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South Bird Trail

A loop south from Crows Nest.

southThe trail

South from Crows Nest, vis Merritts Ck Rd, on to Highfields Falls, Spring Bluff, and back to Lake Cooby. 

Total distance: 114 km.
Best Sites: S7, S8

This information is no longer kept up-to-date.

 

Start - Bullockys Rest

Next to the Police Station in Crows Nest (see East Trail for details). Most of these sites are in the Condamine Catchment of the Murray-Darling Basin. Site name in italics means a brochure is available.

S1 Merrits Creek Rd

Narrow road reserve.
Access: From Bullockys Rest head 5 km south along the New England Hwy towards Toowoomba. Turn right towards Goombungee and then immediately left into Merrits Creek Rd. Cross Coobybilla Creek, travel another 200 metres, park near the yellow Rural Address 56.
[27° 18' 25"S, 152° 02' 28"E]
Habitat: Wooded road reserve parallel to creek.
Birds of interest: Australian Wood Duck, Speckled Warbler, Brown-headed Honeyeater, White-throated Honeyeater, Grey Fantail.

S2 Geham National Park

Access: Continue for 9 km to New England Hwy. Cross Highway into Aberdein Rd. 1.6 km to Mt Luke Rd. Park near crossroads.
[27° 23' 23"S, 152° 02' 00"E]
Habitat: Plantation of Mexican pines to the west, native forest with Sydney Blue Gum, Blackbutt, and Tallowwood to the east.
Birds of interest: Spotted Pardalote, Lewin’s Honeyeater, Eastern Whipbird, Torresian Crow.

S3 Highfields Falls

Walking tracks to top and bottom of falls.
Access: Turn right into Mt Luke Rd, continue to T-junction with bitumen road, turn right, 0.8 km to New England Hwy. Turn left, continue south along Highway through Geham and Highfields. 1.2 km past Shell Service Station, turn left into Dau Rd. 1 km to entrance to Falls walking track (at Kleve Rd corner).
[27° 28' 29"S, 151° 57' 06"E]
Habitat: Sclerophyll forest in deep gully heavily infested with privet and lantana.
Birds of interest: Australian Brush-turkey, Brown Cuckoo-Dove, Powerful Owl, White-naped Honeyeater, Grey-crowned Babbler, Spangled Drongo, Figbird.

S4 Spring Bluff Railway Station

Picnic area and kiosk.
Access: Return to Highway. Turn left towards Toowoomba, travel 5 km through traffic lights towards Toowoomba. Turn left into Murphys Creek Rd. Travel another 5 km to railway station turnoff. Continue to car park. Walk uphill from the station to old dance hall.
[27° 27' 59"S, 151° 58' 33"E]
Habitat: Level clearing in tall open forest.
Birds of interest: Pacific Baza, Spotted Pardelote, Brown Honeyeater, Torresian Crow.

S5 Charles and Motee Rogers Reserve

Short walking track.
Access: Return to New England Hwy. Turn right towards Crows Nest. Just past Shell Service Station, turn left into Highfields Rd. 2 km to tavern, turn right into O'Briens Rd. 200 metres to Cultural Centre. Walk begins next to Sports Centre.
[27° 27' 02"S 151° 56' 50"E]
Habitat: Open eucalypt forest (Sydney Blue Gum and Blackbutt) with scrub understorey.
Birds of interest: Common Bronzewing, Galah, Laughing Kookaburra (nest in termite mound).

S6 Williams Park

Picnic area and playground. (Beware scrub ticks.)
Access: Continue along O'Brien's Rd another 0.5 km. Turn right into Mavis Ct. Picnic area is across the creek.
[27° 26' 59"S 151° 57' 11"E]
Habitat: Small remnant in the middle of a developing suburb. Sydney Blue Gum, Tree Ferns, vine scrub.
Birds of interest: Little Lorikeet, Laughing Kookaburra, Eastern Whipbird, Olive-backed Oriole.

S7 Lake Cooby - Loveday Cove

Picnic area. Fishing. Sailing. (Permits required.) Boat ramp. Note closing times. 
Access: Return to O'Brien's Rd, back to Highfields Rd, turn right at tavern. Continue northwest 3 km towards Meringandan. At the T-junction, turn right towards Cabarlah, and follow the signs to Lake Cooby. At the Y junction go straight ahead to the picnic area on the west side of the cove (water birds best seen late afternoon when the sun is behind you). 4 km walking track to the Dam wall begins at the entrance to the picnic area.
[27° 23' 03" S 151° 55’ 29" E]
Habitat: Landscaped park area next to deep open water.
Birds of interest: Musk Duck, Australasian Shoveler, Great Crested Grebe, Pelican, Black-necked Stork, Osprey, Painted Snipe, Black-winged Stilt.

S8 Lake Cooby - Dam Wall

Picnic area. Bush birds. Note closing times. 
Access: Return to Y-junction, and take left fork to Dam wall. Parking area opposite Rangers house. The first section of walking track to Loveday Cove is rich in bush birds. Track is 4 km long.
[27° 23' 28"S 151° 56' 28"E]
Habitat: Along the first part of the track around the open water inlet: open eucalypt forest with Forest Red Gum, Gum-topped Box. Dense understorey with lantana.
Birds of interest: Chestnut Teal, Glossy Ibis, Grey-crowned Babbler, Plum-headed Finch, Chestnut-breasted Mannikin, Clamorous Reed-Warbler, Golden-headed Cisticola.

End

Return to Meringandan Rd. Turn left towards Cabarlah. Turn left on to the New England Hwy, and continue north 28 km to Crows Nest.

Total Distance: 114 km.

Revised September 2009

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