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Caring for the reserve
A special place to respect and enjoy 

Caring for the reserve

Top tips to help you enjoy your visit and care for the reserve.

“This is a special place and we have cared for this country for many thousands of years.  Listen deeply, watch attentively and tread lightly on this country because we are part of the land.  The land cares for us when we care for and respect the land.” ~Jinibara Elders

A visit to Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve is a special experience. To make sure you enjoy your day and help care for the reserve we recommend you read through our top tips.

  • Domestic animals are not permitted anywhere in the reserve, this includes the car park, cafe and walking tracks. Please leave all pets including dogs, cats and birds at home.
  • Stay on the path to reduce the likelihood of accidental trampling on seedlings and small animals such as the angle-headed dragon that often live in the leaf litter near the path edge.
  • Walk mindfully and you will see so much more. You are the visitor in the home of hundreds of native rainforest animals and plants. Please be respectful of the animals and their home. 
  • Dress for the conditions and the environment. Remember you are walking in a natural rainforest not a park. Most of the track is in the shade and Maleny is often a few degrees cooler than the coast.
  • Sturdy, non-slip shoes are a must. Most of the rainforest walking track is gravel with a rough and uneven surface.
  • No food or drink is permitted in the forest, this helps reduce rubbish and keep wildlife wild. The picnic ground is a great spot for your picnic and is equipped with a number of BBQs.
  • Accessibility – The rainforest track is not classed as wheelchair compliant and it may be difficult to walk with a pram or wheelie walker. The rough surface has exposed roots and rocks and sections with steps. Check out the walks page for accessible alternatives.
  • Stop the spread of pathogens. Start and finish your walk with clean footwear. Use the pathogen control station at the track entrance.
  • Refrain from climbing or swinging on the mighty vines found along the walking tracks. These vines are ancient and damage easily.
  • Capture your memories on a camera, these are the only things you can take from the reserve.
  • Practice ethical photography - Be respectful of the animals and their home. Do not damage vegetation or stray off the path. Give animals space and do not use methods such as flushing or call playback. Read Birdlife Australia's photography code of ethics for standards wildlife photographers should follow.
  • Plan an environmentally friendly party - Avoid balloons, confetti and other plastic or foil single use decorations. 

Natural hazards

The rainforest is a natural environment, be aware of these natural hazards. You are unlikely to experience a problem if you stick to the path and treat wildlife with respect.

  • The giant stinging tree can give a painful sting and long-lasting rash if touched. The fallen leaves can also sting.
  • The lawyer cane has many sharp thorns and barbs.
  • Leeches are often active in the reserve during and following wet weather.
  • A variety of snakes can be found in the reserve, some of these are venomous. Please keep your distance and give them room to move.
  • A number of biting and stinging invertebrates including mosquitoes, spiders, ticks and mites also live in the rainforest. Wear repellent and stick to the track.

Please ask our friendly volunteers or staff for more information if you have any questions. There is a first aid kit located in the Rainforest Discovery Centre.

Be wild dog safe

Wild dogs have been reported in the area. Follow these guidelines to stay safe.

Be wild dog safe

  • Always stay within arms reach of children
  • Walk in groups
  • Do not run or jog
  • Do not approach or try to feed the wild dogs

If you feel threatened by a wild dog

  • Stay calm
  • Stand up to your full height
  • Face the wild dog
  • Keep your arms close to your body and keep facing the wild dog
  • Calmly back away to a safe area
  • If in pairs or a group, stand back to back
  • Confidently call for help
  • Do not run or wave your arms
  • As soon as you can, report any negative incidents to the centre staff.