Setting off at first light, waking while the city is still quiet.

We drove 2 hours south, through the national park and on up to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat.

The early morning views out over the surrounding parkland as we climbed the mountain, were something rather special.

The light was soft and low, fog still hanging over the landscape below.

‘Meenyahgu yugambeh jagun’

Welcome to Yugambeh country.

Lamington National Park is a gem set into the Gold Coast Hinterland. A nature lovers dream, it’s covered by lush rainforest, ancient trees, extensive walking tracks, wondrous waterfalls and some of the most spectacular views. On this particular visit, we made the 7.6km round trip hike along the Box Forest Circuit. This took us on to to Elabana Falls, with Box Log Falls (Tullerigumai Falls) just down from there.

The early rise was well worth having these falls all to ourselves for a while! I would definitely recommend arriving between 7-8am if you want to soak it all in without the crowds. The hike can also be pretty taxing in the summer heat, so beating the midday heat is a must. This area really is so special, and as we descended down into the forest the temperature dropped, the cool air licking our skin. The dry ground and shrubbery became damp, the trees towered higher above us and moss covered our surroundings like a soft green carpet. Electric fungi lit up dying logs and the green canopy above us closed in.

The falls themselves weren’t large in scale, but instead had an understated beauty. The water running strong and steady as though a heavy rainfall had hit the night before. We stood there for some time in silence taking it all in, every drop, every rock and every swirl. The sound like white noise, filling the air and crisp air filling our lungs. Down by Box Log Falls, we steadied ourselves on the slippery rock faces and closed our eyes as the mist from the heavy stream drifted through the air and hit our faces. The cameras needing constant wiping down as the lenses were covered in spray.

When we parted ways after a quick feed and caffeine hit at O’Reilly’s restaurant, I felt reinvigorated. My legs ached and I was hot and bothered after the hike back (the heat later that morning a little unforgiving) but at the same time totally and completely refreshed! Nature really does work wonders on the body and mind and I can’t wait to get back out and explore some more…


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