustle in the thick undergrowth that grows almost up to the road. In amongst the trees which are smeared with lichens and mosses another bush citizen may appear a Scrub Wallaby, Echida or a Possum, all of which enjoy the quiet in a place of sanctuary for all species, even trees.

I did mention the steep hilly grades which in places are I guess about 1 in 9 and boy that’s steep, not too many overweight cyclists up here. To get a bike up here and people do of course, you need to be of Tour DE France hill climb standard.

The wonderful thing about the inclines hereabouts is that, just about everywhere in the world where the lumberjack has plied his dangerous trade, the land and forests have been denuded of any timber of value and lots of forest cover to get to the big money trees and of course more yet were destroyed getting the valuable commodity out and to market.

 

This nearly decimated the entire forest but not here. On the Bunya Mountain range the terrain was simply too steep to be cut commercially and so the original forest with its wonderful diversity has been saved. You and I can get up here and wonder and actually see Red Cedar, Hoop Pines and and staghorns growing from their hosts and the lovely Bunya Pine whose nuts were a favourite with the indigenous people of the area.

At the top of the whole unlikely place there are chalets to hire or camping setups for schools or social groups, there is a kiosk and booking office in the well maintained ground and as you might expect in this little Paradise.

If you do get up here ,take some warm clothing with you as the air is chilly, remember it is really high up here. If there were ever a great place for a short break from Brisbane for the family or the loved one this is it. Sit back, absorb the peace or as Dad Kerrigan played by Michael Caton from that great Australian movie The Castle “Ahh Feel the serenity”

Needless to say the park abounds in wonderful walks to amazing places and the scenery is………… well just breathtaking

 It really is the most delightful place

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