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About Ravensbourne

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Getting there and getting around

Ravensbourne National Park conserves a small remnant of the vast forests that once covered the Great Dividing Range. Photo Karen Smith, Qld Govt.

Ravensbourne National Park conserves a small remnant of the vast forests that once covered the Great Dividing Range. Photo Karen Smith, Qld Govt.

Ravensbourne National Park is situated on a spur of the Great Dividing Range between Toowoomba and Esk.

From Toowoomba or Crows Nest, turn off the New England Highway at Hampton and head east towards Esk for 17 km to the park turnoff. From Esk, follow the Esk-Hampton Road for 33 km to the park turnoff.

Drive another 1.3 km to the Blackbean day-use area at the entrance to the park. Cedar Block day-use area and Gus Beutel lookout are 500 m further on.

See the Department of Transport and Main Roads website for information about road and travel conditions.

Wheelchair accessibility

Facilities at Ravensbourne National Park are not accessible to wheelchairs.

Park features

The rainforest at Ravensbourne is filled with piccabeen palms, ferns and vines. Photo: John Ledlin, Qld Govt.

The rainforest at Ravensbourne is filled with piccabeen palms, ferns and vines. Photo: John Ledlin, Qld Govt.

The fruit of piccabeen palms are food for a range of birds, including topknot pigeons, a large bird of the rainforest. Photo Brett Roberts, Qld Govt.

The fruit of piccabeen palms are food for a range of birds, including topknot pigeons, a large bird of the rainforest. Photo Brett Roberts, Qld Govt.

Piccabeen palms, ferns, elkhorns and fungi thrive in the cool, moist remnants of rainforest and wet eucalypt forest along the edge of the Great Dividing Range. Evidence suggests the rainforest is slowly overtaking the open forest. Gullies with trickling streams are moist and inviting, while exposed ridges are warm and dry.

Listen for the calls of the green catbird, noisy pitta, eastern whipbird or wompoo fruit-dove that are often heard but rarely seen. Flocks of topknot pigeons feed in the piccabeen palms and large fig at the Cedar Block day-use area, while eastern yellow robins, white-browed scrubwrens and grey fantails are common visitors to the Blackbean day-use area.

On the edge of the Cedar Block circuit track, look for circular hollows on the rainforest floor made by the black-breasted button-quail Turnix melanogaster as it spins around while feeding. Spectacular red-tailed black-cockatoos and glossy black-cockatoos feed on casuarina seeds in the open forest in winter.

Camping and accommodation

Camping is not allowed at Ravensbourne National Park.

Visitors can stay overnight at nearby Crows Nest National Park, at Cressbrook Dam or in holiday accommodation in and around Ravensbourne, Hampton, Crows Nest, Toowoomba or Esk.

See the tourism information links or consult the local telephone directory or the internet for accommodation options.

Things to do

The Gus Beutel lookout is close to the Cedar Block day-use area. Photo Karen Smith, Qld Govt.

The Gus Beutel lookout is close to the Cedar Block day-use area. Photo Karen Smith, Qld Govt.

Ravensbourne offers some short but enjoyable walks through remnant rainforest and eucalypt forest. Photo Brett Roberts, Qld Govt.

Ravensbourne offers some short but enjoyable walks through remnant rainforest and eucalypt forest. Photo Brett Roberts, Qld Govt.

Blackbean day-use area has ample shade. Photo: Karen Smith, Qld Govt.

Blackbean day-use area has ample shade. Photo: Karen Smith, Qld Govt.

Sandstone outcrops on the Palm Creek circuit track. Photo Brett Roberts, Qld Govt.

Sandstone outcrops on the Palm Creek circuit track. Photo Brett Roberts, Qld Govt.

Cedar Block day-use area. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt.

Cedar Block day-use area. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Qld Govt.

Experience panoramic views over the range towards Brisbane, the Scenic Rim and the Lockyer Valley from the Gus Beutel lookout near the Cedar Block day-use area.

Enjoy a bush picnic, walk in the rainforest or go birdwatching.

Walking

This day-use park has short walks through rainforest, longer walks to palm-filled creeks and eucalypt forest, as well as an amazing array of native birdlife.

Track classification

Ravensbourne National Park's walking tracks have been classified to Australian Standards to help you select a walk that matches your bushwalking experience and fitness.

Class 3 track
  • Gently sloping, well-defined track with slight inclines or few steps.
  • Caution needed on decomposed granite and exposed natural lookouts.
  • Reasonable level of fitness and ankle-supporting footwear required.
Class 4 track
  • Distinct track usually with steep exposed granite inclines or many steps.
  • Caution needed on decomposed granite and exposed natural lookouts.
  • Moderate level of fitness and ankle-supporting footwear required.

Cedar Block circuit (Class 3)

Distance: 500 m circuit
Time: allow 15 mins
Details: This short self-guided walk starts at the bottom of the Cedar Block day-use area. Wayside signs interpret the rainforest and how it was used by Aboriginal travellers and by timber-getters.

Rainforest circuit (Class 3)

Distance: 1.7 km return
Time: allow 40 mins
Details: Large Sydney blue gums Eucalyptus saligna emerge through the rainforest canopy. In the understory there are many attractive ground ferns, epiphytic ferns and vines. Along the higher section of this walking track the remains of an Aboriginal yam-digging site can be seen.

Palm Creek circuit (Class 3)

Distance: 3.6 km return
Time: allow 1 hr 15 mins
Details: This track leaves the rainforest circuit and crosses Palm Creek—named after the piccabeen palms Archontophoenix cunninghamiana covering its steep banks. Look in the canopy for epiphytes growing on taller trees and birds feasting on palm tree fruits.

A short side track leads along a eucalypt forest ridge to a small sandstone overhang.

Buaraba Creek (Class 4)

Distance: 6.2 km return
Time: allow 2 hrs 
Details: This pleasant walk starts in the rainforest, passes through eucalypt forest, and ends with a short descent into the cool and shady Buaraba Creek. Return along the same track. Please take drinking water.

Picnic and day-use areas

Enjoy a picnic in one of two day-use areas. Both have shelter sheds, picnic tables, pit toilets, water and wood barbecues. Blackbean day-use area at the entrance to the park is small, shaded and cool in summer.

Cedar Block day-use area is at the top of the range adjacent to Gus Buetel lookout. It is a large, open, grassy area suitable for large groups.

Bring your own drinking water, or boil or treat the water supplied on the park before drinking. Firewood is not provided, so bring your own clean, milled wood or a fuel stove—do not collect wood from the national park. No bins are provided, take rubbish away for appropriate disposal when you leave.

Viewing wildlife

Take home memories of fleeting rainforest birds, scurrying lizards and frogs calling from the creek.

At least 110 species of birds visit of live in this park including the black-breasted button-quail (which is threatened with extinction) fruit doves and six species of owls. Visitors might see satin bowerbirds, pigeons or red-backed fairy-wrens.

See nature, culture and history for more details about Ravensbourne National Park's diverse wildlife.

Things to know before you go

Enjoy the cool shade of Buaraba Creek. Photo courtesy Brett Roberts.

Enjoy the cool shade of Buaraba Creek. Photo courtesy Brett Roberts.

Water flows in the gullies of Ravensbourne, supporting a wealth of animal and plant species. Photo Brett Roberts, Qld Govt.

Water flows in the gullies of Ravensbourne, supporting a wealth of animal and plant species. Photo Brett Roberts, Qld Govt.

Essentials to bring

  • Bring sufficient water, food and first-aid supplies.
  • Wear sunscreen, a hat and sturdy shoes. Apply insect repellent and carry a raincoat.
  • Rubbish bins are not provided. Bring sturdy garbage gabs or containers in which to store rubbish and recyclables for proper disposal after you leave.
  • Bring your camera and binoculars for viewing wildlife.

Opening hours

Ravensbourne National park is open 24 hours a day.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted.

Climate and weather

Expect warm to hot summers and cool to cold winters. Most rain falls during summer months, often as storms.

For more information see the tourism information links below or the Bureau of Meteorology.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available at Hampton, Crows Nest, Toowoomba and Esk.

Staying safe

Be aware of the large leaves of the giant stinging tree. Photo Karen Smith, Qld Govt.

Be aware of the large leaves of the giant stinging tree. Photo Karen Smith, Qld Govt.

Your safety is our concern, but your responsibility.

  • Supervise children closely. Sections of the track have steps and steep drop-offs.
  • Take care—sections of the walking tracks can be slippery after rain.
  • Wear hat, sunscreen and sturdy walking shoes.
  • Apply insect repellent to protect yourself from ticks and biting insects.
  • Carry drinking water when walking. Treat or boil water supplied at the park before drinking.
  • Avoid contact with stinging nettles and giant stinging trees and leaves, even if they appear to be dead. Wear long trousers and sleeves.

In an emergency

In case of accident or other emergency please:

  • call Triple Zero (000) or from mobile phones call 112 if Triple Zero (000) not contactable
  • if deaf or speech or hearing impaired, call 106 using a text phone
  • advise your location and nature of emergency
  • stay on the phone until you are told to hang up.

Mobile phone coverage is not reliable.

The nearest hospical is located at Toowoomba.

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

Looking after the park

See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information on what you can do to protect our environment and heritage into the future.

Park management

The wompoo pigeon is one of more than 110 species of birds recorded in Ravensbourne. Photo courtesy Bruce Thomson.

The wompoo pigeon is one of more than 110 species of birds recorded in Ravensbourne. Photo courtesy Bruce Thomson.

Ravensbourne National Park is managed by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 to preserve and present its natural and cultural values in perpetuity.

A management plan for Ravensbourne National Park is to be prepared in future.

Tourism information links

Toowoomba Visitor Information Centre
www.toowoombarc.qld.gov.au
86 James St, Toowoomba Qld 4350
Freecall 1800 331 155
infocentre@toowoombarc.qld.gov.au

Hampton Visitor Information Centre
www.toowoombaholidays.info
8623 New England Highway, Hampton Qld 4352
Freecall 1800 009 066
ph (07) 4697 9066
email hamptoninfo@toowoombarc.qld.gov.au

Southern Queensland Country Tourism
www.toowoombaholidays.info
ph 1800 688 949
email enquiries@tgw.com.au

See the Department of Transport and Main Roads website for information about road and travel conditions.

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

Further information

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Last updated
26 November 2013