Ever since I found out I was heading interstate for work, my mind went into overdrive thinking about how I could make the most of the trip when someone else was footing the bill…
Then the stars aligned – a public holiday and the offer of an extra day off from work the very week I’d be heading to the Gold Coast.
With four days available to me, my mind was made up – I was going to the Gold Coast Hinterlands!
With hours spent online finding transport to / from either side of the Great Walk, I was soon put off spending three full days walking when I learnt the weather is not ideal for it in January.
Instead, I opted to make myself as independent and mobile as possible. I hired a car and decided on a few locations for day trips amongst the different stops of the Walk.
After the arrival I got, I can say I definitely made the right decision.
Over the Thursday and Friday, the Gold Coast received around 200mm of rain – enormous! Roads were flooding; tress came down – utter chaos.
Somehow though, I managed to avoid much of this madness as I slowly made my way up into the mountains. And while it was still pouring with rain, I arrived safe and sound at the Binna Burra section of Lamington National Park.
The rain turned me off my quest to get straight into the hiking, so I didn’t arrive until early arvo.
After waiting (in vain) in a shelter for the rain to subside, I eventually had to just go ahead and put the tent up (it became covered in mud from that effort).
Without wanting to get too saturated on that first day, I ditched the idea of hiking altogether, and chilled out in the little teahouse next to the campsite. While there, I was regaled with stories of the best walks around, and of the leeches…
And how the leeches somehow got onto one mans eye that very day…
Is it irrational I then got somewhat terrified of those pesky little leeches?
As a result, when I woke up bright and early on Saturday morning, I dawdled. I did NOT want a leech to get on my eye. Scratch that – I wanted NO leeches ANYWHERE on me.
Eventually I sucked it up (get it?), and just after 8am I headed off.
Of course I opted for the hike that would give me the best views after all that rain (or so I’m told) – the Coomera Circuit!!
Saying that, I only went as far as Coomera falls and turned back. The circuit involves a lot of river crossings, and I wasn’t keen to check them out after the downpour (I was warned they were probably impassable).
So here’s the important stuff for you – the stats from my Garmin:
Distance: 13.5km (including the side trips to Ferguson and D’Alton Falls)
Time: 4 hours, 38 minutes
Lowest Elevation: 699m
Highest Elevation: 999m
Total ascent / descent: 1,000m
Total leeches: NONE! I flicked them all off as soon as they climbed onto my shoes. There were a LOT on my shoes though…
The track starts off just behind the teahouse (super convenient). It’s a nice one – very obvious, signposts whenever needed, relatively slight descent (although you can feel it when you’re coming back up).
To tempt you into following me out there, here’s some of the shots I took along the way:
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