Known as Woonoongoora in the Yugambeh language, the mountains of Lamington National Park are of great cultural and spiritual significance and in 1994, the region was World Heritage-listed as part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area.
Prior to being declared a National Park in 1915, the two main sections of the park were privately owned but are now known as Green Mountains, home to O’Reilly’s, the local rainforest retreat and campground, and Binna Burra, which is where Binna Burra Lodge and campground are located. Being approximately 46km southwest of the Gold Coast, it takes about an hour and a half travelling from Brisbane.
Open for both day-use and camping within O’Reilly’s Retreat, the Green Mountains Section offers a variety of trails.
Both sections of the park provide day-use areas and offer trails of varying lengths and undulation for a range of fitness levels. Temperatures can be much cooler within the National Park so it’s a good idea to bring an extra layer of clothing and parking can be tricky, especially on weekends so leave early to be one of the first in.
Morans Falls track is a Grade 4 hike that is approximately 1.5hrs return.
Green Mountains Section
Morans Falls track, 4.4km return
The start of Morans Falls track is approximately 900 metres from the Green Mountains car park and is close to the camping area. The Morans Falls track goes down a ridge and has a lot of switchbacks. You will first come across a lookout point where you will see the falls and if you continue you will arrive at the top of the waterfall where there is another great vantage point. This hike is very popular with families as it is a relatively short walk compared to some of the others in this section, plus you may also come across a land mullet which is one of the largest members of the skink family!
Lush and green, the Albert River circuit is full of views and waterfalls.
Albert River circuit, 21.8km
To start the Albert River circuit, you will need to walk 5km along the Border track. The actual circuit is approximately 12km and is filled with many waterfalls and lush, green vegetation. It is recommended to walk the Albert River circuit in an anticlockwise direction and allow 7 hours to complete the hike. Some highlights include Echo Falls, Alcheringa Falls, Echo Point lookout, and Cominan lookout. Get an early start and bring along plenty of high energy food, as well as water, bug repellent and a first aid kit.
Follow the creek until reaching the secret waterhole of Yerralahla.
West Canungra Creek circuit, 13.9km
Starting at the Border track, in 600m you will need to turn left at the signpost of the West Canungra Creek circuit. Once you turn off it is approximately 4km until you reach Yerralahla – also referred to as the blue pool. This waterhole is a highlight with the tranquil waters surrounded by dense rainforest. From here, the trail connects with the Box Forest circuit and passes a number of waterfalls including the Kalgamahla Falls, Yanbacoochie Falls and Box Log Falls.
Wanungara lookout offers spectacular views down into Limpinwood Valley.
Toolona Creek circuit, 17.4km
Toolona Creek circuit starts along the Border track for about 1.8km until a signpost directs the trail to merge left along the Toolona Creek circuit and through the gorge. The highlight of this circuit is the countless waterfalls and lookouts, including Wanungara lookout which offers views down into the valley, out to Stradbroke Island and south towards Byron Bay. You also pass some ancient Antarctic beech trees and flowering rainforest plants.
Although maintained by O’Reilly’s Retreat, the Tree Top Walk is open to the public.
Other hikes that you can do within the Green Mountains section include the Box Forest circuit (10.9km) and Python Rock track (3.1km). Plus, the Tree Top Walk, which is maintained by O’Reilly’s Retreat is not to be missed. Designed to encourage a fully immersive experience for visitors, the Tree Top walk is an 800m return distance made up of 9 suspension bridges which are up to 16 metres above the ground.
For an unrestricted time, it is best to park near this sign – 200-300m from the upper day-use area.
Binna Burra Section
The Binna Burra section of Lamington NP was impacted by the 2019 bushfires and was reopened on the 8th of September 2020 – the date marking the one year anniversary of when the bushfires burnt the lodge.
Parking at Binna Burra has now changed to include a two-hour carpark right at the end of the road which is reserved for teahouse customers only. If you are planning on doing a hike longer than 2 hours and aren’t planning on visiting the teahouse, it is best to park 200-300 metres from the top.
The views from Molongolee Caves along the Daves Creek Circuit.
Daves Creek circuit, 12km
Regarded by some as being one of the best walks in the park, the Daves Creek circuit begins along the Border track and is approximately 4-5 hours return. When you reach the fork about 2.3km in, follow the signs for the Daves Creek circuit. October is when the wildflowers are in full bloom and is my favourite month for enjoying this walk. Other highlights are the beautiful vantage points from Molongolee Cave all the way to Numinbah Lookout. Surprise Rock is also a great spot for a picnic and rest break.
The Coomera circuit takes approximately 7-hours return and involves river crossings through the rainforest.
Coomera Circuit, 17.4km
The Coomera circuit is one of the most beautiful walks at Binna Burra. As with many of the walks, you begin on the Border track and continue for 1.9km before the turnoff for the Coomera circuit. This circuit is all within the rainforest and includes waterfalls such as the Coomera Falls, Yarrabilgong Falls, and Bahnamboola Falls. it also offers views of the 160m deep gorge and several river crossings. The return trip reconnects with the Border track and takes approximately 7 hours to complete.
There are many great walks within the Binna Burra section.
Other walks that you can do include the Ships Stern circuit (21km) and the Rainforest circuit (1.2km) with the 5km optional extension of the Tullawallal circuit. The Araucaria Lookout track (17.8km), Wagawn track (18km one way), and Mount Hobwee circuit (18.2km) are trails which all include the Border track for most of the way.
Lamington National Park, QLD covers 21,176 hectares along the McPherson Range.
Please note that at the time of writing this article, some tracks were still closed due to the bushfires that occurred in 2019. These include the Illinbah circuit (16.6km), Gwongoorool track (6km), a portion of the Lower Bellbird circuit (12km), and the road access of the Caves circuit (5km). Other areas are affected by seasonal closure, so it is best to check here for updates before you plan your trip.
Which hike are you adding to your bucket list?
About the writer...
Sabrina is an avid hiker from Brisbane. She hikes as a way to unwind after a busy week working as a Guidance Officer. She’s explored many of the popular tracks around South East Queensland and is always up for a bigger challenge! She has a long list of hikes she would like to do around Australia and overseas in the future.