Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Illinbah Circuit - Binna Burra

Thursday 21 July

Listed as 16.6 kms with steep descent and many river crossings, we left early and were hiking by 8 am. Our descent began about 100 metres below the Ranger's Station and Informatiion Centre, which is a kilometre before Binna Burra Lodge. We chose to hike in an anticlockwise direction and were glad of this choice. Perhaps because of the creek crossings, this trail is not well used and needs a lot of maintenance. We found it a marvellous adventure and on completion, it left us feeling well satisfied with our achievemnet.

Birdsong, especially of the whip birds, towering red cedars and gums, moss laden fallen giants, piccabeen palms, ferns, fungi and epiphytes all added to the peaceful beauty of the trail.

Our descent was immediate via a small portion of the 180 steps to be climbed at the end of the day. After about 10 mins, our circuit veered right and we spent the next 8 k's contouring along the side of the ridge, as we slowly made our descent to the Coomera River.

It was not long before we were halted by our 1st and worst blow down. It took quite a bit of bush bashing to relocate the trail. 

A wondrous sight, oft repeated during the day.

Our second blow down, but this time quickly negotiated.

Yet another challenge.

How amazing is this most unusual, coral like fungi?

In making our descent, we crossed many dry rocky gullies.

What a brutal end for this giant.

We were able to hear the tumbling Coomera long before we sighted its rocky stream. It was however, quite some time before we reached its bank for our first crossing.

Before it was declared a national park, this area was heavily logged for its red cedars. This one fell from natural causes. It wasn't left by loggers. As we passed between its trunk and stump, we spotted the river ahead.

Can you spot the orange triangle across the stream? It was often a hidden guide to the continuing trail.

By this time my feet were begging me to submerge them in the icey cold water. Rachel, meanwhile, managed to cross without taking her boots off, for which she was very grateful 12 crossings later! 
Our estimation is that we spent over 2 hours in total, taking off and putting on our boots. The stream was not deep and there were well placed rocks for stepping across, BUT they were just toooo slippery to use. Even barefoot, we were slipping on the submerged ones.

Is this the trail?                      

Second crossing. The distance between each crossing was relatively short. We would just get into our stride and then have to, off with our boots. When we do it again, we will carry a light sneaker to wear for the duration of the crossings.


This part of the forest floor was heavily littered with giant piccabeen fronds.

A red cedar, that would have been just a sapling in the logging era.

This crossing caused quite a delay. Initially we couldn't find a low drop off the bank and then the orange triangle was elusive. Eventually well spotted by Rachel, as it was hidden amidst the tangle of lantana.

After the descent of the morning, it was pleasant even walking, between the crossings. 

There were several mini streams whose crossing, confused our total count. We were excited to not have to take our boots off. 

Finally no 13! With great care, we avoided the boot routine.

The track now zig zagged uphill for 400 metres to a junction. Continuing on, we would have just 2.5 kms of uphill to complete the circuit, or turning right, a 400 metre side trail, to the Gwongoorool Pool.
So glad we made this choice. Supposedly the haunt of several tame eels, it was a picture of perfect tranquility.
That tranquility didn't last long. Rachel slipped and fell, hurting her wrists. In so doing, she gave a slimey leech the perfect opportunity to visit her arm. I am still not sure why I was the one who had to remove it!

Yet again the engineers have done a fine job of creating a trail up, requiring minimum effort on this steep terrain, except for the 180 steps. 

So much to enjoy hiking down under, but I would have preferred not to have found 4 ticks on my chest and back, when I showered.

 I would love to read your comment.


  1. I thought your caption "a wondrous sight...." referred to the pic of me above first!!
    A lovely record of a fun day! You forgot to mention your leech..& your mature, relaxed & very undramatic reaction to it!

    1. I was too busy trying to record your reaction to your tiny leech, with great sensitivity.

  2. They say forest walking is soothing for the soul. I believe you got as close to being one with the forest and nature this day as one could get. Quite the accomplishment Helen!

  3. Wow, looks like that hike was a genuine adventure - between navigating the blowdowns, crossing the rivers and dealing with the nasty critters (leeches and ticks).

  4. Oh my---- Too bad about the ticks, but it certainly does appear to have been quite a day!

  5. What an amazing post... and fun comments. :)
    The giant trees and palm fronds look gorgeous. It was interesting, but not nice, to read that you too have ticks there. I suppose they are everywhere... Sigh! In Finland, they seem to be becoming more common and more dangerous.
    Have a great weekend! xx

  6. Hello Helen, What an amazing adventure you have shared. Those trees are truly stunning. I expect it was quite refreshing to dip your toes into the water every so often.
    I HATE ticks!! It always amazes me how fast they can move. The World would be a much better place without them.
    Thank you for visiting my blog and have a wonderful weekend :)

  7. Another great hike. I really enjoy your retelling of events and the photos. Not so sure about the ticks though...

  8. 13 crossings is quite a lot. Sounds like a day of adventure with lots of downs and ups! I enjoyed your photos.

  9. Bush walking in qld. Ugh. I remember ticks and leeches. I can do a walk in the mountains here and not get them. But we still have the steps !

  10. I loved the few rainforest walks we did in Queensland although it was winter and dry. Had no idea you had ticks as well. They are becoming a more prevalent problem in the UK

  11. Going to do this walk on Sunday. I found this really useful-thanks!