Queensland is amply supplied with opportunities to go for great bush walks, but the very finest rainforest trekking the state has to offer is found in Lamington National Park. With more than 320 km of tracks, the park brings together some of the greatest lookouts, wilderness areas, and waterfalls in Queensland.
Lamington National Park sits at an elevation that’s roughly a kilometre above sea level. This gives it a varied climate which is typically five to eight degrees cooler than the Gold Coast or Brisbane. Regardless of the season you choose to come to Lamington, bringing along some wet weather gear and a jumper is a good idea.
Southeast winds tend to bring increased shower activity to the area around the crest of the McPherson Range. At the same time, the air dries up north of O’Reilly’s. With these weather patterns, the best views from the top of the range are frequently blocked by low clouds. Warm clothes are essential at the higher elevations. If you go during the summer rains, you need to watch out for leeches. Pack repellent.
The number of visitors coming to Lamington National Park tends to increase every year. This means that preserving the beauty of the park is a responsibility that needs to be shared by all visitors.
Short Park Walks
Centenary Track – 1.8 km round trip
This all-access track starts at the Green Mountains carpark adjacent to the national park information centre. The entrance of the track is forested with tall hoop pine which gives way to subtropical rainforest as the track descends over the course of 900 m. Here it links up with the tracks leading to Python Rock and Moran’s Falls. There are benches spread along the track to allow birdwatchers to take an advantageous seat. The fallen trunks, leaf litter, and healthy trees attract a variety of avian life. Examples include bowerbirds (regent and satin), Albert’s lyrebirds, and log runners.
Moran’s Falls – 4.6 km
The track drops 140 meters through the rainforest vegetation made up of brush box, figs, and booyongs. There’s a lookout point at the top of the falls with a picnic area 400 metres down the trail.
The picnic area is also the site of the original bark hut the O’Reilly’s stayed in when they first came to the mountain. You can take the Red Road back to the car park by taking the entrance above the picnic area. If you’d prefer to walk further, try the Moonlight Crag or Balancing Rock walks.
Python Rock – 3.4 km
This closed track features level terrain and very smooth grades, making it perfect for visitors with mobility issues. There are impressive booyongs and figs around the turn-off for the West Cliff, and proceeding into the open forest will give you your first look at the towering New England Blackbutt. Reaching Python Rock will let you look out over Castle Crag. Mount Throakban will be visible on the left. There is a tougher track leading up the hill; turn left to reach West Cliff.
Moonlight Crag – 7 km
This walk requires some hill climbing. The entrance is off the Red Road and it runs downhill to a Red Cedar. The walk takes a right turn over the creek. At the next junction, the way to Moran’s Falls lies on your right; turn left to continue the Crag walk.
Follow the power line up the hill towards Balancing Rock. Stick to the marked trail as it descends 150 metres past the end of the road. After visiting the Moonlight Crag Lookout, head back down the track and then stick to the ridge crest for Balancing Rock.
Elabana Falls – 7.6 km
The path to Elabana Falls branches from the Main Border Track 1.7 km down the trail. This track runs down through Antarctic Beeches and past the Park’s largest stand of Brush Boxes. To reach Picnic Rock (the track’s premiere lunch spot), turn right at the turn-off for the Box Forest. Make sure you return to the track and follow it for a further 400 metres to reach Elabana Falls.
Pat’s Bluff – 5.4 km
Take the West Cliff Track off of the Python Rock Track. The right-hand turn leads immediately to a sharp left just past a well-buttressed Black Booyong. There’s a notably tall Hoop Pine 30 metres down the track.
From Pat’s Bluff, you’ll be able to see the Great Dividing Range and the valleys of the Albert and Logan Rivers. Sticking to the cliff line on the way to the picnic area will give you a great view of Raining Cliff. You’ll find Pat O’Reilly’s cabin 70 metres further in. This area is a favourite haunt for Peregrine Falcons; they nest in the caves and can often be seen resting in dead trees.