There are very few days in Brisbane that require a woolly scarf or a thick jacket, so if you’re wanting an excuse to rug up, then bundle up the kids and head for the hills, or more specifically, Binna Burra Lodge in the world-heritage-listed Lamington National Park.
At Binna Burra, the air is almost always crisp and cool thanks to its positioning 800 metres above sea level amidst sub-tropical rainforest in the Gold Coast hinterland. In summer, it offers a welcome respite from the heat, and in the cooler months, you can gather around a roaring fire with a warming drink.
Where to stay at Binna Burra
It is possible to experience Binna Burra in a day trip from Brisbane, but if you have the time, it is well worth staying a little longer. Binna Burra has been welcoming guests since the early 1930s, but sadly, their heritage-listed lodge and cabins were destroyed in the September 2019 bushfire.
However, there are still a number of accommodation options including camping (bring your own gear or use the permanent and recently refurbished safari tents, pictured below) or a stay at the luxurious sky lodges (pictured above). Campers can toast marshmallows over an open fire in designated fire pits, and sky lodge residents can enjoy their own private gas fireplace in their one, two or three-bedroom apartment. The campsite includes a camp kitchen, communal bathrooms and a laundry. The safari tents can accommodate up to 6 people and boast spectacular views. If you’re staying in the sky lodges, you will have self-catering facilities and a laundry. Don’t forget to bring your groceries with you, as it is a long drive to the closest supermarket.
If you’re planning to stay only for the day, you can still use Binna Burra’s facilities, including the Tesla charging station. There are also public toilets, BBQs and beautiful picnic areas in the national park that surrounds Binna Burra Lodge. Allow up to two hours to drive the 90km to Binna Burra from Brisbane as there is beautiful scenery along the way and you may want to stop to take photos, watch the hang gliders at Beechmont or purchase fruit and vegetables from the roadside stalls.
Where to eat at Binna Burra
Binna Burra is a glorious spot to have a picnic or BBQ with your Brisbane Kids in the clean fresh air. Alternatively, you can enjoy an informal breakfast, snack, coffee, lunch or dinner in the licensed Binna Burra Tea House. Be sure to snag a window seat and enjoy the amazing views over the Numinbah Valley.
In addition, Groom’s Cottage (a historic dwelling that was formerly the home of Binna Burra co-founder Arthur Groom) serves light meals daily and offers a “bushwalkers’ bar” serving local wines and beer. This is a delightful spot to sit on the terrace and enjoy a drink after a big day of hiking, and the kids will love exploring the library nestled into the attic of the cottage, which includes some board games to keep them busy.
Activities for families at Binna Burra
There is lots for kids to do at Binna Burra, beginning with the 160 km of bushwalking tracks through ancient Antarctic Beech forest, along exposed escarpments and into heath-land. There are pristine rock pools, fern gullies and beautiful views to be found on the walks.
The rainforest circuit is only 1.2km and is suitable for children of all ages as it is fairly flat and only takes 30 minutes to complete, yet it offers glimpses of the abundance of birds and unique wildlife like bower birds (look for their nests full of blue trinkets!), catbirds (birds that make a call that sounds uncannily like a cat) and pademelons. Please note that this track is not wheelchair or pram accessible, so children will need to walk or be carried. On all tracks, look out for stinging plants and ensure children don’t touch them. If you’re unsure, check with a park ranger before starting your walk. The national park information centre is on your right on Binna Burra road, just before you enter the Binna Burra property.
On weekends and school holidays, there is a family-friendly activity program offering everything from spotlighting tours and bush-tucker walks to archery and nature crafts. The program changes regularly, so pick up a copy at reception (located within the teahouse) to find out what is happening during your stay.
Become a tourist in your own back yard this weekend, and discover the natural beauty that is Lamington National Park and Binna Burra Lodge. For more fun in Lamington National Park, check out our review of O’Reilly’s Guest House.