Sustainable Tourism Australia: do you love mountains and nature? Would you like to visit incredibly beautiful and less touristic areas?
Although Australia is one of the driest continents on the planet it has about 147 million hectares of native forests that represent 19% of the territory and the Goomburra Forest within Main Range National Park is exactly what you were looking for.
It is located 120 km southeast of Brisbane ( about an hour and a half drive from the city). The Goomburra Forest and Main Range National Park are part of the Great Dividing Range ( or Eastern Highlands ) , the most important mountain range in Australia , are also included in the Gondwana World Heritage site that protects and preserves the western part of the Scenic Rim , an ‘ important area of 1351 km2 identified by the BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area (IBA ) for the conservation of some endangered species of birds , for example:
Bristlebirds Eastern, Black- breasted Button- quails, Rufous Scrub -birds, Albert’s Lyrebirds, Pale- yellow Robins, Riflebirds Paradise, Green Catbirds, Regent Bowerbirds and Australian Logrunners
The Scenic Rim is a group of forested mountain ranges straddles the border between the South-eastern Queensland and north- eastern New South Wales, Australia.
The Great Dividing Range is considered part of the Gold Coast hinterland and is composed of different types of areas : some are very well developed, crossed by roads with facilities for the tourists as Cunningham Gap, others are private property especially in agriculture and rural villages , as Beechmont and Tamborine Mountain. Most of the remaining territory is part of a protected area.
In addition to bird watching in Goomburra Forest you can find many look out (with stunning views and useful illustrative panels) .
I have been to look out Sylvesters which has access through a small and short path that you can reach from one of the many walks in the rain forest.
I suggest you two walks :
Sylvesters lookout ( Class 3) medium level of difficulty
Distance: 940 m (round trip)
Time: about 30 minutes of walking
Details: The Sylvesters lookout offers magnificent views over the coastal plain below , between the southern tip of Lake Moogerah and the rugged chains southern border . The track starts from Lookout Road about a 4.7 km drive from Kurrajong picnic area . During the Australian summer and generally in wet periods this road could be closed .
The second and longest walk I have done was the ” Wider Track” , 12 kilometers (6 one way) .
Winder track (Class 4) High level of difficulty
Distance : 12 km total
Time : About 4 hours of walking
Details: The Winder trail starts northeast of Lookout Road , 6.3 km beyond the picnic area Kurrajong . This route passes through the rainforest along the crest of the Mistake range before ending the ‘ winder ‘ , a relic of a machine that was used to deforest .
How to get there?
Unfortunately it is not possible to reach these places by public transport , but only with the private car ,possibly a car suited to mountainous and disconnected terrain, which can get you out of every unstable situation .
The Main Range National Park is 116 km south – west of Brisbane and 50 km east of Warwick.
The Highway Cunningham crosses the park at Cunningham Gap and provides access to the northern part of the park, which includes facilities for visitors and walking tracks at Cunningham Gap and Goomburra.
Access from the east to the Spicers Gap is suitable for conventional vehicles and can be reached via Lake Moogerah Road , which leaves the Cunningham Highway 5 km west of Aratula , then Spicers Gap Road.
The Spicers Gap Road ends at the parking Governors Chair.