Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk

Rays of Light 2

Rays of Light | Lamington National Park

Distance: 36 miles (58 km) approx.

Avg.Time:  2 or 3 days.

Start / Finish:

  • Settlement Campground, Springbrook National Park – O’Reilly’s, Lamington National Park.
  • As of 2013, there are no public transport options to either trailhead. If you don’t have access to private transport, you may be able to organize a ride with a tour company. Contact O’Reilly’s for more information.

Season:  All year.

Maps / Info:

  • Bring all supplies from the Gold Coast or Brisbane. Binna Burra and O’Reilly’s both have restaurants; the food is expensive but good.
  • Water is available at all campsites with the exception of Woonoongoora Walkers’ Camp. Officially it is recommended that all water be treated.
  • Springbrook and the world heritage listed Lamington National Park, boast an incredible variety of flora and fauna. Situated less than an hour from where my family lives, this is the place where my love of hiking and backpacking really began in the early 1990s.

GC Hinterland Great Walk (traditional route) Overview Map (Parks Queensland Website)

Route / Conditions:

  • Well marked and easy to follow from start to finish.
  • The Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk is a 54 km hike which links Springbrook to O’Reilly’s. Although a fine walk, it bypasses some of the most scenic sections of Lamington National Park.
  • The route I suggest mirrors the Great Walk from Springbrook up until Binna Burra. However, for the final section from Binna Burra to O’Reilly’s, I suggest forgoing much of the recommended Border Track, and instead taking two significantly more scenic alternative sections, namely the Coomera and Toolona Creek Circuits. This will add approximately 4 km to your overall distance.
  • Both alternative sections are choc-full of incredible waterfalls. Many of the cascades boast swimming holes that resemble something out of a Tahitian postcard. Don’t forget your trunks!
  • After rain, leeches can be an issue. Long pants and gaiters are recommended.

Elabana Falls



  • The diverse range of flora and fauna, scores of waterfalls and the magical natural soundtrack which accompanies any walk in the rainforest, all combine to make Lamington National Park one of my favourite hiking destinations on the planet.
  • If you have time on your hands and are looking to do some extra day hikes, I recommend the following three walks: 1. Warrie Circuit – 17km (Springbrook); 2. Ships Stern Circuit – 19km (Binna Burra), and; 3. Albert River Circuit- 20.6km (O’Reilly’s).

Scott “Squatch” Herriott on the Tooloona Creek Circuit alternate.