Walking Tracks in Lamington National Park
Lush rainforests, ancient trees, spectacular views, extensive walking tracks, exceptional ecological importance and natural beauty make this Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area an outstanding place to visit.
For a quick introduction to the ‘typical’ warm subtropical rainforest of Lamington, follow the Border Track for 500m from the Binna Burra trailhead, then branch right on to the Rainforest circuit. Wander under the thick, green canopy and listen for the distinctive calls of bowerbirds and catbirds. These are members of the oldest lineage of songbirds.
The pocket of Antarctic beech Nothofagus moorei on the summit is the northernmost patch of this species in Australia and is one of our remaining links with the ancient forests of Gondwana. Nothofagus forests that were once widespread across Australia and provided a habitat for many animals that have long since disappeared from our landscape.
From the park’s information centre, this interesting walk winds up through open forest, where koalas are often seen, and into rainforest before emerging at the Saddle trailhead on the road near the Binna Burra Mountain Lodge road entrance. White-throated treecreepers, members of one of the oldest groups of songbirds, are frequently seen on this track.
Start at the Lower picnic area trailhead and descend a series of steep rock steps (approximately 200 in total) to the Coomera River, passing cliffs of volcanic ash (tuff). At the valley floor, follow the Coomera River to picturesque Gwongoorool Pool. The river, along with all of Lamington’s waterways, is important habitat for hylid frogs (tree frog family), freshwater crayfish, eels and eastern water dragons. Return on the same track.
Half Day Walks
Lower Bellbird Track
Admire spectacular views across Ships Stern, Turtle Rock, ‘Kurraragin’ (Egg Rock), and down into Numinbah Valley from Koolaninilba and Yangahla lookouts. Wind past cliff faces adorned with orchids and ferns, cross mountain streams and pass through a patch of dry rainforest dominated by hoop pine—regarded as an example of the rise of the ‘dry adapted’ flora now widespread in Australia. Follow the track below Bellbird lookout and emerge at a clearing, once a dairy farm. From here, return back along the same path to the Saddle trailhead to avoid walking beside the bitumen road to complete the circuit.
Dave’s Creek Circuit
Descend through the head of Kurraragin Valley out into Daves Creek country. Keep an eye out for Surprise Rock—a volcanic dyke made of hardy trachyte and enjoy magnificent views from Numinbah lookout. Be sure to stop and enjoy the cool surrounds of Picnic Creek. The circuit passes through several distinctive vegetation types: warm and cool subtropical rainforest along the Border Track; warm temperate rainforest, containing many examples of ancient angiosperms such as coachwood Ceratopetalum apetalum, in Nixon Creek’s headwaters; and wet sclerophyll forest.
Full Day Walks
The scenic Coomera circuit leaves the Border Track 1.9km from the Binna Burra trailhead and passes through subtropical and warm temperate rainforest communities, and giant brush box Lophostemon confertusforest. Walk up to Coomera Falls lookout (5.5km from the trailhead) and witness the power of the Coomera River as it cascades over the magnificent Coomera and Yarrabilgong falls down into the 160m deep gorge.
Continue to ascend, along the edge of Coomera Gorge, following the Coomera River past a series of other lovely cascades and waterfalls and look for Lamington spiny crayfish along the way. Cross the river several times before rejoining the Border Track and returning to the Binna Burra trailhead.
Warning: this circuit has several river crossings which involve stepping from rock to rock. This can be hazardous after heavy rain and should not be attempted when the river is in flood—you may get caught between creek crossings.
Ships Stern circuit
Commencing at the Saddle trailhead, descend along the Lower Bellbird circuit track past Koolanbilba and Yangahla lookouts before branching off onto the Ships Stern circuit track. Pass through a fine stand of piccabeen palm Archontophoenix cunninghamii to the floor of Nixon Valley where red cedar Toona ciliatae and the majestic flooded gum Eucalyptus grandis thrive. Take the short Lower Ballunji Falls side track (an additional 1.2km return) to the bottom of Ballunjui Falls. Continuing on the circuit, cross Nixon Creek and ascend through Hidden Valley past Charraboomba Rock to the top of Ships Stern range and into open eucalypt forest. This is one of the few places within the park where scribbly gum Eucalyptus racemosa can be seen. Enjoy impressive views from a number of lookouts as the circuit continues through rainforest and open forest. The Upper Ballunjui side track (an additional 2.6km return) leads to Guraigumai Rock and Upper Ballunjui falls. Continue past Nagarigoon Falls to the junction with Daves Creek circuit, turn right to head along the Border Track and complete the circuit back to the Saddle trailhead. For the very energetic, Daves Creek circuit can be added to this walk, making it a total of 23km.
To walk the Illinbah circuit clockwise, start at the Lower picnic area trailhead and descend steeply along the Gwongoorool track through rainforest and open forest to the Coomera River. The dry rainforest on the river’s western side provides habitat for the black-breasted button-quail(external link), a member of an ancient order of birds.
Rock-hop or wade through the swirling river waters as you navigate the many crossing following the ‘Old Cedar Road’, once used by timber-getters in the early 1900s. The circuit then leaves the river and climbs the Beechmont Range to return to Binna Burra.
Warning: in hot weather it may be less strenuous to walk this circuit in an anticlockwise direction. Always carry enough drinking water. River crossings can be hazardous after heavy rain and should not be attempted when the river is in flood.
Araucaria lookout track
From the Binna Burra trailhead, follow the Border Track for 5.4km before branching off onto the Araucaria lookout track. This 2.6km track passes Orchid Bower lookout and ends at Araucaria lookout—named after the hoop pines Araucaria cunninghamii, which can be viewed from the lookout. These hoop pine communities are a living representative of the Jurassic Age (the age of the conifers) about 180 million years ago. Both lookouts offer impressive views towards the Springbrook plateau.
This track splits from the Araucaria lookout track 900m from the Border Track junction. Hike up, often through misty clouds, to Garragoolba lookout for uninterrupted views of Springbrook, the Tweed Valley and ‘Wollumbin’ (Mount Warning). Please do not damage or remove vegetation as many of these plants are significant species in the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. Remember, all plants are protected by legislation.
Mount Hobwee circuit
The Mount Hobwee circuit branches off the Wagawn track 2km after the Border Track junction. Wind up through rainforest filled with ferns, stream lillies, fungi and epiphytes, to the Antarctic beech-clad summit of Mount Hobwee (1164m). Look for clusters of beech oranges—the fruiting body of a fungus species only found on Antarctic beech trees in Australia and South America. The Nothofagus forest and associated communities found here and on Mount Merino provide strong evidence of the Gondwana connection.
Experience the true essence of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area on this long-distance track.
Delve into the heartland of this ancient landscape on this full-day hike connecting the Green Mountains and Binna Burra sections of the park. Boasting stunning scenery and spectacular views, the Border Track is the backbone of the Lamington walking track system, with most walks radiating from it. It’s also a part of the longer Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk.
Hike through warm and cool subtropical and temperate rainforests, into lush gullies and valleys, over crystal mountain streams, past stunning waterfalls, and along prominent ridge lines.
On a clear day, lookouts provide spectacular views of the Limpinwood Valley, ‘Wollumbin’ (Mount Warning) and the Tweed Range. During winter months, walkers are likely to hear the loud ringing call of the Albert’s lyrebird(external link).
There is a short (600m return), steep side track that leads to two lookouts—Beereenbano and Merino—with views over the Tweed and Limpinwood valleys. The track passes through areas of forest damaged during a severe storm in 1983.
This park is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, famed for its ongoing geological processes, evolutionary history, and diversity (especially of rare, threatened and endemic species).
Warning: there is no shorter way to walk from either trailhead in the park. Stay on the Border Track. Other routes may appear to reduce the distance, but end up being longer. Whichever end you begin, leave as the sun rises and organise to be picked up at the end of your walk or stay overnight at your destination.
Book our one way transfer from Binna Burra Lodge to the Green Mountains section of Lamington National Park (O’Reillys). Transfers will leave from 8am, you will then walk the 21.4km track back to Binna Burra at your own pace (self-guided).