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Friday, December 9, 2016

Lake Borumba, QLD.

Borumba Dam
Surprisingly, we have never been to Lake Borumba so we decided to remedy that situation by  taking a short camping trip to Borumba Dam Camping Grounds. The caretakers gave us a friendly welcome on arrival and suggested we walk around and choose our own spot. They mentioned that the campground would get busy in a few days because a fishing competition was being held on the coming weekend. We chose a spot where we could hear Yabba Creek in the background and settled in for a couple of nights. The campground was very peaceful while we were there. The caretakers told us that Southern Boobook owls came into the campground at night but we slept so well that we didn't hear a thing.

Our tranquil spot.
There was an access point to Yabba Creek not far from our van. When we wandered down we discovered why we could hear the sound of water so clearly. The creek was rushing along at quite a fast pace over a small weir before continuing on its way. Here we saw a couple of Spectacled Monarchs.

Little Yabba Creek alongside the campground and a Spectacled Monarch.
Just north of the campground there is a causeway over Little Yabba Creek. This area is popular with both locals and campers for kayaking, swimming and fishing. We enjoyed a stroll to the causeway a few times during our stay.

The causeway north of the campground.

A pleasant spot for fishing and swimming next to the causeway.
A Pale-headed Rosella and a Common Bluetail Damselfly Ischnura heterosticta.
In the afternoon, we walked about 800 m to have a look at the lake and the dam wall. There is a new boat ramp and an adjacent parking area with picnic tables. At the end of the road there is a Day Use Area with a few more parking spots, covered picnic tables and a toilet block.

New boat ramp at Lake Borumba.

Day Use Area at Lake Borumba.
Sadly, there are no official walking trails in the area. However we had a look on good old Goggle Earth and decided that there did appear to be a forest trail along the eastern side of the lake which we decided to check out in the morning. We set out early the next day and were watched by a few Whiptail Wallabies as we walked along. It is not surprising that another common name for them is Pretty-faced Wallabies as they do have quite striking facial markings.

Whiptail Wallaby Macropus parryi
Initially, all the gates we passed had do not enter signs due to an old quarry. We were relieved to find that that the trail we wanted to take didn't have one of these forbidding signs. The trail rose gently as it hugged the contours of the headlands around the lake and after a while we spotted a track that descended to the lake. This seemed to be an unofficial area where people had been launching their boats but there was no one about while we were there. We made our way back to the campground before the heat of the day.

The track down to the lake.

The main birds in the campground were Noisy Miners and as some fellow campers found out there were a number of Brush Turkeys that weren't shy about helping themselves to the odd loaf of bread!

This Noisy Miner had an unusually coloured head. I assume it had anointed itself with a heady dose of pollen.         Australian Brush Turkey.

From our van we could see Rose-crowned Fruit Doves and there were Wompoo Fruit-Doves in a nearby tree. King Parrots added to the local colour.

Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove.

Australian King Parrot, male.

There were plenty of butterflies about during our stay.
Orchard Swallowtail Papilio aegeus, Lesser Wanderer Danaus chrysippus, Caper White Belenois java, Australian Painted Lady Vanessa kershawi.
Orange Ringlet Hypocysta adiante, Blue, Meadow Argus Junonia villida, Large Grass-yellow.

Wildlife List: Bandicoot, Whiptail (Pretty-faced) wallabies. Lots of very large hares. Deer were seen while we were there but not by us.
Butterflies: Monarch, Lesser Wanderer, Orange Ringlet, Blue Tiger, Meadow Argus, Australian Painted Lady, Glasswing, Large Grass-yellow, Caper White, Orchard Swallowtail, small blues. Magpie Moth.
Birdlist: Wompoo Fruit-Dove, Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove, Rainbow Lorikeet, Scaly-breasted Lorikeet, Pale-headed Rosella, King Parrot, Red-backed Fairy Wren, Spectacled Monarch, Blue-faced Heron, Pied Cormorant, Little Cormorant, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Australian Brush Turkey, Welcome Swallow, Lewins Honeyeater, Little Friarbird, Noisy Friarbird, Pheasant Coucal, Australasian Figbird, Magpie, Pied Butcherbird, Laughing Kookaburra, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Noisy Miner, Little Shrike-thrush, Golden-headed Cisticola, White-browed Scrubwren. Other people also saw Southern Boobook.

Borumba Dam Camping Grounds from the south and from the north.
Details for Borumba Dam Camping Grounds:
Where: About 176 km, 2 hours 15 min drive, north west of Brisbane.
Access: Head north along the Bruce Highway, turn west at Federal. Drive along Yabba Creek Road until you reach the campground before the Day Use Area.
Camping: Suitable for all rigs and tents.
Facilities: Toilets, showers, non-drinking water taps, powered and unpowered sites, two picnic shelters with picnic tables, bins, playground, fire rings (note fire bans), intermittent Telstra phone reception, public phone. Office/kiosk sells ice and other supplies. Caretaker. On banks of Yabba Creek.
Prohibitions: No pets. No hunting. No chainsaws. No generators. There was a fire ban in place when we stayed in November.
Fees: $10 per Adult, $8 per student, $5 for younger children. Additional $6 per night per site for power.
Of Interest: There is a causeway just north-east of the campground where swimming, fishing and launching kayaks is popular. 
Phone: 07 5488 6662.

Borumba Deer Park: A nearby campground that allows pets. Ph 07 5484 5196.

Borumba Dam Day Use Area: Picnic shelters with picnic tables, electric BBQ's, toilets, boat ramp. No swimming, no playground, no pets.

Lake Borumba: Allowed: motorized and non-motorized boats, water skiing, wake boarding, jet skiing, tubing, kayaks, canoes. No launching or landing watercraft around the lake other than at the designated area. Boating permits not required. Fishing from boats and the shore is allowed but a fishing permit is required. Not allowed: pets, swimming, hunting, camping around the lake other than at the campground.
More Information:

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Kinbombi Falls, Queensland.

Kinbombi Falls 
While camping at Goomeri Caravan & Bush Camp we checked out Kinbombi Falls. The falls were down to a trickle due to the very dry conditions in the whole Goomeri area. 

There are lots of concrete steps to negotiate on the way to see the falls.

Steps down to view the Falls
From the falls we could see another lookout so we returned to the car park and made our way to that lookout. There were a few more steps to negotiate but our reward was a nice view over the gorge.

Steps to the second lookout

View of the gorge
There is a large flat area at Kinbombi Falls where free camping is allowed. For details see below.

Kinbombi Falls camping area

Datails for Kinbombi Falls Free Camp:
Where: Between Goomeri and Kilkivan, Queensland.
Access: About 5 km along Kinbombi Road; good gravel road.
Camping: Allowed. Suitable all rigs. Flat areas. We couldn't determine the time limit because the sign had been damaged.
Facilities: Picnic tables and bins. Flush toilets are down a flight of stairs. Pets allowed. We ran out of phone reception about halfway along Kinbombi Road.
Of Interest: Beautiful gorge. Waterfall and lookouts.
Caution: No disabled access to toilets. Several flights of stairs to see the waterfall. Very dry at the moment so the waterfall is just a trickle. Some water still in the gorge.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Goomeri Caravan & Bush Camp, Goomeri, QLD.

Goomeri Caravan & Bush Camp
In October we chose to camp at Goomeri Caravan & Bush Camp while exploring the South Burnett region because we needed to stay somewhere with phone reception at the time. 
Goomeri turned out to be a good choice because this is a campground where a lot of thought has gone into what campers want and it is very peaceful. There are no cattle wandering through the campground. There isn't a lot of shade yet because the plants are still growing but we usually park in the open to optimize our solar power anyway. The entire Goomeri area is very very dry at the moment and the creek running through the campground was mostly dry, as are all the local creeks. However, there is plenty of bore water available via taps at the sites and tank water is collected at the amenities block for the showers. We were very impressed with the amenities block as the showers had hot water which is always a treat when bush camping!

The amenities block

Every night the sunset would throw out different colours to end a perfect day.

A highlight of our trip was visiting Boat Mountain Conservation Park where we really enjoyed the walk and we got to see close up the incredibly large numbers of Caper White butterflies on the move. We also visited Kinbombi Falls (which I've yet to blog about), Jack Smith Scrub Conservation Park and Mudlo National Park while staying at the campground.

Despite the dry conditions we saw quite a few birds and butterflies in the campground and we enjoyed walking around the campground when we weren't out exploring the area. There is also a ridge walk leaving from the campground but we will have to come back for that one as we ended up getting the phone call and we had to move on.

Red-backed Fairy-wren, male.

Golden-headed Cisticola

White-throated Honeyeater and Dollarbird

Glasswing Acraea andromacha
On the outskirts of the western side of Kilkivan on the Wide Bay Highway, there is a produce stall that sells pineapples and pure honey. There is room on the other side of the road to pull up if you are towing and travelling east. We had to stop for the pineapples as they were a lovely yellow colour. It's such a pleasure to eat pineapples that have actually been picked ripe! We bought some sweet potatoes as well and they were selling beetroot at the time.

Produce stall in Kilkivan

Wildlife seen on our stay: Grey Kangaroos.
Birds:Brown Quail, Australian Wood Duck, White-faced Heron, Cattle Egret, Black-shouldered Kite, Peaceful Dove, Little Corella, Galah, Rainbow Lorikeet, Pale-headed Rosella, Channel-billed Cuckoo, Pheasant Coucal, Laughing Kookaburra, Dollarbird, Red-backed Fairy-wren, Spotted Pardalote, White-throated Honeyeater, Brown Honeyeater, Scarlet Honeyeater, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Golden Whistler, Willie Wagtail, Magpie-lark, Olive-backed Oriole, Australasian Figbird, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Pied Butcherbird, Australian Magpie, Pied Currawong, Torresian Crow, Golden-headed Cisticola.

Details for Goomeri Caravan & Bush Camp 
Where: Lot 147 Wide Bay Highway, Goomeri, Queensland. Phone 0418 734 060
Access: On left if heading towards Goomeri from Kilkivan. Turn off highway at signs. 2.5 km dirt road in good condition. Suit all rigs.
Facilities: Group or single sites, every site has a fire ring, communal campfire, can collect or purchase firewood, lots of taps with bore water, lots of bins. No powered sites or slabs. Small camping generators allowed 8 am to 9 pm, pets allowed. No trail bike riding allowed. Gas refills available. Nearest supplies in Goomeri 3 km away. Amenities Block has toilets and hot showers. Washing line and laundry. We had Telstra phone reception, TV reception and internet.
Fees: $15 per night for 2 people, extra adults $7.50, children 5 yrs to 17 yrs $5 per night, children 4 yrs and under free. Special: watch out for pay for 3 nights stay 4th night free deal.
Cautions: Limited shade. Creek dry at time of our stay.
Whats special: Friendly host and caretakers, excellent facilities for a bush camp. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Jack Smith Scrub Conservation Park, QLD.

View over the South Burnett Valley 
When we were at Boat Mountain Conservation Park we saw information about Jack Smith Scrub Conservation Park and drove the short distance to have a look around. We had a pleasant picnic overlooking the South Burnett valley before doing the easy 900 m Orwenia Nature Circuit.

Black-breasted Button-quail are found here and we saw large numbers of platelets on and beside the track. Platelets are circular depressions left on the ground by quails spinning around. We did see more Caper White butterflies and cane toads were out and about.

Caper White Butterfly

Cane Toad

Wildlife List on our short visit in October:

Many Caper White Butterflies. Black-breasted Button-quail are found here; we didn't see any but we did see large numbers of platelets. Australian Brush Turkey, Willie Wagtail, Torresian Crow, White-browed Scrubwren, Magpie, Eastern Yellow Robin, Rufous Fantail, Golden Whistler. 

Details for Jack Smith Conservation Park:
Where: 16 km north-west of Murgon or 9 km west of Boat Mountain Conservation Park.
Facilities: Picnic table. Small car park with a short rough driveway off Smith's Road which may prove difficult for a small sedan or low vehicle.
No Camping.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Mudlo National Park, Kilkivan, QLD

Approaching Mudlo National Park from Kilkivan.
While camping at the Goomeri Caravan and Bush Campground in October we visited Mudlo National Park, north of Kilkivan. The national park protects one of the few remaining native hoop pine vine forests in the local area.First,we drove past the Scrubby Creek Day Use Area and checked out the Mudlo Gap Picnic Area. On one side of the road there are picnic tables and the toilets are on the other side of the road.

Mudlo Gap Picnic Area.
Native Hoop Pines in Mudlo National Park.
Then we drove back to the Scrubby Creek Day Use Area where we saw three Eastern Whipbirds posing right out in the open and we were still too slow to get a photo. The walk from here to Pearson's Lookout is a 3 km return, Class 4 walk.

Scrubby Creek Day Use Area
The view from Pearson's Lookout
On the return walk we did the remaining side of the Scrubby Creek Circuit. The complete circuit is a Class 2, 1 km loop. We arrived back in time to see the national park rangers removing the fence from the picnic area.

Strangler Fig on the Scrubby Creek Circuit.

Wildlife for Mudlo National Park seen in October:

Butterflies: Blue Tiger, Glasswing, Caper White, Monarch.
Birds: Galah, Lewin, Eastern Whipbird, Wonga Pigeon, Spotted Pardalote, Spangled Drongo. We could hear Paradise Riflebird, Kookaburra and Pheasant Coucal. Sadly we saw Indian Mynas on the side of Mudlo Road as we drove in.

Details for Mudlo National Park:
Where: Mudlo Road, 8.5 km north of Kilkivan, 45 km north-west of Gympie.
Access: gravel road with some pot holes and corrugations.
Facilities: Walking trail. Scrubby Creek Day Use Area has two picnic tables and a car park. 1.4 km further along Mudlo Road the local council has provided Mudlo Gap Picnic Area with flush toilets on one side of the road and picnic tables and wood BBQ's on the other side.
No Camping.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Boat Mountain Conservation Park, South Burnett, QLD.

Boat Mountain rises 589 m above the surrounding farmland.
Although camping is not allowed at Boat Mountain it is well worth a visit. We camped at Goomeri Caravan and Bush Camp and drove there in our ute.

Car park and picnic area at Boat Mountain Conservation Park
Thousands of Caper White Butterflies rose in great clouds around us as we drove along the entrance road, Hebble Drive. We saw quite large numbers of Caper Whites over the next week but nothing compared to the thousands at Boat Mountain. On our walk we saw quite a few caper bushes in flower and this probably contributed to their vast numbers.
Caper White Butterfly, male and Caper Bush

Braithwaites Lookout, Daniels Lookout and Silburns Vine Scrub Walk, approx. 3 km.

Excerpt from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife information sign.
While it is only 250m to Braithwaites Lookout there are 179 steps!

Braithwaites Lookout
From Braithwaites Lookout to Daniels Lookout is a very pleasant, easy, flat walk along the top of Boat Mountain. 

Walking along the top of Boat Mountain.
Daniels Lookout is well worth the walk and offers great views over the surrounding countryside. Red, iron rich soil was exposed along the track.

Daniels Lookout, Boat Mountain.
View from Daniels Lookout. The Seven Sisters in the distance.
On our return walk we diverted to Silburns Vine Scrub before returning to the car park. We saw quite a few quail platelets along this part of the trail. As we are always on the lookout for Black-breasted Button-quail we got very excited when we saw a small round bird in the scrub, low to the ground. However, on closer inspection we realised that it was an immature Eastern Yellow Robin.

Eastern Yellow Robins.
Leaden Flycatchers serenaded our walk and one seemed as interested in us as we were in it.

Leaden Flycatcher, female.

Wildlife we saw in October:
We did catch a glimpse of one wallaby and heard some others but we didn't see enough detail to identify them.
There were huge numbers of Caper White Butterflies both on the entrance road and along the walk. We also saw a few Lesser Wanderer Butterflies.
Cane toads were evident in broad daylight.
Birds: We saw many quail platelets along the Vine Scrub Walk but no quails. Willie Wagtail, Eastern Yellow Robin, White-browed Scrubwren, Lewin, Galah, Rufous Fantail, Grey Fantail, Eastern Whipbird, Pheasant Coucal, Magpie Lark, Pied Currawong, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Shining Bronze-cuckoo, Leaden Flycatcher, Striped Honeyeater, Pale-headed Rosella, Brown Thornbill.

Any form of trailer is prohibited on Hebbel Drive.
Details for Boat Mountain Conservation Park:
Where: 94 km west of Gympie or 58 km north of Kingaroy.
Access: the roads are all sealed however the entrance road, Hebbel Drive is very steep and is signposted as prohibited for towing any form of trailer or large vehicle.
Facilities: Parking area, picnic table, walks.
No Camping.