Toolona Creek and Mount Wanungra

 (Lamington National Park)

A full day walk that follows Toolona Creek in which over 8 waterfalls will be seen, also reaching Mt Wanungara lookout to provide views to Byron Bay and North Stradbroke Is. The round trip takes 6-8 hours.

Getting there

Driving from Brisbane take the Narang exit and follow signs to Canungra. Turn left in the centre of Canungra, following the signs to Lamington Plateau, Green Mountain Car Park (aka O'Reillys). From Canungra the drive takes approximately 50 minutes along narrow winding roads. Take care, particuarly with the numerous blind corners.

Maps

There is a gift shop up from the main car park where you can buy various maps that cover the local walks.

Hema Maps has a 1:25000 that covers Lamington National Park in a single map.

Sunmap sheets Tyalgum and Beechmont cover the walk in 1:25000.

There is also a National Park Information Centre with brochures which outline the track system. The applicable points where the track splits are signposted as well.

Route/Trail notes

The first part of the walk to Picnic Rock is easy and the surface is a compacted rock and concrete track. Start on the border track and ignore the first turnoff (250m - Blue Pool and West Canungra Creek Circuit). Take the second exit (1.7km) leading to the Box Forest Circuit, Picnic Rock and the Toolona Creek Circuit. The Box Forest Circuit branches away from this track so take the right branch leading to Picnic Rock.

The track continues on the opposite side of the creek and continues to descend for 200m. The next branch is where the Box Forest Circuit and West Canungra Creek Circuit return. It's a crime if you don't turn left and walk 140m to see Elabana Falls. After that detour return and take the right hand turn to start on the Toolona Creek Circuit proper.

The walk along Toolona Creek crosses the creek over 5 times and takes you to or past around 7 small waterfalls (sometimes a short track will leave the main track to take you to a waterfall).  It is really a spectacular walk.

Once you reach Toolona Falls which take approximately 2 1/2; hours, you soon join up with "The Border Track". Turn left and head to Mt Wanungara it is a well signed a 100m detour to the Lookout. The Lookout is approx 50 min walk from Toolona Falls and is a good spot to take a break for lunch. Here you can see views of the Tweed Valley, Murwillimbah, Mt Warning and even Byron Bay and North Stradbroke Island on a clear day. Mt Wanungara is also home to a majestic Antarctic Beech forest.

After that head back to where you first joined the Border Track and continue straight ahead towards O'Reillys. As the track heads off the ridge and down towards o'reilys the tree trunks are covered in moss and creeper plants colouring the whole place green.

Be prepared for a muddy track, particularly in the wetter months. Also be aware that recent rain may raise the creek level and make the creek crossings more interesting.

Permits/Costs

No Cost. However you can pay for guided walks.

Other References

http://www.oreillys.com.au/lamington-national-park/bushwalking/full-day-walks/

http://wanungara.com/

Comments

Waterfalls are fair flowing!

Allan Allport on 7 Oct, 2013

I have always though of the West Canungra Creek circuit as my favourite walk, but this one is just as good. There was low cloud at the southern end and so no visibility at the lookouts, but walking through it was fantastic. Great photos!

Ian and Sue on 7 Oct, 2013

Very wet and muddy, BUT a fantastic walk. Waterfalls were amazing which also included a heap of creek crossings. A lot of leeches looking for a feed nothing that couldn't be handled.

Stellar on 31 Jul, 2013

Recently re-opened after extensive storm damage. The creeks & cascades are thundering at the moment. Wear gore-tex footwear & warm (woolen) socks as you're gonna get very wet. We passed a group asking how many creek crossings there are - close to a dozen folks, and no, you can't skirt around them, not with this much water. Leeches also out in force, but anyone doing this circuit should be fairly accustomed to these little critters by now.

The time this walk takes will depend how fit you are, but don't begin any later than 10:30am or you'll probably be caught in the dark. Once you have cleared the cascades - there's still at least another 4-5k until you hit the Border Track junction at Wanungra/Bithongabel. Doesn't matter how many times I do this circuit, this ALWAYS catches me out. Bitho back to Green Mountains however is a cinch and can be done in an hour flat if you still have some energy.

iano on 3 Jul, 2013

Still beautiful. Love it.

WorldWalker on Mar, 2012

Had a great day walking this track again, it's one of my favourites especially when you want to introduce people new to the walks in Lamingtion National Park, Green Mountains section.... A great walk that shows of the beauty of the many falls, a view at the top of Mt Wanungra and Bithongabel if it's clear and also takes in the Ancient Antarctic Beech trees

Walkinghawk on Mar, 2012

Track was quite dry (for Lamington). Bithongabel had much less of a lookout than last time I was there (probably close to 10 years ago) - the trees have grown to obscure the view. Still a great track - combination of waterfalls + views.

Richard Mason on 17 Sep, 2011

Superb walk. A pair of King Parrots decided to hang out on my head and shoulders for a while.

Gregory Neverov on 17 Sep, 2011

I did this walk with my 10 year old son and got back to the start by 1pm. Beautiful walk, lots of lovely waterfalls. When we did it we couldn't stop too often as it was absolutely crawling with leeches and they would climb on us quicker than we could get them off. Also, due to the leeches we didn't feel like stripping down and swimming in any of the waterholes. Luckily it was winter and not very hot.

Grumps on 28 Aug, 2010

A good walk, best done in early morning. A few leeches.

Laurence Hallam on 17 Dec, 2009

We didn't have a topo map so used an EPA map from the info centre. Big mistake! Distances did not seem correct, but then they do warn not to use them for information purposes only. Otherwise walk was great. The track can be divided into two sections; the Toolona Creek part (9.5km) and the Main Border track (7.5km). The second part isn't very interesting, mainly downhill and easy walk. The first half takes you through rainforest along creeks and waterfalls. Very nice scenery, lots of uphill walking. I was suprised of the difficulty of that section of the walk. Overall I would do that section again and would recommend it to all.
On driving to O'Reilly's: from Canungra it's a 50 minute / 35km drive on narrow winding uphill roads. On the way up we encountered a collision between 2 cars trying to pass each other, and on the way down had to stop for cattle on the road.

Anonymous on 16 Aug, 2009

Great if you want some exercise. Plenty of lovely little waterfalls/creeks running through and near the track. Lookout (like any) would be good when weather is fine.

Belinda Cruickshank on 11 Jul, 2009

Once you depart the waterfalls and climb up the switchbacks, it can kind of get disheartening, but definitely worth it. Especially for a nice dip in the waterfalls on a hot day

Allan Allport on 20 Sep, 2008

Excellent walk. One of the best in this region.

WorldWalker on Oct, 2007

From memory had a great day out walking today with worldwalker, and then back to the camping ground to cook dinner and rest our feet..

Walkinghawk on Oct, 2007

Done this walk a number of times this being the most memorable as half way through the day a thunderstorm came over got soaking wet, contended with leaches all day and walked throught the mist and cloud cover up at the lookouts, mt wanungara 1165m, toolona 1160m, Bithongabel 1165m, the swirlimg mist through the antarctic beech trees transformed this walk into a magical experience.

Walkinghawk on Sep, 2000
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