I'm a freelance writer living in Brisbane. I love bushwalking, kayaking, wildlife, history and travel.
Published January 12th 2020
A beautiful rainforest and waterfall walk
I've done some walks at O'Reillys including the Albert River Circuit, Box Forest Circuit, Toolona Creek Circuit, Morans Falls, Python Rock, and the Border Track from Oreilles to Binna Burra. I've written about those walks for WeekendNotes. I hadn't done the West Canungra Creek walk until a couple of weeks ago.
Some people in a car behind the one I was travelling in saw a dingo carrying a brush turkey in its mouth on their way up the mountain road. It crossed the road in front of their car. I was sorry I missed it.
I was looking forward to the walk because I had seen lots of photos and YouTube videos of the area. The Circuit is 14 kilometres, and you can do it either clockwise or anticlockwise. We did it clockwise.
The track starts behind the picnic area at O'Reillys and branches off the Border Track. We walked downhill for about 4 ˝ kilometres until we reached Yerralahla (Blue Pool). I had heard stories about a large eel that lives in the pool and went searching for it but didn't see it. The descent and climb was about 400 metres.
We sat on some rocks in the shade beside the pool for morning tea. One woman brushed against a stinging nettle and even though she was wearing a long-sleeved shirt she felt the sting. It would have been much worse if she had bare arms. We saw quite a few stinging nettles along the way. There were a few fallen logs we had to climb over and under.
After our break, we followed the track beside the creek, crossing over it several times. The creek crossings were easy because it had been so dry, but they could be tricky after wet weather. We had to hop across some logs in one place, and they moved as you stepped onto them, but luckily no one fell in the water.
The walk was very beautiful with lovely cascades and waterfalls along the way in the beautiful world heritage rainforest. There were two ways to get back to O'Reillys. We chose the slightly longer, hillier way to pass more waterfalls, including Boxlog Falls (Tollerigumal), Elabana Falls and Picnic Rock. It was about 9 kilometres back to O'Reillys from Blue Pool.
We saw a large skink sunning itself on a tree on our way back. I posted a photo of it on a reptile identification site and discovered it was a Murray's Skink (Karma murrayi). Lamington National Park is the northernmost tip of its small habitat range. It is sometimes called the Blue Speckled Forest Skink.
The walk seemed a lot longer to me than 14 kilometres. I think because we stopped often to look at the waterfalls and cascades. The other end of Lamington National Park at Binna Burra has been closed since the bushfires and the camping ground at O'Reillys end is still closed for renovations. No one got any leeches or ticks on this walk.
We headed for home after having a cold drink at the café.