10 Tips For Caves Circuit Binna Burra in Lamington National Park
Wondering if the Caves Circuit Binna Burra in Lamington National Park, South East Queensland is worth doing? In this guide, I’m sharing everything you need to know about whether it’s the right Lamington National Park for you. Expect to find out how long the walk takes, which direction to do the walk, what you’ll see and whether it’s suitable for families.
With so many amazing Lamington National Park walks to consider, we’ll also share some of our favourite hikes in the park you should also check out for a perfect day trip from Brisbane.
Table of Contents
1. Why is Caves track popular?
The Australia World Heritage Area of Lamington National Park is honestly my favourite national park in the country. As the largest part of the Gondwana rainforests, it’s the largest and oldest subtropical rainforest in the world! Every time we come here, we are blown away by the Lamington National Park hikes you can do. Think Jurassic Park vibes, and you’d be about right as it’s home to threatened and endemic species in the world’s warm temperate rainforest.
But, why is the Caves track popular? Lamington National Park boasts extensive walking tracks which are mostly 10KM plus return hikes. This means most aren’t family friendly or short enough to fit other activities into your day.
As the Caves track is only 5km, it is short enough hike for everyone to complete. The highlights include spectacular views into the Coomera Valley, as well as an epic path which has been cut into the caves – a must see! You’ll also wind up into the open forest, so it’s got a few different terrains to walk along.
2. Should you do a loop or a return walk?
Because the Caves track is technically a circuit, hence being called Caves Circuit, you can either choose to do the entire 5km circuit, or just go to the caves and return back.
We were super slow as we’ve just bought a new camera so we were playing with the settings a lot, it took us about 35 minutes to walk to Kweebani Cave which is the main highlight and only 1.34km into the walk. It would have been probably half the time if we didn’t stop so much to take videos and photos. We did this from the anticlockwise route.
The walk is only supposed to take an hour to complete the circuit so if you just wanted to see the cave, you’ll have to walk all the way back up hill again, rather than complete the circuit which is a gradual ascent up.
3. The best direction for the loop
There are two entrances for the Caves track, one is by the Binna Burra Teahouse (the road ends here) or about 1km down the hill next to the park’s information centre. We started the walk from the information centre car park which is the anti-clockwise route, the suggested route by Lamington National Park.
It’s suggested to go anti-clockwise because it makes the walk much easier. You’ll wind down the forest and into Kweebani caves before gradually entering the rainforest on the way back up to the Binna Burra Lodge and Teahouse.
If you’ve parked at the Information Centre, you’ll need to walk back down on the main road for 1.5km to your car. You don’t want to do it clockwise as the main road is quite steep going back up. If you have kids with you, be careful as the road is on the side of the cliff and there’s no pedestrian path here. The road also goes into one lane at times so always walk facing the in coming traffic.
You could park up at Binna Burra lodge, then walk down to the information centre, so that you finish the walk by your car and ready to have tea and cake at the Binna Burra Teahouse. If you’re worried about walking on the road, get a loved one to walk down to get the car while you wait up by the tea house. That part of the walk on the road took us 20 minutes without stopping.
4. Is the Caves Track worth it?
As I said, there’s not many short walks in Lamington national park to do and the other one we considered doing was the Gwongoorool track which is a 6km/2hr walk to a beautiful pool. We’ll probably do that one next time.
As far as short walks go, Caves track is a fantastic family friendly Gold Coast walk to consider.
We loved the beautiful views into the valley, even if the path has a steep drop next to it. Just be careful with kids on the path as it’s probably not suitable for very young kids.
The cut out tunnel through the cave about 1km into the hike is fun and we loved the path with the cut out steps as well.
Apparently koalas are often seen on this hike as well while looking out to the brilliant views.
300m onwards brings you to Kweebani cave which is a highlight and a part of history as you imagine how the Aboriginal people took shelter here and cooked under this cave.
The track up through the rainforest was also really beautiful and a highlight as I was unsure if we would walk into the rainforest on this walk (which is what I love about Lamington national park and this Australia World Heritage Area). You’ll also see the immense red cedars – huge tress which will blow you away!
I love that you can break up the walk by stopping by the Tea House or bar for a drink as well.
5. Is it worth stopping by the Binna Burra Tea House?
We heard the Tea House did good food and so we stopped here for lunch before continuing with the final 1.5km back to the car park’s information centre.
We managed to get the sofas next to the fire place which felt super cosy as we ate a stale burger & chips and steak & chips (apparently the best on the menu according to the lovely staff). Next time we’ll just opt for tea and cake instead. If you manage to get a table outside, you’ll have spectacular views to enjoy.
There’s a cool little bar just down from the tea house with a museum on the top floor which is also worth checking out as well.
6. How long did the walk take?
All in all, the Caves Track walk took us 1h30m (like the park says it will). From the car park’s information centre, the track is 3.5km up to the tea house, then 1.5km back down the main road to the information centre. We stopped a lot and it was probably the slowest hike we’ve ever done, so it would have been much quicker if we didn’t have a new camera to play with.
I would suggest it should take about 40 minutes without kids and maybe the same time as us with children who are slow.
7. Is Caves Track the best hike in the Binna Burra section of Lamington National Park?
As I said, we considered doing the Gwongoorool track which is 6km/2hr return. We also considered walking to Lower Ballanjui Falls which is 11km return but we’ll save that one as it’s part of the Lower Bellbird Track for another time.
We have also completed the Daves Creek Circuit in Binna Burra section of Lamington National Park which is a 4hour hike. We really enjoyed that one too.
If you’re looking for the top Binna Burra hike, you must do the Coomera Circuit which is a 17.5km/7hr return hike, taking you past waterfall after waterfall. This one has been on our list for ages!
8. Other walks in Green mountains section of Lamington National Park
We also cross-checked the short walks in Green Mountains section as well, but we’ve already done Morans Falls which is a beautiful short walk. You can read our Tips Before Visiting Morans Falls which is a 4.4km walk. We share how long it took us and why you should do this walk. There are even shorter walks like Green Mountains Rainforest Walk which is just over 1km.
If you’re looking for a family day out, Green Mountains might be a better option as they have more facilities and activities for kids. Or if you’re looking for more short Gold Coast walks in Queensland parks, check out our Mount Tamborine Guide, as all of the walks there are really short (we’re talking less than 3km).
Other walks to consider in Green Mountains include the spectacular Toolona Creek Circuit which we just absolutely loved. The 17.4km hike is long but wow, it is unbelievable as it takes you down into a gorge, onto the ridge line between northern New South Wales and winds through the ancient trees of the Antarctic Beech Trees. Read our Tips Before Visiting The Toolona Creek Circuit first and you’ll see why we loved it so much.
I also recommend checking out the Box Forest Circuit which is a 4hr hike the most famous and beautiful waterfall in Lamington National Park, if not the best waterfall in Gold Coast – Elebana Falls. The Box Forest Circuit is stunning and absolutely worth the adventure. You can do a shorter hike to the falls, which you can read about in our Box Forest Circuit Guide.
9. Where to stay in Binna Burra
Prefer to make the most of your time in Lamington National Park and stay in Binna Burra? Here’s our top picks for where to stay.