Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk

Queensland specific bushwalking discussion.
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Queensland specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.

Re: Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk

Postby Kittytre » Sat 26 Aug, 2017 11:53 am

Hi,
I'm planning on doing this hike this weekend, trying to figure out if there is anywhere suitable to camp either before or after binna burra- really don't want to camp here, would prefer to just be in the bush with no facilities. Cheers
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Re: Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk

Postby DanHan » Sat 26 Aug, 2017 7:16 pm

There's a few spots between O'Reilys and Binna Burra - Bithingabel is lovely. It's a bush camp with no water or toilets. However, it's a fair distance from Binna Burra, and if you were continuing on to Binna Burra and beyond the next day the distance would become almost unachievable I reckon. I don't think there are any other designated camping spots after Binna Burra except the ones on the Great Walk.
I feel the same way as you about camping spots - I would much prefer to be somewhere remote with no facilities or people, so I wasn't looking forward to staying at Binna Burra. However, I really appreciated the facilities for short time we were there.
Hope you enjoy your walk!
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Re: Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk

Postby Kittytre » Sun 27 Aug, 2017 8:34 am

Thanks Danhan- we will see what we can find as we haven't booked anything at binna burra- surely there's a tent sized flat spot somewhere!
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Re: Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk

Postby Kittytre » Sun 27 Aug, 2017 9:18 am

Or alternatively change our plans last minute if anyone can point us to another 3 day walk in the area that doesn't involve private campsites!
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Re: Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk

Postby White Rhino » Tue 29 Aug, 2017 9:12 pm

Walked the great walk yesterday and today with the addition of the cream track at the end to finish at the end of Tallebudgera Creek Road.
You could camp at Bithingabel or even Dacelo Lookout if you had a tiny setup but both were way too early for my time frame.
There were a couple of possibilities on the track once you turn off the Lower Bellbird Circuit going down the ridge, but I ended up camping on the fire trail at the Nixon Creek crossing.
Passed a couple 10km or so after leaving O'Riellys but apart from that saw no one outside a half hour from Binna Burra or Purlingbrook Falls.

Did you end up going Kittytre?

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Re: Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk

Postby Kittytre » Wed 30 Aug, 2017 7:45 pm

Hey white rhino- yep we did go- maybe it was us you passed?Sitting at a lookout having a cuppa and then having lunch at another look out, after leaving o'reilleys on Monday :)
We ended up camping at bell bird lookout.. Sorta just put the tent up in a relatively flat spot, and wa completely worth it for the sunrise!
Did see that there were quiet a few good spots further down after bellbird circuit as well.
I must say that it was a much more enjoyable walk then I had expected! We could have done it in 2 days but was nice to take it easy in the afternoons :)
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Re: Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk

Postby White Rhino » Mon 04 Sep, 2017 12:17 am

Cool. Yes that was me. I did detour to most lookouts but not Bellbird. Sounds like a nice spot I'll have to check out next time.

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Re: Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk

Postby djtidau » Mon 09 Oct, 2017 4:25 pm

White Rhino wrote:I ended up camping on the fire trail at the Nixon Creek crossing.


Thanks for this little insight White, I ended up camping just downstream between the crossing and egg rock, there was a nice raised patch right by the creek and it was beautiful. Made the great walk + a couple of side treks with plenty of time to spare in two days. The rain even held out for me (apart from my Friday night ride up to oreilly's).
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Re: Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk

Postby Kent » Thu 26 Oct, 2017 9:42 pm

Did an altered version of this walk in September 2015. Left a car at Christmas Creek and was driven to Springbrook where we started walking mid afternoon. By the time we reached the Numinbah Valley it was a little cooler. First night was near Egg Rock. Walked to Binna Burra for lunch then along the Border Track camping at a lookout amongst the Beech Trees. Walked to Rat-a-Tat hut site then towards Point Lookout, Stinson Wreck and Christmas Creek. Water was a bit of an issue in the last half of the walk.
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Re: Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk

Postby hunsta » Sun 24 Dec, 2017 5:56 pm

sounds terrible. We are doing it in May 2018
I REALLY AM A NICE GUY. JUST ASK ANYONE WHO HASN'T MET ME.
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Re: Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk

Postby damienpc » Tue 26 Dec, 2017 10:55 am

Here's a trip report to add a little more info to this resource.

When we walked: Late Oct - 2017

Our Logistics:

Day 1: In Transit/ Car Shuttle
Day 2: O'Relly's to Binna Burra
Day 3: Binna Burra to Woonoongoora Walkers Camp
Day 4: Woonoongoora to Springbrook then drive home

Bookings made:
Book O'Reilly's Car Shuttle (phone)
Book Green Mtns Campsite (online)
Book Binna Burra Campsite (online)
Book Woonoongoora Walkers Camp (online)

Arranged a shuttle with O'Reilly's activities department to ferry us from Springbrook to O'Reilly's to start the walk. Parked our car in the Purlingbrook Falls car park and had lunch at the Dancing Waters Cafe next door while we waited for the O'Reilly's dual cab ute to arrive. The driver was one of their activity dudes from the lodge and was pretty knowledgeable about Lamington in general and answered any questions we had along the way.

As far as I can tell this is the only shuttle option available from Springbrook and costs $150 for the car ride which can carry up to 4 people. It's a set $150 price for the car ride, whether it's 1 or 4 people, obviously splitting it 4 ways makes it cheaper. Turns out the $150 price is simply 3hrs labour for the driver because it takes 1.5hrs each way to go from O'Reillys to Springbrook. My brother and I split the cost, and I reckon $75 each is a pretty good deal. It saved us having to get family members involved with a car shuttle.

Because of the daylight hours lost with the shuttle we decided to camp the night at O'Reilly's (Green Mountains Campground) and start the walk the next day nice and early.

A lot of the key info has been covered in previous posts or readily available online so I’ll just add the highlights for us or helpful info not previously mentioned.

Green Mountains Campsites: The campground has a section of sites listed on the map called ‘Great Walkers’ sites. These are terraces cut into the slope (the whole campground is on a slope) in the thick forested section at the bottom of the campground. We chose one of the ‘normal’ campsites (site 10) in the open grassed area as it wasn’t busy and we could see no advantage staying down in the scrub and a being lot further away from the amenities block, water points etc. The normal sites are all crusher dust gravel platforms which would drain well in heavy rain but could be a little abrasive on your tent floor if staying for an extended period. The Walkers sites are just raw dirt (clay based) terraces and some look like they would not drain too well. The only time I would be tempted to choose a Walkers site is for the shade if you were staying multiple days in the hotter months. My guess is that these sites were just added as cheaply as possible when the Great Walk was first opened to add some extra capacity to the campground and reduce competition between the Walkers and the Car Campers for tent sites near the parking areas.

O'Reilly's to Binna Burra Section: We struck several tiger snakes warming up in the sunny patches on the track in the O'Reilly's to Binna Burra section. Our O'Reilly's driver dude said this is the time of year they start to come out (Sept-Oct). He wasn't wrong! From then on we carefully scanned any sunny patch of track ahead as we approached. A good reason to choose the cooler months for this walk. Also less ticks and leaches too.

Binna Burra Lodge: I would recommend having dinner at the Binna Burra ‘Clifftop Dining Room’ after your first days walk (and save a little weight on food). It serves a hearty buffet style dinner and has a great authentic mountain lodge ambiance which O’Reilly’s just can’t match. We had pre-dinner drinks on the viewing terrace behind the restaurant and watched a thunderstorm lightning show as it rolled down the valley. A fantastic way to end a long days walk!

Numinbah Valley Section (Day 2): Dropping down from Binna Burra there’s lot of switchbacks crossing waterfalls and then towards the bottom into a beautiful undulating deep forested section opening out into more open eucalypt forest past the correctional facility and meeting the Numinbah highway road.

This road section is out in the open and very hot, and one of the main reasons I would recommend doing the Great Walk only in the cooler months. We blasted across the valley floor and made good time as it was flat and easy walking, but very steamy. After my experience I would say late November is getting too hot to enjoy this section of the walk.

There was some evidence the footpath beside the road does get mown to ease access for Walkers but it could be long and overgrown depending on the local council’s mowing schedule. It was much too long for us, forcing us to walk along the very edge of the bitumen road. Luckily traffic volume was pretty low.

Crossing the Nerang River: The walkers path signs lead you off and down under the road bridge over the river, with no apparent way for walkers to cross the raging river. Maybe in really dry times but it was way to deep and fast to cross comfortably. This made no sense to us so we went back up and crossed over the road bridge keeping a careful look out for traffic. Towards the end of the walk we met the Ranger doing some track maintenance with a team of workers. We asked him about the river crossing and he admitted that due to liability concerns they cannot direct walkers over the road bridge, though he knows that 99% of walkers will use the road bridge. Unfortunately an indicator of the shoestring budget National Parks has to survive on.

Water at the Numinbah Cafe: At the end of the road walk you will come to a Cafe. We were surprised the staff did not want to fill up our water bottles stating that as locals even they don’t trust the water, apparently pumped straight from the nearby Nerang river. Maybe this is a story designed to make walkers purchase water, I suspect so. Yes we did purchase food at the cafe but not water. They directed us to a tap which is located on the left of the stairs as you go in. Here we filtered the tap output with our Sawyer filter just to be sure. Yes, we were a little surprised at all this.

Woonoongoora Walkers Camp: Not much info or images of this campsite so I will provide some here. This is administered by Gold Coast City Council and is zoned as one of their conservation areas. Super steep fire road in the last stretch leading up to the camp. There you'll find a very well built hardwood double cubicle composting toilet building with the roof feeding a water tank on one side, which all looks relatively new. So there is water here, and unless there’s been a very extended dry period there should be good supply.

The toilet block had a small verandah (no roof) which we utilised to cook dinner and keep our gear off the ground. This toilet area is in a clearing slightly separated from the main camping area and you walk through a gap in the forest out onto another large grassed clearing with a view down the valley. Once again depending on the mowing schedule the grassed tent site areas might be a little overgrown. They were a little overgrown for us, so we elected to camp on a nice patch of grass in front of the toilet block and lounge around on the veranda, cook etc as previously mentioned. We realise this would not work very well if there were other people at the camp, but seeing as we arrived at 4pm and we had the place to ourselves it was no problem. It was also a weekday though I doubt the campsite gets much traffic at any point, unless you happen to strike a group walking the track. BTW, the sign indicates there are camping tags you can use but we could not find any box or tags. You still have to book online or by phone to get your permit number anyway, (so just bring your own tag). That night we spotted fireflies dancing around in the clearing, which really blew our minds as we didn't know we have native species of fireflies in Australia...amazing to see!

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Woonoongoora Walkers Camp Entrance


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Woonoongoora Walkers Camp Toilet Block and Water Tank


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Woonoongoora Walkers Camp Sign
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