Kumbartcho Centre occupies a six-hectare site on the South Pine River at 15 Bunya Pine Court, Eatons Hill. It was previously known as Bunya Sanctuary Community Environmental Centre. Owned by Moreton Bay Regional Council, it is operated by trained and dedicated volunteers and staff.
Kumbartcho is the local Aboriginal word for the Hoop Pine (Araucaria cunninghamii), a majestic tree that is the focus of the district’s name – Pine Rivers. Early European settlers were attracted to the area for its abundance of Hoop Pines, which were felled to make masts for sailing ships and became a source of quality softwood timber.
Kumbartcho is a wonderful place to visit at any time of the year as there is always something of interest whether in the Environment Centre, the Native plant Nursery or on a bushwalk through the six acres of undulating native forest. There are spoonbills, herons and Wood Ducks to be seen on and around the lagoon and the adjacent South Pine River, as are Eastern Water Dragons and common lizards.
Look out for wildlife as you cross the suspension bridge. Closer to the dam wall bridge, Myrtle, the turtle may make an appearance, along with some of her turtle buddies.
In the open forest you may catch sight of scrubwrens, honeyeaters, fantails and pardalotes.
Both children and adults will enjoy a visit to the Fairy Garden and Toy Car track where letters can be written and mailed to the fairies, who may even reply if you are very lucky!
History of Kumbartcho
For several decades in the 20tthhcentury, Bunya Park Wildlife Sanctuary was privately owned and operated as a wildlife park and zoo, attracting tourists to the area. It ceased operations in the early 90’s.
In 1996-97, part of the Bunya Park land was subdivided for residential development. Fortunately, the council acquired the most environmentally sensitive land for its wildlife habitat and corridor values. The major buildings of Bunya Park are located on this land and now house the Kumbartcho Centre which has been developed by the local community and council.
Visitors can enjoy the various facilities provided. These include Kumbartcho Community Hall which is available for limited use by local community groups.
Kumbartcho Sanctuary which has 6 acres of natural habitat for visitors to enjoy a peaceful stroll and spot the local wildlife.
Kumbartcho Barn provides a large covered area which is also available for limited use by community groups.
Kumbartcho BBQ Area is available free of charge although booking may be necessary to ensure a place.
Community Nursery – this area is used for native plant propagation and holds a wide range of plants both local and from elsewhere. All of these plants have proved not to be invasive of bushland. They may be purchased from the nursery for garden plantings to attract native wildlife, such as butterflies, bees and frogs.
Kumbartcho Playground – playground equipment is provided free of charge.
The Fairy Garden/Toy Car Track – a favourite for all small children.
Garden Consultancy – partnering Kumbartcho’s Garden Consultancy service can help you to make all the work you put into your property more effective. A qualified Horticulturist will come to your property and provide you with advice on a range of topics as required, such as garden and re-vegetation, design, plant selection, pruning, pest and disease identification and management.
Phone 07 3264 3953 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, cost, etc.
Access to Kumbartcho Sanctuary is from 7am to 7pm. Arrangements can be made with Kumbartcho Centre personnel for after-hours use of particular facilities. (Ph. (07) 3264 3953)
Kumbartcho Environment Education Centre
- Open: Tue – Fri – 10.00am to 2.00pm
- Sat – Mon & Public Holidays – Closed
- Open: Tue – Fri – 9.00am to 3.00pm
- Sat & Sun – 8.00am to Noon
- Mon & Public Holidays – closed
Grounds and walking tracks open to the public between sunrise and sunset.
Volunteering at Kumbartcho
You may even wish to volunteer after reading the testimonial below from one of Kumbartcho’s dedicated team:
“I became a vollie at Kumbartcho as I felt the need to do some good in the community and saw it as an opportunity for personal growth. There were a couple of roles on offer, either in the plant nursery or in the environment centre. I chose the environment centre where my role is to greet visitors and give them a bit of history on the place and general information on what we offer at the Sanctuary.
Having been here almost 4 years I feel very much part of the wonderful Kumbartcho team. Being in this role has meant that I have the opportunity to help educate the next generation to care for nature and I get to meet and be educated by many an interesting visitor or another team member. I have found this a most enriching experience.”
Kumbartcho, a true Queensland icon and a must visit for 2021!
About Kumbartcho is a Flora and Fauna Sanctuary incorporating walking tracks, a public park, BBQ and playground, all of which are open between 7am and 7pm to the public free of charge. There is a Native Plant Nursery and an Environmental Education and Activity Centre.
(Sorry, no Cats, Dogs, Horses, Bikes, Scooters or Skateboards allowed).
Kumbartcho website: https://www.kumbartcho.org.au/
Address: 15 Bunya Pine Ct, Eatons Hill, QLD 4037