Love seeing native Australian wildlife in their natural habitats? The Bunya Mountains in southeast Queensland is the perfect destination for a wildlife-spotting holiday!
Here in this scenic, rainforest-clad mountain peak that soars high above the surrounding lowlands, you’ll find an absolute wealth of native Australian wildlife, birds and insects – in peaceful and unspoilt surroundings. To make it even better, many of the birds and animals are unafraid of humans and very friendly, and you’ll delight in feeding and getting up close and personal with them.
It’s something you may not have experienced before – but it’s a very special and unique experience that’s found nowhere else.
Here are just some of the wildlife species you can expect to see when you holiday at the Bunya Mountains.
Wherever you look at the Bunya Mountains, you’re likely to see wallabies! At Poppies on the Hill Café, on the green, by the roadsides, in the rainforest and in the yard of your accommodation – the wallabies are everywhere. They’re usually quite friendly too, and you can buy special food from the café and hand-feed the ones hanging around outside.
If you lunch at the café, you’re more than likely to be sharing your table with a friendly wallaby tucked up underneath enjoying the shade – and perhaps a few birds as well! Look out for the baby joey’s in their mother’s pouches in spring – they’re adorable!
King parrots and crimson rosellas
These stunning and very colourful parrots are a feature of the Bunya Mountains, and can also be seen everywhere you go. Like the wallabies, you can hand feed these beautiful birds,
and they’ll often visit the verandah of your accommodation. You’ll likely come away with photos of the parrots and rosellas sitting on your head, your shoulders and your arms. These cheeky birds are noisy, friendly and simply delightful, and the experience of interacting with them is one you don’t want to miss.
Possums and gliders
A spotlighting tour of the Bunya Mountains will likely reveal a number of species of nocturnal animals, such as mountain brushtail possums, ringtail possums and sugar gliders. You may even find possums on the roof or deck of your accommodation (have a look at the 100+ properties available for holiday rental from the Bunya Mountains Accommodation Centre here: https://bunyamountains.com.au/accommodation-search/).
Chocolate wattled bats
The Bunya Mountains is home to the largest colony of chocolate wattled bats in Australia! The colony roosts in the ceiling of the old timber school house, from which they depart nightly at dusk during October and November to feed on insects. In winter, their roost moves to the Muntapa tunnels between Cooyar and Peranga; but they are easily spotted during the spring months.
Shimmering and flashing through the trees, the thousands of fireflies make an intriguing spectacle during October and November. They can be seen along the forest line about an hour before dusk, remaining until full dark. They’re a magical sight, enjoyed by children and adults alike, and are a special reminder of the unique ecosystem of the Bunya Mountains.
You might be lucky enough to spot an echidna making its slow and lumbering way around the mountain. There are plenty here, although they’re quite shy, and they may react to your presence by attempting to burrow into the ground, leaving only their spines showing.
Over 200 species of native birds
There are over 200 widely varied species of native birds at the Bunya Mountains, some of which are considered rare. Some you’ll be able to see easily, and other will take a bit of effort to spot – but they’re all beautiful in their own way, and make for some stunning photos. Particularly keep an eye out for the striking bower birds and their colourful bowers during spring – the regent and satin bowerbirds are common around the mountain.
Many species of frogs call the Bunya Mountains home, including the great-barred frogs, whose enormous tadpoles you can sometimes see in the mountain creeks and rock pools.
These big lizards are a stunning sight, and although they may look a little menacing, they won’t harm you if you leave them alone. Keep an eye out for them in the forest and sometimes on the road.