Lamington National Park
Situated on the New South Wales/Queensland border, 120km south of Brisbane, and just 50km from the Gold Coast. Lamington National Park protects the rich ecology of a sub-tropical rainforest. Fertile, volcanic soils yield a lush environment, home to a large variety of flora and fauna.
Within the park's 20,600ha are hundreds of waterfalls cascading from rugged mountain ridges into densley forested valleysof pristine beauty. Sub-tropical rainforests thrive in this high rainfall region, and on the peaks above 1000 metres are cool temperate rainforests with magnificent cool Antartic Beech trees adorned with ferns and mosses.
Lamington National Park - Via Canungra, Qld 4275 Tel (07) 5544 0634
Around 20 million years ago a large volcano occupied the New South Wales/Queensland border. Centered on Mt. Warning (just south of the border in NSW) it rose to a height of 2000 metres with a base over 100km broad. Its demise left a legacy of basalt and rhyolite (two highly weather resitant rocks) throughout the region.
Due to its proximity to Brisbane the park is this states most popular and gets very crowded expecially during holiday times.
Prior to european settlement, the Lamington region had been inhabited by Aboriginal people of the Yugambeh language for thousands of years. The Yugambeh language group inhabited the Gold Coast and hinterland, roughly between the Logan and Tweed rivers. This people group lived as distinct family tribes in various regions, although interaction between them was well established. The family tribes that lived closest to Lamington National Park are the Birinburra, Kombumerri, Wangerriburra and Migunberri people.
The Yugambeh People were well established with their environment. They understood seasons, plants and animals and used these to provide a comfortable lifestyle. Whereas early European farming methods required toil from dawn to dusk in order to achieve a small return (European crops where not suited to early Australian environments), the Yugambeh people were able to feed a large group with just a few hours walk a day.
Trading of food was well established between Aboriginal groups and early Europeans relied on trading with the Aborigines to survive.
The Yugambeh people monitored plant and animal resources to ensure that food gathering was both efficient and sustainable. They gathered nuts, honey and other plant material, perhaps even planting many of the nut trees that grow today. Using an assortment of weaponry, they hunted a wide variety of species. Nets were used to catch fish, flighted birds, land fowl along with land animals to the size of a kangaroo. Dingoes were trained to aid in the hunting of wallabies and kangaroos.
Social gatherings such as corroborees were well attended, attracting visitors from as far as Grafton, Tenterfield and Maryborough. These corroborees were held for a variety of reasons, for example, dances, initiations, feasts, fights and tournaments. Ornate body decorations were often worn to corroborees and included feathers, paints, leaves, flowers, animal skins and tails. Although these gatherings could be highly ritual occasions, there was always one or two men "funny men" amongst the dancers that would provide everyone with entertainment from their antics (similar to the modern day circus clown).
After Europeans settlement, the lifestyle of the Yugambeh people was gradually eroded. Various attacks of native lifestyle by convicts, free landholders, Government acts and other European intervention has meant that today much of the previous way of life of the Yugambeh is now forgotten. However, many are still active in attempted to preserve what still remains, such as the Yugambeh language, and ensuring it is passed on to future generations.
The subtropical rainforest in Lamington National Park provided rich hunting and gathering grounds for Aborigines.
There are two entrances to the park. Green Mountains is 115km south of Brisbane via Canungra, or 70km from Surfers via Nerang and Canungra. Binna Burra is 107km from Brisbane via Canungra and 55km from the Gold Coast. Both routes are fully sealed all the way, but due to the steep winding road to Green Mountains caravans are not welcome.
Camping and Accomodation
The camping ground is located at Green Mountains (near O'Reillys Guesthouse) where you can expect water, hot showers, toilets, information and kiosks. Fireplaces are provided near the picnic tables (bring your own wood) but campers should use fuel stoves only. There is a very limited number of sites available so book well in advance with the ranger (07 5533 0634).
Binna Burra has private campgrounds with toilets and a kiosk and information board. Bush camping is allowed at specific sites within the park only, and not during summer between 1 December and 31 January. Camping permits are required and available in advance from the ranger. Fuel stoves only as there is a ban on all open fires.
Rainforests tend to thrive in cool, wet climates. The region is not high enough for snow (except during severe a cold snap) but nights can become quite cool. In summer, expect hot days with cool nights, and in winter cooler days with cold nights.
Most of all, expect rain. Generally, most rain falls in the summer months but torrential downpours can occur at anytime. And its the rain that enriches the lush environment.
Overview of walks in Lamington National Park
>> Araucaria Track 1 day 18 kms
>> Bellbird Lookout 1 hrs 2 kms
>> Binna Burra Rainforest Circuit 1 hrs 1 km
>> Caves Circuit 2 hrs 5 kms
>> Coomera Circuit 1 day 17 kms
>> Daves Creek Circuit 1 day 12 kms
>> Gwongoorool Pool 2 hrs 6 kms
>> Illinbah Circuit 1 day 17 kms
>> Kweenbani Cave 1 hrs 4 kms
>> Lower Bellbird Circuit 1 day 12 kms
>> Mt Howbee Circuit 1 day 18 kms
>> Senses Track - Short track suitable for the blind 1 day 1 km
>> Ships Stern Ciruit 1 day 19 kms
>> Tullawallal Circuit 2 hrs 5 kms
>> Wagawn 1 day 18 kms
>> Albert River Circuit 1 day 21 kms
>> Balancing Rock to Castle Crag to Morans Falls 4 hrs 6 kms
>> Blue Pool Track - Optional 1.7km extension to Stairway Falls 1 day 10 kms
>> Box Forest Circuit 4 hrs 10 kms
>> Cainbable Falls 1 day 8 kms
>> Canopy Walk - Follow the suspension bridge 15m above the forest floor. 1 hrs 1 kms
>> Canunga Creek Circuit 1 day 14 kms
>> Morans Falls Track 1 day 6 kms
>> Python Rock Lookout 1 day 4 kms
>> Python Rock Track - Sealed path suitable for wheelchairs. 1 hrs 2 kms
>> Stairway Falls 1 day 12 kms
>> Toolona Creek Circuit 1 day 17 kms
>> Tree Top Walk 1 hrs 1 kms
>> West Cliff Track 2 hrs 7 kms
>> Border Track - Links Green Mountains to Bina Burra. Numerous other tracks branch from this one. If returning then camp overnight and return the next day. 1 day 22 kms
>> Lamington Rainforest Circuit -Take a complete tour through most of the park. 3 days 53 kms
>> Mt. Merino 1 day 24 kms
>> O'Reillys to Border Ranges 2 days
>> Richmod Gap to Collins Gap 2 days
>> Richmond Gap to Tweed Trip 2 days