The grassland communities known as the grassland ‘balds’ are thought to be a relic vegetation community from a time when the climate was cooler and drier surrounding the last ice age 10 000 years ago (Fairfax et al. 2009). The grassland ‘balds’ ‘occur within rainforest and eucalypt forest in a range of topographic positions and soil depths on a uniform geology’ (Fensham & Fairfax 1996). Grasslands have been described as Australia’s most threatened ecosystem throughout south-eastern Australia, and the balds are listed as an endangered regional ecosystem. The key factor in the maintenance of the grassland balds is believed to be Aboriginal fire.
Fishers lookout is a spectacular outlook over the Bunya Mountains. A 350 square meter elevated viewing platform provides a better vantage point to appreciate the beauty of the mountains and provides safer access for visitors.
Bunya Pines (Araucaria bidwillii)
The Bunya tree is a tall tree growing 30-45 metres in height, with a straight, rough-barked trunk, and a very distinctive symmetrical, dome-shaped crown.
Bunya trees produce large, fruiting cones (football sized) and generally mature in summer through to early autumn.
Aboriginal people historically used the Bunya Mountains as a meeting place for the various tribes scattered throughout Queensland and New South Wales. They feasted seasonally on the bunya nuts collected from the bunya pine trees.
There are approximately 5 km of walking tracks in Russell Park. The tracks are class 4 tracks and include;
- Carbine Chute - 2km (1hr)
- Chute No. 3 - 3.4km (1.5hrs)
- Cujevoi Falls - 4.2km (2hrs)
- Fishers Lookout Circuit - 4.1km (2.5hrs)