Crows Nest is a 1,800 hectare national park on the edge of the Great Dividing Range, well worth the two hour drive from Brisbane for its waterholes, waterfalls, lookouts and stunning scenery.
Popular with day trippers, Crows Nest has several walking tracks ranging from easy to moderate. From the pretty picnic area (provided with tables, gas barbecues and toilets), the Cascades are only a short walk away; while Kauyoo Pool, a refreshing waterhole where visitors can take a dip, is only 670 metres from the carpark.
From Kauyoo Pool, a narrow walking trail travels along the creek to another permanent waterhole, Bottlebrush Pool, and onto Crows Nest Falls, plunging 20 metres over steep granite cliffs. A lookout over the waterfalls can be reached via the Kauyoo Loop (which takes in the Cascades and both waterholes) and should take about 1 hour return.
Reasonably fit and enthusiastic bush walkers will enjoy the trek to Koonin Lookout, a 4.5km return trip which takes about an hour and a half. This track, moderate with steep stone steps in some parts, cuts through open Eucalypt forest - from gums and stringybarks to bloodwoods and ironbarks - and leads to Koonin Lookout with impressive views over the gorge, known as the Valley of the Diamonds.
Crows Nest is a haven for wildlife like lace monitors, echidnas, bandicoots, swamp wallabies and brush-tailed rock wallabies (vulnerable to extinction in Queensland) and several bird species: rosellas, yellow robins, golden whistlers, grey fantails and blue-faced honeyeaters. If you're visiting the park at dawn or dusk, you might spot platypus, possums and sugar gliders.
Nice to know - There's a small, bush campground at Crows Nest National Park with unpowered tent and caravan sites, pit toilets and wood barbecues. Camping permits are required.
By Deb Lidster
Crows Nest National Park
Three Miles Road