The Main Range is a mountain range and national park in Queensland, Australia, located predominantly in Tregony, Southern Downs Region, 85 kilometres (53 mi) 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 is part of the Scenic Rim Important Bird Area, identified as such by BirdLife International because of its importance in the conservation of several species of threatened birds.
Bare Rock, Mount Cordeaux, Mount Mitchell, Spicers Peak, Mount Huntley, Mount Asplenium, Mount Steamer, The Steamer Range, Lizard Point, , and Mount Superbus all lie within the Main Range National Park. In total, there are more than 40 peaks higher than 1,000 m.
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; these are mainly basalt but also sometimes consist of trachyte. 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.
Flora and fauna
The steeper slopes have avoided any land clearing, acting as 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, and the black-breasted buttonquail, all of which are threatened by extinction. The vulnerable and rare red goshawk may also be seen.
In 1828, Allan Cunningham 'officially' discovered the route through the mountains now called Cunninghams Gap, however it can be easily seen from Brisbane. Stockman 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, George Elphinstone 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 area surrounding Cunninghams Gap was 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.
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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- Environmental Protection Agency. Wildlife Online Extract:Species List. Retrieved on 2 April 2006.
- "Spicers Gap Road Conservation Park (entry 601732)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 13 July 2013.