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About Lamington

Getting there and getting around

Walking is the only way to see the park's many natural features. Photo: Lightcapturer, Queensland Government

Walking is the only way to see the park's many natural features. Photo: Lightcapturer, Queensland Government

Lamington National Park is made up of two sections—Green Mountains and Binna Burra. Green Mountains section is located on the western side of the Lamington Plateau in an area called O'Reilly.

Getting to Green Mountains (O'Reilly)

From Broadbeach, drive 40km to Canungra via Nerang. From the north, take Pacific Motorway exit 34 to Beenleigh, route 92 to Tamborine, and route 90 to Canungra. The 36km winding and often narrow bitumen road from Canungra requires care and takes at least 50min. This road is unsuitable for recreational vehicles (RVs) longer than 4m and vehicles towing caravans and camper trailers.

Getting to Binna Burra

Allow 70min from Broadbeach. Drive 38km to Beechmont via Nerang. From the north, take Pacific Motorway exit 69 and follow the signs west to Lamington National Park—Binna Burra. The final 1.8km of the drive is very narrow and winding.

There are many commercial tour operators that conduct tours to Lamington National Park. See the tourism information links for further details.

There is no public transport to the park and getting taxis and ride share operators to pick up from the park can be difficult.

Wheelchair accessibility

There are wheelchair-accessible toilet facilities at the day-use area in both the Green Mountains and Binna Burra sections of Lamington National Park. Binna Burra section also has wheelchair-accessible picnic tables.

At Green Mountains there are two wheelchair-accessible walking tracks. The Centenary track is a 900m universal access track, and the first 700m of the Border Track is accessible for wheelchairs with assistance.

Park features

Chalahn Falls, Toolona Creek circuit. Photo: Ben Edmonds Photography.

Chalahn Falls, Toolona Creek circuit. Photo: Ben Edmonds Photography.

Declared in 1915, Lamington National Park covers 21,176ha and boasts extensive walking tracks along the McPherson Range, which allow visitors to explore the area's forests, creeks and waterfalls.

Dramatic lookouts in Lamington afford views over the Gold Coast, south-east Queensland and northern New South Wales.

Lamington is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, which includes the most extensive areas of subtropical rainforest in the world, most of the world's warm temperate rainforest and nearly all of the Antarctic beech Nothofagus moorei cool temperate rainforest.

Camping and accommodation

Green Mountains camping area has tent and campervan sites. Photo: Adam Creed, Queensland Government.

Green Mountains camping area has tent and campervan sites. Photo: Adam Creed, Queensland Government.

Camping

Visitors are advised that the Green Mountains camping area is temporarily closed and will reopen in late 2020. The site will remain closed while works are being completed as part of the Green Mountains Camping Area Ecotourism Revitalisation Project.

Remote bush camping is available in Lamington National Park. To camp in the national park a permit is required and bookings must be made in advance. Fees apply.

Read Things to know before you go for information about essentials to bring when camping in Lamington National Park.

Please read and follow the guidelines for staying safe and for walking softly in the park and minimise your impact.

Other accommodation

There is alternative accommodation neighbouring the park at two world-renown ecolodges—O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat and Binna Burra Mountain Lodge. There's also a wide range of holiday accommodation in and around Canungra, Beechmont and other towns in the Gold Coast hinterland. If you are towing a caravan, a camper trailer or traveling in a recreational vehicle (RVs) longer than 4m, please book accommodation that suits your mode of transport.

For more information see the tourism information links below.

Things to do

With approximately 130km of walking tracks, it is easy to get away from it all and discover the natural wonders of this World Heritage park. Photo: Nicholas Hil, Queensland Government.

With approximately 130km of walking tracks, it is easy to get away from it all and discover the natural wonders of this World Heritage park. Photo: Nicholas Hil, Queensland Government.

Enjoy spectacular views from the many lookouts and natural viewpoints in Lamington National Park. Photo: Lightcapturer, Queensland Government.

Enjoy spectacular views from the many lookouts and natural viewpoints in Lamington National Park. Photo: Lightcapturer, Queensland Government.

Lamington plays a vital role in protecting a rich diversity of globally significant wildlife, such as the Richmond birdwing butterfly Ornithoptera richmondia. Photo: Queensland Museum.

Lamington plays a vital role in protecting a rich diversity of globally significant wildlife, such as the Richmond birdwing butterfly Ornithoptera richmondia. Photo: Queensland Museum.

Explore ancient forests, enjoy spectacular views, encounter exceptional wildlife and admire waterfalls galore. An extensive walking track network allows visitors to discover all the grandeur of this World Heritage listed national park!

Walking

Explore the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area by walking one of Australia’s best walking track networks, with approximately 130km of formed tracks. Both Green Mountains and Binna Burra sections of the park offer a range of walking opportunities for visitors of all fitness levels and bushwalking experience.

The Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk can either start or finish at the Green Mountains section of the park. For those interested in undertaking this challenging 54km walk, please visit the walk's web page and read the details to plan your Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk.

Lamington National Park walking tracks

Before walking in Lamington National Park we recommend you please have a copy of the Lamington National Park Discovery Guide (PDF, 5.3M) from the either of the park's information centre.

Key to track standards

Tracks are classified according to the Australian Walking Track Grading System which is based on Australian Standards. Please note that while each track is classified according to its most difficult section, other sections may be of an easier level.

Class 1 walking trackGrade 1 walking track
  • Flat, even surface with no steps. Clearly sign-posted.
  • Suitable for wheelchairs with assistance.
Class 2 walking trackGrade 2 walking track
  • Formed track. May have gentle hills and some steps.
  • All junctions sign-posted and may include interpretive signs.
  • No previous bushwalking experience required.
Class 3 walking trackGrade 3 walking track
  • Formed track. May have short steep hill sections, a rough surface and many steps.
  • Reasonable level of fitness required and some bushwalking experience recommended.
Class 4 walking trackGrade 4 walking track
  • Rough track. May be long and very steep with few directional signs.
  • May be overgrown, expect hazards such as fallen trees and slippery rocks.
  • Moderate fitness level with previous experience and ankle-supporting footwear is strongly recommended.
Class 5 walking trackGrade 5 walking track
  • Unformed track. Very rough and steep.
  • No signs or markers provided, except where necessary to reduce environmental damage.
  • High level of fitness, extensive bushwalking experience, first-aid skills, good navigational skills, ankle-supporting footwear, relevant topographic maps and compass are essential.

Where necessary additional advice regarding any track classification variations will be provided on this webpage.

Walking tracks at a glance

Choose from the many short walks or full day walks available, ensure you pick the walk that best suits the fitness and experience of your group—it will make the world of difference.

Allow 15 to 20min to walk 1km. This time is calculated for people of average fitness and bushwalking experience and who are wearing correct footwear. Walking times are calculated on the time it takes to walk to the destination and return. Please allow longer when walking with children or those less fit. Allow extra time to rest and soak in the landscape and spectacular views.

  • Platform lookout: this indicates a lookout with a built platform and handrails.
  • Natural lookout: this indicates a lookout with no built structure or handrails. Please keep away from the edge and supervise children at all times. Take extra care when using binoculars or cameras at these sites!
Short walks from Green Mountains at a glance
Accessed from  Track name  Classification  Distance return (time)  Platform lookout  Natural lookout 
Python Rock and Morans Falls trailhead Centenary track Class 1 walking trackGrade 1 1.8km (30min)  -  -
Green Mountains trailhead  Rainforest return  Class 2 walking trackGrade 2  1.4km (30min)  -  -
Python Rock and Morans Falls trailhead  Python Rock track  Class 3 walking trackGrade 3  3.1km (1hr)   Yes   -
Python Rock and Morans Falls trailhead Morans Falls track Class 4 walking trackGrade 4   4.4km (1.5hr)  Yes  -
Full-day walks from Green Mountains at a glance
Accessed from Track name Classification Distance return (time) Platform lookout Natural lookout

Green Mountains trailhead

Box Forest circuit Class 4 walking trackGrade 4 10.9km (4hr) - -
Green Mountains trailhead  West Canungra Creek circuit Class 4 walking trackGrade 4 13.9km (5.5hr) - -
Green Mountains trailhead  Toolona Creek circuit Class 4 walking trackGrade 4 17.4km (6hr) - -
Green Mountains trailhead Albert River circuit Class 4 walking trackGrade 4 21.8km (7hr) - Yes
Green Mountains trailhead to Binna Burra trailhead Border Track Class 4 walking trackGrade 4 21.4km one way (add 600m for the Mount Merino track) (7hr) - Yes
Short walks from Binna Burra at a glance
Accessed from Track name Classification Distance return (time) Platform lookout Natural lookout
Binna Burra trailhead Rainforest circuit Class 2 walking trackGrade 2 1.2km (30min) - -
Binna Burra trailhead Tullawallal circuit Class 3 walking trackGrade 3 5km (1.5hr) - -
Binna Burra trailhead Caves circuit Class 4 walking trackGrade 4 5km (1.5hr) - Yes
Lower picnic area trailhead Gwongoorool track Class 4 walking trackGrade 4 6km (2hr) - -
Full-day walks from Binna Burra at a glance
Accessed from Track name Classification Distance return (time) Platform lookout Natural lookout

Binna Burra trailhead

Daves Creek circuit Class 4 walking trackGrade 4 12km (4hr) - Yes
Saddle trailhead Lower Bellbird circuit Class 4 walking trackGrade 4 12km (4hr) - Yes
Binna Burra trailhead Coomera circuit Class 4 walking trackGrade 4 17.4km (7hr) Yes -
Binna Burra trailhead Araucaria lookout track Class 4 walking trackGrade 4 17.8km (7hr) - Yes
Binna Burra trailhead Wagawn track Class 4 walking trackGrade 4 18km (8hr) - Yes
Binna Burra trailhead Mount Hobwee circuit Class 4 walking trackGrade 4 18.2km (8hr) - Yes
Saddle trailhead Ships Stern circuit Class 4 walking trackGrade 4 21km (8hr) - Yes
Lower picnic area trailhead Illinbah circuit Class 5 walking trackGrade 5 16.6km (8hr) - -
Binna Burra trailhead to Green Mountains trailhead Border Track Class 4 walking trackGrade 4 21.4km one way (add 600m for the Mount Merino track) (7hr) - Yes

Short walks in Green Mountains

(Distances and walking times are measured from the trailhead and return.)

Class 1 walking trackCentenary track (Grade 1)

Distance: 1.8km return

Time: Allow about 30min walking time

Details: This track leaves from the Python Rock and Morans Falls trailhead. Slowly ascend through an aromatic subtropical rainforest and tall hoop pine forest to the northern end of the Green Mountains car park. This track is often scattered with the bright-red fruit of the southern satinash and yellow citrus-smelling lemon aspen fruit. Bench seating spaced along the track offers excellent opportunities to sit and watch the vibrant birdlife. Look for regent and satin bowerbirds darting through the branches, logrunners foraging on fallen tree trunks and Albert’s lyrebirds scratching in the leaf litter.

Class 2 walking trackRainforest return (Grade 2)

Distance: 1.4km return

Time: Allow about 30min walking time

Details: From the Green Mountains trailhead, follow the Border Track through rainforest for 700m. The large boulders just past the entrance are a good example of how exposed basalt eventually decomposes by a weathering process (exfoliation) into spherical boulder shapes. ‘Walk back in time’ signs along the track take you on a journey through 23 million years of Lamington’s geological history. This walk offers excellent birdwatching opportunities. Watch for yellow-throated scrubwrens and logrunners among the leaf litter.

Class 3 walking trackPython Rock track (Grade 3)

Distance: 3.1km return

Time: Allow about 1hr walking time

Details: From the Python Rocks and Morans Falls trailhead, wander through a closed rainforest community where curved buttress roots rise from the ground and booyong and fig trees tower overhead. Then pass into an open eucalypt forest where fire-adapted species such as grass trees, hakeas and various wildflowers grow. Python Rock lookout provides views of Morans Falls, Castle Crag and Mount Razorback. Views from the lookout highlight the geological processes of erosion, including valley widening and escarpment formation.

The guttural 'popping' of the masked mountain frog Kyarranus loveridgei can be heard on wet or moist days in late spring and summer. These ancient frogs are members of the Gondwanan family commonly known as southern frogs.

Class 4 walking trackMorans Falls track (Grade 4)

Distance: 4.4km return

Time: Allow about 1.5hr walking time

Details: From the Python Rock and Morans Falls trailhead, walk through subtropical rainforest featuring twisted vines and bird’s nest ferns to Morans Falls lookout. From the constructed lookout, enjoy spectacular views of Morans Falls tumbling 80m into Morans Creek gorge. Follow the track over a crystal-clear creek to Morans Clearing lookout and take in sweeping vistas over the Albert River valley towards Mount Lindsey and Mount Barney in the distance.

Layers of ancient volcanic lava flows are also visible, the more resistant have formed small cliff-lines along the valley.

Full-day walks in Green Mountains

(Distances and walking times are measured from the trailhead and return.)

Class 4 walking trackBox Forest circuit (Grade 4)

Distance: 10.9km return

Time: Allow about 4hr walking time

Details: From the Green Mountain trailhead, follow the Border Track for 3.2km and then branch off onto the Toolona Creek circuit and finally onto the Box Forest circuit track. Head anticlockwise through rainforest and past impressive stands of smooth, pink-barked brush box Lophostemon confertus and a few Antarctic beech trees. Similar brush box in other parts of the World Heritage area have been radiocarbon-dated at 1,500 years, making these giants the oldest ever carbon-dated trees on Australia's mainland.

Stop at Picnic Rock to listen to the cascading creek before reaching the photo-worthy Elabana Falls. Return the way you came or walk the whole circuit and be rewarded with views of many other picturesque waterfalls. If you intend walking this entire circuit, walk in a clockwise direction and exit via Elabana Falls and Picnic Rock.

Class 4 walking trackWest Canungra Creek circuit (Grade 4)

Due to gradient, we recommend you walk this circuit clockwise.

Distance: 13.9km return

Time: Allow about 5.5hr walking time

Details: From the Green Mountains trailhead, follow the Border Track for about 600m before branching off onto the West Canungra Creek circuit track. Descend past Darraboola Falls, through lush rainforest dotted with red cedar Toona ciliate, to the tranquil waters of 'Yerralahla' (blue pool) and West Canungra Creek. Follow the creek for most of its length, crossing it several times. The circuit exits via the Box Forest circuit.

You might be surprised by the hissing and snapping of bright blue Lamington spiny crayfish. Lookout for snakes basking on the sun-dappled track or rocks near the creek. On overcast summer days, leaf-tailed geckos may be seen along this circuit. This gecko is endemic to the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. Fossilised ancestors of this species from over 20 million years ago have been found in the World Heritage-listed Australian Fossil Mammal sites (Riversleigh).

Warning: take care at creek crossing as they may be difficult to navigate, especially after rain, and the track might not be obvious in places. Look for orange directional arrows at the creek crossings to navigate the circuit. Check track conditions with a ranger before you leave. Also, eels inhabit the West Canungra Creek. They bite when threatened and injuries have occurred.

Class 4 walking trackToolona Creek circuit (Grade 4)

We recommend walking this circuit clockwise.

Distance: 17.4km return

Time: Allow about 6hr walking time

Details: From the Green Mountain trailhead, walk along the Border Track for 3.2km and then branch off onto the Toolona Creek circuit. Follow the circuit beside Toolona Creek and enjoy the cool spray from the many waterfalls—such as Chalahn and Toolona falls—as you journey up through Toolona Gorge to emerge on the Border Track near Wanungara lookout. The narrow Toolona Gorge creates a protected, moist and shady refuge for many ancient flowering rainforest plants. The giant king fern Todea barbara is a relict of one of the oldest fern families, Osmundaceae, evolving even before Gondwana formed.

The return trip via the Border Track passes Mount Bithongabel. Many large clumps of Antarctic beech Nothofagus moorei trees are found in the area.

Class 4 walking trackAlbert River circuit (Grade 4)

We recommend walking this circuit anticlockwise.

Distance: 21.8km return

Time: Allow about 7hr walking time

Details: From the Green Mountains trailhead, walk the Border Track for 5km before branching off onto the Albert River circuit track. Wind down through forests of Antarctic beech to a lush rainforest gully featuring Echo Falls. Follow a branch of the Albert River upstream to Echo Point lookout to enjoy panoramic views of Mount Wupawn to Mount Durigan on the McPherson Range and south to the Tweed Range. These peaks are all part of the erosion caldera that surrounds Mount Warning, once a central volcanic plug. Traditional owners of the Bundjalang language group call this mighty plug 'Wollumbin' (Cloud-catcher).

The circuit continues east along the Queensland—New South Wales border to Cominan lookout and then turns north-west to connect back up with the Border Track. In September when the beech orchids Dendrobium falcorostrum are flowering, this circuit takes on a particular charm, with the delicate orchids contrasting with the massive trunks to which they cling.

Full-day walks accessible from both Binna Burra and Green Mountains

Class 4 walking trackBorder Track (Grade 4)

Distance: 21.4km return one way only

Time: Allow about 7hr walking time

Details: The Border Track is the backbone of the Lamington walking track system, with most walks radiating from it. The track is also a section of the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk. This track connects the Binna Burra and Green Mountains sections of Lamington National Park, passing through warm and cool subtropical, and warm and cool temperate rainforest. These varied rainforest communities contain many ancient families of flowering plants—the bolwarra family Eupomatiacea, pepperbush Winteraceae, laurels Lauraceae, lillypillies Myrtaceae, and the southern beech Fagaceae.

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.

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.

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.

Short walks in Binna Burra

(Distances and walking times are measured from the trailhead and return.)

Class 2 walking trackRainforest circuit (Grade 2)

Distance: 1.2km return

Time: Allow about 30min walking time

Details: 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.

Class 3 walking trackTullawallal circuit (Grade 3)

We recommend walking this circuit clockwise.

Distance: 5km return

Time: Allow about 1.5hr walking time

Details: Visit the most accessible cool temperate rainforest in Lamington and the closest patch of this forest type to Binna Burra. From the Binna Burra trailhead follow the Border Track for 1.9km, then branch right at the track junction onto Tullawallal circuit and follow a short sidetrack to Tullawallal.

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 Tullawallal, return to the track junction, turn right and continue along the Loop track back to Binna Burra trailhead.

Class 4 walking trackCaves circuit (Grade 4)

We recommend walking this anticlockwise and returning via the same track.

Distance: 5km return

Time: Allow about 1.5hr walking time

Details: 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.

Pass Kweebani Cave, a large red cedar and fine specimens of other rainforest tree species. Stop at Collins chair to take in excellent views into the Coomera Valley. 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.

Warning: 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. Please return to the start of the track via the same path to avoid walking beside the bitumen road to complete the circuit. Traffic can be busy, especially on weekends.

Class 4 walking trackGwongoorool track (Grade 4)

Distance: 6km return

Time: Allow about 2hr walking time

Details: 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.

Warning: eels inhabit the Coomera River. They bite when threatened and injuries have occurred.

Full-day walks in Binna Burra

(Distances and walking times are measured from the trailhead and return.)

Class 4 walking trackLower Bellbird circuit (Grade 4)

We recommend walking this anticlockwise and returning via the same track.

Distance: 12km return

Time: Allow about 4hr walking time

Details: The Lower Bellbird circuit track branches off the Ships Stern circuit 3.7km from the Saddle trailhead. 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.

This track forms part of the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk, arrow markers indicate the route. If you are walking the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk please ensure you have a copy of the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk Topographic Map.

Warning: take care if walking beside the bitumen road to complete the circuit, or if accessing the Caves circuit, especially on weekends when traffic is busy. If you choose to return via the Caves circuit it adds 2km to the walk.

Class 4 walking trackDaves Creek circuit (Grade 4)

We recommend walking this circuit clockwise.

Distance: 12km return

Time: Allow about 4hr walking time

Details: To see a fascinating variety of forest and heath, head off from the Binna Burra trailhead along the Border Track for 2.3km before branching onto the Daves Creek circuit track. 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 with giant New England ash Eucalyptus campanulata, around the track intersection to the Ships Stern circuit.

Class 4 walking trackCoomera circuit (Grade 4)

Distance: 17.4km return

Time: Allow about 7hr walking time

Details: 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.

Class 4 walking trackAraucaria lookout track (Grade 4)

Distance: 17.8km return

Time: Allow about 7hr walking time

Details: 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.

Class 4 walking trackWagawn track (Grade 4)

Distance: 18km return

Time: Allow about 8hr walking time

Details: 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).

Only after naturally occurring events such as severe wildfires or storms are there uninterrupted views of Springbrook, the Tweed Valley and 'Wollumbin' (Mount Warning) from Wagawn. In the interim years the view may be interrupted by natural regrowth. 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. 

Class 4 walking trackMount Hobwee circuit (Grade 4)

We recommend walking this circuit clockwise.

Distance: 18.2km return

Time: Allow about 8hr walking time

Details: 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.

The circuit rejoins the Border Track for the return to the Binna Burra trailhead.

Class 4 walking trackShips Stern circuit (Grade 4)

We recommend walking this circuit clockwise.

Distance: 21km return

Time: Allow about 8hr walking time

Details: 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.

Class 5 walking trackIllinbah circuit (Grade 5)

This circuit requires a high degree of fitness and experience.

Distance: 16.6km return

Time: Allow about 8hr walking time

Details: 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, 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.

Remote bushwalking

Lamington National Park offers some of the most spectacular remote area bushwalking opportunities in the Gold Coast hinterland. The extremely rugged mountain terrain can be hazardous for inexperienced or poorly prepared walkers. A high level of physical fitness and navigational skills are essential.

Walkers should familiarise themselves with the area before attempting an extended or remote walk.

Contact us for assistance with route advice and other detailed information. Established bushwalking clubs with experienced off-track walkers regularly organise trips to Lamington National Park. Guidebooks covering most walks are available from specialist camping stores and some bookshops.

Remote area walking is only advised in the cooler weather, usually April to September. Walking during summer can be very hazardous due to high temperatures and lack of surface water.

All remote bushwalkers are expected to follow the minimal impact bushwalking and bush camping practices, such as observing proper sanitation and hygiene methods and avoiding polluting water in any way.

Guided tours and talks

Commercially operated tours are available within the park. For further information see the tourism information links.

Picnic and day-use areas

The main picnic area at Green Mountains (O'Reilly) has toilets, tables and three electric barbecues. Lamington is popular for day visits, so expect crowded conditions in the picnic area during weekends and holiday seasons. Come prepared with your own seating and a fuel stove.

Binna Burra section has a small picnic area (Lower picnic area) and toilet located near the national park's information centre, on the right-hand side of the road just after the park entrance sign. A larger picnic area (Binna Burra) with toilets, tables and electric barbecue facilities is located at the end of the Binna Burra Road next to the main track entrance.

Day visitors must bring their own rubbish bags as no bins are provided in the picnic areas and all rubbish (including food scraps and sanitary products) must be carried out of the park.

Those using human waste disposal kits or portable chemical toilets are to dispose of their waste in appropriate facilities off the mountain. Please do not empty these wastes into the hybrid toilets located on the park.

Viewing wildlife

On the park's many walking tracks you can walk beneath subtropical rainforest, ancient Antarctic beech trees, hoop pines, eucalypt forest and montane heath and also see some of the area's incredible variety of wildlife.

Listen for the whip-cracking call of the eastern whipbird, and see the brilliant red and blue colours of the crimson rosella or the magnificent green and red of the Australian king-parrot. The regent bowerbird, with its brilliant black and gold colouring, is frequently seen foraging around rainforest trees for fruits, insects and spiders. The Albert's lyrebird is often encountered along the rainforest tracks in the cooler months. Listen for the male's extraordinary song, which incorporates imitations of sounds from nature and, sometimes, human activities.

Look for harmless shiny black land mullets—the largest known skink. You may even be lucky to spy a carpet python basking in the sun.

In the picnic areas, red-necked pademelons are commonly seen early morning and late afternoon foraging on grass. Mountain brushtail possums (bobucks), with their dense black fur, are usually seen in rainforest trees at night.

  • For more details about Lamington's diverse wildlife, see the description of the park's natural environment.

Things to know before you go

Sturdy footwear can make all the difference to a day's walk. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

Sturdy footwear can make all the difference to a day's walk. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

Carry the park's guide which includes detailed walking track information. Photo: Lightcapturer, Queensland Government.

Carry the park's guide which includes detailed walking track information. Photo: Lightcapturer, Queensland Government.

Essentials to bring

Always be prepared, even on half-day walks, and use sound judgment while visiting and walking in Lamington National Park.

  • Take warm clothing and raincoats, as weather can change quickly at any time of the year.
  • Wear sensible footwear—boots or strong shoes.
  • Wear a hat and apply sunscreen to prevent sunburn.
  • Carry adequate drinking water, a fuel stove to boil creek water for drinking and/or chemical tables to treat creek water.
  • Take a torch and some extra food.
  • Always pack a first-aid kit and first-aid manual. Learn first-aid procedures.
  • Carry the park's guide that includes detailed walking track information (obtained from the park information centres).
  • Bring your camera and binoculars for viewing wildlife. A torch, preferably with a red filter to protect animals' eyes, is useful for spotlighting at night.

A topographic map and compass are essential for any off-track walking and a GPS, EPIRB (or PLB) are highly recommended, but know how to use them!

Day visitors must also bring their own rubbish bags as no bins are provided in the picnic areas and all rubbish (including food scraps and bagged sanitary products) must be carried out.

Essential to know

Lamington National Park has areas of fragile geology, high numbers of endemic, rare and threatened species and sites of significant indigenous cultural value. These are some of the reasons some activities are restricted and/or not permitted in the park.

  • Abseiling and other cliff-based activities are restricted.
  • Mountain-bike riding is not permitted.
  • High impact recreational events or large group activities require a permit.

Restricted access areas

Egg Rock (Kurraragin) is identified as a significant Aboriginal area under the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003 and is a restricted access area (PDF, 138K).

Snake Ridge (PDF, 80K) and East Mount Gipps (PDF, 110K) are restricted access areas for the protection of the endangered eastern bristlebird and Hastings River mouse.

Drones

Flying drones in national parks can affect visitors' experience and privacy, disturb wildlife and impact First Nations peoples' cultural heritage. If you choose to use a drone recreationally you must ensure it is operated in a manner that does not cause a nuisance to other park users or interfere with wildlife or cultural heritage, and you must follow all of Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) rules and regulations. You can be fined for breaking the rules. Commercial drone use in the park requires a permit—contact the Assessments and Approvals Team via .  

No swimming

Swimming in the World Heritage area is discouraged.

  • Waterways can be polluted by sunscreens, insect repellents, perfumes and personal hygiene products—harming the pristine aquatic ecosystems and associated wildlife.
  • Swimming negatively impacts the outstanding universal values of the World Heritage area.
  • Disturbing or removing rocks and trampling creek bank vegetation can cause erosion and harm breeding sites for aquatic wildlife.

For more information on how to protect our natural waterways, see looking after the park.

Opening hours

Lamington National Park is open 24 hours a day. The park’s two information centres are opened during the weekends pending availability of volunteers.

Green Mountains park office is open Monday to Friday from 8.00 am to 3.30 pm (park duties permitting).

Binna Burra park office is open Monday to Friday from 7.30 am to 4.00 pm (park duties permitting).

Permits and fees

All remote bush camping areas within Lamington National Park require a camping permit and fees apply. Permits must be booked online and a camp site tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site. Remember: camping fees must be lodged before camping overnight—fines apply for camping without a permit.

All bush camping sites are closed between 1 December and 31 January the following year.

For more details, see the camping information page.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in Lamington National Park.

Climate and weather

Lamington is considered to be on average 5°C cooler than Brisbane. Extreme winter temperatures can get below 0°C. Frosts can occur.

The park receives an average of approximately 1,600mm of rainfall per year. The wet season is typically from November through to March.

Visitors familiar with Lamington National Park tend to appreciate walking in winter as the fine weather makes views less hazy, rain is usually minimal and leeches uncommon.

For more information see the tourism information links below.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available at Canungra and Nerang. No fuel is available on Lamington Plateau. For more information see the tourism information links below.

Frequently asked questions

For more information, please read the frequently asked questions.

Staying safe

Be prepared. Walk with friends, keep to the tracks and always carry water, torch, first-aid kit and a map. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

Be prepared. Walk with friends, keep to the tracks and always carry water, torch, first-aid kit and a map. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

Lamington National Park is a wild place with hidden dangers for the unwary visitor. Be careful and don't take risks. It is vital to pay close attention to signs that warn of local dangers. Follow these tips and use common sense to stay safe in Lamington National Park.

Water safety

Entering the waterways in Lamington National Park can be harmful to both yourself and the environment. 

  • Never dive or jump into the water as it may be shallow or hide submerged obstructions.
  • Spinal cord injuries such as quadriplegia and paraplegia are some of the serious results from either jumping or diving into creeks. People who have injured their spines through jumping or diving into water often drown.
  • Crossings waterways can be hazardous during and after heavy rain, and should not be attempted when the waterway is in flood.

Walking

  • Be prepared, even on short walks, and judge your ability and conditions carefully before setting out. Do not expect to be warned of every possible danger.
  • If walking at night, please exercise caution and ensure you have sufficient lighting. We do not recommend walking at night.
  • Before setting out on long walks, leave a copy of your bushwalking plans with a friend, relative, reliable person or place of accommodation. This person has the sole responsibility of contacting police if you are overdue. The plans should include:
    • your name, address, number of people in your party, ages and any medical conditions;
    • vehicle registration, make, model, colour and parking location;
    • the route you are taking, expected times of departure and return.
  • Rescue and medical help can be hours away—even by helicopter. Remember that a search and rescue is costly, endangers people's lives and can damage the environment.
  • Leave plenty of time to reach your destination. Do not attempt long walks after midday.
  • Take care near cliff edges, at lookouts, on rocks and near waterfalls, especially in wet weather. Never stand on cliff edges while looking through a camera or binoculars. Many tracks have steep drop-offs beside them, so walk carefully. Keep children under close supervision—a steep drop-off may be just around the corner.
  • Keep to the walking tracks where provided and take care on rocks, as they may be slippery. If you leave the national park's walking track system you are fully responsible for your actions and safety.
  • Walk with a recognised bushwalking club. This is a good way to gain experience.
  • Walk with one or more friends. At least one member of each party should be a competent map-reader and bushwalker.
  • Learn map and compass skills. Recommended maps for bushwalking are 1:25,000 topographic maps. It is also advisable to carry a recognised bushwalking guidebook for the area.
  • Carry sufficient water and food as well as a first-aid kit.

Wildlife

  • Eels inhabit many of the park's pools and streams. Disturbing them by wading or sitting in these water bodies may result in a quick, sharp bite. Some bleeding may occur. Have a first-aid kit handy to treat the bite.
  • Check yourself and children daily for ticks, often found in body creases. Follow the recommended method for tick removal.
  • Leeches are common in wetter areas. Insect repellent on your socks helps keep them away. Remove them by pushing with your fingernail where they have attached. Some bleeding after removal is normal due to the anticoagulant in the leech bite, but there are usually no ill effects apart from an itchy bite-mark.
  • Stinging trees (recognisable by their very large, round leaves) can deliver an extremely painful sting—do not touch their leaves including dead ones.
  • Venomous snakes live in the park, so watch for snakes on the path, and wait for them to move away. Never pick up, disturb or try to kill a snake. Carry elastic bandages in case of snakebite, and know the correct first-aid procedure.

In an emergency

In case of accident or other emergency please:

  • call Triple Zero (000)
  • call 106 for a text-only message for deaf or speech or hearing impaired callers
  • advise your location and nature of the emergency
  • stay on the phone until you are told to hang up.

The nearest hospitals are located at Beaudesert, Robina and Southport on the Gold Coast. Mobile phone coverage is not reliable. Depending on your mobile phone provider you can often get a signal near lookouts.

For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

Looking after the park

Remember to pack zip-lock bags so you can take your rubbish home. Photo: Adam Creed, Queensland Government.

Remember to pack zip-lock bags so you can take your rubbish home. Photo: Adam Creed, Queensland Government.

Prevent the spread of pathogens, clean walking boots and camping equipment before and after visiting Lamington National Park. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

Prevent the spread of pathogens, clean walking boots and camping equipment before and after visiting Lamington National Park. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

Use pathogen control stations at track entrances. Photo: Sergio Norambuena, Queensland Government.

Use pathogen control stations at track entrances. Photo: Sergio Norambuena, Queensland Government.

The natural beauty of Lamington National Park attracts thousands of people to the area, but high visitor numbers create many pressures. Litter, erosion caused by shortcutting tracks, damage to vegetation and disturbance to wildlife all threaten nature's delicate existence.

You can help protect the park by:

Guidelines

  • please leave all plants and animals undisturbed
  • please do not feed the wildlife. Feeding native animals may cause poor health and sometimes death.
  • use toilets if available. Away from toilets, take care with sanitation and hygiene and don't pollute natural water supplies. Ensure all faecal matter and toilet paper is properly buried (15cm deep) well away from tracks, camp sites and 100m from all watercourses and drainage channels (carry a small trowel for this purpose). Bag and carry out disposable nappies and sanitary products.
  • wash away from streams, gullies and watercourses, as all detergents, soaps, sunscreens and toothpastes pollute water and damage aquatic life.
  • take your rubbish home. Minimal impact bushwalkers take great care to avoid leaving any rubbish. Remember—pack it in, pack it out. This includes all food scraps, scraps of foil, sweet’s wrappers and cigarette butts.
  • keep to the walking tracks where provided, don't shortcut, and take care near cliff edges.

Fuel stoves only

No open fires are allowed in the park; fuel stoves must be used. This is because of;

  • the possibility of pathogens, fire ants and cane toadlets being bought into the park from introduced firewood
  • the importance of fallen and dead timber (as homes for insects, reptiles and small mammals and in returning nutrients to the soil)
  • the danger of starting wildfires
  • damage caused by people trampling as they gather wood.

Pathogens

Stop the spread of pathogens (disease producing organisms such as phytophthora, myrtle rust and amphibian chytrid fungus). Soil and detritus can contain pathogens such as fungal spores that are harmful to the forest and frogs.

  • Keep to designated roads and walking tracks at all times.
  • Start and finish you bushwalk with clean footwear and camping gear by removing soil from footwear, camping spade or trowel and tent pegs before leaving an area and keep all gear as clean and free from soil as possible during the walk.
  • Please clean and disinfect your footwear and camping equipment using a disinfectant either at home or before visiting the park. Use pathogen control stations located at track entrances in the park.
  • Watch the Stop the spread of weeds and pathogens web clip for more information.

Please refer to the Green Mountains and Binna Burra section maps for locations of these pathogen control stations.

Be frog friendly

Lamington's waterways provide important habitats for a number of endangered or vulnerable species, particularly frogs. Please help protect these sensitive habitats by following the guidelines below.

  • Please do not disturb, handle or remove frogs, their eggs or tadpoles.
  • Do not use or discard, soap, detergent, shampoo, sunscreen, insect repellent or any other potential pollutant in creeks or along the banks.
  • Keep to walking tracks and cross directly where the track crosses the creek.
  • Please do not disturb or remove rocks or trample vegetation in or directly adjacent to creeks.

See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

Park management

Discover the story in stone that is Lamington National Park's unique history. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

Discover the story in stone that is Lamington National Park's unique history. Photo: Robert Ashdown, Queensland Government.

Lamington National Park is a reserve of international significance and is managed by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) under the Nature Conservation Act 1992, to preserve and present its remarkable natural and cultural values in perpetuity.

Lamington's outstanding geological history, evolutionary significance and role in nature conservation are recognised through its inclusion in the World Heritage listed Gondwana Rainforests of Australia. Management is in accordance with internationally recognised obligations under the World Heritage Convention.

For more information about the management of Lamington National Park, refer to the Lamington National Park Management Plan (PDF, 1.0M). Future planning for Lamington National Park will be developed under the Values Based Management Framework.

Tourism information links

Scenic Rim Regional Council Tourism Department
www.visitscenicrim.com.au
Email:

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.

Further information

Contact us

Last updated
13 March 2020