Binna Burra Lodge is an authentic heritage listed property offering a genuine Australian experience in nature. Sadly, on 8 September 2019, major bushfires destroyed many of the core heritage-listed buildings. However, not all was lost! The camp-ground, the Tea-House near many of the trailheads to Lamington National Park, Groom's Cottage, The Bar, the Pottery shed, one Lodge cabin and most of our Skylodges remain on offer at Binna Burra Lodge.
We acknowledge and pay respects to the Yugambeh people of the Gold Coast and all their descendants both past and present. We also acknowledge the many Aboriginal people from other regions as well as Torres Strait and South Sea Islander people who now live in the local area and have made an important contribution to the community.
Positioned 800 metres above sea level amidst the sub-tropical rainforest of Lamington National Park in the Gold Coast Hinterland, Binna Burra is centre stage to some of Australia’s most spectacular natural features.
Winding through ancient Antarctic Beech forest, along exposed escarpments and into heath-land, be amazed by the rich abundance of birds and unique wildlife that inhabit this complex and diverse ecosystem.
The Lodge holds the enviable status of being the first Australian property to attain the internationally-recognised Green Globe Certification for its best practice environmental performance, and was listed in the top 10 Eco-Lodges and Green Hotels in the World.
The unique isolation provides the perfect escape from the stresses of every day life and a chance to get back to basics, interact with nature and experience a freedom & sense of peace that few places can offer.
A Rich History
One of Australia's longest-established nature-based resorts, Binna Burra Mountain Lodge was founded in 1933 by Arthur Groom and Romeo Lahey. These two pioneering conservationists shared a vision to create a place where people could stay and experience the beauty of the Lamington National Park rainforest. Through interpretive walks and educational programs, they believed more people would become committed to preserving this natural wilderness for future generations.
In the early 1930s, they purchased the last freehold title on the boundary of Lamington National Park and formed a public company to fund the establishment of what was to become Binna Burra Mountain Lodge.
The first Binna Burra camp was held over the Christmas holidays in 1933. Romeo, Arthur and 70 hardy adventurers set up a collection of tents on the "saddle" where the Senses Trail now starts. For five shillings a day, they were provided with accommodation, meals and guided walks through the rainforest.
Despite cyclonic storms which ripped through the mountains from Boxing Day until New Year, the camp was declared a success and the decision was made to build permanent cabins on the property.
An old Canungra boarding house was dismantled and brought up to Binna Burra by packhorse, to serve as the dining and recreation room. For the cabins, tallow-wood slabs and stringy-bark shingles were hewn from the local timber.
By Easter 1934, the first hut was nearly finished and, by 1939, Binna Burra Mountain Lodge could accommodate 54 guests. The road was extended in 1947 to eliminate that last 400m trek and a network of walking tracks provided easier access to the rainforest wilderness. The very first track built was to Bellbird Lookout.
Binna Burra quickly became a popular destination with keen bushwalkers of all ages. It also attracted a number of scientists studying the flora and fauna of this living laboratory. Guided, interpretive bushwalks were a feature of the Binna Burra experience even from the earliest days.
After his initial contribution towards construction and track building, Romeo Lahey remained as a director of the company, on and off, until 1960. As resident manager, Arthur Groom lived on site. He and his wife Marjorie and their three sons, Donn, Tony and Richard, lived in the cabin which is now used as the LNHA Environmental Study Centre.
During the late 60s and early 70s, the Lodge was improved and extended using mostly volunteer labour. The 'Friends of Binna Burra' (FOBBs) have continued to make a significant contribution over the ensuing years.
Another innovation was the introduction of 'Vacation Schools'. These included the Wildlife Preservation Society Spring School in 1968, the Creative Arts and Photographic Schools in 1969, and Greenfingers' Week in 1970. The Lodge still hosts a regular program of Special Interest Events every year.
In September 2019, the facilities of the lodge, including the original accommodation buildings, reception lounge and dining room were tragically lost in the QLD bushfires. The Binna Burra campsite, Teahouse café and the Sky Lodge apartments remain undamaged from the bushfire and the rebuild of the site has already begun.
OUR COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABILITY
Binna Burra's Board and staff are fully committed to implementing and demonstrating effective sustainable management. We have been doing this since the company was first formed in the 1930s, and over the past 20 years, we have pioneered many practices which are now part of international sustainable tourism guidelines.
We aim to achieve the international standards for sustainable tourism laid out by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) in order to ensure our business operations:
- Maximise social and economic benefits to the local community and minimize any negative impacts
- Maximise benefits to our cultural heritage and minimise any negative impacts
- Maximise benefits to our world heritage listed natural environment and minimise negative impacts
As an example, by designing and adopting site-specific best practice procedures as detailed in the Lodge's Environmental Management Plan (EMP), Binna Burra has dramatically reduced its environmental impacts and has also benefited financially from the reductions in energy usage.
This effort was so significant that Binna Burra Mountain Lodge first earned Green Globe Certification in 2001. In doing so, Binna Burra was also the first private company in Australasia to achieve certification under the international Green Globe standards for sustainable tourism practices.
Prior to and since its certification, Binna Burra had been recognised by a variety of environmental, ecotourism and tourism organisations. In 2018 during the annual conference of Ecotourism Australia held in Townsville, Binna Burra was one of a handful of Australian tourism enterprises recognised for 20 consecutive years of maintaining its ecotourism certification.
Binna Burra Lodge Ltd has committed to benchmarking its energy and water consumption, total waste production and community commitment; along with implementing an integrated environmental and social policy.
The GSTC establishes and manages global sustainable standards, known as the GSTC Criteria. These are the guiding principles and minimum international requirements that any tourism business or destination should aspire to reach in order to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources while ensuring tourism meets its potential as a tool for conservation and poverty alleviation.
"Binna Burra Lodge has had what we now call a sustainable approach to tourism since its inception in 1933 when the concept of national parks was still new around the world.
Nowadays we also have the framework of world heritage values. This results in Binna Burra Lodge sharing responsibility for conservation of our cultural and natural heritage through sustainable tourism management."
Acknowledging the earliest inhabitants at Binna Burra
A statement of information and policy endorsed by the Board of Directors, Binna Burra Lodge Limited, 18 December 2017.
‘Lamington National Park’s earliest human inhabitants were an Aboriginal kinship group, the Yugambeh who lived in this area, carefully managing and using its rich natural resources. Known as ‘Woonoongoora’ to the Yugambeh, the mountains are sacred and spiritual, places to be nurtured and respected.’
(Queensland Government, Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing)
As a business that operates within a World Heritage designated natural environment, Binna Burra Lodge Limited’s vision ‘To be a meaningful connection to nature and heritage’ is delivered with the identification, protection, conservation, presentation and transmission to future generations of the cultural and natural heritage of our location.
We acknowledge and respect that the land upon which Binna Burra is located was used by traditional ‘first nations’ people of this mountain area.
While some people may see Acknowledgement and Welcome to Country as a recent practice invented for the sake of political correctness, or an empty token gesture, Wurundjeri Elder, Joy Murphy Wandin, describes it as “a very important way of giving Aboriginal people back their place in society, and an opportunity for us to say, 'We are real, we are here, and today we welcome you to our land'…It's paying respect, in a formal sense, and following traditional custom in a symbolic way.” 
FRIENDS OF BINNA BURRA
Friends of Binna Burra (FOBBs) is a group of volunteers whose activities help maintain the unique natural environment that surrounds Binna Burra.
FOBBs was founded in 1984 by a group of like-minded people who shared a love of nature and the bush and were interested in preserving and maintaining the special beauty that is Binna Burra. Over the years this has evolved to also include an interest in the buildings and history of this World Heritage Listed site.
FOBBs meets four times a year at Binna Burra for a weekend of work and friendship. They also keep in touch with a mid-year social lunch and a regular newsletter emailed to members and supporters.
Your membership or financial support will help sustain the vision by: encouraging people of all ages to become involved; gifting to others an enduring love of nature; plant propagation and tree planting; removal of bushland weeds; stabilisation of ground to prevent erosion; Lodge track maintenance; enabling the purchase of tools and safety equipment; and undertaking other projects developed with the Lodge management and staff.
LIVE TOO FAR AWAY? NO TIME TO BE ACTIVELY INVOLVED?
BECOME A SUPPORTER MEMBER!
MAKE A DONATION...
Interested? Like more information? See the membership and donation form, or read on.
What does a FOBBs weekend entail?
Most of the group arrives Friday afternoon or evening. A few elect to come earlier and fit in a Friday walk.
Members choose from the range of accommodation at Binna Burra. For a nominal fee, shared accommodation is available to FOBBs in Grooms Cottage and its Bunkhouse. For this you will need to provide linen/sleeping bag and book with FOBBs prior to the weekend. On-site tents, caravan sites, tent sites and Binna Burra Lodge are alternatives; bookings for these are through the Lodge and are essential. Meals other than Saturday dinner and Sunday breakfast are self-catered; Grooms Cottage kitchen is available and meals can be bought at the Lodge or Teahouse.
On Saturday, FOBBs gathers about 8 am at Grooms Cottage, where the activities for the day are posted. These can include weeding, planting, clearing paths, cutting lantana or generally cleaning around the Binna Burra environment. Painting and general maintenance work are occasionally scheduled; sewing projects and work around the children’s playground are regular items. Everyone chooses their own niche, works at their own pace, and there is always plenty of laughter involved.
On Saturday evening FOBBs regroups for a reasonably priced meal. Each person/couple usually brings something for the meal and an item to be raffled. The raffles raise money for new equipment for FOBBs use or for projects.
Sunday breakfast is provided free of charge by the Lodge. Sometimes this is followed by a group bushwalk for those interested; others enjoy a leisurely breakfast then leave for home.
Lamington Natural History Association (LNHA)
In 1975 the Lamington Natural History Association (LNHA) was formed, in association with Binna Burra Mountain Lodge, O’Reilly’s Rainforest Guesthouse and the Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service.
LNHA was based on a concept which was common in the USA in the early 1970s, but was the first of its type in Australia. One of the Association’s early major projects was the establishment of an environmental study centre and headquarters on the Binna Burra property by renovating the timber cabin which Arthur Groom had built for himself and his wife in 1935. Opened in 1976, the centre contained an office, class-room, and dormitory accommodation for children taking part in educational camps (Stubbs & Specht, 2005).
The aim of LNHA is, to encourage an understanding and appreciation of the environment and national park values and provide interpretative information for visitors to Lamington National Park.
It does this by:
• Accredited members assisting the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) by volunteering in the Binna Burra Information Centre on weekends and school holidays
• The LNHA provides interpretive information to visitors to Lamington National Park through, Books Track Guides and Brochures
• Activities for Members and guests on four weekends per year
• Guest speakers provide specialist talks on topics relating to Natural History, the environment and Lamington National Park
National Parks Association of Queensland (NPAQ)
Back in 1930, the pioneering founders of Binna Burra, Romeo Lahey and Arthur Groom were also instrumental in the founding of the NPAQ.
It was out of the NPAQ and its increasingly popular camp-outs that the idea of establishing low-cost but comfortable accommodation which would allow a greater number of people to gain access to the peace, freedom and beauty of Queensland’s national parks emerged, and Binna Burra was established in 1933. The association continues to promote the preservation, expansion and good management of national parks and other forms of protected areas in Queensland.
‘During the early years of Binna Burra, (Romeo) Lahey also marked out and began construction of walking tracks within Lamington National Park, laying the foundation of the extensive network of tracks in the park today.’ (Stubbs & Specht, 2005)
NPAQ is an independent, not-for-profit, membership-based organization, and is the first conservation organisation in Queensland, and the longest running National Park Association in Australia.
Nowadays, Binna Burra still shares the objectives of NPAQ:
1) To preserve the National Parks and other protected areas of Queensland in their natural condition, to the greatest possible extent, and to endeavour to ensure the reservation and preservation of other areas considered to be suitable for protection;
2) To foster member and public interest in, enjoyment of, and respect for National Parks and nature conservation;
3) To promote the appropriate management of National Parks and other protected areas, and appropriate management of environmental factors which may affect existing and potential National Parks;
4) To promote effective legal and environmental protections in respect of National Parks and other protected areas, and to ensure the enforcement of provisions for their protection;
5) To promote appropriate and balanced measures for visitors to experience National Parks while conserving and protecting the natural environment.