I'm a freelance writer living in Brisbane. I love bushwalking, kayaking, wildlife, history and travel.
Published May 8th 2018
A lovely rainforest walk
I had walked the Coomera circuit with a friend from Darwin about 15 months ago and really loved it, so when I had the chance to do it again recently, I jumped at the opportunity. It is a really lovely long walk at Binna Burra in Lamington National Park.
This time was really special for me because although I've walked a lot of tracks at Binna Burra and O'Reilly's before, I'd never seen the elusive Lamington Spiny Crayfish (Euastacus sulcatus) until this trip.
I saw three smallish ones in the water just below where we had lunch by the Moolgoolong Cascades. Two of them were interacting. I couldn't tell if it was two males fighting, or a male and female getting cosy. They went under a rock.
The adult crayfish can grow to 100-130 mm long. They have a prominent spiny tail with the outer edge of the claw covered with a series of spines. The inner edge of the wrist claw also has two prominent spines and they have a moveable finger of claw with 1-4 spines at the base.
The Lamington and Springbrook crayfish are vibrant blue or blue-green contrasting with white. They live in streams bordered by rainforest and sometimes in wet eucalypt forest at more than 300 m altitude. Walkers often find them walking along rainforest tracks after rain. They can be very aggressive and wave their claws around and hiss at you and have been known to give painful nips if handled. I heard there is a steep fine for handling them.
The track starts from the top of the carpark at Binna Burra. It is a beautiful 17.4 kilometre Class 4 walk through the rainforest. You do need a good grip on your boots. The track was very muddy and slippery with lots of roots to negotiate in some parts. I found my walking poles made it easier to balance and were especially good for the creek crossings. There had been a lot of rain previously, which was good for us because there was a lot of water in the creeks and waterfalls.
This walk has everything, beautiful rainforest, lots of waterfalls, rock pools, cascades, creeks and wildlife. The walk leaves from the Border track 1.9km from Binna Burra and passes through subtropical and warm temperate rainforest. We went on the Coomera Falls Track and returned via the border track. It is possible to do it the other way too.
There are several river crossings across the Coomera River, but they were fairly easy to cross on large rocks, although one woman did slip and hurt her shoulder on one of the slippery rocks during one of our crossings. You would need to be very careful after heavy rain, as the rocks could get very slippery and treacherous.
I was on the lookout for leeches and had put insect repellant around the top of my socks, but no one got any on this trip. On other walks in that area, the leeches have been ferocious, especially in the rain.
It is possible if you don't want to do the whole circuit to just walk to the Falls and return which is about nine kilometres. We stopped at the Joalah Lookout on the way back to Binna Burra with great views over the Woggunba Valley.
The Coomera Circuit takes about seven hours. There are some areas close to the edge of cliffs so be careful, especially with children. We did see some families with children doing the walk when we were there and they seemed to be really enjoying themselves. They did look like they were experienced bushwalkers.