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 January 4th 2022
There is something special about hiking a great trail in the rainforest. Discover nature, the wilderness and experience the adventure. Take the time to enjoy tumbling waterfalls reinvigorated by recent rain, the rushing creek, the ancient trees and wildlife. Observe the Christmas orchids along the trail, feel the coolness of the water when crossing the creeks and spot the different snakes. Connect and interact with new hiking friends for a holistic experience.
West Canungra Creek Circuit is a trail in the Lamington National Park in the Green Mountains section, which is also called O'Reilly.
The circuit is about 16 km long, allow six hours. The trail is classified grade 4, meaning the trail is long, requires a certain level of fitness, ability to rock hop and to ford the creeks. Mud may be present, especially after rain, the terrain may be uneven with roots protruding on the trail.
The West Canungra Circuit trail joins with the Box Forest Circuit and the Border Track. On the West Canungra Circuit, you can stop at the Yerralahla pool for morning tea. Look in the waters to spot eels and Lamington Spiny Crayfish. On the Box Forest Circuit, you can see the Box Log Falls and one of the most photographed falls called Elabana Falls.
The trail starts in the Green Mountains day use area. After cleaning your boots at the cleaning station, follow the Border Track for about 600 metres before taking the West Canungra Creek Circuit trail.
Follow the trail clockwise, due to the gradient. When you arrive on the north tip of the trail, you can see the Yerralahla pool, also called the Blue Pool. Sit down and relax try to catch a glimpse of the eels in the pool.
Xylaria polymorpha is commonly known as dead man's fingers. It is a saprobic fungus. It is a common inhabitant of forest and woodland areas, usually growing from the bases of rotting or injured tree stumps and decaying wood. Photo by Author.
Australia was previously part of the supercontinent called Gondwana that began to break up around 180 million years ago. Some animals and many plants in the park, such as the pouched frog and the flowering plant bolwarra, have ancestral links to this ancient supercontinent.
Depending on when you finish the hike, you may be able to have some refreshments at O'Reilly coffee shop. Otherwise you can descend down to Canungra and have food and drinks at The Outpost Cafe. This is one of the favourite cafes of the Group Hiking South East Qld and More. Please consider that The Outpost Cafe kitchen closes at 4:00pm. After that, you can grab some food from the cabinet and drinks, until closing time at 4:30pm.
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, torch, insect repellent (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, and 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!
Practice minimal impact bushwalking taking great care to avoid leaving any rubbish. Remember - pack it in, pack it out. This includes all food scraps, scraps of foil and sweet's wrappers.
Take all your rubbish with you, including used tissues, apple cores, eggshells, orange and banana peels. If you see rubbish on the trail, please collect it and dispose of it responsibly. Do not disturb or interfere with wildlife. Do not disturb rocks. Do not remove plants or anything from National Parks or Natural Reserves. Stay on track at all times. Do not use shortcuts that can create erosion.
Please follow directions on all safety and legislative signs, this protects you and the numerous threatened and endangered species in the park.
Use toilets when available. Away from toilets, take care with sanitation and hygiene and don't pollute natural water supplies. Ensure all faecal matter and toilet paper is properly buried 15cm deep well away from tracks, campsites and 100m from all watercourses and drainage channels. Carry with you a small trowel for this purpose. Bag and carry out disposable nappies and sanitary products.
Make sure your boots are always clean, avoid the spread of pathogens, disease-producing organisms such as phytophthora, myrtle rust and amphibian chytrid fungus. Soil and detritus can contain pathogens such as fungal spores that are harmful to the forest and frogs.
For more information read the website of the Qld Government Parks and Forests Department of Environment and Science:
From Brisbane CBD, it takes about two hours, 114 km. Take the Pacific Mwy and exit at Yatala. Drive on Stanmore Rd and then turn sharp left onto Beaudesert Beenleigh Rd. A few km after passing Tamborine, turn left onto Mundoolun Connection Rd and drive to Canungra township.
Once in Canungra, there is still about 35 km to O'Reilly via Lamington National Park Road. The road is very narrow and winding, it takes about one hour to get to the top where the hike starts.