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Illinbah Circuit

Scenic Rim

Lamington National Park (Binna Burra)


Distance (kms):

18.1 kms

Time (hrs):

Allow 8 hrs

Elevation gain (m):

771 m

Max. elevation (m):

662 m

Difficulty (Grade):

Hard (Grade 5)

Route type:





2WD Sufficient

Click to see full image.

A fantastic walk through lush Lamington rainforest, featuring the beautiful Gwongoorool Pools and multiple creek crossings, for more experienced hikers.

This lightly trafficked walk starts from the lower trailhead of the Binna Burra section of Lamington National Park, from the car park near the information centre on Binna Burra Road.

The trail begins on the Gwongoorool Track, before branching off and following signs for Illinbah Circuit. This trailhead is found about 100m downhill from the end of the car park - note it is not the trailhead signed for the Caves Circuit

Much of the Illbinah Circuit involves only light trails and marker arrows found on trees must be used to navigate.

This circuit involves a considerable amount of elevation gain and a number of creek crossings, and along with the faint trail, is recommended for hikers with a high degree of fitness and experience.

From the trailhead, descend steeply along the Gwongoorool Track through open eucalypt forest and lush rainforest to the Coomera River, including some beautiful mossy stairs cut into the rocks.

At the junction, turn left towards the pools. The track passes Barrabareen Falls, which typically only trickles, but the moss and ferns on the face of the falls are lovely.

At the next junction, continue left towards the pools. Avoid the old Coomera Gorge track that may be faintly visible to the left shortly after the junction, continuing straight a few hundred metres to the pools.

Gwongoorrool Pools is on the Coomera River and is a beautiful place for photos but avoid swimming at the location to protect the unique wildlife here.

Retrace your steps back to the junction and turn left onto the Illinbah Circuit.

The circuit weaves through the rainforest, crossing the Coomera River 12 times. It is virtually impossible to keep your feet dry at many of the crossings. 

The creek crossings can be dangerous after heavy recent rain and the track should be avoided if the river is in flood.

The track is only lightly visible at times and tree arrows will need to be relied upon for navigation. The track is often re-routed for fallen trees, some of which provide dry passage at the river crossings.

At about the halfway point, a track diverts to your left. This heads to the Illinbah Remote Campsite.

After the creek crossings, the track begins a long ascent (about 8kms). If concerned about the elevation profile, complete the track in an anti-clockwise direction.

The track winds up through changing vegetation, crossing Piccabeen Creek. At times the track is narrow, with nothing more then a mossy ledge at the base of small cliff. Care should be taken, especially if the track is wet, however this section is very beautiful.

At the final junction, turn left and head back to the trailhead.

Leeches can be bad on this track, so take preventative steps and check yourself thoroughly afterwards.

Track: The track to Gwongoorool Pools is graded and relatively well-signed, making it easy to follow. Much of the track beside Coomera River is light, with orange tree arrows used to aid navigation. The descent and ascent into and out of the forest is via a number of gradual switchbacks and stairs.

Difficulty: The length and elevation gain, as well as the need to use tree markings to navigate at times due to the faintness of the track, earn it a hard rating. Care should be taken at creek crossings as many involve getting your feet wet, crossing fallen trees and traversing riverbanks a couple metres high.

River crossings can be hazardous after heavy rain and should not be attempted when the river is in flood.

Direction: While the track can be completed in either direction, it is recommended to do the track clockwise in order to get to the pools sooner. That said, the elevation profile is somewhat more forgiving if completed anti-clockwise.

getting there

The walk is located in the Binna Burra section of Lamington National Park, at the lower trailhead (near the information centre) on Binna Burra Road in Binna Burra, 1.5 hours drive south of Brisbane.

Parking is limited at the lower trailhead.

best time to go

The walk can be completed year-round.

Given the time required to complete the walk it is advised to start early.

Like all walks involving creek crossings, be sure to check the Queensland Parks website for updates regarding flooding and track closures.

Click title on the map above to view larger map
in new window [on the Garmin website]

Remember, whenever venturing into the outdoors, practice the Leave No Trace principles and be considerate of others. This means: dispose of your waste properly, don't remove things or move things from their natural position and respect all wildlife. Also be sure to plan ahead and adequately prepare for any adventure. 

I respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which all activities listed on this website are found, as well as Elders past, present and emerging. I strive to not promote sites where requests have been made for people not to explore due to the cultural significance of the site to Indigenous peoples, or note how to respectfully visit a site. If I have a promoted a site with cultural significance, please send me a message and let me know.   

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