The South Burnett offers easy access to the majestic Bunya Mountains, which, at an elevation of over 1,100 metres above sea level, are the region’s high point. Less than an hour from either Maidenwell or Kingaroy, via Kumbia, this natural wonderland is an offshoot of the Great Dividing Range formed about 30 million years ago and shelters the largest ancient bunya pine forest in the world today. Traditionally, Aboriginal tribes used the Mountains as a meeting place. They feasted seasonally on roasted bunya nuts collected from the pines. Each protein-rich egg-shaped nut can be up to 30 centimetres long and weigh 10 kilograms. Be sure to sample some of the local bunya nut dishes on offer. Declared a national park in 1908, it is the second oldest in Queensland. You’ll discover a mix of moist, dense subtropical and dry sclerophyll rainforest, waterfalls, grasslands, open forests and woodlands. Take to the walking trails to see native wildlife, wallabies and pademelons as well as 121 species of birds including brilliantly coloured king parrots, satin bowerbirds and crimson rosellas. The area offers the quiet allure of a retreat environment for families, groups and couples. You’ll feel the seasons change in the mountains. Summer days are pleasantly warm, wildflowers and new growth signal spring, the trees change hue during autumn and in winter a mountain chalet is just the place to relax in front of a cosy crackling fire. You’ll find everything you need for a day trip or an extended stay – coffee shops, restaurant, general store, camp sites, cabins and holiday houses. The Bunya Mountain Markets are held on the last Sunday of the month from 9am to 2pm.