We get it, we can't all be professional bushwalkers!
Lamington National Park is a 260 square kilometre bushwalking mecca in Queensland, filled with over 500 flowing waterfalls. For some, it is an easily routed playground… but for the rest of us (who only see rainforest exploration on Netflix docos), it can be a tad daunting trying to navigate the bush. But fear not! We’ve got our well-versed eco-guides to compile a list of the 5 best tracks for the rookie hiker!
190m Viewing Platform
Coomera Falls Viewing Platform (Class 4)
Distance: 11km return
Time: Allow about 4hr walking time
Details: The scenic Coomera circuit leaves the Border Track 1.9km from the trailhead and passes through subtropical and warm temperate rainforest communities and giant brush box Lophostemon confertusforest. The gorge is 160m deep. Views from the lookout platform, (5.5km from the trailhead) provide dramatic evidence of the power of erosion, which has cut through a thick resistant rhyolite lava flow.
Head back the same way you came to shorten this walk, or if you're daring, continue on in order to finish off the full 17km circuit. (about 7-hour walking time total)
The circuit continues to ascend while following the edge of the Coomera Gorge. It crosses the river several times before rejoining the Border Track and returning to the Binna Burra car park. The river crossings involve stepping from rock to rock, which can be hazardous after heavy rain and should not be attempted when the river is in flood.
Ancient caves and Aboriginal history
Caves circuit (Class 4)
Distance: 5km return
Time: Allow about 1.5hr walking time
Details: From the park's information centre, this interesting circuit winds up through open forest and rainforest to emerge on the road near the Binna Burra Mountain Lodge road entrance. Alternatively, begin this circuit from the Binna Burra Mountain Lodge road entrance and return via Binna Burra Road. Caution: this circuit contains unstable surfaces. Rockfalls may occur on the track and in Kweebani Cave. For your safety, avoid lingering near the cave—move along the circuit and view the cave from a safe distance.
The circuit provides excellent views into the Coomera Valley and passes a large red cedar and fine specimens of other rainforest tree species. The major cliff line opposite is of a flow of rhyolite and deposits of boulders and ash (tuff) can be seen in overhanging caves. Possibly the largest intact stand of hoop pine Araucaria cunninghamii in Australia can be seen along the Darlington Range.
White-throated treecreepers, members of one of the oldest groups of songbirds, are frequently seen on this circuit. Koalas are often seen in open forest areas along the walk. Take care when walking beside the bitumen road to return to the start of the circuit, especially on weekends when traffic is busy, or alternatively walk back along the circuit. A self-guiding brochure produced by the Lamington Natural History Association for this circuit is available at the national park's information centre, and the Lamington Teahouse.
Details: For a quick introduction to the 'typical' warm subtropical rainforest of Lamington, follow the Border Track for 500m, then branch right on to the Rainforest circuit. Bowerbirds and catbirds are commonly heard. These are members of the oldest lineage of songbirds. A self-guiding brochure produced by the Lamington Natural History Association (LNHA Inc.) is available at the national park information centre and the Lamington Teahouse.
Details: This track branches off the Ships Stern circuit and descends through the rainforest and open forest before emerging suddenly at Bellbird lookout—a natural lookout (with no handrails) above a very high, sheer cliff. Please keep children under close supervision and keep well away from the cliff edge.
The land around this lookout and most of the track is not part of the national park—it belongs to Binna Burra Mountain Lodge. For enquiries, please contact Binna Burra Mountain Lodge on (07) 5533 3622.
From here you get an excellent view of Ships Stern, Turtle Rock, Egg Rock (Kurraragin), and Numinbah Valley—all remnants of what millions of years of erosion, landslides, and weathering have created.
Hoop pines Araucaria cunninghamii can be seen from the lookout, growing on the exposed northern slopes. Harvesting of hoop pine and red cedar Toona ciliata led to the initial European settlement and ultimately the clearing of Numinbah Valley for agriculture.
Details: Visit the most accessible cool temperate rainforest in Lamington and the closest patch of this forest type to Binna Burra. From the trailhead follow the Border Track for 1.9km, then branch right at the track junction onto Tullawallal circuit and follow a short side-track to Tullawallal.
The pocket of Antarctic beech Nothofagus moorei on the summit is the northernmost location of this species in Australia and is one of our remaining links with the ancient forests of Gondwana. Nothofagus forests were once widespread across Australia and provided a habitat for many animals that have long since disappeared from our landscape.
From Tullawallal, return to the track junction, turn right and continue along the Loop track back to Binna Burra car park.