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About Dularcha

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Getting there and getting around

Dularcha National Park's forests provide habitat for a diversity of wildlife. Photo courtesy of Ross Naumann.

Dularcha National Park's forests provide habitat for a diversity of wildlife. Photo courtesy of Ross Naumann.

By car:

From Brisbane (about 90 km): Travel north on the Bruce Highway (M1) and take the Glass House Mountains tourist drive (24) turnoff onto Steve Irwin Way and follow the signs to the towns of Landsborough (park southern entrance off Beech Road) or Mooloolah (park northern entrance of Paget Street).

From Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast (about 25 km): Travel south on the Bruce Highway (M1) and take the Glass House Mountains tourist drive (24) exit onto Steve Irwin Way and follow the signs to the towns of Landsborough (park southern entrance off Beech Road) or Mooloolah (park northern entrance of Paget Street).

By train:

Alternatively travel by train to Landsborough or Mooloolah railway station and then walk through the town to the national park.

Some visitors who drive to the area add a rail experience to their walk by parking their car at Landsborough railway station and catching a train to Mooloolah railway station and then walking through the town and back through the national park to their car (about 5 km, allow 2 hours).

Make sure you take a street map as you will need to negotiate your way through urban streets surrounding the park.

Park features

The curve and length of Dularcha railway tunnel can be seen in this flash-lit photograph. Bats roost seasonally in crevices on the ceiling. Photo courtesy of Ross Naumann.

The curve and length of Dularcha railway tunnel can be seen in this flash-lit photograph. Bats roost seasonally in crevices on the ceiling. Photo courtesy of Ross Naumann.

Dularcha National Park’s historic railway tunnel, built in 1891, is one of only two tunnels built along the old North Coast Line between Brisbane and Gympie. Today this 93.5 m long curved tunnel provides a dark and suitably protected site for seasonal roosting by a variety of small bats, including large-footed myotis.

The first section of this park was declared in 1921 to ensure steam train passengers would have beautiful views of Queensland’s majestic forest. Eucalypt forests and riparian areas with flooded gums, cabbage tree palms and rainforest plants feature here and provide habitats for a diversity of wildlife. Birdwatchers will enjoy the diversity of birds along the trails early and late in the day.

Shared trails enable walkers, mountain bike riders and horse riders to explore the park's natural and historic features.

Camping and accommodation

Camping

Camping is not permitted in Dularcha National Park. Nearby Beerburrum State Forest has a camping area at Coochin Creek.

Other accommodation

There is a range of holiday accommodation in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, including private camping areas on the Glass House Mountains Road—see the tourism information links below for further information.

Things to do

Cyclists: slow down when entering the tunnel to allow your eyes to adjust to the darker environment! Photo: Ross Naumann.

Cyclists: slow down when entering the tunnel to allow your eyes to adjust to the darker environment! Photo: Ross Naumann.

Track view, approaching the tunnel from the south on the Tunnel track. Photo: Ross Naumann.

Track view, approaching the tunnel from the south on the Tunnel track. Photo: Ross Naumann.

A large-footed myotis bat colony seasonally roosts on the ceiling of the Dularcha tunnel. This image shows just one bat that was on the edge of a group of about 60 bats huddled together on the ceiling. Photo: Ross Naumann.

A large-footed myotis bat colony seasonally roosts on the ceiling of the Dularcha tunnel. This image shows just one bat that was on the edge of a group of about 60 bats huddled together on the ceiling. Photo: Ross Naumann.

Take a close look at the Dularcha tunnel walls with a torch and you may find this colourful moth. Spiders and delicate ferns can also be found. Photo: Ross Naumann.

Take a close look at the Dularcha tunnel walls with a torch and you may find this colourful moth. Spiders and delicate ferns can also be found. Photo: Ross Naumann.

Spotted pardalote photographed on the Tunnel bypass track, Dularcha National Park. Photo: Ross Naumann.

Spotted pardalote photographed on the Tunnel bypass track, Dularcha National Park. Photo: Ross Naumann.

Picnic and day-use areas

Toilets and picnic facilities are not provided in Dularcha National Park. These facilities are available nearby in Landsborough and Mooloolah townships and in Glass House Mountains National Park.

Walking, horse riding and bike riding

Three shared trails are provided in Dularcha National Park for shared use by walkers, horse riders and mountain bike riders—the Tunnel track, Tunnel Bypass track and Roses circuit. All other trails marked on the map are for mountain bike riders and walkers only.

For safety a give-way code applies:

  • Cyclists and walkers give way to horses
  • When using trails, cyclists must alert others when approaching them.

Key to track standards

Walkers—use the walking track standards below to choose a suitable walk for your group. The classification system is based on Australian Standards.

Class 2 track

  • Easy level, well-graded track, suitable for all fitness levels.

Class 3 track

  • Gently sloping, well-defined track with slight inclines or few steps.
  • Caution needed on loose gravel surfaces and exposed natural lookouts.
  • Reasonable level of fitness and ankle-supporting footwear required.

Class 4 track

  • Distinct track usually with steep exposed inclines or many steps.
  • Caution needed on loose gravel surfaces and exposed natural lookouts.
  • Moderate level of fitness and ankle-supporting footwear required.

Track descriptions

(Numbers in brackets are map references).

(1) Tunnel track
Distance:
3 km one-way. Distance to tunnel 900 m one-way (from northern entrance) or 2.1 km one-way (from southern entrance)
Walking track standard—Class 2
SEQ Horse Trail Network Standard—Easy grade
Mountain biking—Easy

Details: Take this easy walk to the heritage-listed railway tunnel. Slow down as you enter the tunnel to allow your eyes time to adjust to the darkness—especially important for cyclists!

Look closely at the tunnel walls and you may find colourful moths, spiders and in wetter areas small ferns. Listen for large-footed myotis bats that seasonally roost here and avoid disturbing them by walking quietly through the tunnel.

(2) Tunnel bypass track
Distance:
220 m one-way
Walking track standard— Class 4
SEQ Horse Trail Network Standard—Moderate grade
Mountain biking—Intermediate

Details: This track passes over the ridge and is designed for visitors with horses that are uncomfortable in the tunnel confines. From this track you can also access the north-eastern section of Roses Circuit—slow down and take care where the tracks meet.

(3) Roses circuit
Distance:
8.8 km return (from the northern entrance) or 8 km return (from the southern entrance)
Walking track standard— Class 4
SEQ Horse trail network standard—Moderate grade
Mountain biking—Intermediate

Details: This multi-use recreation trail passes through dry sclerophyll forest and rainforest gullies and includes some views south to the Glass House Mountains.

Read about the horse riding trail networks in the Caboolture, Bellthorpe, Kenilworth and Mapleton region.

Things to know before you go

Camping, domestic animals (other than horses), fires, motorbikes and vehicles are not permitted in the park.

Essentials to bring

  • Bring adequate drinking water, a first-aid kit, insect repellent and a mobile phone.
  • For walking, wear sandshoes or similar sturdy closed-in shoes, sunscreen and a hat.
  • A torch is useful for looking around the old rail tunnel.

Opening hours

For your safety, visit Dularcha National Park in daylight hours only.

Permits and fees

An organised event permit may be needed for planned large group activities in this area.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in Dularcha National Park, except for horses and they are permitted only on the Tunnel track, Tunnel by-pass track and Roses circuit track.

Climate and weather

This area has a mild, subtropical climate. The average daily temperature range is 18 to 28 degrees Celsius in summer and 11 to 20 degrees Celsius in winter. For more information see the tourism information links below.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available at Landsborough, Mooloolah and other towns in the region. For more information see the tourism information links below.

Staying safe

  • Never walk alone—if something happens to you someone in your group can go for help.
  • Walk to your ability and fitness levels.
  • Supervise children at all times.
  • Carry enough drinking water, mobile phone and insect repellent.
  • Carry a first aid-kit and know how to use it.
  • Wear sturdy, closed-in shoes.
  • Plan to complete your walk before dark.
  • Protect yourself from the sun. Wear sunscreen, a hat and long-sleeved shirt, even on cloudy days. In summer walk at cooler times of the day to avoid heat exhaustion on hot days.
  • Tell friends or family where you are going and when you expect to return. If you change your plans inform them.
  • Observe and comply with all regulatory signs.

Ride safely

  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Avoid riding in large groups.
  • Avoid riding on soft, wet and muddy tracks.
  • Slow down and take care where the tracks meet and when approaching other track users.

Mountain bike riders—avoid skidding and sliding around turns. Collision and personal injury may result.

Horse riders—help reduce your impact on this section of the SEQ Horse Trail Network by:

  • Riding only on formed roads and trails designated for horse riding.
  • Not allowing horses to enter or remain in or near natural watercourses. Cross natural watercourses at designated crossing points only.
  • Not allowing horses to graze on vegetation.
  • Tethering horses at hitching sites or resting areas only for short periods to minimise soil erosion and compaction.
  • Ensuring horses’ coats, hooves and equipment are free of seeds before entering the park to avoid spreading weeds.

For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

Looking after the park

Protect the natural environment and help ensure the survival of native plants and animals living here, by following these guidelines.

  • Everything within national parks and forests is protected. Do not take or interfere with plants, animals, soil or rocks.
  • Care for roosting bats—avoid disturbing them and walk quietly through the tunnel.
  • Do not feed or leave food for animals. Human food can harm wildlife and cause some animals to become aggressive.
  • Stay on the track. Do not cut corners or create new tracks.
  • Take rubbish home with you as no bins are provided.
  • Obey signs and safety notices.

See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

Park management

The department manages this park under the Nature Conservation Act 1992.

Tourism information links

For more information about activities, tours and accommodation in this region, contact:

Sunshine Coast Destinations Ltd
www.scdl.com.au

Has nine accredited Visitor Information Centres across the Sunshine Coast providing a range of local and regional tourist brochures and information, as well as a tour, attraction and accommodation booking service.

  • 7 Caloundra Road, Caloundra
  • 77 Bulcock Street, Caloundra
  • Jessica Park, Nicklin Way, Minyama
  • Settler's Rotary Park, Reed Street, Glass House Mountains
  • 198 Main Road, Montville
  • Cnr Melrose Parade and Sixth Avenue, Cotton Tree (Maroochydore)
  • Cnr First Ave and Brisbane Rd, Mooloolaba
  • Tickle Park, David Low Way, Coolum Beach
  • Arrivals Terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport, Marcoola

ph 1800 644 969 (within Australia)
email info@scdl.com.au

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.

Further information

Contact us

Last updated
17 December 2012