Burtons Well is a camping area in the Bunya Mountains, an alternative to the popular Dandabah camping area. It doesn’t have the cafes and a general store, and the showers are not as convenient, requiring water to be heated in a donkey boiler first and put into a shower bag to be hung in the shower cubicle.
Instead, Burtons Well offers a quieter campground, at least it was when I was there as I got to enjoy it to myself. A quiet camp after a long day of hiking was welcomed. I had a light camp setup, so I used the showers at Dandabah first before going to Burtons Well.
The campground is walk-in only, so it is mainly suitable for tents, and small camper vans. Wood fired BBQs are spread out and are kept with a supply of wood. There are not many National Park sites where you can have a fire. You can here, but it must be contained to the fireplaces, as well as tables with seating.
There is a well there too. Burton’s Well. It is near the day use parking, covered by a steel mesh cover with a plaque:
Burton’s Well. Proudly restored 19 & 20th July 2008 by members of the 4th, 5th & 6th generations of William & Margaret Burton who selected ‘Northwood’ in 1869. C.J.B – 5th
Another plaque on a nearby stone reads:
Burtons’ Well was dug during 1901-1902 drought by local teamsters Bob Burton and his brother George to water their horse and bullock teams. Burton family descendants still live in the area. Water from the well was also used for road construction and by other visitors up to the 1970s.
There are two walks accessible from Burtons Well, Mt Kiangarow, and Burtons Well to Cherry Plain.
The Mt Kiangarow track is a 2.3km walk to a lookout at the top of Mt Kiangarow. The lookout views are towards the west, with other views to the east along the walk up the eastern side of the mountain.
Mt Kiangarow is the highest peak of the Bunya Mountains. The views are set with ancient grasstrees down the side of the mountain, the rolling hills of the western edge of the Bunya Mountains, and down to the flat plains of the west out to the distant horizon.
The walk is mostly uphill along the eastern side. The track then heads towards the western side walking through a dense scrub vine dry rainforest, and the vegetation transforms into numerous grasstrees that accompany you the rest of the way to the lookout.
There are warnings around Bunya Mountains of stinging plants. I didn’t really notice any on the walks I did around Dandabah, but there were quite a few on the Mt Kiangarow walk. Keep an eye out for these as they can be quite painful. Long pants are the best protection, especially for children who may not keep a look out for them.
The other walk from Burtons Well is to Cherry Plain, I didn’t walk this trail. It is the longest walk, being 6km one way, but you can take a shorter 2.4km walk back by road. Along the walk is Ghinghion Lookout, Bottle Tree Bluff, and Cherry Plain Lookout.
To get there:
From Bunya Hwy, turn into Bunya Mountains Road, and follow 16.4km to Burtons Well.
From Dandabah, turn right into Bunya Mountains Road, and follow for 7.9km to Burtons Well.
From Maidenwell, turn into Maidenwell Bunya Mountains Rd, and follow for 25.5km to the end. Turn right into Bunya Mountains Rd and continue for 9.6km to Burtons Well, passing Dandabah on the way.
Cost: Free for day use, Camping Queensland Park and Forest Fees
Wheelchair accessible: Yes, around campgrounds but not the walks
BBQ: Yes, wood
Showers: Free hot showers, with donkey boiler