Hiking / Queensland

Elabana Falls, Lamington National Park

There are some absolutely spectacular waterfalls buried within the many national parks around South East Queensland. Day trips from Brisbane to the Gold Coast in search of some of these waterfalls is one of my favourite ways to get out in nature and explore. The one I was most eager to go in search of however was the impressive Elabana Falls.

Located within Lamington National Park, this particular waterfall has become a favourite among photographers and I constantly scroll through amazing images on my Instagram feed eager to add my own to the collection. So on a beautiful Queensland winter’s day, I grabbed my camera and we headed off for the day on a mission to find and photograph the one and only Elabana Falls.

Along this walk I found myself climbing over rocks and under huge fallen trees all while being excited to find the waterfalls hiding within this spectacular national park. When we guessed we had completed about half of the walk we found a peaceful spot by a little waterfall to sit on some rocks and enjoy something to eat.

Next up we were treated to the surprising power of Box Log Falls. There is something truly awesome about standing in the mist as the water crashes down so loudly you cannot maintain a conversation. It may not be as unique as the more famous Elabana Falls down the track, but Box Log Falls was impressive and certainly stood out.

Once the track finally led us to Elabana Falls we had to climb over more huge rocks to gain the best vantage point so we could just sit and marvel at how beautiful it really is – and of course take some photos! Taking the longer walk around to get there made the reward feel so much greater and I am so glad I finally got the chance to visit.

How to get there:

Located about 2 hours from Brisbane, head southbound on the Pacific Motorway following the signs to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat. The last stretch includes about 30kms of narrow winding roads with views that show off the beauty of the area. There is plenty of parking available once at O’Reilly’s and maps of the walking tracks that leave from this area of the park can be purchased from the gift shop for $2.

Begin your walk along the Border Track until you find the start of the Box Forest Circuit. You can choose to just take the shorter track straight to Elabana Falls, but for the best walk, make sure you do the full circuit. That means when you reach the intersection where you can turn right to Elabana Falls, actually turn left. This takes you on the full walk through some spectacular rainforest and more waterfalls than I could count. The full circuit is 10.9km and will take around 4 hours so make sure you bring lunch and plenty of water.

Photography tips:

  1. Shoot in manual. It takes practice to master but by starting to understand how to control the settings in your camera you will find the quality of your photography will improve greatly.
  2. Take a tripod. It might make your backpack a little heavier but you cannot take a longer exposure without it.
  3. Use a remote shutter release. This will reduce all movement in your camera and make sure your photos turn out crisp and clear. Sony has an app that allows me to just use my phone which is super convenient.
  4. Think about your angle. Do you need to get higher or lower? You may have to get creative but the results will be worth it!
  5. Be conscious of light. Depending on the time of day and where the sun sits in the sky will have an effect on what camera settings you use. Remember to keep adjusting as the sun moves or clouds come over.

A day trip to Lamington National Park is a must for everyone and the walk to Elabana Falls is one of the most rewarding in the area, so whether you are a local or a visitor I definitely recommend checking it out for yourself.

And my personal bonus tip? Do not miss a stop at O’Reilly’s Winery on the way home. Enjoy a tasting and bring home a few bottles, or even just stop and relax by the creek.

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