Visiting the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk safely
We suggest walking this Great Walk from west to east, commencing at Lamington National Park—Green Mountains section (O’Reilly), and finishing at Springbrook National Park. The directions below reflect this orientation.
- Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk locality map
- Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk map (trip planner only)
- View Google maps
Purchase a topographic map
Topographic map brochures contain vital orientation information and are essential for your safety. They can be purchased from a number of Great Walks topographic map sales outlets.
Getting to Green Mountains (O'Reilly)—Lamington National Park
From the Pacific Motorway, take the Nerang exit (exit 69 from the north, exit 71 from the south) and follow the signs to Lamington National Park—Green Mountains via Canungra. The 36km winding and often narrow bitumen road from Canungra requires care and takes at least 50min. This road is unsuitable for caravans. Watch for wildlife.
Getting to Binna Burra—Lamington National Park
From the Pacific Motorway, take the Nerang exit (exit 69 from the north, exit 71 from the south) and follow the signs to Lamington National Park—Binna Burra via Beechmont. Allow 50min from Nerang and watch for wildlife. The final 10km is very narrow.
Getting to Springbrook plateau—Springbrook National Park
From the Pacific Motorway, Springbrook plateau is 24km from Mudgeeraba or 36km from Nerang. Exit the Pacific Motorway at Mudgeeraba (exit 79 from the north, exit 80 from the south) and follow the Gold Coast–Springbrook Road. This road is unsuitable for caravans. For alternative routes to Springbrook please see Springbrook National Park—Visiting safely.
Note: There is no through-road access to New South Wales from the Springbrook plateau.
The bitumen road leading to Springbrook National Park is steep and narrow. Turn left off Springbrook Road into Carricks Road and look for the camping area signs. Watch for wildlife.
For information on commercial tour operators and public transport see the tourism information links.
Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.
See Walking for more information about staying safe on your walk.
Three important steps
- Plan your walk using the map trip planner .
- Book your camp sites online.
- Purchase the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk topographic map brochure—over-the-phone or over a counter—to take with you on the walk.
Walkers must be fully self-sufficient as facilities are limited. Pack for your safety and for your comfort. Your camping equipment should include the following:
- first-aid kit—know how to use it
- topographic map and compass.
- drinking water—no water is provided at the Woonoongoora walkers’ camp. Supply all your drinking water as water quality cannot be guaranteed. Treat all creek water before drinking.
- water containers—ensure they are big enough to hold water for a day’s walk and organise water supplies for camping at Woonoongoora walkers’ camp
- nourishing lightweight food and high-energy snacks. Take extra food in case the walk takes longer than expected.
- sealable containers for leftover and fresh foods
- strong, lightweight tent—this is essential! No shelters are provided at walkers’ camps.
- lightweight sleeping bag and sleeping mat
- warm clothes and raincoats—pack for all seasons
- comfortable, ankle-supporting footwear with good grip soles
- a hat, sunscreen and insect repellent
- waterproof bags to keep clothing and bedding dry, and for storing rubbish—rubbish bins are not provided at walkers’ camps, so all rubbish must be carried out for disposal
- torch and batteries and pocket knife
- lightweight cooking and eating utensils and washing-up container
- fuel stove and fuel, lighter or waterproof matches—open fires are not permitted in walkers’ camps
- small hand trowel or spade or human waste disposal kit and toilet paper
- mobile phone (coverage may be limited in places) and/or hand-held PLB (Personal Locator Beacon).
Walkers should ensure they carry at least one type of emergency communication device. A Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) is recommended but coverage may be variable. Be aware that these devices are not telephones, they emit a signal by which rescue crews can pinpoint your location. PLBs can be hired from various outlets. Before you leave, ensure you register your PLB.
Camping permits are required and fees apply. A tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.
To make the best of your walk, choose a time when walking is pleasant. The best time to walk this Great Walk is between March and October.
Both Lamington and Springbrook plateaus are on average 5°C cooler than the adjacent lowland—even in summer. Even so, summer temperatures can reach 36°C, especially on exposed ridges, so bring a hat and wear sunscreen even on cloudy days. In winter, these plateaus experience below 0°C. Nights are frosty and the days brisk. Temperatures within the rainforest can drop to 4°C.
Weather conditions can change suddenly and it is advisable to carry a raincoat and warm clothing at all times of the year. Expect damp to wet track conditions if walking between December and March—the plateaus’ wet season. The average yearly rainfall for Springbrook is 3000mm and Lamington 1800mm.
Numinbah Valley’s annual rainfall is around 1400mm, the majority of it falling during the hot, humid summer months. Temperatures in the valley can rise to a maximum of 38°C in summer, while during the clear, crisp winters can drop to below 0°C.
Check weather conditions a day or two before leaving, weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.
Be aware! During extreme weather events such as flooding, access to both Natural Bridge and Purling Brook on the Springbrook plateau may be closed. Please ensure you check park alerts before you visit this park.
Fuel and supplies are available at Canungra, Mudgeeraba and Nerang. There is no fuel available on Lamington or Springbrook plateaus. Restaurants, take-away shops and cafes are located on Lamington and Springbrook plateaus.
Public pay phones are located at Green Mountains (O’Reilly) and Binna Burra and the townships of Springbrook and Numinbah.
- Track closure - Purling Brook Falls circuit including Springbrook section of the 'Great Walk' track 27 September 2022 to 31 March 2023
- Annual closure period for all Lamington bush camping areas 1 December 2022 to 31 January 2023
- If it's flooded, forget it - even on our tracks and trails. 23 September 2022 to 31 March 2023