Main Range National Park
Main Range, Australia
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Main Range is a mountain range and a national park in Queensland (Australia), 85 km southwest of Brisbane. It is part of the World Heritage Site Gondwana Rainforests of Australia (formerly known as the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves). It protects the western part of a semicircle of mountains in South East Queensland known as the Scenic Rim. This includes the largest area of rainforest in South East Queensland.
The park extends from Kangaroo Mountain south to Wilsons Peak on the New South Wales border and includes Mount Superbus (1375 m), South East Queensland’s highest peak.
Bare Rock, Mount Cordeaux, Cunninghams Gap, Mount Mitchell, Spicers Gap, Spicers Peak, Mount Huntley, Mount Asplenium, Mount Steamer, The Steamer Range, Lizard Point, Mount Roberts, Mount Mistake and Mount Superbus all lie within the Main Range National Park. In total there are more than 40 peaks higher than 1000 m.
There are walking tracks, camping areas and picnic facilities at a number of places such as Spicers Gap, Cunninghams Gap and Queen Mary Falls.
The Main Range shield volcano erupted between 25 and 22 million years ago in the Tertiary period. Rather than forming a central peak the volcano erupted through numerous basalt dykes that created horizontal lava flows which are mainly basalt. These flows now form the bulk of the Main Range, Little Liverpool Range and Mistake Range and once covered a much wider area that includes both the Lockyer Valley and Fassifern Valley.
The steeper slopes have avoided any land clearing, acting a refuge for wildlife in the region. The most predominant vegetation types on the range is sub-tropical rainforest and dry sclerophyll forest.. The park’s forests and montane heath provide habitat for many animals, including the Eastern Bristlebird, Coxen's Fig-Parrot, Black-breasted Buttonquail, all of which are threatened by extinction. The vulnerable and rare Red Goshawk may also be seen.
The Giant Barred Frog, Fleay's Barred Frog, Spotted-tailed quoll and the Hastings River Mouse are listed as endangered species, once more commonly found in the Goomburra section of the park.
Spicers Gap is believed to be a traditional pathway for Indigenous Australians travelling between the inland and the coast.
In 1828, Allan Cunningham 'officially' discovered the route through the mountains now called Cunninghams Gap, however it can be easily seen from Brisbane. Stockman (Australia) Henry Alphen discovered Spicers Gap in 1847. The Spicers Gap Road, used to carry supplies to and from the Darling Downs, is the best remaining example of sophisticated 19th century engineering in Queensland.
In 1840, Ernst Dalrymple settled in the Goomburra Valley. Dalrymple Creek was named after this early settler.
By 1847 a new road, through Spicers Gap was opening areas for settlers.
In 1909 the areas surrounding Cunninghams Gap were declared a national park.
In 1994 the UNESCO World Heritage Committee extended the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves of Australia to include Goomburra Forest Reserve within Main Range National Park.
In 2007 the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia was added to the Australian National Heritage List.
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