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Daves Creek Circuit and Ballunjui Falls

Home > Brisbane > Animals and Wildlife | Day Trips | National Parks | Outdoor | Walks
by Roz Glazebrook (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Brisbane. I love bushwalking, kayaking, wildlife, history and travel.
Published January 11th 2019
Amazing Lamington National Park
Back in June 2017, I went on a bushwalk to Daves Creek Circuit at Binna Burra on a very wet winter's day. I wrote about that walk here.

Lamington Spiny Crayfish
Lamington Spiny Crayfish

I did enjoy walking in the rain but it was also good to do the walk again recently in fine summer weather. I got to see the beautiful views, which I had missed out on the previous wet walk.

The great thing about bushwalking is you can do in all seasons and in all weather. In winter it is great to climb mountains and go on open tracks. In summer, it is better to go to places where there is shade like rainforests, forests or gorges, or beach walks where you can swim.

Boobora Falls
Boobora Falls

Twelve of us from my bushwalking club drove down from Brisbane recently to Binna Burra to do the Daves Creek Circuit, with some side trips to Lower and Upper Ballunjui Falls.

Coming down from Surprise Rock
Coming down from Surprise Rock

The track starts out on the Border track. It is well signposted and the tracks are good.

Walking the track in fine weather was very different than my last wet walk. It was too wet to climb up and over Surprise Rock on the previous walk. This time we were able to climb the Rock, walk across the top and slide down a tree like a monkey on the other side. This is a tricky climb and only experienced walkers should attempt it You need help to get down the steep another side. It could be very dangerous in wet weather. There is an alternative route around the base of the rock.

This walk had everything. There is a variety of habitats including rainforest, caves, waterfalls, large interesting rocks, scrubland and heath. The track passes through several distinctive vegetation types: warm and cool subtropical rainforest along the Border Track; warm temperate rainforest containing many examples of ancient angiosperms such as coachwood in the Nixon Creek headwaters; and wet sclerophyll forest with giant New England ash around the Nagarigoon clearing.

Upper Ballunjui Falls. Maureen Chandler photo
Upper Ballunjui Falls. Maureen Chandler photo

We had morning tea in the Molongolee Cave. Last time there was a waterfall outside the cave, but it was mostly dry this time. The sign has fallen down and was lying on the ground. I'm sure it will be fixed by National Parks soon.

Pink fungi
Pink fungi

The World Heritage-listed Lamington National Park is renowned as Australia's largest subtropical rainforest. The Dave's Creek Circuit starts in the rainforests of the main range, but during the walk to the Circuit itself, the path passes through a small Antarctic Beech forest, which has managed to survive at much lower altitudes than usual. The path then moves into mixtures of rainforest and eucalypt/casuarina forest with occasional patches of picabeen palms and then at the top of the Dave's Creek ridge, it moves into mallee woodland and finally heath.

We got to see a lot more wildlife on this trip. We saw two large pythons and a rare rainforest Stephens Banded snake, a large Lamington Spiny Crayfish and a large goanna. On the way back, we passed a young man walking bare footed which is pretty crazy as the Stephens banded snake is venomous. The red-bellied black snake, which I've seen on previous walks at Binna Burra is also venomous. There are also ticks, leeches and lots of roots and sharp sticks and stones to watch out for. The beautiful Lamington Spiny crayfish can also give anyone who gets too close a good nip.

Stephens Banded Snake- Bea Duffield photo
Stephens Banded Snake- Bea Duffield photo

We did a few extra bits to the walk this time. We went to Nagarigoon waterfall, lower and upper Ballunjui Falls, Ballunjui Cascades, and Booboora Falls. Daves Creek Circuit is 12 kilometres, but with the side trips, we ended up walking a total of around 18 kilometres. Be aware that tracks between Lower and Upper Ballunjui Falls do not connect. There have been accidents with people trying to climb down waterfalls in the Park.

Python in rain forest
Python in rain forest

It is a beautiful graded track walk in the Binna Burra section of Lamington National Park, which is the most botanically diverse walk in the area. There are several distinct vegetation types, including cool subtropical rainforest, eucalypt forest and mountain heath with good views to the southern end of the Numinbah Valley, Springbrook and the coast beyond.

I still haven't been able to find out who Dave is, so if anyone knows, please let me know.
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Why? A beautiful rainforest walk
When: Anytime
Where: Daves Creek Circuit, Binna Burra, Lamington National Park
Cost: Free
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