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About Main Range

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Getting there and getting around

Spectacular view of 'The Steamers', Main Range National Park. Photo: Ben Blackwell, Queensland Government.

Spectacular view of 'The Steamers', Main Range National Park. Photo: Ben Blackwell, Queensland Government.

Queen Mary Falls. Photo: Michael O'Connor, Queensland Government.

Queen Mary Falls. Photo: Michael O'Connor, Queensland Government.

Cunninghams Gap and Spicers Gap

Main Range National Park is 116 km south-west of Brisbane and 50 km east of Warwick. The Cunningham Highway crosses the park at Cunninghams Gap and provides access to the northern part of the park, which includes visitor facilities and walks at Cunninghams Gap and Goomburra.

The eastern approach to Spicers Gap is suitable for conventional vehicles and is reached via Lake Moogerah Road, which leaves the Cunningham Highway 5 km west of Aratula, then Spicers Gap Road. Spicers Gap Road ends at Governors Chair car park.

The western approach towards Spicers Gap is suitable only for high-clearance 4WD vehicles and should be avoided in wet weather. Spicers Gap Road leaves the southern side of the Cunningham Highway 4.5 km west of Cunninghams Gap. The road ends at the Mount Mathieson car park. Gates must be left as found. Vehicles are to remain on Spicers Gap Road at all times.

Spicers Gap Road does not provide vehicle access across the range.

Queen Mary Falls

Located 64 km south-west of Boonah via Carneys Creek Road then Head Road or 11 km east of Killarney via Spring Creek Road, Queen Mary Falls is located at the south-west end of the park.

The approach from Boonah is very steep and should be travelled with care. It is unsuitable for caravans.

Goomburra

Located about 175 km south-west of Brisbane, Goomburra can be reached from both the New England and Cunningham highways. From the New England Highway turn off the highway 3 km south of Allora onto Inverramsay Road. Follow Inverramsay Road, then Forestry Reserve Road east about 35 km to the park boundary.

From the Cunningham Highway turn off at Gladfield 25 km west of Cunninghams Gap or 13 km east of the Cunningham and New England highway junction, turn north and travel 8 km to join Inverramsay Road. Follow Inverramsay Road, then Forestry Reserve Road to the park boundary.

The last 6 km of road to the park is unsealed and may be impassible due to flooding heavy rain. Check road conditions with RACQ before you visit. The road to the lookouts will be closed after heavy rain.

Wheelchair accessibility

Goomburra has wheelchair access to toilets in Manna Gum camping area.

Park features

Dalrymple Creek. Photo: R. Ashdown, Queensland Government.

Dalrymple Creek. Photo: R. Ashdown, Queensland Government.

Rugged mountain ranges, spectacular lookouts and rare wildlife feature in this prestigious Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area park. Main Range National Park covers 30,170.5 ha. A mosaic of vegetation types occurs in the park. Rainforests grow in moist or sheltered locations, with open eucalypt forest occurring on the drier ridges and valleys. Montane heath vegetation grows on the cliffs and rocky outcrops.

These diverse habitats shelter much wildlife, including the seldom seen Albert's lyrebird, the endangered eastern bristlebird and the vulnerable black-breasted button-quail. Populations of these birds and other wildlife have been threatened by land clearing and inappropriate fire regimes in South East Queensland.

A restricted plant species, the giant spear lily Doryanthes palmeri, also occurs in the park. Careful management is essential for the continued survival of the park's habitats and the wildlife that lives in them.

Camping and accommodation

Well prepared, fit and experienced bushwalkers venture to the remoter locations within Main Range National Park. Photo: Peter Lehmann, Queensland Government.

Well prepared, fit and experienced bushwalkers venture to the remoter locations within Main Range National Park. Photo: Peter Lehmann, Queensland Government.

Camping

Main Range National Park provides a range of camping experiences; both developed camping areas and remote area bushcamping sites.

Developed camping areas are located at Spicers Gap and Goomburra sections of the park. These camping areas provide facilities, including composting toilets, tap-water and barbecues (Goomburra camping area only).

Remote area bush camp sites are available in Main Range National Park and can only be reached by walking. There are no facilities at these sites.

Read things to know before you go for information about essentials to bring with you when camping in Main Range National Park.

A private caravan park, kiosk and camping area is located at Queen Mary Falls opposite the park’s day-use area.

Other accommodation

There are numerous privately-run bed and breakfasts, lodges, cabins and campgrounds in the Main Range area. Hotel, motel, bed and breakfast and caravan park accommodation is available at Boonah, Aratula, Allora, Killarney and Warwick. For more information see the tourism information links.

Things to do

Short, easy strolls are a great way to introduce the family to the natural wonders of this park. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

Short, easy strolls are a great way to introduce the family to the natural wonders of this park. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

View to Mount Mitchell. A high level of physical fitness, navigational skills and cliff-scrambling skills are essential to enjoy the remote areas of Main Range National Park. Photo: Kirstin O'Meley, Queensland Government.

View to Mount Mitchell. A high level of physical fitness, navigational skills and cliff-scrambling skills are essential to enjoy the remote areas of Main Range National Park. Photo: Kirstin O'Meley, Queensland Government.

The short walks through rainforest to Sylvesters and Mount Castle lookouts will reward you with expansive views of the Scenic Rim. Photo: Courtesy Lou Coles.

The short walks through rainforest to Sylvesters and Mount Castle lookouts will reward you with expansive views of the Scenic Rim. Photo: Courtesy Lou Coles.

Kurrajong picnic area, near Dalrymple Creek, is a tranquil place to take a break while exploring the Goomburra's many walks and lookouts. Photo: Courtesy Lou Coles.

Kurrajong picnic area, near Dalrymple Creek, is a tranquil place to take a break while exploring the Goomburra's many walks and lookouts. Photo: Courtesy Lou Coles.

Main Range National Park offers many opportunities for visitors to explore and enjoy the natural surrounds.

Walking tracks

Choose from a variety of walking tracks ranging from short easy strolls, to long physically-demanding hikes. Track gradings and surfaces vary widely, so please check track details before starting out.

Allow 15 to 20 min to walk 1 km. This time is calculated for people of average fitness and bushwalking experience and who are wearing correct footwear. Allow more time to include rests and to return to your starting point if you are walking with small children or are an inexperienced bushwalker.

Distances given are from the track entrance and return.

Main Range National Park walking tracks:

If you intend exploring more of Main Range National Park, ensure you download a copy of the 'Main Range National Park Guide'.

Key to track standards

The classification system is based on Australian Standards. Please note that each track is classified according to its most difficult section, other sections may be of an easier level.

Class 2 walking track Class 2 track (Australian Standards)
  • Easy level track, suitable for all fitness levels—no previous bushwalking experience necessary.
  • All junctions signposted and include interpretive signs.
Class 3 walking track Class 3 track (Australian Standards)
  • Well-defined, distinct tracks, variable in width. Muddy sections, steep grades and steps may be encountered. Some exposed roots and rocks.
  • All junctions signposted and may include interpretive signs.
  • May be partially overgrown; hazards such as fallen trees and rockfalls may be present.
  • No formed creek crossings; cliff edges and lookouts generally not fenced; appropriate caution required.
  • Reasonable level of fitness required and ankle-supporting footwear recommended.
Class 4 walking track Class 4 track (Australian Standards)
  • Distinct tracks, surface likely to be rough with exposed roots and rocks.
  • All junctions signposted. Markers may be used where necessary (e.g. at creek crossings).
  • Variable in width; muddy sections, steep grades and extensive steps likely to be encountered.
  • May be overgrown; hazards such as fallen trees and rockfalls likely to be present.
  • No formed creek crossings; no fences on cliff edges or lookouts; high level of caution required.
  • Moderate fitness level and ankle-supporting footwear strongly recommended.

Walking tracks at a glance

Matching experience and expectations—to make your planning easier, simply match your expectations and experience with the most suitable track or trail.

  • Platform lookout: this indicates a lookout with a built platform and handrails.
  • Natural lookout: this indicates a lookout with no built structure or handrails. Please keep away from the edge and supervise children at all times. Take extra care when using binoculars or cameras at these sites!
Track name Classification Distance return Platform lookout Natural lookout
Box Forest track Class 3 Class 3 walking track 5 km - -
Rainforest circuit Class 3 Class 3 walking track 1.6 km Yes -
Gap Creek Falls track Class 4 Class 4 walking track 9.8 km - Yes
Palm Grove circuit Class 4 Class 4 walking track 4.4 km - -
Mount Cordeaux track Class 4 Class 4 walking track 6.8 km - Yes
Bare Rock track / Morgans Walk Class 4 Class 4 walking track 12.4 km - Yes
Mount Mitchell track Class 4 Class 4 walking track 10.2 km -

Yes

Pioneer Graves track  Class 2 Class 2 walking track  260 m  -  -
Moss's Well track  Class 2 Class 2 walking track 120 m  -
Governors Chair lookout  Class 3 Class 3 walking track  300 m  -  Yes
Heritage trail  Class 4 Class 4 walking track  3.2 km  -  -
Mount Mathieson trail  Class 4 Class 4 walking track  8.1 km  - Yes
North Branch track  Class 4 Class 4 walking track  7 km  -
Dalrymple circuit  Class 3 Class 3 walking track  1.2 km  -  -
Cascades circuit  Class 4 Class 4 walking track  6.5 km  -  -
Ridge track  Class 4 Class 4 walking track  5 km  -  -
Araucaria Falls  Class 4 Class 4 walking track  3.6 km  -  -
Sylvesters lookout  Class 3 Class 3 walking track  940 m  Yes  -
Mount Castle lookout  Class 3 Class 3 walking track  960 m  Yes  -
Winder track  Class 4 Class 4 walking track  12 km  -  Yes
Cliff circuit  Class 2 Class 2 walking track  400 m  Yes
Queen Mary Falls circuit  Class 3 Class 3 walking track  2 km  Yes  -

Tracks from Cunninghams Gap

The majority of walking tracks are located at the top of Cunninghams Gap. These tracks begin at The Crest car park. Several short, easy tracks start at Spicers Gap.

Class 3 walking track Box Forest track (Class 3)

Distance: 5 km return

Time: Allow about 2 hr walking time

Details: Begin this walk at either the West Gap Creek picnic area or western end of The Crest car park. Passing through rainforest and open forest, the track is named after the brush box Lophostemon confertus, which line West Gap Creek. Birdlife is plentiful. Return to your starting point via the Box Forest track or arrange to be picked up at either end of the track. It is not advisable to return via the edge of the busy Cunningham Highway.

Class 3 walking track Rainforest circuit (Class 3)

Distance: 1.6 km return

Time: Allow about 25 min walking time

Details: The circuit commences at the eastern end of The Crest car park. It passes the Allan Cunningham monument and is the beginning of an extensive track system on the northern side of Cunninghams Gap. The Fassifern Valley lookout is on the eastern part of the circuit and can be reached by climbing the stairs at the first track junction. The lookout provides a spectacular view over distinctive volcanic peaks, the Fassifern Valley and Lake Moogerah.

For an easier way round the circuit, turn left at the base of the stairs and walk the circuit in a clockwise direction.

Class 4 walking track Gap Creek Falls track (Class 4)

Distance: 9.8 km return

Time: Allow about 6 hr walking time

Details: The best time to see the falls is soon after rain, as there is little water over the 100 m drop in dry weather. The track, mostly through open eucalypt forests, starts at The Crest car park via the stairs leading to the Fassifern Valley lookout. Descend the ridge below Mount Cordeaux to the top of the falls. The return trip is uphill and can be very tiring in hot weather. This track requires a high level of fitness and is not recommended for older or very young people or those in poor health.

Class 4 walking track Palm Grove circuit (Class 4)

Distance: 4.4 km return

Time: Allow about 2 hr walking time

Details: Branching from the Rainforest circuit, this walk ends in a 1 km circuit featuring a dense grove of piccabeen palms Archontophoenix cunninghamiana in rainforest and open eucalypt forest. A variety of birdlife can be seen. The track is suitable for all ages.

Class 4 walking track Mount Cordeaux track (Class 4)
DANGER DANGER! Sheer cliff edges. One slip could be fatal—serious injury or death may result from walking near the edge. Remain on the track, stay behind fences, away from cliff edges and supervise children at all times.
Spear lily flower

Flower of the giant spear lily. Photo: Courtesy Ross Patterson.

Distance: 6.8 km return

Time: Allow about 2.5 hr walking time

Caution: Limited group access. For your safety, 10 people per group recommended on the Mount Cordeaux track and lookout.

Details: Mount Cordeaux (1135 m above sea level) is known to Aboriginal people as 'Niamboyoo'. Branching off the Rainforest circuit, the track zigzags through rainforest to the exposed upper slopes, ending at a lookout on the southern side. The cliff face of Mount Cordeaux is spectacular in spring when the giant spear lilies Doryanthes palmeri are in flower.

Class 4 walking track Bare Rock track/Morgans Walk (Class 4)

Distance: 12.4 km return

Time: Allow about 4.5 hr walking time

Details: Detouring west of the peak of Mount Cordeaux, the track to Bare Rock (1168 m above sea level) crosses a rocky saddle north of the peak and re-enters rainforest before ending with a brief scramble to a rocky outcrop. From here there are spectacular views over the northern section of the park. Two varieties of tree fern grow near the track and Albert's lyrebirds can be heard in the winter months.

The 350 m Morgans Walk track leaves the Bare Rock track 680 m before Bare Rock and ends in a grove of montane heath.

Class 4 walking track Mount Mitchell track (Class 4)
DANGER DANGER! Sheer cliff edges. Remain on the track, stay behind fences, away from cliff edges and supervise children at all times.

Distance: 10.2 km return

Time: Allow about 3 hr walking time

Details: A graded walking track to the twin peaks of Mount Mitchell begins on the southern side of the Cunningham Highway. Take care when crossing the highway or preferably park on the southern side of the highway. Rainforest and open eucalypt forest will be encountered on this track, which ends on a knife-edge ridge above a sheer cliff on the east peak of Mount Mitchell (1175 m above sea level). This peak is known as 'Cooyinnirra' to the Aboriginal people. Care must be taken at the cliff edge.

Tracks around Spicers Gap

Class 2 walking track Pioneer Graves track (Class 2)

Distance: 260 m return

Time: Allow about 15 min walking time

Details: Adjacent to the camping area is a picnic area that takes its name from a local landmark, Pioneer Graves. A short walk from the picnic area leads to a small cemetery where at least 13 people are buried.

Class 2 walking track Moss's Well track (Class 2)

Distance: 120 m return

Time: Allow about 10 min walking time

Details: Moss's Well, in tall open forest, is a haven for many species of birds. The well is believed to take its name from Edward Moss, the first road contractor. This was the only water for travellers and their teams making their way over the range. The well water is now unsuitable for drinking.

Class 3 walking track Governors Chair lookout (Class 3)

Distance: 300 m return

Time: Allow about 15 min walking time

Caution: Care must be taken near the cliff edge

Details: A 150 m walking track links the Governors Chair car park with the lookout over the Fassifern Valley. Governors Chair, the large rock on the edge of the cliff face, was so named as it was reportedly a popular resting spot for early governors of Queensland when their journeys took them through Spicers Gap.

Class 4 walking track Heritage trail (Class 4)

Distance: 3.2 km return

Time: Allow about 1 hr walking time

Details: From the Governors Chair car park an interesting self-guiding walk, showing various road construction methods, follows the historic road.

Class 4 walking track Mount Mathieson trail (Class 4)

Distance: 8.1 km return

Time: Allow about 3 hr walking time

Details: This rough trail (not a graded walking track) commences opposite the Pioneer picnic area. The walk takes you through open eucalypt and rainforest and provides opportunities for views north of Cunninghams Gap. The trail returns via the Heritage trail and Spicers Gap Road in Main Range National Park.

Walking tracks in Goomburra

Class 4 walking track North Branch track (Class 4)

Distance: 7 km return

Time: Allow about 3.5 hr walking time

Details: Commencing opposite the Kurrajong picnic area, this trail follows the north branch of Dalrymple Creek, before ending just inside the rainforest edge.

Class 3 walking track Dalrymple circuit (Class 3)

Distance: 1.2 km return

Time: Allow about 30 min walking time

Details: Starting at the eastern end of the Manna Gum camping area, this circuit features self-guiding signs, which explore the rich history and natural values of the forest—ideal for young family groups (see other things to do for more information). The track forms the first section of the Cascades circuit. Several bridges and platforms are a feature of this circuit.

Class 4 walking track Cascades circuit (Class 4)

Distance: 6.5 km return

Time: Allow about 3 hr walking time

Details: This circuit commences at the eastern end of the Manna Gum camping area and winds through sections of rainforest, featuring a series of cascades and rocky pools on the upper reaches of Dalrymple Creek. Look for signs of early timber logging.

Class 4 walking track Ridge track (Class 4)

Distance: 5 km return

Time: Allow about 2.5 hr walking time

Details: Located in hilly open forest, this circuit track provides views down into Dalrymple Creek valley and takes you through sections of New England ash Eucalyptus campanulata. This walk commences from the eastern end of the Manna Gum camping area and contains moderate grades with some steeper sections. Please take care as loose gravel may make the steep sections slippery.

The southern section of the Ridge track and the northern section of the Cascades circuit can be linked to form a longer 7.6 km walk, taking around 3.5 hr to complete.

Class 4 walking track Araucaria Falls (Class 4)

Distance: 3.6 km return

Time: Allow about 1.5 hr walking time

Details: This track commences 3.8 km along Lookout Road beyond the Kurrajong picnic area and leads to the base of a small but spectacular waterfall surrounded by rainforest. The waterfall is named after the hoop pine Araucaria cunninghamii.

Class 3 walking track Sylvesters lookout (Class 3)

Distance: 940 m return

Time: Allow about 30 min walking time

Details: Sylvesters lookout offers magnificent views over the coastal plains below, including the southern tip of Lake Moogerah and the rugged border ranges to the south. The track to the lookout can be challenging in places and requires some steady footwork. The track starts from Lookout Road—a 4.7 km drive from the Kurrajong picnic area. This road may be closed following wet weather.

Class 3 walking track Mount Castle lookout (Class 3)

Distance: 960 m return

Time: Allow about 30 min walking time

Details: Mount Castle lookout is a natural viewpoint that offers views over the Laidley Valley and the Little Liverpool Range (Mount Castle is directly in front of the lookout). The 480 m walking track, which starts from Lookout Road (a 6.3 km drive from Kurrajong picnic area), has moderate to steep grades and passes through lush rainforest scattered with magnificent hoop pines.

Class 4 walking track Winder track (Class 4)

Distance: 12 km return

Time: Allow about 4 hr walking time

Details: The Winder track starts at the north-east end of Lookout Road, 6.3 km beyond Kurrajong picnic area. This track passes through rainforest along the crest of the Mistake Range before ending at the 'winder', a piece of relic machinery from the early days of timber cutting.

Walking around Queen Mary Falls

Class 2 walking track Cliff circuit (Class 2)

Distance: 400 m return

Time: Allow about 20 min walking time

Details: This walk takes you to the top of Queen Mary Falls, which is part of the headwaters of one of Australia's longest river systems, the Murray–Darling. Great care should be taken when viewing the gorge below. Supervise children closely.

Class 3 walking track Queen Mary Falls circuit (Class 3)
DANGER DANGER! Sheer cliffs and waterfall. One slip could be fatal—serious injury or death may result from walking near the edge or swimming in the creek above the waterfall. Keep to the track and supervise children closely.

The spectacular Queen Mary Falls. Photo: Tourism and Events Queensland.

Distance: 2 km return

Time: Allow about 40 min walking time

Details: A leisurely stroll along the walking track reveals changes in vegetation from the eucalypt-covered ridge top to the rainforest gorge. From the Queen Mary Falls lookout, watch Spring Creek plunge over the 40 m Queen Mary Falls to continue its twisting journey down the valley floor to join the Condamine River's upper reaches. Continue on the track to view the falls from creek level. On a summer's day, take time to pause for a moment to feel the waterfall's cool spray. Take care on the causeway as the surface can become slippery when wet. Do not attempt to cross when in flood or if water covers the causeway.

For your safety the track will be closed following periods of heavy rainfall due to the possibility of rockfall from cliff areas above the track. Gates are located near the track entrance on the western side of the picnic area and just west of Queen Mary Falls lookout.

Remote area bushwalking

Main Range National Park offers some of the most spectacular remote area bushwalking opportunities in southern Queensland. However, the extremely rugged mountain terrain can be hazardous for inexperienced or poorly-prepared walkers. A high level of physical fitness, navigational skills and cliff-scrambling skills are essential.

Walkers should familiarise themselves with the area before attempting an extended walk. Contact us for assistance with route advice and other detailed information. Established tourism operators and bushwalking clubs with experienced off-track walkers regularly organise trips to Main Range National Park. Guidebooks covering most walks are available from specialist camping stores and some bookshops.

Remote area bushwalking is only advised in the cooler weather, usually April to September. Walking during summer can be very hazardous due to high temperatures and lack of surface water.

All remote area bushwalkers are expected to follow minimal impact bushwalking and bush camping practices, such as observing proper sanitation and hygiene methods and avoiding polluting water in any way.

To enjoy your remote area bushwalking and camping experience, please:

  • Familiarise yourself with the area by doing shorter walks before attempting an extended walk. Guidebooks covering most walks are available from bushwalking equipment stores and some bookshops.
  • Prepare yourself before you leave. Even accomplished bushwalkers can experience difficulties. Every year some walkers become lost, injured or overdue. Search and rescue operations are costly, endanger searchers' lives and can damage the environment. Minimise your risk. Remember that your safety is your responsibility.
  • Leave a copy of your bushwalking plans with a friend, relative or other reliable person. This person has responsibility for contacting police if you are overdue. Your plan should include:
    • your name, address, number of people in your party, ages and any medical conditions
    • vehicle registration, make, model, colour and parking location
    • the route you are taking, expected times of departure and return.
  • Walk with a recognised bushwalking club. This is a good way to gain experience.
  • Walk with one or more friends. At least one member of each party should be a competent map-reader and bushwalker.
  • Learn map and compass skills. Recommended maps for bushwalking are 1:25 000 topographic maps. It is also advisable to carry a recognised bushwalking guidebook for the area.
  • Carry sufficient food, water and protective clothing. Rapid changes in temperature and weather are common.
  • Leave plenty of time to reach your destination.
  • A first-aid kit and torch should be carried. Learn first-aid procedures.
  • It is advisable to boil or chemically-treat creek water before drinking.
  • Take care near cliff edges.
  • Remember to book a bush camp site if planning to camp in a remote area.

To sum up—be prepared and use sound judgement.

Picnic and day-use areas

Cunninghams Gap and Spicers Gap

Picnic areas are located at both Cunninghams Gap and Spicers Gap but barbecues are located at Spicers Gap only. Limited firewood is supplied for barbecue cooking. To avoid disappointment, please supply your own firewood or use a fuel stove. Firewood must not be collected from the park or roadside—fines apply. Toilets are available at Spicers Gap camping area, next to the picnic area, and at West Gap Creek picnic area at Cunninghams Gap. Tap-water is provided at both locations—boil or chemically-treat all tap-water before drinking. No bins are provided; visitors are asked to take their rubbish with them.

Queen Mary Falls

Queen Mary Falls is a day-use area only. Tables, wood-fired barbecues and free electric barbecues, toilets and tap-water are provided in a spacious picnic area set among eucalypt forest. Boil or chemically-treat all tap-water before drinking. Please supply your own firewood for wood-fired barbecues or use an electric barbecue or fuel stove. Firewood must not be collected from the park or roadside—fines apply. Visitors are asked to take their rubbish away with them.

Goomburra

The small Kurrajong picnic area, containing barbecues facilities and tables, is located adjacent to Dalrymple Creek. Please supply your own firewood for barbecue cooking, or alternatively use a fuel stove. Firewood must not be collected from the park or roadside—fines apply. There are no toilets or tap-water available at Kurrajong picnic area—please visit Poplar Flats camping area for these amenities. No bins are provided; visitors are asked to take their rubbish with them.

Viewing wildlife

The park's numerous habitats provide homes for over 59 mammal, 204 bird, 54 reptile and 31 frog species as well as countless insects and other invertebrates. Six species, including the eastern bristlebird and the Coxen's fig-parrot, are listed as endangered, while as many as 12 species of animals are regarded as near threatened. Many animals are considered vulnerable. This means that any major impact on their habitat will endanger the future of these species.

  • See the description of the park's natural environment for more details about Main Range's diverse wildlife.

Guided tours and talks

The Connect with Nature program offers a range of nature-based activities and events every season for adults, children and families in and around parks and forests throughout Brisbane, the Western Scenic Rim and the Gold Coast and hinterland.

Other things to do

Have fun and learn more while exploring Goomburra's Dalrymple circuit by doing the activity sheet (PDF, 340K)*. Use your powers of observation to find answers within the self-guiding signs. Matching pictures are clues to locate information.

Note for teachers or parents and carers

The activity sheet is designed for Year 4 (nine years old) or above. All the answers to the activity questions are found in the signs (except the meaning of the words in the 'match the word with the statement' activity). You might like to assist younger children with the word matching activity before walking the circuit. It may help enhance their understanding when reading these words on the signs.

Things to know before you go

A zip-lock back is ideal for carrying rubbish when walking in the park. Photo: Adam Creed, Queensland Government.

A zip-lock back is ideal for carrying rubbish when walking in the park. Photo: Adam Creed, Queensland Government.

Use a fuel stove. Photo: Adam Creed, Queensland Government.

Use a fuel stove. Photo: Adam Creed, Queensland Government.

Essentials to bring

  • Take warm clothing and raincoats, as rapid changes in temperature and weather are common.
  • Wear a hat and apply sunscreen to prevent sunburn.
  • Rubbish bins are not provided. Please bring rubbish bags and take all recyclables and rubbish with you when you leave.
  • Bring drinking water, a fuel stove to boil water for drinking and/or chemical tablets to treat water.
  • Fuel or gas stoves are recommended for cooking, but if you do wish to use the barbecues provided please bring your own wood or purchase it locally. Never collect wood from the park or roadside. Take care with fire, keep your fires below the grate and make sure your fire is out before you leave it, especially during hot or windy conditions. Elevated barbecues and braziers that use heat beads are permitted provided the ground beneath them is protected.
  • Bring your camera and binoculars for viewing wildlife. A torch, preferably with a red filter to protect animals' eyes, is useful for spotlighting at night.

Opening hours

Main Range National Park is open 24 hours a day. For your safety, walk in daylight hours only.

Permits and fees

All camping areas in Main Range National Park require a permit and fees apply. Try to book in advance for public holidays. If you wish to extend your stay, you must re-book. A camp site tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site. Remember: camp sites must be booked before camping overnight—fines apply for camping without a permit.

All remote area bush camp sites must be booked online and fees apply. 

  • Find out more about camping in Main Range National Park.
  • Book your camp site online.
  • If you cannot book online, see camping bookings for other options.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in Main Range National Park.

Climate and weather

Main Range can experience rapid changes in temperature and weather. Winters are usually dry and cold with frosty nights, temperatures dropping to an average minimum of 5 ºC. Summers are warm to very hot, especially on the exposed ridges, reaching to 35 ºC, with cooler nights that average 10 to 18 ºC. Watch out for late spring and summer thunderstorms that bring lightning and unseasonably cold weather. Most rain falls between November and March. Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.

For more information see the tourism information links.

Fuel and supplies

The closest fuel and supplies are available from Cunninghams Gap, 3 km west of The Crest car park, Aratula, 21 km east from Cunninghams Gap (18 km from Spicers Gap) or Allora, which is 38 km west of Goomburra. At Goomburra a small general store, located 6 km west of the Main Range camping area, operates on weekends and holidays, while at Queen Mary Falls supplies are available opposite the park's picnic grounds, with fuel available in Killarney. For more information see the tourism information links.

Frequently asked questions

For more information, please read the frequently asked questions.

Staying safe

Walk with one or more friends. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

Walk with one or more friends. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

If undetected a leech will become engorged and eventually drop off. Photo: Kim Morris, Queensland Government.

If undetected a leech will become engorged and eventually drop off. Photo: Kim Morris, Queensland Government.

Main Range National Park is a wild place with hidden dangers for the unwary visitor. It is vital to pay close attention to signs that warn of local dangers. Follow these tips and use common sense to stay safe in the park.

Walking

To enjoy a safe visit to this area, please:

  • Be prepared, even on short walks, and judge your ability and conditions carefully before setting out. Do not expect to be warned of every possible danger.
  • Choose walks that suit the capabilities of your entire group.
  • Stay together and keep to designated walking tracks. Lookouts are a major feature of many of the walks. Many are part of a natural feature, often located on a cliff edge or ridge. Edges can be deceptive and are often closer than you think. Be aware; not all lookouts have handrails. Please keep away from the edge and supervise children at all times. Take extra care when using binoculars or cameras at these sites.
  • Wear a hat, sunscreen, comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes with good grip.
  • Take a basic first-aid kit.
  • Always carry drinking water.

Wildlife

  • Check yourself and children daily for ticks, often found in body creases. Remove with tweezers and consult a first-aid book.
  • Leeches are common in wetter areas. Insect repellent on your socks helps keep them away. Remove them by pushing with your fingernail where they have attached. Some bleeding after removal is normal due to the anticoagulant in the leech bite, but there are usually no ill effects apart from an itchy bite-mark.
  • The giant stinging trees Dendrocnide excelsa, is recognisable by its very large, round leaves that are covered in fine hairs. It can deliver an extremely painful sting—do not touch their leaves, including dead ones on the ground.
  • Venomous snakes live in the park, so watch for snakes on the path and wait for them to move away. Never pick up, disturb or try to kill a snake. Carry elastic bandages in case of snakebite, and know the correct first-aid procedure.

Car theft

Thefts have occurred in this area. Car crime is a problem even here. Help us to stop this problem.

  • Remove all valuables—this includes garage remotes.
  • Lock your car.
  • Remove your keys.

In an emergency

In case of accident or other emergency please:

  • Call Triple Zero (000).
  • If you have difficulty connecting to Triple Zero (000) from your mobile phone, try 112.
  • Advise the nature and location of the emergency.
  • Stay on the phone until you are told to hang up.

The nearest hospitals are located at Warwick and Boonah. Mobile phone coverage is not reliable in Main Range National Park, but may be possible in areas with high elevation.

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

Looking after the park

By being a minimal impact visitor you are helping us protect our unique wildlife. Photo: Harry Hines, Queensland Government.

By being a minimal impact visitor you are helping us protect our unique wildlife. Photo: Harry Hines, Queensland Government.

You can help protect the park and forest by observing these guidelines:

  • Please leave all plants and animals undisturbed.
  • Please do not feed the wildlife. Feeding native animals may cause poor health and sometimes death.
  • Goomburra is a special area for frogs; your cooperation is required to protect them—be frog friendly.
  • Use toilets if available. Away from toilets, ensure all human waste and toilet paper are properly buried (15 cm deep) well away from tracks, camp sites, watercourses and drainage channels (100 m). Carry out disposable nappies and sanitary products.
  • When bathing or washing cooking equipment or clothes, always wash at least 100 m from streams and lakes. Waterways should be kept free of all pollutants including soap, detergents, shampoo, sunscreens and food scraps.
  • Take your rubbish home. Minimal impact bushwalkers take great care to avoid leaving any rubbish. Remember—pack it in, pack it out.
  • Be self-sufficient—use a fuel stove.
  • Keep to the walking tracks where provided and take care near cliff edges.
  • Remember: the use of generators is prohibited in camping areas.

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

Park management

We are protecting the Main Range escarpment for future generations. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

We are protecting the Main Range escarpment for future generations. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) manage Main Range National Park under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 to preserve and present its remarkable natural and cultural values in perpetuity.

Main Range National Park's outstanding geological history, evolutionary significance and role in nature conservation are recognised through its inclusion in the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. Management is in accordance with internationally-recognised obligations under the World Heritage Convention.

Tourism information links

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see www.queenslandholidays.com.au.

Further information

Contact us

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Last updated
16 July 2014