While sipping on a steaming coffee and surveying the wilderness of Lamington National Park, a Peregrine falcon soars into view and dives swiftly to catch its prey.
Thrilling to watch, it’s just one of many wildlife sightings that visitors can expect to see in the surrounding 20,000 hectares of rainforest which are home to more bird, frog, snake and marsupial species than anywhere else in Australia.
It’s a lost world of ancient forest, fresh mountain air, crystal clear creeks, cascading waterfalls and breathtaking vistas – yet you can reach it all in less than a two hour drive from Brisbane.
A day trip to Green Mountain, Lamington National Park
With 160 kilometres of walking trails, more than 500 waterfalls and 250 species of unique wildlife, there is so much for Brisbane Kids to see and do in Lamington National Park.
The main picnic area at Green Mountain has toilets, tables and three electric barbecues. This is a popular spot for day visitors, so expect crowds during weekends and holiday seasons.
There are wheelchair-accessible toilet facilities and day visitors must bring their own rubbish bags as no bins are provided. All rubbish (including food scraps and sanitary products) must be carried out of the park.
Day visitors can also enjoy a drink, snack or lunch at the Mountain Café and Gift Shop. The café’s extensive balcony allows you to take in the magnificent views of the Gold Coast hinterland over a meal or a drink.
Camping at Green Mountain, Lamington National Park
Camping is an inexpensive way to linger a little longer at Lamington National Park. Tents and campervans can set up on the 20 un-powered sites cut into the sloping hill of the camp ground. Caravans are not catered for at this camp ground as the road winding up the mountain is not suitable.
Pademelons peacefully graze at dawn and dusk, adding to the tranquility of the location. Campers can purchase food and drinks from O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat which is a short walk away – a drink from the Rainforest Bar at sunset is a must!
There are basic composting toilets and hot shower facilities maintained by rangers. Open fires are not allowed at Green Mountain, making this a cold (and often misty) place to camp over the winter months, delightfully crisp in Autumn and Spring, and refreshingly cool in Summer.
Click here for more information, or to make a booking. You can also visit the onsite Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service Information Centre.
Holiday at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, Lamington National Park
For those that prefer a warm bed and a roaring fire as part of their holiday accommodation, O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat offers 66 resort style rooms, and 48 self-contained luxurious eco villas (complete with outdoor spa bath).
Both the resort rooms and the eco-villas offer magnificent views of Lamington National Park; it’s difficult to drag your eyes away. All guests can access the resort’s Discovery Program including guided bird walks, glow worm tours, Segway and 4WD experiences, or the opportunity to get close to nature at the regular Owl Show, Birds of Prey Show and Wildlife Encounters Show.
If that’s not enough, here’s some more activities that Brisbane Kids will love to do at Lamington National Park:
- Feeding the king parrots and other beautiful birds (bird feed can be purchased from the mountain cafe) – this makes a great photo opportunity when they land on your head!
- Splashing around in a cool rock pool and looking for the unusual Lamington Spiny Crayfish.
- Hugging an enormous, ancient Brush Box tree, or climbing into a hollow fig tree cubby.
- Spotting wildlife – lyrebirds, bower birds, possums and the Richmond Birdwing butterfly are just a few creatures you may stumble across.
- Beginning the day with a hearty buffet breakfast in the dining room, followed by a vigorous hike through the forest.
- Whizzing along a flying fox through the rainforest – this one is suitable for big kids, but there is also a small flying fox for younger children.
- Conquering the famous Tree Top Walk – an easy walk along suspension bridges through the trees. Adventurous children (with the help of an adult) can climb 30 metres to the rainforest canopy.
- Joining the Eco Rangers kids’ program – run during school holidays for children aged four to 14, the program is both educational and fun… and a little bit messy!
- While the kids are enjoying themselves at the Eco Rangers program, mum and dad can relax with a treatment at the Lost World Spa.
From Brisbane, take the Pacific Motorway exit 34 to Beenleigh, route 92 to Tamborine, and route 90 to Canungra. The 36 km winding and often narrow bitumen road from Canungra requires care and takes at least 50 minutes to drive. To break up your trip, consider a stop at Canungra Valley Vineyards to stretch the legs and refuel.
Take a look at our Day Trips from Brisbane for some more ways to Explore Brisbane and beyond. Our Holiday Ideas include reviews of the best spots to take a break for families and ways to make holidaying easier with kids.