In this month’s square’s challenge I started at home and spiraled farther and farther from home to share different tree species in my travels. . These trees represent furthest distance from my home.
#Australia Trip #7 Bunya Mountains, Queensland, AU
The Bunya Mountain National Park, established in 1908, is the state’s second oldest National Park. The park, located in the wilderness area of the Great Dividing Range, contains the largest stand of ancient Bunya pines.
To thoroughly enjoy the best hiking trails in the Bunya Mountains, you should wear stable hiking shoes and take a camera or at least your smart phone. Be ready to be amazed.
We chose the 4 km scenic trail which we estimated correctly to be 2.5 miles as the best of the hiking trails for us. The path was wide and covered with crunchy plant material like Bunya needles. Even though I had on my stabilization shoes, the group in front of us hiked along with nothing more than thongs, as my Australian friend calls flip-flops.
“Wearing thongs on this path is not wise!” Carol said. “Some of the plants are poisonous to the touch.”
These leaves and branches seemed much more dangerous than touching poison ivy in the United States.
The sign states that even after being dead 100 years the stingers on the leaves can still cause pain if you touch them. They can become airborne and cause damage to lungs.
Holes Carved on Purpose or a Natural Occurrence?
Controversy as well as holes pockmarked this bunya pine. Some historians believe that the Aboriginal people axed the pines to climb up to the top and harvest the pine cones.
The other conjecture is that the bunya pine lost its branches as it grew. They broke off and left holes. I think the first guess is more interesting. What do you think?
Though we did not experience this, the guidebook warns that 10 kg/22 lb cones drop on the trail under the bunya pines between December and March. The bunya nuts are quite soft and juicy when immature and great for roasting when they mature. Large groups of Aboriginal people gathered for festivals until Europeans logged the pines and began farming.
Eventually, after passing many strangler vines, we arrived at the top of Festoon Falls.
On the way back up we noticed that the strangler figs got more aggressive with the bunya pines. In some instances, they took over.
Hiding in trees brings out the kid in everyone. Who doesn’t want to have a special hide away?
Our 2.5-mile hike, though easy, took us over an hour. The hiking guide said to allow 20 minutes per kilometer for this Class 3 hike, so we were not far off from one hour and twenty minutes complete with photography. According to the guide, a reasonable level of fitness is required as are stabilization shoes to offset the uneven ground. 🙂
I hope you enjoyed this tell-tale trail. I never dreamed I would be hiking in the Queensland Mountains, but I did because of blogging. You never know what wonderful things will happen to you because of blogging.
Regular Always Write Features
- Story Chat – Monthly Contact me if you would like to submit a short story
- Writer’s Quote’s Wednesdays
- Photographing Public Art – Fridays co-hosted with Cee Neuner
- Challenge Interview Series – Contact me if you would like an interview
Thank you, Becky for hosting this wonderful blogging event. Thanks to all my blogging friends for visiting my #TreeSquares.
Have a happy and healthy August and September if I don’t see you again until the next Square event.