We really enjoy this park not just because of its beauty and the tranquility of nature, but also because it is so close to Brisbane. It is situated between Toowoomba and Esk and is a day-use park with short walks and quite a variety of native birdlife.
The history of the park stretches right back to the time when Aboriginal people travelled through this area on their way to the bunya nut feasts. During the 1860s timber were felled here and the cleared land was used for farming. In 1922 the land was declared a national park.
The walks crisscrossing this park are all short, but you can easily spend a day exploring all of them. At the bottom of Cedar Block picnic area there is a short 500m circuit educating walkers about the rainforest and history of the park through signs erected along the way.
We opted for a combination of the other walks. Starting on the Rainforest circuit which is 1.7km return, we marveled at the magnificent Sydney blue gums and variety of ferns in the undergrowth. Palm Creek Circuit branches out from Rainforest circuit and is a 3.5km circuit. It crosses Palm Creek which was named after all the piccabeen palms growing in abundance on its banks.
We left this walk on a 3.7km return track to look at The Caves. Don’t expect too much though as it is more of a sandstone overhang than caves. It was both sad and shocking to see how Lantana was taking over the native bush.
The one track we didn’t do was Buaraba Creek. It branches off Palm Creek Circuit and is a 6km return walk. After leaving the rainforest behind, this walk passes through open forest and ends at Buaraba Creek. Remember to take along drinking water.
The forest is a bird lover’s paradise with more than 80 species of birds on record. Be on the lookout for Scaly-breasted and Rainbow Lorikeets, Satin Bowerbirds, Catbirds, Cockatoos and Fairy Wrens.
Camping is not permitted in this park. All the facilities are provided for a great picnic: fireplaces (bring your own wood), toilets, water and shelters with picnic tables.