Cooyar - The Palms National Park
Address: Palms Road, Cooyar QLD
This is a National Park, maintained by the Queensland Government Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing. Read more...
The Palms National Park protects a small remnant of palm-filled subtropical rainforest and vine forest in a spring-fed gully in the headwaters of the Brisbane River. Birds, frogs, bats and other wildlife can be seen or heard when you picnic or take a short rainforest stroll.
Tucked away in the hills east of Cooyar, The Palms National Park is a gem worth making an effort to visit. Admire piccabeen palms, a large strangler fig, bunya and hoop pines, and buttressed trees along the track and boardwalks through the rainforest. Look for grey-headed flying-foxes roosting in the palm trees above the creek in summer, or on the ground for noisy pittas and black-breasted button-quails during winter and spring.
The Palms National Park might be small, but that makes it even better for seeing the rainforest plants and animals for which it is a refuge. The spring-fed creek running through the park is always damp and becomes quite wet after good rain. Listen for the calls of frogs in warmer months and watch the birds and other animals that come to the creek to drink. Summer is also the best time to see the flying-foxes which rest by day in the park and fly by night to feed on forest fruits in the surrounding hills and valleys.
More than 90 species of birds have been recorded at the park. Watch for rose-crowned fruit doves or green catbirds feeding on fruits of piccabeen palms and figs. Listen for the distinctive calls of wonga pigeons or brown cuckoo-doves echoing through forest. See eastern yellow robins and white-browed scrub wrens flitting through the shaded understory and brown or buff-rumped thornbills feeding busily in sunny patches at the forest edge. Barking owls have also been seen here.
Red necked pademelons and swamp wallabies can sometimes be seen thumping noisily through the gully. The Palms is a great place for a stopover en-route to the Bunya Mountains, or when driving between Cooyar and Yarraman.
How to get there: This park is located 94km north of Toowoomba and 28km south-west of Yarraman. Journey north along the New England Highway and turn east just north of Cooyar. A sealed and narrow road, about 8km in distance, leads to the Palms National Park. Please leave your pets at home.
The Palms National Park Circuit
Best for: Bushwalking
Classification: Grade 3 - formed track, short steep hills
Distance: 650m loop
Walking time: Approximately 15 minutes
Description: This short track encircles the palm forest - palms one side, dry vine forest on the other.