Albert River Circuit

Lamington National Park

A lesser used walk starting at O'Reillys and spawning from the Border track.

Waterfalls
Lookouts
Rainforest

Getting there

Make the drive through Canungara up to the O'Reilly's guest house. The walk starts as part of the Border track.

Maps

I used the O'Reilly's guest house trail map, bought for a few dollars just before leaving. It's not highly detailed, but gives you enough information to complete the walk.

Route/Trail notes

Starting from across the road from the guesthouse, follow the Border track. The first hour is a highway, and you'll come across all sorts of hikers as the track starts as a grade 1 paved track. There are two tracks leading from the right of the border track to the Albert River Circuit, approximately 200 metres apart. They are both well signed so you can't miss them. From memory, they are about 5 kms into the border track.

We took the second exit and almost immediately the highway became a little goat track. The path is easily distinguishable and it should be almost impossible to get lost. The path is very muddy and intersected by numerous water flows, making the footing a bit unstable at times. I ended up in the mud a few times!

Eventually the rainforest starts thinning out and the track swung around to the right and began following the edge of the Valley of Echoes. The path becomes very narrow at points with quite a steep fall to the left, so watch your footing. There are a few spots to stop and appreciate the view all the way to the Pacific.

After a while there is an old school marker signifying 5 or 8 miles to O'Reilly's. Not too far past this is a sign for the Echo Point lookout. A quick jump on some rocks and it's a great place to sit and eat lunch.

Unfortunately, while we were there the weather turned for the worst, so we had to turn back without finishing the whole circuit as we weren't at the halfway point yet.

References

Take a Walk in South-East Queensland, p226, ISBN 9780957793170

Comments

An easy 5km walk from O’Reilly’s to the start of the circuit. It took us about 4 hours, plus lunch and photo stops. The track is a bit overgrown in places, but it is easy to follow and well worth the effort.

John G on 21 Aug, 2019

We completed the walk in the anticlockwise direction stopping for the night at Echo Point campsite. Took the first exit off the boarder track (from O’Reily’s). The track was quite good and generally easy to follow. The track is basically downhill and eventually passes several waterfalls along the Albert river. There were about 5 trees that had fallen over the trail that took some time to negotiate. The walk in to Echo Point took us 4 hours and was actually 15km. The Lookout is another 160m from the campsite in the anti clockwise direction. The nearest drinking water was a stream about 5mins from the campsite in the clockwise direction (back toward the waterfalls). This was a small stream, but may not be there in drier weather (had rained about a week earlier). We walked out in the morning in the clockwise direction. This was about 8km, took 2hrs and was a slight uphill climb the whole way. There was no water available on this path. Great hike with great views from the lookout.

Maark Gee on 28 Apr, 2019

The lookouts have good views out to the Caldera, Mt Warning and the ocean and then the trail winding down the creek is beautiful.
When the trail follows the creek, it is a little different to other similar hikes in the area, in that the jungle was not so thick and close in places. So although you were in full shade from tall trees it felt open and bright near to the water.
I recommend wearing long clothing on this hike as I found it to have lots of small tree ferns and other spiky things overgrowing the trail and I got quite badly scratched up in my shorts and T shirt.
There are also several large trees down over the trail making it a bit awkward in places

Allan on 6 Apr, 2019

Great walk, beautiful falls. We camped overnight at Echo Point campsite - easy to find, ~160 m from Echo Point lookout in the direction of the falls. Very cold and windy that night but the view of the stars from Echo Point lookout was great, so were sunset and sunrise despite the sun not meeting the horizon within the view from the lookout.

Jess on 7 Jul, 2018

Took us about 6 hours and we clocked it at 22km. Lots of leeches today but honestly that was the only negative. We normally start our walks early like 6.30am I highly recommend that you be careful driving up the mountain at this time during winter. It was pitch black and foggy and nearly impossible to see. The walk itself was honestly amazing and my favourite so far. We got on the trail about 6.50am and started walking. Once we hit Albert River circuit we saw about 20 people the whole way around. We did the hike anticlockwise but most others were doing it the other way. It wasn’t a particularly hard walk and no uphill battles. There were cool creek crossings and lots of challenging obstacles on the way which we thought added to the charm. This is one we will do again. A really great walk

Belindak77 on 7 Jul, 2018

Beautiful walk but on a rainy day with many leeches and unfortunately no view from Echo Point. Many leeches. About 7 hours with a few stops along the way.

Doug Mercer on 5 Feb, 2018

Great walk though quite a few (small) leeches due to mud and light rain on the day. Some nice creek crossings to keep things interesting. Though long, nothing too steep so can take your time and enjoy.

Julie on 26 Nov, 2017

Beautiful creek crossings & waterfalls. The track was still covered in ex-cyclone Debbie's debris, making some places a small but not overly difficult challenge to pass. The gradient is easy enough as the track is standard Border Track. We went after heavy rain so the leeches were abundant, but thankfully gaiters helped a lot! The views from the lookout are stunning, never seen Mt Warning look so majestic :)

petalani on 22 Oct, 2017

Few Trees over path & creeks under knee deep in places but managed to keep socks dry rock hopping

newt666 on 26 Mar, 2017

Medium intensity, don't leave it too late as it gets dark quite quickly in these mountains. Lovely waterfalls.@teniille

A peak a week on 26 Sep, 2016

Completed in 5 hours and 10 minutes. A long walk but worth it.
Some sections are slightly overgrown but still easily discernible track.
Did the walk counter-clockwise which i think was a good choice.
Pulled 4 leeches off my ankles as the ground was slightly wet but not too bad overall. Worth it to see the waterfalls and Echo point.

Zerpy on 8 May, 2016

Great walk with some tricky parts and lots of leeches. Wear long pants, gaiters and as an added defence Bushman's Insect Repellent. As well as leeches. this stuff keeps away mossies, sand flies and ugly people in bars (not scientifically proven)! Scenery changes regularly and there are some beautiful waterfalls.

Bushy Bloke on 27 Mar, 2016

All of you will think me stupid, and that's fine, because what I did was downright stupid and could have easily got me killed.
I did this walk alone. Very unexperienced (first proper hike) and very unprepared.

Gear: Shorts, t-shirt, old sneakers. Back-pack containing 600ml of water that I never drank.
Weather: Horrible. Light rain turned to a storm and torrential rain and icy winds.
Time took: 6.5 hours without stopping

Comments: I know this track was beautiful, but I was having such a bad time out there I couldn't stop to look. I didn't find the track to be that visible at all, in fact often times there were other tracks leading off from it, or it was completely covered in storm damage. Almost became lost a few times. Needs better signage.
I got covered in a hundred leeches, I had blood running off me everywhere.
Some steep cliff drops with slippery rocks.
Once the freezing torrential rain set in, coupled with that icy wind, I got pretty sick and stiff and even saw things that didn't exist.
But I persisted, and I finished the track.

What I did was VERY stupid, and I know I could have lost my life out there. Next time, I will do it all properly. Don't know what exactly I was thinking.

Endure on Mar, 2016

Hiked in from Binna Burra. Camped at Echo Point. Great view when the cloud clears. did the rest of Albert River in the morning. Excellent waterfalls and rainforest

Pardo on 6 Jun, 2015

We took 8 hours with stops for lunch (30 mins) and lots of photos! The 11 waterfalls along the way were flowing well and very beautiful. There were several large trees across the track and with our 12kg packs they were taxing to cross at times. We only passed two others on the track. Next time we will camp overnight to experience a night in this incredibly serene Australian bushwalk. We had perfect conditions with great views from Echo Point Lookout. We saw two blue crays in the creeks.

lissavinson on 5 Apr, 2014

We took 8 hours with stops for lunch (30 mins) and lots of photos! The 11 waterfalls along the way were flowing well and very beautiful. There were several large trees across the track and with our 12kg packs they were taxing to cross at times. We only passed two others on the track. Next time we will camp overnight to experience a night in this incredibly serene Australian bushwalk. We had perfect conditions with great views from Echo Point Lookout. We saw two blue crays in the creeks.

lissavinson on 5 Apr, 2014

Did this walk as part of my Schoolies week. Stayed at Echo point campsite for the night with friends and had a brilliant dinner at the point itself cooking on fuel stoves as the sun set. Spectacular waterfalls and views to Mt Warning!

Viking on 21 Nov, 2013

A long walk but well worth it !

Troy on Oct, 2013

Lots of snakes on this trip!

Allan Allport on 27 Oct, 2012

Well worth the effort!.Rewarded by great views and waterfalls..Completed this walk clockwise, commenced the walk around 11:00am and got to Echo point around 2:00pm set up camp at the second campsite 160 m down from the Echo Point lookout, spent the afternoon taking in the views of NSW and the coastline, that night did a walk out to the lookout to see the lights of Murwillumbah, Potsville and the lights along the coast, the next morning got up early to see the sunrise but the horizon was covered in clouds. After having breakfast and packing up, we walked back out passing the numerous waterfalls to the border track. Met another group out there who were heading to rat a tat hut, they invited us to go with them next time perhaps...

Walkinghawk on 15 Sep, 2012

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