We headed out early at 6:30am on Saturday morning. From the Burleigh Heads area to Binna Burra Tea House is approximately an hour. The tedious and beautiful part of the trip is the scenic narrow winding roads up the mountain. On the road trip up you should expect:
Patiently waiting for a safe stretch to pass road cyclists,
Carefully approaching blind corners with oncoming traffic, and
The exceptionally sharp drops into the stunning valley below with little to no barriers to prevent the most unwanted roller coaster ride of your life.
At the top is the lovely Binna Burra Tea House, where you can get food, coffee, and drinks. There is plenty of parking in the lower car park, and some directly available outside the Binna Burra Tea House. There are toilets available near the trail head before you start the hike. If you are planning on spending some time at the top, the campground has its own parking and facilities for you to use.
We did our research, followed recommendations, and we still ran a bit late, so we missed our walking groups leave time. We decided to venture on as a duo and took the Border Track to the Coomera circuit. The Coomera Circuit links back to the Border Track and we followed the Border Track along, back to the start at the Binna Burra Tea House. The hike took us approximately 6 hours to hike the 17.6Km.
We planned our hike to coincide with low rainfall as we understood that heavy rain meant the river crossings would be more extreme. There were several times we crossed rivers, and countless run offs. It is important to be aware of how much rainfall the area has had before hiking this trail. It is a balancing act because you would miss out on the copious amount of stunning waterfalls on this trail if it hasn’t rained at all.
The best way to hike this trail is counter-clockwise. We would recommend this because the track would be significantly more challenging to hike it in a clockwise loop due to the stairs and signage. The trails were well used, but we had a few felled trees to climb over or under to get by. Signage was sparse and slightly confusing, so we'd recommend a downloading a map or use a GPS.
The scenic forest, outlooks, waterfalls, and wildlife were all beautiful and humbling. We could have easily spent all day photographing and soaking up the beauty of the dozens of viewpoints and waterfalls. We were lucky enough along the way, at one of the beautiful waterfalls, to have a lovely chat with the locals in the Lamington National Park area. They were passionate about the conservation of 1500+ different species of flora and fauna. They also educated us on the near-threatened Quolls which is a native carnivorous marsupial spotted recently by them in the park.
Lamington National Park has a plethora of trails to explore. We are excited to continue discover new treks, and also experience the trails in different seasons. If you’re keen to know what gear we used to make this a comfortable day trek, please read on.
Gear for a 17+km Hike
We've been slack recently, only cruising on the paddle boards, swimming, and sticking to the short 2-3 hour long hikes during Covid. This means we felt it in our legs from the exercise for a few days after, but it was definitely worth it. We know the after effects were only manageable because we used quality, supportive gear.
Men’s Hiking Gear - Male, Late 30's
Starting with the shoes, I wore the Keen Men's Explore Waterproof Shoes. I’m tough on my shoes, but they do last for a reasonably long time. I prefer the comfort so much that I have replaced them with new pairs over the years. I have what my partner calls a flipper shaped foot, with a skinny ankle and heel, but an EE width fit across the forefoot and toes. This KEEN shoe fits that flipper perfectly after a few wears. These hiking shoes are waterproof, but breathable so they don’t hold sweat and dry out quickly. KEEN’s all-terrain rubber with 4mm multi-directional lugs was excellent on this trail while crossing the rivers, climbing over fallen trees, and the muddy sections.
I am a big advocate for getting a good pair of socks. Wearing rubbish socks with even the best fit shoes can still turn an adventure into a nightmare. For this day hike, I wore my favourite socks, the Smartwool PhD® Run Light Elite Low Cut Socks.The targeted cushion, softened the force on my heels and toes. The merino wool is quick-dry, and the sock is designed with vent panels for extra breathability during the hike to provide the best cooling. A good pair of merino wool socks can make all the difference, because if the sock retains moisture or is loose-fitting then your feet will be more prone to blisters and discomfort.
This trail has a café at the end, which means I knew we’d be stopping for a treat after the long hike. I decided the best shirt for the day would be the XTM Men's Adventure 170 Merino Blend T-Shirt. The material is a blend of wool and tencel, so it's soft and the stretch makes it easy to move. This merino wool blend top is naturally antimicrobial, lightweight, breathable, and quick-drying. This means that I was able to grab a coffee after the hike comfortably without being soaking wet from sweat or stink.
BlackWolf Trace 16L Daypack was a pleasant surprise for me, because of how well this bag fit in the shoulders. I have fairly broad shoulders and chest and find that most bags will cut in around the neck on me, but this was comfortable from the start to the end. This pack easily fitted my 3L water bladder, rain jacket (XTM Kakadu Waterproof Rain Jacket), med kit, lunch, snacks, and the gimbal for photos.
Women’s Hiking Gear- Female, early 30's
I wore the Keen Terradora II waterproof shoes because they are my go-to shoes for anything outdoors. I have a standard or regular width foot, but the toe box in this shoe is generous. These waterproof women's shoes are lightweight, supportive, and provide excellent traction even on the slippery rocks and trails we came across on this hike.
The colourful but tech-packed socks that I chose for this hike, are the Smartwool Women's PhD Pro Endurance Print Crew.This hiking sock is the Pro or the best possible designed sock for things such as endurance running, trail running, and the like. I like this hiking sock, because it has mesh ventilation zones, virtually seamless toes, targeted cushion and it’s narrower for a women’s specific fit. These merino wool blend socks kept my feet dry and comfortable. This is a personal preference, but I like crew socks to protect my ankles from getting the full brunt of spikey plants and sharp rocks.
Merino wool is naturally antimicrobial, lightweight, breathable, and quick-drying. I wore the XTM Women's Adventure 170 Merino Blend T-Shirt and I was not disappointed. I was comfortable throughout the hike and wasn’t a nasty sweaty mess at the end. I was presentable enough to grab a snack at the Tea House and the drive home funky smells free. The temperature on the mountain on a spring morning is considerably cooler than expected. I wore the XTM Women’s Backcountry Merino Jacket for the first half hour of our trip and popped it back on for a bit at lunch to avoid getting cold. The jacket itself is super lightweight and packs down fairly small. The sleeves and back panel are a merino wool blend, but the core chest area is insulated with merino-lite. This combination makes this jacket breathable and warm. I like to pair the merino jacket with my rain jacket, because there is minimal bulk and excellent warmth.
Overall this day hike created some great memories, provided good exercise, and we learned some new things. Subscribe to our newsletter to read about our backyard adventures, genuine reviews of the gear, how to care for your gear, and future travels.
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