Over many decades, this walk in the Binna Burra section of Lamington National Park has grown in popularity and it is easy to see why. The Ships Stern circuit leads down through the rainforest into the head of Kurraragin Valley on Nixon Creek where piccabeen palms, towering flooded gums and large red cedars grow. Take a detour off the main track to Lower Ballunjui Falls.... more
The track climbs steadily through rainforest to the top of Ships Stern Range formed of rhyolite, where the rainforest gives way to eucalypt forest with a dense understorey of spring-blooming wildflowers.
There are spectacular views over the Numinbah Valley and Kurraragin Valley as well as the unmistakable Egg Rock, a rhyolite plug that formed in one of the subsidiary vents of the massive Mount Warning shield volcano. Continue through open forest and rainforest before re-joining the main Border Track back to Binna Burra.... less
Be aware of leeches in summer, particularly after rain. The weather can change quickly so bring wet-weather gear and warm clothing.
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.
Ships Stern circuit features Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, stunning waterfalls, spectacular views over valleys, piccabeen palms and wildflower display. The circuit commences opposite the road entrance to Binna Burra Mountain Lodge. The circuit descends past the scenic Yangahla lookout to the valley floor. The circuit crosses Nixon Creek and ascends through Hidden Valley past Charraboomba Rock to the top of Ships Stern range and into open eucalypt forest. The circuit continues through rainforest and open forest, with another side track (an additional 1.3 kilometeres one way) providing access to Upper Ballunjui. Continue past Nagarigoon back to Binna Burra.
The trail is 21 kilometres long, with a hard degree of difficulty and will take approximately eight hours to complete. Be aware of leeches in summer, particularly after rain. The weather can change quickly so bring wet-weather gear and warm clothing. For the very energetic, Daves Creek circuit can be added to this walk, making it a total of 23 kilometres.
How To Get There
Binna Burra is via Beechmont, about 95 kilometres or a 90 minute drive from Brisbane, or 70 minutes from Broadbeach, about 38 kilometres to Beechmont via Nerang. From the north, take Pacific Motorway exit 34 and route 92 to Tamborine, and route 90 to Canungra then 18 kilometres to Beechmont. From Broadbeach, take the Nerang turn off from the Pacific Highway (exit 71) and follow the signs to Beechmont and Binna Burra. The final section of the 10 kilometres drive is very narrow.
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