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Discovering Box Forest Circuit

Gareth | Visual Storyteller

This is Part 3 of my short Lamington National Park write ups - focusing on the Box Forest Circuit. If you would like to read the previous blogs click here for Part 1 or here Part 2, both are worth a read and feel free to leave a comment if you have time.

Box Forest Circuit was the first real bush hike I did which was many years ago now and is what really sparked my love for bushwalking and hiking. The walk is what I would consider a half day hike unless you’re like me and spend a few extra hours taking photos of the many amazing waterfalls along the way.

The walk starts the same way as the Tooloona Circuit does, and this time I completed it with my wife and three young children. It was a great experience being able to walk the circuit with them.

To get to the start of Box Forest Circuit we walked along the Border Track in a southern direction then veered off to the left onto the track towards Elabana Falls and Picnic Rock.

We followed the track until reaching a map of the whole Box Forest Circuit. Here we turned left as this part of the hike is hardest when doing the circuit in an anti-clockwise direction.

We then turned right and followed the track which winds down into the valley -heading towards the flowing streams of Canungra Creek. When we got closer to the creek, another sign directed us to either go down stream or upstream. We wanted to start heading upstream, this is following the Box Forest Circuit -- heading downstream puts you onto the West Canungra Creek Circuit.

Once we started heading up stream, this is where it got really exciting, well for me it did. It’s not long until you see the first of many waterfalls on this track. To the left is Bunyip Falls which is a nice small waterfall. You can see a light track down to the base of this waterfall but it is still very steep, I prefer to go downstream on the west Cunungra circuit and walk upstream. Either way, you still get a nice view of the falls from the Box Forest Circuit.

As we continued up stream on the Box Forest Circuit the next notable stop is Nugurun Falls, this is a great stop for a bite to eat and some great photo opportunities. And if you walk up the creek and climb over a few rocks, you will see Wajinya Falls which is also a nice little spot to stop and check out.

Now it was pouring rain when we were here, so we didn't stop for too long and headed to one of my favourite waterfalls. There had been plenty of rain, so I was expecting it to look better than ever! We were now on the left-hand side of the creek heading upstream having crossed at Nugurun Falls; we were enjoying the challenge of completing this circuit in pouring rain. There is a clear track to follow and from Nugurun falls to Box Log Falls that weaves into the forest then back against the creek, passing a few cascades and more waterfalls like Caboolya Falls.

Continuing our hike, I could start to hear the sounds of fast flowing water, which also helped me pick up the pace a little. We finally arrived at our next stop, Box Log Falls and boy was it great. I've been here quite a few times and this time was by far the best I've seen it, it was pumping. I quickly got into position setting up under an umbrella and took my chances at my first shot. I knew once I lifted the umbrella the rain would drench the camera, so I only had one chance to get this right (my cleaning cloth was already soaked). Once the wind died down I went ahead and took a 2-second exposure to produce the image below which I was very happy with and decided to keep on going after that.

I was feeling pretty stoked after seeing how good Box Log Falls was flowing and my family really picked up the pace even more as we raced past the turn-off to the Tooloona Circuit and went straight for Elabana Falls thinking it would be equally be amazing. We were right -- the falls looked even better than I had ever seen them, it was amazing. The rain had calmed down a little and I managed to get my camera dry so I set up and took a few different photos, making the most of my time there.

We couldn't stay as long as we would have liked at Elabana Falls due to the time, it was getting late and we wanted to make it back to the car before dark. We made our way up to Picnic Rock, then back up to the Border Track passing the sign where we started the Box Forest Circuit. Right on sunset we made it back feeling a great sense of accomplishment achieving a hike over 10km long as a family.

Box Forest Circuit is a must for anyone who wants to start getting into hiking or bushwalking and exploring the areas many don't think about. It takes only half a day and is a straightforward hike. Make sure you pay attention to the signs or you may find yourself hiking an extra 10km. When attempting these hikes it's always good to wear appropriate footwear, have a poncho/raincoat handy and some form of leech repellent as they can be a little annoying (especially after rain).

I hope you enjoyed my blog on this hike. Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question whether it be about the park, directions, or even camera settings and I’ll do my best to get back to you as soon as possible.

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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