Hiking / National Parks

7 Favourite Lamington National Park Hikes

Lamington National Park (Woonoongoora) is on Yugambeh Country. I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of this area and their connection to Country, and pay my respects to their Elders past and present.

Located in the stunning Scenic Rim region and some two hours south of Brisbane, Lamington National Park is one of the oldest national parks in Queensland.

We return to this beautiful part of Queensland fairly regularly, with our most recent stay this May. Even after lots of visits, there are still some walks and places left to explore (or just to hike again 😊).

Lamington is a lush sub-tropical wonderland, full of waterfalls, ancient trees, fantastic views and delightful birds, with my all-time favourite, the Eastern whipbird, cracking his whip at every corner (or so it seems).

Press play to hear the whipbird cracking his whip. And it really does sound like that. Amazing.

Lamington National Park

Parts of the national park were terribly impacted in the 2019 bushfire season but it’s heartening to see that most of the park has reopened and places like the iconic tea house at Binna Burra have been restored.

In fact, Binna Burra Lodge has big plans for the Binna Burra section (though I’m not sure I love all of their ideas).


Like Gibraltar Range National Park, Main Range National Park and Springbrook National Park, Lamington National Park is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area.

Lamington National Park has two main sections: Green Mountains and Binna Burra. Both are accessed via different roads, and there is no road access between them.

If you look at a map, the sections are on parallel plateaus, with only the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk (Border Track) connecting the two.

To get from one to the other is time-consuming as you need to wind your way down one mountain plateau and into the valley, up the next valley and onto the mountain plateau. O’Reilly’s (Green Mountains section) does offer a one-way transfer option on weekends if you feel like walking from one section to the next as a day walk.

We usually choose one or the other, and don’t run back and forth between the two over the course of a weekend (but it’s possible, see below).

Waterfall along Coomera Circuit, Lamington National Park


Neither the Binna Burra nor the Green Mountains sections are hard to find.

If you’re coming from the Pacific Motorway (M1), head to Nerang and from there towards Canungra. To get to Binna Burra, turn off onto Binna Burra Road just before hitting Canungra.

The road to Green Mountains (Lamington National Park Road) starts in the heart of Canungra. Both are well-signed.

I always think we’re pretty much there when we get to Canungra but it takes another 30-40 minutes to get up to the mountain plateaus.

I tend to get a bit car-sick, and though scenic, the climb up to Green Mountains isn’t my favourite road in the world. It’s very windy and long (36km), and unsuitable for caravans and large camper trailers.


Lamington is great to visit for pretty much the whole year as it’s located high on a plateau.

It can be fairly wet and humid during the summer months, which is pretty much from October to March. But because you’re in the rainforest, it can still be pleasant for hiking even on hot days. Just make sure you leave early. If we’re there in the summer months, we usually start no later 6/6:30 am.

The real downside to visiting in the wet season (= summer) is the abundance of leeches. I’ve had plenty on me and I’m still no fan. Visit in the drier months if that applies to you as well.

In winter, it can be quite cold at night (~0°C) but lovely during the day (around 20°C). Winter also tends to be much drier, meaning waterfalls aren’t gushing as much but the paths are also far less muddy.


Unfortunately, there’s no national park camping area in either section of Lamington National Park anymore.

A few years ago, we camped in the national park camping area at Green Mountains but this has since been handed over to O’Reilly’s and has now become an eco-resort (with the accompanying price increase, much to my dismay).

Previous camping experience at Green Mountains (the campground is still there, it’s just no longer managed by Qld Parks)

So, if you want to camp in Lamington National Park, decide which section you want to see. A long weekend is ideal for exploring either section.


At Green Mountains, you can stay at O’Reilly’s Campground (or in one of the much fancier accommodation options), which opened a few years ago. Campsites start around $30 p/n but there are now kitchen facilities, hot showers, etc.

There are also powered sites now but remember that the road to Green Mountains is narrow and windy, and you can only tow very small camper trailers up there.


At Binna Burra, the situation is similar and you can book a site at Binna Burra Rainforest Campsite. Prices are similar to O’Reilly’s Campground, starting around $25 p/n for a fairly small campsite. There are also some powered sites and towing a caravan here is more much feasible as the road is nowhere near as narrow and with only the last two kilometres being somewhat windy.

There are only 6 or 7 tent sites at Binna Burra and they aren’t the most inviting spots I’ve ever seen but camping so close to various trailheads is hard to beat.

We have, however, stayed in their safari tents, and while they’re very basic (and slightly overpriced in my view), the valley views and the ease of getting to the trails are fantastic. I chose to pay extra to be able to select a specific safari tent, and I’m glad I chose one down the hill – the noise from the teahouse where people were having dinner both nights could be heard far and wide but somehow didn’t manage to reach us.

If you prefer not to traipse 100 m to the toilet in the night, you can stay at the sky lodges or the new adults-only fancy tiny houses at Binna Burra. Most of the heritage accommodation burnt down in the 2019/20 bushfires.


The other option is to stay in the valley around Canungra and then drive up to either section for the day. There are plenty of options, just google.

On one of our trips, we stayed at Greenlee Cottages on a working macadamia farm. Robyn and Paul were lovely hosts and even gave us a tour around the farm. We now know 100% more about macadamias than we did before! 🙂

We stayed in Silky Oak Cottage but next time I would choose Casuarina for more privacy (and no, the stay wasn’t sponsored, we just really enjoyed the farm setting).


Lamington National Park has an abundance of hiking trails, it’s really fabulous. There are walks for everyone, from short 700m toddler-friendly strolls, full-day 20km hikes to the 3-day Great Walk.

Jump ahead to:

Lamington National Park


Binna Burra has such an abundance of half-day/full-day walks that it takes a few visits to do them all. Most of them are fairly long hikes (i.e. 16+km) but there are a few shorter ones as well. Here are my favourites, in no particular order:



Distance: 12km loop
Difficulty: Medium
Time: 2.5-3 hours (QP says “4 hours walking time” but you really have to be dawdling for that)
Trailhead: Upper carpark at Binna Burra (off the Border Track)

Surprisingly, Daves Creek Circuit is not along Daves Creek but you do come across Picnic Creek and some fantastic viewpoints.

The first 2km are along the Border Track but then the trail branches off towards the Ship Stern Circuit.

Initially, the track goes through relatively dense rainforest but then opens up into dry eucalypt and woodland before revealing some stunning views into the Numinbah Valley. You may even glimpse the high-rise towers of the Gold Coast in the far distance!

Once you’ve dropped to the cliff section of the hike, the trail is suddenly surrounded by heath and scrub vegetation, which feels very coastal to me and always reminds me of Wilsons Prom in VIC. Quite possibly my favourite part of the walk.

Make sure you climb up Surprise Rock, the views from there are stunning!

Queensland National Parks recommends doing the walk clockwise but we usually do it anti-clockwise. To be honest, I’m not sure there’s much in it either way.



Distance:  17.4km loop
Difficulty: Medium
Time: 6-7 hours
Trailhead: Upper carpark at Binna Burra (off the Border Track)

We first did this hike years and years ago, and ended up running part of it as we had a plane to catch that night…

Coomera Circuit is probably one of the most popular hikes at Binna Burra, at least to Coomera Falls Lookout (about 7km return).

Past Coomera Falls, you hit one waterfall after another, and quite possibly get over seeing waterfalls at some stage, especially if you’re doing this hike in the wetter months.

Doing this hike at the end of the dry season (August/September) is obviously nowhere near as spectacular as when there’s been recent rain but you will be saved from being covered in leeches.

Since you’re chasing waterfalls on this track, there are a fair few creek crossings, most of them with big boulders to hop across. Some people find hiking poles helpful to navigate their path across, especially when there’s been a bit of rain.

If you’re doing this hike after heavy rain (or while it’s raining), expect leeches.

For most people, it’s a full-day walk so plan plenty of time and rest breaks.



Distance:  21km loop
Difficulty: Medium-Hard
Time: 7-8 hours
Trailhead: Upper carpark at Binna Burra (off the Border Track)

The Ships Stern Circuit is definitely one of the best Lamington National Park hikes but it is a long one. You’ll find waterfalls, lookouts and plenty of side tracks to turn this already long walk into an even longer one.

Yangahla Lookout, Lamington National Park
Early morning fog at Yangahla Lookout

I love how varied the Ships Stern Circuit is – you’ll get everything from lush rainforest in Nixon Valley (with strands of gorgeous piccabeen palms), dry eucalypt forest, steep cliffs, sprawling valley views, waterfalls, and more.

One word of caution, this track is notorious for being leech-central. I think I stopped counting when I hit 50 leeches on our most recent experience.


There are plenty of other hikes at Binna Burra. Here are a few options:

  • Tullawallal Circuit (medium 5km loop): A quick walk through the rainforest with a rather unspectacular end
  • Caves Circuit (medium 5km return): Explore Kweebani Cave with some stunning views along the way; one of my favourite short walks (minus the road section; tip: do the hike anti-clockwise and start with the road section, it’s much easier to walk down the road and watch out for cars than up)
  • Araucaria Lookout (medium 17.8km return): A couple of lookouts towards the Springbrook plateau with Mount Warning in the distance
  • Mount Hobwee Circuit (18.2km return): Not the most spectactular hike in Lamington National Park since there are no real views (especially at Mount Hobwee summit) but if you need some exercise and don’t want to meet anyone else, it’ll probably be all yours
Mount Hobwee Circuit, Lamington National Park
The rather unspectacular views from Mount Hobwee summit


Of the two sections, Green Mountains has the more family-friendly hikes compared to the longer Binna Burra walks.

Most of the walks involve some level of elevation change as you drop down to the creeks and hike up to the plateau and the Border Track again.

Except for the Albert River Circuit, we’ve done all the walks at Green Mountains, some more than once. Here are my faves:



Distance:  4.4km return
Difficulty: Easy-Medium
Time: 1-1.5 hour
Trailhead: Carpark along Lamington National Park Road (or take Centenary Trail from O’Reilly’s)

If you want a relatively short hike to a waterfall lookout, Morans Falls is great. Starting in the rainforest and following a gentle downhill, you’ll end up at a lookout with more or less clear views of Morans Falls.

From there you can hike across the creek, a great spot for scrambling towards the edge of the falls (but obviously be careful), and then get to the somewhat less exciting Morans Clearing Lookout.

You can make the hike a bit longer by adding the Centenary Track leg (0.9km one-way) from O’Reilly’s. Alternatively, drive to the lower carpark, just keep in mind that there aren’t a lot of parking spaces.



Distance:  10.9km loop
Difficulty: Medium
Time: 3-4 hours
Trailhead: Carpark at Green Mountains / O’Reilly’s (along the Border Track)

We’ve only done half of the Box Forest Circuit but it’s the pretty half with the impressive Box Log Falls and Elabana Falls.

The walk is through rainforest and ancient Antarctic beech trees so it’s a great choice on a warmer day.

The trail descends down to West Canungra Creek where you’ll find Elabana Falls (yes, climb over those massive boulders in the creek bed as otherwise you won’t see Elabana Falls) and Box Log Falls so expect some drop in elevation (but it’s not massive).

Box Log Fall



Distance:  13.9km loop
Difficulty: Medium
Time: 4.5-5.5 hours
Trailhead: Carpark at Green Mountains / O’Reilly’s (along the Border Track)

The West Canungra Circuit is a gorgeous hike through rainforest, past Yerralahla, the Blue Pool, and along West Canungra Creek and plenty of waterfalls.


The trail descends some 450 m initially but it’s a slow downhill rather than a steep descent and neither of us found it particularly challenging. But obviously, you’ll also have to climb up again at some point…

Like Box Forest Circuit, this trail is great for warmer weather as well as it’s pretty much in the forest the whole time. My favourite part is from hitting the pool and then following the creek for a few kilometres, very pretty and relaxing as you hike along the gurgling waters.

Just be prepared for plenty of creek crossings, one of which we had to take our shoes off as there was just no rock hopping possible.



Distance:  17.4km loop
Difficulty: Medium
Time: 6 hours
Trailhead: Carpark at Green Mountains / O’Reilly’s (along the Border Track)

The Toolona Creek Circuit delivers one waterfall after another so if you want to do some waterfall chasing at Green Mountains, this is your hike.

Initially, the track is the same as for the Box Forest Circuit but then branches off to follow Toolona Creek.

After a few more waterfalls, you hit the Border Track again (some 9.5km later) and turn south. From here, you actually walk along the Queensland-NSW border with a couple of lookouts south along the way. Most of them are overgrown now and the views aren’t as exciting as they could be.


Green Mountains is particularly popular for the O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk, which is more fun than amazing but it’s a great activity to do with kids.

Here are few other hiking options:

  • Rainforest Walk (easy 1.4km return): A quick interpretative stroll along a paved track through the rainforest close to O’Reilly’s
  • Centenary Track (easy 1.8km return): A paved track from O’Reilly’s to the trailhead of Morans Falls Track; I think it’s best combined with the Python Rock Track or Morans Falls Track
  • Python Rock Track (easy-medium 3.1km return): Starting at Morans Falls trailhead, the trail takes you down into the rainforest to Python Rock Lookout; great views over the surrounding mountain ranges with sunset basking the mountains in a deep red glow
  • Albert River Circuit (hard 21.8km loop): Still on my to-hike list but sounds great with lookouts into New South Wales and a couple of waterfalls along the way
Late afternoon light at Python Rock


Most of the lookouts are along the many Lamington National Park hikes, either back towards the coast or into the Numinbah Valley (Binna Burra) or towards New South Wales.

For shorter lookout hikes, try the Moran Falls or Python Rock walks at Green Mountains, or the Kweebani Caves walk at Binna Burra.

You can also drive to Kamarun Lookout, which is just off Lamington National Park Road and some 10km before you hit Green Mountains.

Great spot for watching the sunset!


Across the two sections in Lamington National Park, there are a ton of walks to choose from. Most hikes at Binna Burra are at least half-day walks while you find a couple of shorter ones at Green Mountains.

And with that many waterfalls, creeks, rainforest, giant strangler figs and lookouts, hiking to pleasant spots is pretty easily accomplished.

Lamington National Park is definitely one of my favourite spots in southeast Queensland (and as the large parking areas can attest, that of many others as well).

So hit the trail early!


Camping options at Lamington National Park are limited to commercial campgrounds: Binna Burra Rainforest Campsite and O’Reilly’s Campground at Green Mountains.

You can find a map of Green Mountains, Lamington National Park here and a map of Binna Burra, Lamington National Park here. For more information, including details on current park alerts (e.g. fire bans or closed walks), check the Lamington National Park website.


I also have a guide to hiking and chasing waterfalls in Springbrook National Park. Alternatively, Main Range National Park has some fantastic hikes (but no waterfalls) – here’s where you can camp at Main Range.

Doing a scenic drive around the Scenic Rim is another great activity. Check the Falls Drive if you love waterfalls, or the Condamine River Road if creek crossings float your boat (they do mine! 🙂 ).

Lamington National Park walks


  • Spophy
    29 October 2020 at 11:31 PM

    Hihihi, der Whipbird ist ja super! Und am schönsten sieht’s am Python Rock aus <3

    • Kati
      4 November 2020 at 3:02 PM

      Ja, der Whipbird ist total super und kann so richtig peitschen – voll verrueckt! 😀

  • Spophy
    4 November 2020 at 11:53 PM

    Aber der macht das nur über den Sound oder? Oder hat der auch eine “Peitschfeder”? xD

    • Kati
      6 November 2020 at 9:39 PM

      Ja genau, das ist sein Vogelgesang!


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