The Green Mountains section of Lamington National Park, popularly known as O'Reilly's, has a number of great walks that follow creeks and visit numerous waterfalls. The West Canungra Creek Circuit is a 14 km walk that is less visited than the Box Forest or Toolona Creek Circuits, but is equally as beautiful and well worth worth visiting. While not hard, it does have a few minor challenges that make it an interesting walk.
The West Canungra Creek Circuit is a beautiful but less visited track at O'Reilly's
In general this is a fairly flat and simple walk that follows the West Canungra Creek. There are no parts that could be considered steep though the most common way to describe much of the walk is as undulating. The scenery, like the other tracks in the area, are the numerous waterfalls, cascades and pools along the creek. The only real challenges would occur if it has been raining and the creek is flooded.
Most of the challenges are creek crossing. Some involve walking across stepping stones, while others involve leaping across the gaps between rocks and there are several where you will get your feet wet. None of these crossing are particularly hard, but care should always be taken.
There are also several fallen tree trunks that you need to go under, including one where you have to get down on your hands and knees to crawl under. Then there are a few sections where the track is a rough for short sections.
However I must mention one creek crossing where there is no clear path if you are walking the track in a clockwise direction. From the far side of the creek we couldn't see any clearly defined path but we could see an orange trail marker on the other side. To cross the creek we scrambled over rocks and bush bashed trying to get to the marker. At which point we could clearly see it pointing to a creek crossing exactly opposite the marker. So when crossing you should walk up the creek on the far side of the marker and cross nearly opposite it.
The recommended way to walk the track is in a clockwise direction. Starting from O'Reilly's you follow the border track until you come to the first intersection and take a sharp left on the clearly marked track.
From there it is a fairly straight forward walk through thick rainforest past Darraboola Falls to the Yerralahla Pool, which I have also heard called Blue Pool. This pool is a great place to stop for a snack break.
Most people avoid swimming here because the pool has several large eels that come up to the water's edge when visitors are around. I suspect some hikers feed the eels and this attract them, but please avoid doing this.
From here the track becomes a little more difficult with some patchy sections and several creek crossings. As I have already said, none of it is particular difficult or overly challenging and except for one section, very easy to follow. This section of the circuit is very scenic, including a couple of falls and views from the ridge down to the creek.
The circuit exits onto the Box Forest Circuit. I have researched this walk thoroughly and there is no specific description of which is the official way out. Because you are joining a circuit, you can turn either left or right onto the Box Forest Circuit and the national parks description, official map and other information doesn't describe which is the appropriate way.
The shortest way is to turn right and head straight back to O'Reilly's. Most people instead choose the slightly longer route by following the lower track along the creek with its numerous falls and cascades. Both directions will take you back to the Border Track and then it is a straight walk back to O'Reilly's.
After the hike we usually go to O'Reilly's Mountain Cafe. This cafe has improved in quality in recent years, but be aware that it stops serving at 3:30 pm on weekends and 2:30 pm weekdays. However there is a takeaway kiosk out the front that stays open longer if you arrive later and you can still sit on the back deck of the cafe and enjoy the mountain views.
Enjoying the view from the back deck of O'Reilly's Mountain Cafe