Sunday, October 21, 2012

Lamington National Park - volcanoes and views

After wandering around Girraween NP and looking at granite, I headed back north towards Brisbane and a National Park closer to home. Lamington NP is on the north-facing outer slopes of an extinct volcano. Like Girraween, its elevation means that it's cooler than on the plains. However Lamington is near the coast and so gets a lot more rain. Instead of dry eucalypt forest, Lamington is covered by dense, damp rainforest and beech forest.

Because it's only a couple of hours drive from Brisbane, the park is popular and the camp ground was full. Fortunately there's also an old and very posh lodge (O'Reilly's Retreat) which had a room. And a restaurant and bar and spectacular views. Nice!

There are dozens of walks in Lamington. I did two 'day' walks in one day, covering at least 25km. Why? So I could see more waterfalls and lookouts!

Looking south into the old caldera from Wanungara Lookout. Old lava flows can be seen in the cliffs.

Echo Point Lookout is further west on the crater rim. Mt Warning, marking the approximate centre of the old Tweed Volcano, is on the right. 

A friendly Lorikeet at O'Reilly's.

One of the many falls on tracks from O'Reilly's to the crater rim.

Sunset from O'Reilly's Retreat. Spring and early Summer are the driest times of the year in Australia and are when most bushfires happen. The smoke reduced visibility a bit, but made for some nice sunsets!

I stopped at Undercliffe Falls on the drive from Girraween to Lamington. The falls are hardly marked on maps, the signpost is tiny and there's only a very rough track down from the carpark. But after all that it was worth it - the falls are beautiful.


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