Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve is a one hour drive from Bribie Island via Steve Irwin Drive past Landsborough, up the range towards Maleny. The Reserve comprises 55 hectares of subtropical rainforest overlooking the Glass House Mountains landscape. A remnant of the rainforests that once covered the Blackall Range, the reserve is a living museum of diverse plant and animal life which will delight with its tranquility and beauty.
The reserve is home to rainforests species of flora and fauna and there are spectacular displays of sights and sounds of the various birds and animals to learn about the forest. From the 1870s the area was a valuable part of the timber industry producing mainly red cedar. Following timber the area became a dairy producing region.
In 1941 Mabel, Mary and Elizabeth Thynne set aside this reserve out of deep respect for the rainforest and named the area after their mother, Mary Cairncross. The sisters transferred the property to the local council and from its establishment an army of volunteers has cared for the reserve.
The reserve protects more than 20 threatened species of plants and animals including swamp mahogany, the Richmond Birdwing Butterfly and fresh water crayfish which can be seen from boardwalks that protect the species. There are several walks such as the Rainforest Loop of 1.7kms and shorter options such as the Pademelon and Piccabeen loops of 1.3kms.
On your walk you will see Watkins Figs towering 50 meters above you, Pademelons at your feet and Eastern Yellow Robins, Yellow Throated Scrubwrens and honeyeaters around you. The forest floor is covered with a rich supply of fallen fruit such as figs and the blue quandong as well as invertebrates and moss and leaves providing food for many species.
After your walk the Café offers a great range of food for lunch as well as spectacular views of the Glasshouse Mountains named by Captain Cook as they reminded him of the glass houses in his home county of Yorkshire. The kids will be amused while you eat and relax by the frog xylophone and other interactive displays around the centre.
Children will especially like the night time forest display cinema depicting rain and storms in the forest, illuminating nocturnal species like bats and ringtail possums and glow worms and frog life. For a gold coin donation this is a real treat for the whole family, left to us all by a very generous family of benefactors and maintained by volunteers. How lucky we are to have this facility nearby, plan your trip to Mary Cairncross today and don’t let a bit of rain turn you off as the place comes alive in a warm shower.
Note for wheelchair and pram users, the track is a hardened and compacted surface and may have gentle hill sections and occasional steps.
By Staff Writer Mozza