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Discovering Tooloona Circuit

Gareth | Visual Storyteller

This is Part 2 of my blogs about Lamington National Park - covering the Tooloona Circuit. In my last post I covered the Albert River Circuit.

Similar to the Albert River Circuit, the Tooloona Circuit starts off along the Border Track - but this time I walked on the left (facing south) of the O'Reilly's Plateau. I continued on the Border Track until I saw a sign for Elabana Falls, this is where I veered off the Border Track to the left.

The first creek crossing is at Picnic Rock. Here I stopped and had a quick bite to eat and took a few photos.

After crossing Picnic Rock I continued on until I came to fork in the path. Heading right will take you to Elabana Falls, which isn't very far, so I would suggest walking down and viewing one of the most stunning waterfalls in Lamington National Park, and turning left is where the Tooloona Circuit starts.

Elabana Falls Lamington National Park

The Tooloona Circuit is around 18km and it's not long after you hit the Tooloona Circuit that you understand why it's one of the most amazing walks you could experience. You will first notice Triple Falls and the great cascades flowing around moss-covered rocks. This is the next creek crossing and it has plenty of photo opportunities.

Triple Falls waterfalls Gold Coast

As I crossed this creek I was feeling very excited for what was to come. My main goal was to see Chalahn Falls but I didn't expect to see what I did. Once I crossed the creek it was incredible there were so many cascades and waterfalls that looked too good to just pass by so I made sure to take it all in. Some of the awesome waterfalls on this next stretch of the track were Gwongurai Falls, Dwandarra Falls and Burraboomba Falls along with some incredible cascades.

Gwongurai Falls Lamington National Park hinterland

As I continued the hike I could start to hear the loud roar of the mighty Chalahn Falls. Step by step it was getting louder and louder and I was getting more and more excited. As this waterfall came into full view I was completely blown away by how perfect it was. This waterfall had far exceeded my expectations and was one of the greatest moments I have had with a camera in hand. I was like a small child in a toy store. There was so much water even the tracks were covered with water. This spot in my opinion is the best place in the Lamington National Park and I would be more than willing to walk a full day just to reach this waterfall. My best guess would be that Chalahn Falls is around 7.5km from the start of the hike.

Chalahn Falls Gold Coast hinterland

When I was finally able to pull myself away from this amazing waterfall I continued up the track. I was feeling very excited as I knew there was still a few more waterfalls coming up so I was moving with some pace. As always the scenery was incredible, as you'd expect from the Lamington National Park. From Chalahn Falls to the next notable stop there was a long walk. The next stop was at the Tooloona Cascades which looked like one big rock slide, and then not far passed there was Tooloona Falls. I was surprised by how awesome Tooloona Falls was as I hadn't seen many images of it before. There was so much water pouring over the cliff... it was incredible.

Tooloona Falls Circuit Lamington National Park

Upon leaving Tooloona Falls, I had been out walking for over 7 hours and loving every moment. As I got higher up stream I also saw more of the incredible Antarctic Beech trees of Lamington National Park. The last waterfall I stopped at was Poojabinya Falls, and it was a nice way to finish the main stretch of the track and also the last stop before the long hike back to the O'Reilly's carpark.

Waterfalls Queensland Poojabinya Falls

This last part of the walk back is the most difficult but still worth it. I had walked all the way upstream and hit the Border Track at the southern end of the plateau. It was around 8km back to the carpark so I had plenty of time to reflect on what I had just experienced. The Tooloona Circuit is the most amazing day hike I have done - especially after good rain, and it has some of the best waterfalls in South East Queensland. I would recommend it to everyone as something you have to do at least once.

If you would like to see all the tracks that O'Reilly's has to offer click here. Before attempting this or any other track you should always check for park alerts which you can find at www.nprsr.qld.gov.au

There is also accommodation available at O'Reilly's if you wanted to stay for a few days and explore more of the national park, just go to www.oreillys.com.au

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Gareth McGuigan

Visual Storyteller

Gareth is a passionate landscape photographer with an obsession for the mountains and what is hidden deep within them. He has been chasing light since 2012 – exploring every inch of Southern Queensland possible. See McGuigan Visuals for more.

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