Last weekend I went up to the Bunya Mountains from Toowoomba for a day trip with a friend.

Even before arriving, the 90 minute drive is a great way to relax and see the gorgeous region between these two locations. With the recent rains the surrounding fields were lush and green and the different coloured crops made for an ever evolving patchwork as we drove.

The road takes you from broad, farm filled horizons to wind along the edge of epic hillsides with breathtaking views, then is suddenly enveloped in thick rainforest. Along the way were points of interest that we had no time to stop at, wineries and country cafes, antique shops and farm gate produce stalls. You could easily take a whole day to do this trip!

Tourism Darling Downs, The Bunya Pine, Heritage

Arriving at the Bunya Mountains we were immediately entranced by the wallabies and kangaroos everywhere, several times stopping to enjoy closer looks at these fearless animals. Several even had joeys in their pouch which sent my friend and I into tourist overload!

Once we arrived we found the Bunya Mountains easily offers enough attractions to spend the day.Starting with coffee and Bunya Nut scones at one of the cafes, we relaxed watching the kangaroos laze around the lawns out of the sun and chatted to the staff about the Bunya Nuts that are such a significant feature of this area.

Weighing up to 10kg and being produced by the Bunya Pine only once every 4 years, these giant conifer nuts put up a fight if you’re after the delicious nut! First you have to collect them, then peel them by hand (gloves are a good idea!) then boil the nutshell for a few hours to make it soft enough to cut and get the nut out. In past the Bunya Nut season was a huge gathering for Australian Aboriginals and many are hoping that the significant festival can be revived.

For now tho, the Bunya Nuts are enjoyed by visitors and locals and I found people hard at work peeling them at the cafes, the historical museum and even the carpark! Bunya Nuts are sold from several locations in the village and I definitely recommend taking some home and enjoying them yourself.

We spend some time wandering around the many walking tracks, exploring the historical museum and admiring the beautiful views and art installations before heading back to the restaurant and ensuring our mornings exercise was well ruined with lunch and a tipple at QLD’s highest whiskey bar. The helpful staff let us know that there were markets on the last Sunday each month and we could arrange horse and cart rides or book a tennis court if we had been staying longer but it was time to get back on the road and leave this beautiful place and all it’s kangaroos behind for another day.

Heather Woodcraft

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