Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Coomera Circuit, Binna Burra.

Thursday 2 November

So true for today's hike!

Hikes of over 10 to 15 kilometres are rare in SE Queensland. The Coomera Circuit is 18. I've thought of hiking it for sometime. It wasn't the distance that gave me concern, but in all the notes I had read, there was a strong warning of its numerous creek crossings, especially after rain.

As I have mentioned in my previous posts, our months of drought had been broken with a week of wonderful rain. This area had had falls of 3 to 400mm. Setting out 2 weeks later, I still expected a wet trail, leeches and boots off to ford the creeks. The scenario was quite the opposite, with this magnificent hike being all about the journey.

It was a hike of thirds. The first third gently winds its way down to Coomera Creek Gorge, through 
magical subtropical and warm temperate rainforest. The path was smooth and carpeted in a thickness of forest leaf matter.

The gorge we were headed down to.

The trail

The wildlife - basking python.

Rarely spotted, female lyrebird, foraging for ants.

A splash of colour in the rainforest greens. I think a tropical waratah. I'm not sure if the bottom tree is the same or a flame tree.

The canopy

We were totally in awe of the massive old brush box trees. 

The buttress trees had us impressed as well - front and back view.

The buttress base of the above tree.

Another impressive giant.

Part of the root system of this brush box tree, had been sawn through, to allow the gradient of the trail  to continue evenly.

Front and back view of these giants, clustered together.

Sadly, we saw far too many uprooted trees. After months of no rain, the wide, but shallow root systems of these massive trees, were unable to withstand the heavy deluge that came.

The Coomera Falls - LHS, Yarrabilgong Falls - RHS. This was the closest we could view them, but the second third of the hike had begun. It followed tumbling creeks and one amazing waterfall after another, with cascades regularly seen through the trees.

Tumbling streams and massive boulders.

Unnamed cascades.

............... and its cascades / falls.

We lost count of the number of creek crossings - thankfully the water level caused us no hassles.

The waterfalls

Bahnamboola Falls

Kagoonya Falls

Gwongarragong Falls

Below is our final waterfall, glimpsed throught the trees, as the final leg of this sensational trail finally wound its way back up the mountain, leaving the soothing sounds of the creeks behind. We now listened to  to the constant calling of a variety of birds, as they flitted swiftly through the trees, never allowing us to see them for more than a second or two.

Five and a half hours after our early start we exited the trail. It had been a spectacular hike, with its unexpected encounters with the local inhabitants, the forest beauty of its tree ferns, palms, giant trees, breath taking waterfalls and an incredibly user friendly track. 18 kilometres, but definitely not exhausting, given the amount of ascent and descent of its length.

I would love to read your comment.


  1. So many impressive things! Wonderful walk. Wonderful trees, and birds, and pythons (Monty)--- Oh yes, wonderful waterfalls, creeks, and fabulous place names. Well done, Helen.

  2. Glad the river crossings were no trouble. Great waterfalls and the forests kind of look PNW-y. But that python would cause me to shudder!

    1. Much rather meet this fellow on the track, than any of his venomous

  3. Wait, what? A python?!! Are those native? Hmm, not sure I'd like that so much. Love the names of the falls and creeks.

    1. We call him a carpet snake. They are often seen in sheds and roofs of old houses. He is native and grows to 2-3 metres feeding on rats and other small creatures. I'm quite happy to meet him on trail.

  4. A truly amazing hike Helen! Gosh those giant trees are huge! Loved the waterfalls. How wonderful to see a Lyrebird, not too sure about the snake though.
    Have a fantastic week :)

    1. Thank you Prunella. I read where one of the trees in this area is 1200 years old.

  5. Luscious and gorgeous! Love those falls.

  6. What a fabulous walk, stunning forest, numerous waterfalls, creek crossings and wildlife. I just love the way you refer to coming across a huge snake in such a matter of fact way. Coming from the UK where snakes are small and exceedingly rare its hard to comprehend walking in a landscape where they are more common. I hoped to see a snake on our many walks in Queensland a couple of years back but we never did

  7. That python would have caused me to get done with the 18-mile trip a little more quickly. Oh, who am I kidding? I wouldn't do an 18-mile hike, even with those spectacular falls, the beautiful canopy of tree and the magnificent brush trees.

  8. Yes it was just the best. So unusual to have such an easy gradient in this terrain.
    Re snakes - I've never been afraid of snakes, but I've always been very wary of them. There are 2 or 3 in my groups who are totally paranoid and unfortunately it is rubbing off on me. I'm no where near as relaxed when out hiking. The big concern if bitten, is the time and distance to get help. Mobile coverage is rarely good where we are hiking.
    Pythons are non venonmous and rarely bite. This fellow didn't even flinch, when we calmly passed.
    Sep / Oct is nesting season, with snake attacks more likely to be heard of. In the main they hear / sense you coming and quickly slither away. I'm following a chap hiking the 5330 km, Bicentennial National Trail - Cooktown to Healsville. He was cruising along at the end of the day and forgot to stay alert and stood on a 60 cm [small] very poisonous, brown snake. Thankfully the snake then just slithered off.

  9. It's one thing to break the drought, but 400mm of rain sounds like a tad too much!

    1. That's the tropics for you. It never rains but it pours. In March, Cyclone Debbie dumped this amount of rain in 24 hours. The flooding and devastation was horrendous. It would seem impossible to then have drought conditions, six months later, but almost no rain fell in the following months.

  10. Thanks for a great write up. I've been wanting to do this trail for ages as I love landscape photography and waterfalls but wasn't sure if i'd make the long hike due to chronic fatigue issues. After reading your post about how easy the gradient is you've given me some confidence I'd be able to tackle this trail to photograph the amazing falls in the middle 5km section

    I have hiked to Elebana Falls on the other trails which is roughly 8kms return. Do you know which direction is best to attack the Coomera section? Can you start walking uphill and come home downhill? Or is it uphill on the way out regardless?

    Thanks :)

  11. Thank you. We hiked in an anticlockwise direction and post hike discussion was that we would repeat that direction if we have the chance to hike here again. Start early and you should have no problems. As I recall, you would be climbing uphill either way. I just googled Qld Parks and they recommend anticlockwise and suggest a time of 7 hours. All the best and happy hiking and photography.