Bushwalking & Hiking

Explore Lamington National Park Explore Lamington National Park

Located 800m above sea level and characterised by rugged mountain scenery, breathtaking lookouts, tumbling waterfalls, caves and fern gullies, Lamington National Park offers more than 160km of Australia's most diverse walking trails.

Offering a wide range of walking opportunities ranging from easy strolls to challenging full-day hikes that explore the Parks best attractions. Allow 15 to 20 min to walk 1 km. This time is calculated for people of average fitness and bushwalking experience and who are wearing correct footwear. Allow more time to include rests and to return to your starting point if walking with small children or are an inexperienced bushwalker.

For up-to-date information on walking tracks and closures visit www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/lamington/about

Bellbird Circuit

Area: Ship's Stern Track 
Distance: 2km
Time: 1 - 2 hours
Difficulty: 1/5 easy

This track uses the first part of the Ship's Stern track. It passes through a small section of rainforest at first before the Bellbird Circuit leaves on the left. This now leads downwards past the junction of the 'Horse Track' (a reminder of the days when horse-riding was a Binna Burra activity) and through more rainforest which changes to open forest and then eucalypt woodland near the cliff edges. The lookout gives good views of Ship's Stern, Egg Rock, Turtle Rock and the Numinbah Valley. This particular walk is very good for small children who want to experience the thrill of following a rainforest walk in the Park, but caution is required near the cliffs of the lookout. The walker can return the way they have just come, or they can proceed further down the cliffs following a rough path which leads to Bellbird Clearing. Here there is a flying-fox zip line and a large grassed area which is used for bush breakfasts. Walkers can then take a variety of paths but the simplest is to walk back up the vehicle access road through the bushland and if desired, take the 'Possum Track' as a short cut back to the Lodge. Alternatively, on reaching the road, the 'Windy Corner' track also offers a short cut back up the spur to the Lodge.

Rainforest circuit

Area: Main Border Track 
Distance: 1.2km return 
Time: 30 minutes 
Difficulty: 1/5 easy

For a quick introduction to the rainforest, follow the Border Track for 500m, then branch right and return to the picnic area. 

Caves Circuit

Area: Down the Mountain 
Distance: 5km return 
Time: 2 - 3 hours 
Difficulty: 1/5 easy

The Caves Circuit is the best opportunity to observe a wonderful display of volcanic rock which was built up by the Mt Warning volcano. The circuit starts beside the car park near the Information Centre. The track first passes through eucalypt forest and woodland with occasional rainforest gullies. Koalas are sometimes seen in the tree branches of eucalypts in this area. There are wonderful views of the Coomera Gorge and a commemorative seat to Robert Collins whose efforts form the foundation on which the Lamington National Park was created. The Kweebani Caves were created by wind and rain erosion and were used for shelter and cooking by the aborigines. The track passes through these caves and then climbs through rainforest back to the summit of Mt Roberts. In the rainforest are some immense red cedar trees (Toona ciliata). A pleasant short walk- take morning or afternoon tea with you and enjoy it at the caves.

Tullawallal

Area: Main Border Track 
Distance: 5km return 
Time: 2 - 3 hours 
Difficulty: 1/5 easy

Tullawallal contains the nearest small forest of Antarctic Beeches (Nothofagus moorei) to Binna Burra. The track passes through rainforest to the Coomera Seat Junction and then sign posts lead the way to the Tullawallal track to the top of the small knoll on the Beechmont Range. The beech forest has a very different structure to the rainforest and is very interesting to botanists. There is also a small memorial plaque to Gus Kouskos, one of the Lamington National Parks most well liked and respected overseers. 

Gwongoorool

Area: Down the Mountain 
Distance: 6km return 
Time: 3 - 4 hours 
Difficulty: 4/5 moderate-difficult

The track to Gwongoorool starts from beside the car park near the Information Centre. Gwongoorool is a large rock pool in the Coomera River and it is a popular place in summer. The track descends towards the Coomera Gorge and passes through a mixture of eucalypt forest and rainforest. It is quite steep in some areas and steps are often used (there are over 100 of them, and persons with any walking disabilities should consider them carefully before attempting this walk). During the descent, the track passes by the base of some beautiful cliff structures. This part of the track is also the beginning of the track to Illinbah. At the bottom of the Gorge, the track to Illinbah turns off to the right, but the track to Gwongoorool leads off to the left and soon reaches the Coomera River margins. The pool is also the haunt of several 'tame' eels. Allow plenty of time to walk back up the track. Gwongoorool is a good place to have lunch.

Lower Bellbird Circuit

Area: Down the Mountain 
Distance: 12km 
Time: 2 - 3 hours 
Difficulty: 2/5 easy-moderate

This track uses part of the Ship's Stern track as far as the bottom of Nixon's Creek Valley. It passes through a small section of rainforest at first before the Bellbird Circuit leaves on the left. The track then descends more sharply into the Nixon's Creek valley through eucalypt forest and patches of rainforest. There are good viewing areas at Koolanbilba and Yangahla Lookouts which allow the walker to see views of Egg Rock, Turtle Rock, the Numinbah Valley and Ship's Stern. Down the track, the outcrop known as Kong Gong Rock is reached with the track passing through a cleft in the rock. The track now winds down through eucalypt forest and reaches the Lower Bellbird Circuit junction. The track now passes into rainforest and mixed forest with eucalypts and casuarinas. There are a few small cliff faces with orchids and ferns. Bellbird Cliffs can be seen occasionally through gaps in the trees and the track also crosses a number of small creeks. The track finally leaves the rainforest and enters an area where there was an old dairy farm and traces of its previous existence are still readily visible. This area is being re-vegetated with rainforest trees and other native species by various groups such as FOBB's (Friends of Binna Burra). There are good views back up to the summit of Mt Roberts. The end of the track joins the Binna Burra road about 500 metres down from the Information Centre and the walker then returns to Binna Burra by either taking the road up the mountain or walking the Caves Track.

Lower Ballanjui Falls

Area: Ship's Stern Track 
Distance: 11km 
Time: 4 - 5 hours 
Difficulty: 2/5 easy-moderate

This track uses part of the Ship's Stern track as far as the bottom of Nixon's Creek Valley. It passes through a small section of rainforest at first before the Bellbird Circuit leaves on the left. The track then descends more sharply into the Nixon's Creek valley through eucalypt forest and patches of rainforest. There are good viewing areas at Koolanbilba and Yangahla Lookouts which allow the walker to see views of Egg Rock, Turtle Rock, the Numinbah Valley and Ship's Stern. Down the track, the outcrop known as Kong Gong Rock is reached with the track passing through a cleft in the rock. The track now winds down through eucalypt forest and reaches the Lower Bellbird Circuit junction. Further down are magnificent stands of flooded gum and a giant red cedar. The track to Lower Ballanjui Falls now leads off to the right and follows the creek up towards the base of the falls. The falls are best seen during the wet season of December to March, but are always very beautiful. This is an area where it is wise to carry leech repellent.

Dave's Creek Circuit

Area: Main Border Track 
Distance: 13km return 
Time: 5 - 6 hours 
Difficulty: 2/5 easy-moderate

The Dave's Creek Circuit is regarded by many as the most interesting walk in the Park as far as vegetation is concerned. It starts in the rainforests of the main range, but during the walk to the Circuit itself, the path passes through a small Antarctic Beech forest which has managed to survive at much lower altitudes than usual, possibly due to specialised local colder conditions. The path then moves into mixtures of rainforest and eucalypt/casuarina forest with occasional patches of picabeen palms and then at the top of the Dave's Creek ridge, it moves into mallee woodland and finally heath. This area has magnificent views of Springbrook, Mt Hobwee, Araucaria Lookout and the Numinbah Valley as well as beautiful displays of wildflowers in spring. In windy wet weather, there are spectacular displays of wind spray from some of the small and intermittent waterfalls in the area. The track crosses the tree shaded permanent water supply of Picnic Creek which is excellent as a lunch site on hot days. Of great interest is the volcanic dyke known as Surprise Rock. This is made of trachyte and is highly resistant to erosion. A path leads over the top for those who like a pleasant scramble and tree climb at the further end, but there is also an alternative path at the base of the rock for those who prefer a more sedate walk. The track then returns to the starting point of the circuit through more rainforest and open forest stands.

Wagawn

Area: Main Border Track 
Distance: 18km return 
Time: 5 - 6 hours 
Difficulty: 3/5 moderate

Wagawn is reached by following the Main Border Track out past Joahlah Lookout to the foot of Mt Hobwee. For much of this section, the Main Border Track winds upwards along the Beechmont Range through subtropical rainforest, although there are occasional sections where Antarctic Beech is very prominent. A junction then leads off to the left which takes the walker to any of the destinations of Araucaria Lookout, Mt Hobwee or Wagawn. To continue to Wagawn, the walker now proceeds up the slopes of Mt Hobwee past the Araucaria Lookout junction which leads off to the left and climbs through dense rainforest to the next junction where the track divides on the left to Wagawn and on the right to Mt Hobwee. The left hand track to Wagawn now steadily descends to the Lookout and views of Springbrook, the Numinbah Valley and Mt Warning. Those of a sterner mould can also continue downwards with a rough bush scramble to the 'Bushranger's Caves' at the base of Wagawn - but take a guide as the descent point is easy to scramble down but difficult to find. The Bushranger's Caves are best done with a Binna Burra Guide and a Binna Burra bus waiting on the Numinbah Valley road in order to return the walkers to the Lodge.

Araucaria Lookout

Area: Main Border Track 
Distance: 19km return 
Time: 5 - 8 hours 
Difficulty: 3/5 moderate

The Araucaria Lookout Track is reached by following the Main Border Track out past Joahlah Lookout to the foot of Mt Hobwee. For much of this section, the Main Border Track winds upwards along the Beechmont Range through subtropical rainforest, although there are occasional sections where Antarctic Beech is very prominent. A junction then leads off to the left which takes the walker to any of the destinations of Araucaria Lookout, Mt Hobwee or Wagawn. The track to Araucaria Lookout is the first junction on the left and it descends towards the knoll of the lookout itself along a very long spur which juts out from the Beechmont Range. After about a kilometre, the track passes beside a small rock wall on the right and there is a small area suitable for lunch. This is Orchid Bower and a set of steps leads up the rock wall to its lookout which provides spectacular views of the Mt Warning caldera and a beautiful display of rock orchids in Spring. 

The track now winds down towards Araucaria Lookout and passes through some of the most extensive dry stone rock construction in the park. Builders have used the available stone to bring the surface of the tracks to a reasonable slope for comfortable walking. The track now reaches a small junction where it adjoins with the loop that passes around the summit of Araucaria Lookout. From here, the track winds up the escarpment of the Lookout with some small cliffs with beautiful orchids and ferns. The final track to the summit of the Lookout leaves the loop track and follows the ridge through a small area of open heath dotted with clumps of rock orchids. The summit gives spectacular panoramas of the Springbrook Range and the Mt Warning Caldera. In the afternoons, the return walk gives quiet walkers excellent opportunities to hear the calls of the Albert Lyrebirds that frequent this area.

Coomera Circuit

Area: Main Border Track 
Distance: 17.5km return 
Time: 5 - 8 hours 
Difficulty: 1/5 easy

After leaving the Coomera Seat Junction, the track winds down the Beechmont Range and into the Coomera Valley itself. It passes through dense rainforest with occasional small creeks crossing the track as the lower slopes are reached. There are some very interesting ti-tree thickets on the way down to the main falls as well as large stands of eucalypt and brush box. Near the main falls, the very beautiful Yarrabilgong Falls cascade directly into the gorge from the opposite cliffs. The main falls are spectacular in the wet season and fill the gorge with mist and spray. The track now follows beside the Coomera Crevice, a very deep cleft with its own waterfall (Gwongorbulli Falls) at the back of the crevice. After reaching the first crossing, the track now winds up the gorge past a lovely selection of waterfalls until the last, Goorawa Falls, is reached. The blue and white spiny Lamington Crayfish is sometimes seen in the pools, but is often seen walking on these tracks near the water during wet weather. At the top of the valley, the Coomera Circuit Track joins the Main Border Track at the foot of Mt Hobwee and the walker can then use this track either to return to Binna Burra or continue to O'Reilly's. This track should not be attempted if the Coomera River is in flood - if the water is higher than knee level, a crossing should not be attempted.

Illinbah Circuit

Area: Down the Mountain 
Distance: 16.6km return 
Time: 6 - 8 hours
Difficulty: 1/5 easy

At first the Illinbah Track forms part of the track which leads to Gwongoorool and it passes through mixtures of eucalypt forest and rainforest - there are steep descents and over 100 steps on the track. About one third of the way down to the bottom of the gorge, a junction is reached where the top Illinbah Track leads off to the right. This point is where the main Illinbah Circuit begins and ends and it can be walked in either direction. Heading in the direction which first passes to the Coomera River and then returns along the top track, the track now passes down hill to the River and the right hand junction is taken when the path to Gwongoorool is reached. The track now travels down the Coomera River using the 'Old Cedar Road' - a track built by cedar cutters in the early 1900's when they were hauling out cedar logs with bullock teams. The track now crosses the river 12 times before reaching the Illinbah area. On the way, there are beautiful stands of picabeen palms, an enormous specimen of a strangling fig, and of course lovely views of the Coomera River at each crossing (this track should not be attempted when the river is in flood). The Old Cedar Road is sometimes in poor condition and the river crossings are often difficult because the frequent floods change the positions of boulders and track entrances. Usually the track endings on each side of the river are marked with an easily visible red tag on a tree.

At the Illinbah area (now badly overgrown) there is a small campsite for bushwalkers and the walker can either pass by the National Parks sign and proceed down the Coomera Valley to be picked up by the Binna Burra bus (if an arranged walk), or return to the Lodge by the top Illinbah Track. This winds uphill through eucalypt forests and mixed rainforest with eucalypts intermixed but there are occasional pure rainforest pockets in gullies. The track also passes through sections of eucalypt forest in which there are colonies of bell-miners (foliage dwelling birds with bell-chime calls). Eventually this track completes the circuit and rejoins the original track that leads back to the Information Centre.

Ship's Stern Circuit

Area: Ship's Stern Track 
Distance: 19km 
Time: 6 - 8 hours 
Difficulty: 3/5 moderate

The Ship's Stern Walk is one of the most magnificent walks in the Park. It is particularly excellent in winter and spring, especially the latter when wildflowers are often abundant. The walk leaves Binna Burra and descends to the Nixon's Creek valley through patches of rainforest, eucalypt forest, ti-tree woodland and picabeen palm rainforest mixtures. In addition, there are several excellent lookouts offering wonderful views of the Numinbah Valley and a rock formation (Kong Gong Rock). Once Nixon's Creek is reached, the walker can take a short side trip to the bottom of Ballanjui Falls and then return to climb up the Ship's Stern Range via Hidden Valley.

During the climb to the top of Ship's Stern, there is a side track to Charraboomba Rock and its lookout. This offers both wildflowers in the spring time and some of the most spectacular cliff views of the lower Numinbah Valley, Egg Rock, Ballanjui Falls and Mt Roberts with the Binna Burra Chalet. Charraboomba Rock can be made the aim of the day's walk if so desired as there is an excellent smooth rock area a little way past lookout on the main Ship's Stern walk. The path then continues up through eucalypt forest and woodland to the end of Ship's Stern and Kooloonbano Point. Once more there are magnificent views of Egg Rock, Turtle Rock, the Gold Coast and Numbinbah Valley but also of Springbrook. This is a good place for lunch but remember to take water.

After leaving Kooloonbano Point, the Ship's Stern path divides and walker can either move directly towards Binna Burra or pass around the eastern side of Ship's Stern and enjoy the views of the Numinbah Valley, Springbrook and Mt Warning which may be seen in the distance weather permitting. The two paths rejoin and move steadily along the top of Ship's Stern through eucalypt forest and rainforest. There are also some paths which allow the walker to visit other sites such as upper Ballunjui Falls and Cascades. Eventually, the track joins the junctions which lead to Dave’s Creek, then the Main Border trail and finally, the Park Entrance near the Lamington Teahouse.

The Border Track

Area: Main Border Track
Distance: 22km one way
Time: 6 - 8 hours
Difficulty: 3/5 moderate

The Main Border Track heads out past Joahlah Lookout to the foot of Mt Hobwee and then onwards along the summit of the McPherson Range enroute to Green Mountains Section of Lamington National Park. While climbing the Beechmont Range, the Main Border Track winds upwards through subtropical rainforest, although there are occasional sections where Antarctic Beech is very prominent. The Hobwee, Araucaria Lookout and Wagawn junction is then passed and proceeds around the base of Mt Hobwee and crosses upper tributaries of the Coomera River (Dragoon Bird Creek, Bower Bird Creek) and the Coomera River itself. The Coomera Circuit junction is then passed and the track passes Yargabullang Lookout and climbs up Mt Merino. The track to Mt Merino leads off to the left while the walker continues on to one of the most spectacular northerly aspect lookouts in the Park, Chakoonya Lookout with excellent views along the Beechmont Range, perfect views of the Daves Creek heathland and vistas towards a distant Gold Coast. The track winds through dense rainforest, interspersed with Antarctic Beech on the higher slopes, towards Mt Wanungara where there are magnificent views. A little past Wanungara is the Toolona Creek circuit junction with its waterfalls, but the Main Border Track continues on to Mt Bithongabel and its lookout. Near the summit is a cairn commemorating the December 1918 camp of the Queensland Naturalists Society. The track then steadily descends along the Sarabah Range through rainforest and occasional stands of Antarctic Beech to O'Reilly's Guest House. During the descent, various tracks lead off to the Albert River Circuit, Toolona Creek and West Canungra Creek. O'Reilly's is famous for the bird life that inhabits the area which is attracted by the food provided by both the Guest House and day visitors. A coach transfer is available between Binna Burra and O'Reilly's by arrangement for groups of 4 or more. Call reception on 07 55333622 to enquire about booking.  

Mt Hobwee Circuit

Area: Main Border Track
Distance: 22km return
Time: 5 - 8 hours
Difficulty: 2/5 easy-moderate

The Mt Hobwee Circuit Track is reached by following the Main Border Track out past Joahlah Lookout to the foot of Mt Hobwee. For much of this section, the Main Border Track winds upwards along the Beechmont Range through subtropical rainforest, although there are occasional sections where Antarctic Beech is very prominent. A junction then leads off to the left which takes the walker to any of the destinations of Araucaria Lookout, Mt Hobwee or Wagawn. The track now winds up Mt Hobwee until a junction is reached where the track to Araucaria Lookout leads off to the left. The track that leads to both Mt Hobwee and Wagawn proceeds straight ahead and now winds up the slopes of Mt Hobwee with abundant stands of Helmholtzia lilies along the track. About three quarters of the way up Mt Hobwee, the track to Wagawn leads off to the left. The Mt Hobwee track now winds back to the northern side of the mountain where a junction is reached where the circuit track takes the walker back down to the Main Border Track at a point closer to Mt Merino. The summit track now passes beside Darrayabroo Lookout which gives excellent views along the McPherson Ranges towards Bithongabel and then to the summit through an area of Antarctic Beech which was severely damaged by a tornado in 1983. The summit itself is simply a small space in the beech forest. Also at the summit is a datum marker for surveys and the remains of the old survey marker which is no longer needed - satellite fixing is more accurate. The best way to return is to go back to the first junction and take the alternative route back to the Main Border Track. This option provides the walker with very good views from Dacelo Lookout before returning via the Main Border Track.

Mt Merino

Area: Main Border Track
Distance: 24km return
Time: 5 - 8 hours
Difficulty: 2/5 easy-moderate

Mt Merino is reached by following the Main Border Track out past Joahlah Lookout to the foot of Mt Hobwee and then further on to the base of Mt Merino itself. At first, the Main Border Track winds upwards along the Beechmont Range through subtropical rainforest, although there are occasional sections where Antarctic Beech is very prominent. A junction then leads off to the left which takes the walker to any of the destinations of Araucaria Lookout, Mt Hobwee or Wagawn however to reach Mt Merino, the walker continues along the Main Border Track. The next part of the track crosses the various tributaries of the Coomera River including Bower Bird Creek, Dragoon Bird Creek and the Coomera River itself. (Unfortunately, most of these locations are unsigned so that a map is essential - Bower Bird Creek is the exception, and a very old sign is still present.) The Coomera Circuit junction (leading downwards to the right) is now reached and the walker continues straight onwards to reach the Mt Hobwee Circuit junction coming in from the left. About 100 metres further along the Main Border Track is Yargabullang Lookout. This gives wonderful views towards Mt Warning and is well worth the stop. The track now begins its ascent of Mt Merino through dense rainforest until the Mt Merino track is reached, leading off to the left. About 3-400 metres up the track is Beereebano Lookout which allows an excellent view out towards the Beechmont Range and further still to the Gold Coast. The track now continues on to the summit with Antarctic Beech at the very top and probably the most spectacular views of the Mt Warning caldera and the McPherson Ranges that are to be had in the entire park. The summit is the habitat of the very rare Rufous Scrub Bird - a small brownish bird about the size of a sparrow. It is very unusual in that it has no 'wish-bone' - suggesting its weak flight and adaptation to almost a mouse like existence in the dense undergrowth.

Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk

Distance: 55 kms
Duration: 3 days
Difficulty: Moderate

Discover beauty and history along the 54 kilometre Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk linking Lamington and Springbrook plateaus via the scenic Numinbah Valley. Walk through the ancient volcanic landscape of the Tweed Volcano via streams and waterfalls, through lush rainforest and Gondwana flora and fauna.

The Great Walk passes through Woonoongoora, the place known to the Yugambeh as "Queen of the Mountains", whose story tells of the formation of the rivers and valleys of this area. The Yugambeh are descendants of the traditional Aboriginal people whose ancestors walked this land a long, long time ago. They say to you now … Kulli bugoram dhagun — nya nya yahngahla (This (is) special land — walk carefully).

The Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk links Lamington National Park to the Springbrook Plateau, via Binna Burra and the Numinbah Valley. Join a guided tour or you can hike the full trail.

Start Point: O'Reilly's Guesthouse, in the Green Mountains section of Lamington National Park. Commence along the well-known 'Border Track' towards Binna Burra & stay overnight at the Lodge or Campsite.
Finish Point: After traversing the Numinbah Valley, passing Woonoongoora walkers camp and Apple Tree Park, the walk finishes at Purling Brook Falls and The Settlement campsite.

For more information visit www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/great-walks-gold-coast-hinterland

Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk is Class 4 (Australian Standards):

  • Distinct tracks with junctions sign-posted, rough track surfaces with some exposed roots and rocks.
  • Variable in width; muddy sections, steep grades and steps may be encountered.
  • May be extensively overgrown; hazards such as fallen trees and rockfalls likely to be present.
  • Caution needed at creek crossings, cliff edges and naturally occurring lookouts.
  • Moderate fitness level with previous experience and ankle-supporting footwear strongly recommended.
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