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Box Forest Circuit Hike in Green Mountains

Home > Gold Coast > National Parks | Nature | Outdoor | Parks | Walks
by Cris (subscribe)
I am an Organiser of the Group Hiking South East Qld and More on Meetup. Visit the website at https://www.meetup.com/HikingInSEQLDandMore/ is free to join all the activities posted on the hiking group.
Published November 4th 2021
A magnificent trail in the Gondwana Rainforest
The Box Forest Circuit is a magnificent trail in the Lamington National Park with many brush box trees and a few Antarctic beech trees. Similar brush box trees in other parts of the world have been dated 1,500 years old, making them very old and precious trees.

The Box Forest Circuit is 10.9 km long - allow five hours, including morning tea and time at Elabana Falls. The trail is classified 4, meaning the track is rugged, remote and stinging trees may be present.

Box Forest Circuit, Border Track, Toolona Creek Circuit, Lamington National Park, Green Mountains section, O'Reilly, O'Reilly Retreat Forest, Wildlife, Box Forest Tree, Antarctic Beech, wildlife
Elabana Falls. Photo by Author.


Start the hike at the Border Track, just opposite O'Reilly Rainforest Retreat, and follow the Border Track until you find the turn off for the Toolona Creek Circuit.

Box Forest Circuit, Border Track, Toolona Creek Circuit, Lamington National Park, Green Mountains section, O'Reilly, O'Reilly Retreat Forest, Wildlife, Box Forest Tree, Antarctic Beech, wildlife,
Photo by Author.


From the Border Track, the Box Forest Circuit trail branches off onto the Toolona Creek Circuit and then onto the Box Forest Circuit. You can hike the circuit anticlockwise or clockwise.

Box Forest Circuit, Border Track, Toolona Creek Circuit, Lamington National Park, Green Mountains section, O'Reilly, O'Reilly Retreat Forest, Wildlife, Box Forest Tree, Antarctic Beech, wildlife
Photo by Author.


Hike the circuit anticlockwise.
Photo by Author.


Box Forest Circuit, Border Track, Toolona Creek Circuit, Lamington National Park, Green Mountains section, O'Reilly, O'Reilly Retreat Forest, Wildlife, Box Forest Tree, Antarctic Beech, wildlife,
Photo by Author.


I have hiked the Box Forest a few times with the Group Hiking South East Qld and More. Generally, I hike the trail clockwise to have morning tea at Picnic Rock and spend time at Elabana Falls. It is a stunning trail in the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. The Park protects outstanding flora and fauna. Tread carefully on the trail; do not venture in the forest, don't leave rubbish behind and do not disturb rocks, plants and animals.

Box Forest Circuit, Border Track, Toolona Creek Circuit, Lamington National Park, Green Mountains section, O'Reilly, O'Reilly Retreat Forest, Wildlife, Box Forest Tree, Antarctic Beech, wildlife
Photo by Author.


There are many fantastic big trees along the trail.
Box Forest Circuit, Border Track, Toolona Creek Circuit, Lamington National Park, Green Mountains section, O'Reilly, O'Reilly Retreat Forest, Wildlife, Box Forest Tree, Antarctic Beech, wildlife
Photo by Author.


Box Forest Circuit, Border Track, Toolona Creek Circuit, Lamington National Park, Green Mountains section, O'Reilly, O'Reilly Retreat Forest, Wildlife, Box Forest Tree, Antarctic Beech, wildlife, Group Hiking
Photo by Author.


Mushroom in the forest, The Box Forest Circuit is a magnificent trail with many brush box trees and a few Antarctic beech trees. Similar brush box trees in other parts of the world have been dated 1,500 years old, making them very old and precious trees. 1 Box Forest Circuit, Border Track, Toolona Creek Circuit, Lamington National Park, Green Mountains section, O'Reilly, O'Reilly Retreat Forest, Wildlife, Box Forest Tree, Antarctic Beech, wildlife, Elabana Falls. Photo by Author. large image Start the hike at the Border Track near O'Reilly Rainforest Retreat and follow the Border Track until you find the turn off for the Toolona Creek Circuit. 2 Box Forest Circuit, Border Track, Toolona Creek Circuit, Lamington National Park, Green Mountains section, O'Reilly, O'Reilly Retreat Forest, Wildlife, Box Forest Tree, Antarctic Beech, wildlife, Photo by Author. large image From the Border Track, the Box Forest Circuit trail
Photo by Author.


Box Forest Circuit, Border Track, Toolona Creek Circuit, Lamington National Park, Green Mountains section, O'Reilly, O'Reilly Retreat Forest, Wildlife, Box Forest Tree, Antarctic Beech, wildlife,
Photo by Author.


Archontophoenix cunninghamiana, commonly called piccabeen palm, is a native Australian palm. Piccabeen palms grow in the rainforest in colonies, where it is moist. Piccabeen palm can withstand very wet places, since they are able to grow aerial roots in order to access oxygen. The flowers and the fruits of the piccabeen palms are important as they support native wildlife like bees, flying foxes and fruit pigeons.

Rainforest birds such as the wompoo fruit dove ptilinopus magnificus and rose crowned fruit dove Ptilinopus regina feast on the red fruit of piccabeen or bangalow palms from December to May. The piccabeen palms needs large quantities of water to survive; they are found only along creeks and in wet areas.

Piccabeen palms, Box Forest Circuit, Border Track, Toolona Creek Circuit, Lamington National Park, Green Mountains section, O'Reilly, O'Reilly Retreat Forest, Wildlife, Box Forest Tree, Antarctic Beech, wildlife,
Piccabeen Palms in the forest. Photo by Author.


Box Forest Circuit, Border Track, Toolona Creek Circuit, Lamington National Park, Green Mountains section, O'Reilly, O'Reilly Retreat Forest, Wildlife, Box Forest Tree, Antarctic Beech, wildlife, Group Hiking
Photo by Author.


Moss and fungi thrive in the moist of the rainforest.

Box Forest Circuit, Border Track, Toolona Creek Circuit, Lamington National Park, Green Mountains section, O'Reilly, O'Reilly Retreat Forest, Wildlife, Box Forest Tree, Antarctic Beech, wildlife, , Piccabeen Palm,
Photo by Author.


The Box Forest trail runs parallel to a creek, the creek forms waterfalls.

waterfall, Box Forest Circuit, Border Track, Toolona Creek Circuit, Lamington National Park, Green Mountains section, O'Reilly, O'Reilly Retreat Forest, Wildlife, Box Forest Tree, Antarctic Beech, wildlife, Piccabeen Palm,
Photo by Author.


Box Forest Circuit, Border Track, Toolona Creek Circuit, Lamington National Park, Green Mountains section, O'Reilly, O'Reilly Retreat Forest, Wildlife, Box Forest Tree, Antarctic Beech, wildlife, Group Hiking
Photo by Author.


Box Forest Circuit, Border Track, Toolona Creek Circuit, Lamington National Park, Green Mountains section, O'Reilly, O'Reilly Retreat Forest, Wildlife, Box Forest Tree, Antarctic Beech, wildlife
Photo by Author.


Box Forest Circuit, Border Track, Toolona Creek Circuit, Lamington National Park, Green Mountains section, O'Reilly, O'Reilly Retreat Forest, Wildlife, Box Forest Tree, Antarctic Beech, wildlife,
Photo by Author.


A great spot to stop for morning tea is Picnic Rock.

Box Forest Circuit, Border Track, Toolona Creek Circuit, Lamington National Park, Green Mountains section, O'Reilly, O'Reilly Retreat Forest, Wildlife, Box Forest Tree, Antarctic Beech, wildlife, Piccabeen Palm,
Photo by Author.


Picnic Rock is a lovely spot very near the creek.

A great spot to stop for morning tea is Picnic Rock.
Photo by Author.


The Group Hiking South East Qld and More posing for a group photo.

A great spot to stop for morning tea is Picnic Rock.
Photo by Author.


Crossing the creek along the trail.

A great spot to stop for morning tea is Picnic Rock.
Photo by Author.


A different way to cross the creek.

A great spot to stop for morning tea is Picnic Rock.
Photo by Author.


Tolleriguma Boxlog Falls, one of the few beautiful waterfalls on the Box Forest Circuit.

Tolleriguma Boxlog Falls, A great spot to stop for morning tea is Picnic Rock.
Photo by Author.


Box Forest Circuit, Border Track, Toolona Creek Circuit, Lamington National Park, Green Mountains section, O'Reilly, O'Reilly Retreat Forest, Wildlife, Box Forest Tree, Antarctic Beech, wildlife, iccabeen Palm,
Photo by Author.


You can watch the beautiful Elabana Falls from the trail. Otherwise, to get closer to the falls, you have to scramble over a few rocks. Take lots of care, because the rocks could be slippery and they are not easy to climb.

Elabana Falls is one of the most photographed waterfalls. It is an iconic place and it is just a beautiful natural work of art.

Elabana Falls, Box Circuit, Lamington National Park, Green Mountains, O'Reilly
Photo by Author.


What to bring.

Hiking gear: a hiking medium backpack, long trousers and shirt with long sleeves, light raincoat, recommended hiking ankle supportive boots, first aid kit, insect repellent (it works for leeches; give preference to cream or roll-on as they are more environmentally friendly than the spray), hat, sunscreen, gloves, walking poles - if you like to use them, sock protectors or gaiters.
Consider packing some extra clothes and leaving them in the car. Pack some clean footwear and socks.

For this hike, consider carrying a map or downloading a good app on your smartphone that can help you to navigate in the bush.

Bring a medium day backpack with lots of water, especially if it's a hot day, 2.0 litres of water and snacks. During summer, you can bring electrolytes to dissolve in water to compensate for the loss through perspiration. You may consider packing sandwiches, fresh fruit, dry fruit, energy bars and small meals.

Walk with family, friends or in a group. Never alone!

The days prior to the hike, make sure to check:

www.bom.gov.au
https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/lamington
https://qldtraffic.qld.gov.au

Directions.

From Brisbane, it is about two hours drive, 114 km. Once you are in Canungra, it takes about one hour to drive the narrow and winding Lamington National Park Road.

The hike starts just opposite the reception of O'Reilly Rainforest Retreat.

Address is:
O'Reilly's Mountain Cafe and Gift Shop
3582 Lamington National Park Rd, Canungra QLD 4275

After the hike.

After the hike, you can have coffee and refreshment at O'Reilly Cafe. Otherwise, you can drive down to Canungra, where there are a few coffee shops. Bear in mind, if you are late in the hike, the cafes may be closed. My favourite coffee shop is The Outpost Cafe - it has an impressive menu, pies, hot and cold drinks.

Reference

https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/lamington

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Where: O'Reilly's Mountain Cafe and Gift Shop, 3582 Lamington National Park Rd, Canungra QLD 4275
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