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Bicentennial National Trail - Section 5

Kilkivan, Gympie Area

The Bicentennial National Trial, over 5,000 kilometres from Healesville in Victoria to Cooktown in Queensland, is the longest marked route of its kind in the world; the 107-kilometre section through Gympie Regional Council mainly follows the forest ridges along the coastal ranges to the west of the highly populated plains of the Cooloola region. Here among the hills the trail, following many of the roads and tracks taken by the early pioneers, is well suited to family trips any time of the year. The country is suitable for horse riding, donkey trekking, mountain bike riding or just plain old walking.

The scenery is varied, as is the vegetation through which you would pass, ranging from dry vine forest, open savannah grazing, parches of rainforest and old growth hardwoods to Forestry Department plantations of pine. A few giant ironbarks or the spectacular bunyas are to be encountered remnants of the once lush forests.

Kilkivan is one of the few towns through which, the National Trail actually passes. At Pine Street the Council have provided overnight bush camping facilities, complete with toilet, shower and horse yards within easy walking distance of the town.

Open Times

Note: Open 24 hours.
Pine Street
Kilkivan, Gympie Area
Queensland
Australia

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Coongarra Rock

Biggenden, North Burnett Area
Free Entry
For Four Wheel Drive enthusiasts, Coongarra Rock and Falls provide an opportunity to explore rocky outcrops, caves, rock pools and natural vegetation. It is possible to climb the rock but should only be attempted by fit and experienced bushwalkers. It is situated 24 kilometres south of Biggenden and Coalstoun Lakes. Lords Road is the turn off to Coongarra Rock. The road goes to within a short distance of this spectacular outcrop in a dry scrubby State Forest. The road to the falls branches off the road to Coongarra Rock and goes within walking distance of the top of the falls. The roads should only be attempted by Four Wheel Drive vehicles. These roads can be dangerous after heavy rain and care should be taken at all times.

Mount Walsh National Park

Biggenden, North Burnett Area
A prominent landmark in the Biggenden region is the granite bluff area of Mount Walsh, in the northern part of mountainous Mount Walsh National Park. Exposed granite outcrops, rugged ridges and steep forested slopes support a range of vegetation. Follow the 300 metre trail from the picnic area through open eucalypt forest to a rocky creek gully fringed in rainforest, then on to lookouts over surrounding countryside. With caution, experienced walkers can take the strenuous (unmarked) two and a half hour hike to Mount Walsh's bare granite summit. You will be rewarded with stunning views.

Mudlo National Park

Kilkivan, Gympie Area
Mudlo National Park, known locally as Mudlo Gap, protects one of the area’s few remaining stands of native hoop pine rainforest. Tall hoop pines once covered much of the coastal ranges. The park is near the site of Queensland's first gold discovery - at Kilkivan township in 1852. Go for the short, scenic drive to Mudlo Gap for excellent views. The Mudlo Gap track is steep with many steps, but the view from the lookout is impressive. Enjoy a picnic beside Scrubby Creek. Part of the one kilometre Scrubby Creek walking track is wheel chair accessible - through dry rainforest, past giant figs and pleasant creeks. On your walks, keep your eyes open for whiptail wallabies and listen for wonga pigeons.

Maaroom

Great Sandy Strait, Fraser Coast Area
The tiny inlet of Maaroom in Queensland's Fraser Coast region is nestled along the spectacular shoreline of the Great Sandy Strait - with stunning views across to the world's largest sand island, Fraser Island. This tranquil seaside hideaway, just twenty kilometres south of Maryborough along the Cooloola Coast Road, has a caravan park and an all-weather boat ramp with tidal access for fishing. Down at the water's edge is a pleasant spot to have a picnic with sheltered gazebo and playground. Maaroom is part of a collection of quaint fishing villages dotted along the water's edge of the Great Sandy Strait - the waterway between Fraser Island and the Fraser Coast Mainland. Let the pace wind back several notches by following the Great Sandy Strait Discovery Drive to these villages and surrounding national parks to discover coloured sands and sand blows, incredible birdlife, fishing and boating.

Kilkivan

Kilkivan, Gympie Area
Kilkivan is the north-eastern entrance to the South Burnett and is home to a host of experiences. Tempt your tastebuds with local olives and redclaw crayfish. Tantalise your senses with the aroma and healing properties of lavender direct from the farm. Allow yourself to glimpse life as it used to be, by wandering the town's historical museum in the main street. Queensland's first gold discovery was at Kilkivan in 1852 and subsequent findings escalated into a gold rush in 1868. Small pockets of gold are still found to this day and visitors can have a go at gold panning. Brochures describing short walks and drives to places of interest are available. Check out Mudlo Gap Conservation Park, north of Kilkivan especially if you have an interest in bird watching. Have a cold drink at the hotel and meet some of the locals. As well as lovely accommodation, the local B&B offers sumptuous meals and the opportunity to take some of the goodies with you in a South Burnett gift hamper. Annually, the town hosts 'The Kilkivan Great Horse Ride', an exciting event which has been known to attract over 1000 riders to its trek along parts of the Bicentennial National Trail.

Bauple

Maryborough, Fraser Coast Area
Discover the ancestral home of the Macadamia Nut with a visit to the charming village of Bauple in Queensland's Fraser Coast. Bauple sits in the foothills of Bauple Mountain and offers the chance to relive the pioneering past, discover incredible nut facts and enjoy locally grown nuts products. The nut was discovered thousands of years ago on the Mountain by the Butchulla and Kabi Kabi People who would meet in large gatherings to feast upon the prized delicacy. At Bauple's Macadamia House, visit a working nut sorting and drying facility and see displays of macadamia products. Crack nuts on the 'cracka pad' and take a seat in "Nosh", the iconic Nutmobile whose celebrity passengers have included Prince Charles and Lady Di. At the Bauple and District Museum, which opens daily, delve into the area's impressive history through photographs, early faming tools, antiques and rare coins and telephones. There is even a 3.3 metre skin from a crocodile shot in the Mary River in the 1960s. Picnic in the Museum's gardens next to a restored 1907 locomotive, similar to the one used by the Bauple Sugar Mill. Ask at the museum about the Bauple Historic Walk - which is a self-guided walk to discover the town's key historical sites. While the Bauple (or Bopple) nut trees once grew prolifically in the area, today the original trees are kept safe in a scientific reserve on the mountain. You can still see four examples of original varieties directly across from the Museum as well as large commercial plantings around Bauple. Camp for free in the heart of Bauple with overnight stays available for self-contained caravans and RVs. There is another free RV site at Rossendale Park, just outside of Bauple. During your visit, join in community events at the Bauple Community Shed and Band Hall. Hinterland markets are held every fourth Saturday. The Bauple Nut Bash is held every September. Explore the wider area by following the Fraser Coast Country Drive, which takes in the historic Dickabram Bridge and small towns oozing country charm such as Tiaro and Theebine.

Boonooroo

Great Sandy Strait, Fraser Coast Area
Boonooroo and neighbouring Tuan on Queensland's Fraser Coast are not your typical sleepy fishing hamlet - they also boast spectacular views across the Great Sandy Strait to Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island. With a caravan park, bowls club, golf course, tennis court, and bike and boat hire, Boonooroo is the perfect place for a holiday filled with great fishing and relaxation. Boonooroo is one of a handful of charming seaside hamlets doted along the spectacular shoreline of the Great Sandy Strait - a cluster of small islands and sand bars in the waterway between the Fraser Island, and the Fraser Coast mainland. Follow the Great Sandy Strait Discovery Drive to experience these coastal villages, surrounding national parks, coloured sands and sand blows, incredible birdlife, fishing and boating. From Boonooroo sail, canoe or cruise the strait's protected waterways which rival the beauty and diversity of the Whitsunday Passage. At nearby Poona National Park discover wallum heath and a unique collection of Australian flora and fauna including tea trees, kangaroos, eucalypts, galahs, bottle brush and sea eagles. The area is also the second largest protection area in Queensland for the dugong.

Coalstoun Lakes

Coalstoun Lakes, North Burnett Area
Coalstoun Lakes rises 200 metres above a broad cultivated valley, Mt Le Brun, an extinct volcano, contains two large craters which form shallow lakes. Formed more than 600,000 years ago, the mountain is one of the youngest volcanic formations in Australia. Protected by Coalstoun Lakes National Park, the lakes were named after Coalstoun in Scotland by Wade Brun, manager of nearby Ban Ban Station. Perfect for those wanting to observe nature or participate in some birdwatching, visitors can park at the base and make their way up the side of the crater for views and spectacular rural scenery.

Poona

Great Sandy Strait, Fraser Coast Area
One word to describe Poona? Peaceful. This little township is tucked away in the Great Sandy Strait between Boonooroo and Tinnanbar, adjacent to Fraser Island and is an ideal place to pitch your tent and lap up the serenity. Throw in a line, have a dip in the ocean, let the kids play in the sand while you relax. You can reach Poona via the Cooloola Coast Road, from either Maryborough or Gympie.

Tuan

Great Sandy Strait, Fraser Coast Area
Tuan on Queensland's Fraser Coast is a low-key holiday destination for people who love boating and fishing - but also boasts spectacular views across the water to World Heritage-listed Fraser Island. Tuan is one of a collection of enchanting seaside hamlets which are dotted along the shoreline of the Great Sandy Strait, a stunning water passage located between the Fraser Coast mainland and Fraser Island. Tuan has long maintained its 'old fishing village' character and with barbecue along the Esplanade and a great public boat ramp, it is the ideal place for people wanting the simple pleasures of fishing and relaxation. From Tuan and its neighbouring villages, you can enjoy a host of nature-based experiences including wildflower displays in late winter and spring and spotting rare shorebirds from as far away as Siberia using the Strait for their summer feeding grounds. Watch dolphins play off the beach or seeing dugong graze on seagrass in the Strait's crystal clear waters. From Boonooroo sail, canoe or cruise the strait's protected waterways which rival the beauty and diversity of the Whitsunday Passage. Follow the Great Sandy Strait Discovery Drive to experience these coastal villages, surrounding national parks, coloured sands and sand blows, incredible birdlife, fishing and boating.
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