Daves Creek Circuit

Surprise Rock Daves Circuit Gold Coast Hinterland

Daves Circuit Lamington National Park Gold Coast Hinterland

Daves Creek is a 12km circuit track located in the Lamington National Park and is one of the many trails that attaches itself to the ‘Boarder Track’. ‘The Boarder Track’ itself is a 54 km trail that runs from O’Reilly’s Rainforest through Binna Burra and on to the Settlement camping ground that virtually overlooks ‘Purling Brook falls. Most of the ‘Boarder Track’ is magnificent and runs through almost pristine forests. That is except for a short, very disappointing, section that runs from Numinbah Correctional centre to Numinbah which although picturesque is a bit of a weed-fest and runs along side Nerang-Murwillumbah Rd making it unpleasant (more about this track in a future post). The closest drive-able place to today’s walk is Binna Burra. Binna Burra has hotel type accommodation in the form of a lodge, ‘glamping’ with permanent set up campsites overlooking the valley and your normal bush camping ground (cheap and fires permitted). There is also a small restaurant up here that serves meals, coffee and even beers to the thirsty hiker. Its opening hours can vary somewhat so don’t rely on this. Todays bushwalk is interesting (like many in the area) because of the variety of forests that you walk through. For us the day was typical for winter on the Gold Coast at around 21 degrees. It was considerably cooler in Binna Burra but still perfect for walking. I did this walk with my brother Jase who hadn’t been here before, we set out through the iconic Lamington National Park sign, cleaned our boots at the cleaning station and moved on into the rainforest.

Dave's Creek Circuit Lamington National Park Qld Rainforest.
Tree, strangled by a fig and covered in vines and epiphytes.

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Dave's Creek Circuit Lamington National Park Qld. Track goes from rainforest to clifftop. View across Numinbah Valley to Springbrook. Track mid left.
Track goes from rainforest to clifftop. View across Numinbah Valley to Springbrook. Track mid left.

The walk takes you for a couple of kilometers along the ‘Boarder Track’ and then deviates towards the ‘Ships Stern Circuit’ (more about this in future blog) and ‘Daves Creek Circuit’. As mentioned earlier the beginning of this trail is heavy rainforest but roughly 3-4km in opens up to cliff face with spectacular views and forests of Mallee like Eucalyptus, Banksia and tea-tree with an amazing variety of wildflowers. Shortly before getting to this cliff face we crossed a beautiful little creek which I suspected was ‘Daves Creek’. Later, however, I realized it was merely a tributary and the track doesn’t actually cross ‘Daves Creek’ at all (maybe should be called Daves Creek Tributary circuit). The previous day (in anticipation of this walk) I had filled my brand new water bladder with tap water and placed it in the fridge. When I took my first sip out of it about 10 minutes into the walk I realized my mistake, the water was terrible have taken in the plastic taste of the bladder. I was super glad to dump this water when we arrived at this creek and fill it with magnificent mountain water, what a difference.
Molongolee Cave. Dave's Creek Circuit Lamington National Park Qld.The walk winds its way along the cliff face taking in magnificent views of the Numinbah Valley and out across to Springbrook. There is a small off shoot track shortly here after that takes you to Molongolee cave which sits on the cliffs edge and has some great views. This cave would probably be a great spot to camp if you found yourself stuck out here the night (unless of coarse your a sleepwalker). From here we travelled around to Numinbah lookout. Jason was busily trying to take the next ‘Ansel Adams’ shot with his new camera and while doing so almost missed the Carpet Python lying on the track (non venomous but still a shock if you don’t see it until you almost stand on it). The Numinbah lookout is a good place to chill out for a while and take in the magnificent view, it is a shear drop though so may not be that comfortable for those afraid of heights. We sat at the lookout for a while and had a chat with a with a guide and tourist from America who was enjoying the walk.

Numinbah Lookout. Dave's Creek Circuit Lamington National Park Qld.

Grey Shrike-thrush. Dave's Creek Circuit Lamington National Park Qld.Grey Shrike-thrush. Dave's Creek Circuit Lamington National Park Qld. While we were at the lookout we had a bite to eat and were visited by a little Grey Shrike-thrush (we named him Birdie Num Num). He was extremely tame and looked like he etched out a living of snacks from hikers. We didn’t give him anything at this stop so he followed us all the way up to ‘Surprise Rock’ (half hour walk) chirping at us to give him food. I know its not the right thing to do but I eventually gave him a pistachio nut just to shut him up. At Surprise Rock you can either walk down and around the outcrop or you can walk up along the ridge to the top where you get sweeping views of the Gold Coast and Hinze Dam.

 Dave's Creek Circuit Lamington National Park Qld. 'Surprise Rock' Gold Coast view.

‘Surprise Rock’ (featured image of this article) somehow looks like my Grandfather’s profile and reminds me of how much he loved the Australian bush. We sat up here for a while and had lunch, admiring the views in every direction. It is just so peaceful up here (well apart from Birdie Num Num) and a far cry from the hustle and bustle of the Gold Coast.

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From here the trail continues back around to the finish of the loop and back onto the Boarder track taking us back to Binna Burra. A most enjoyable walk and only one of many from this location but more about that another time in My Walkabout Plants.

Sources of information:

  • Great Walk, Gold Coast Hinterland Topographic Map.
  • Photography by Simon And Jason Schubert.
About Simon 98 Articles
Simon Schubert is a qualified Horticulturist who enjoys gardening and bush-walking. He has a keen interest in science, the natural world and particularly our environment. He would like to share his experiences and knowledge while learning better practices that will hopefully benefit the future for us all. Please join him on some fun adventures while learning about the life of plants and other interesting facts about our world.

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