10 Tips For The Morans Falls Track in Lamington National Park Gold Coast
Looking for a family friendly walk in Gold Coast? The Morans Falls track in Lamington National Park in South East Queensland is one of the most popular walks in this incredible National Park in Gold Coast Hinterland, and perfect for families too.
In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about visiting, as well as how long it takes, and more importantly, how not to get lost!!
1. Where is Morans Falls
While the Morans Falls track is located in Lamington National Park, it’s located in the Green Mountains section. If you’re not familiar with Lamington National Park, there are two entrances to it, one being Green Mountains and the other being Binna Burra. Green Mountains is known to the locals are the section which didn’t get as hit by the bush fires as Binna Burra did a few years back.
I’ve been to both sections of Lamington National Park and they are both spectacular. Green Mountains however, is a little bit more special though in our eyes.
Lamington National Park is also the world’s oldest and largest subtropical rainforest in the world (it’s the largest part of the Gondwana Rainforests). It is absolutely incredible.
It’s a 1h30m drive to get to the starting point of Moran Falls from Surfers Paradise. The road up to O’Reillys Resort in Lamington National Park is very steep and windy with mostly one way roads. Be careful on this drive and take it slowly.
2. What makes Morans Falls special?
Wondering if the Morans Falls lookout is worth the hike? It is actually one of the most popular Lamington National Park walks to do. This is because it’s one of the shortest walks in Lamington National Park and doesn’t take that long to walk to.
What makes this waterfall popular is the fact that you can stand or sit at the top of it. While, obviously you don’t want to get too close to the edge and there isn’t an official path to the top, many people bring a picnic to enjoy the views here.
It is also home to spectacular views which has a similar lookout to what you’ll see at O’Reillys Cafe. But you’ll be standing on top of a waterfall in the valley, feeling like you’re away from it all.
People often do the Morans Falls track at sunset, so if you do, bring a head lamp or torch for the way back in the dark.
3. Where to park
There are two carparks you can park at to reach Morans Falls in Lamington National Park. The quickest car park to the start of the track is located at Python carpark which is 1km before you reach O’Reillys. It is a small carpark, so if it’s full, keep driving and park at the first car park on the right as you enter O’Reillys next to the cafe. From here, there is a path which runs alongside the road back to the stating point.
4. How long is the walk?
If you’re starting the walk at Python carpark, the hike is around 4.4km and took us 45 minutes to walk to Morans Falls at a slow speed. If you’re parking at O’Reillys, add another 1km onto the trek and another 10-15 minutes of walking time.
5. What is the trail like?
To be honest, I put off going to Morans Falls in Lamington National Park because I wasn’t expecting the hike to be that great. I thought a 1 hour walk wouldn’t be as special as some of the other Lamington National Park walks such as the Toolona Creek Circuit of the Box Forest Circuit.
But, Morans Falls is a lovely walk in itself. The path is flat with no inclines so it’s great for everyone and even those of us who don’t really do hikes.
You’ll come to the first lookout which is called Morans Falls Lookout within 40 minutes of walking and it’s more impressive than we were expecting. You might see some people sitting at the top of the falls which overlooks a beautiful valley from the cliff face.
6. How to find the famous top of the waterfall?
If you carry on walking towards the falls and along the Morans Falls track, you’ll see a sign with a track off the main one saying danger. This is a path way to the top of the falls. It is quite slippery so if you continue around the falls, there is another path on the left hand side of it which is much easier to enter to the top.
There isn’t any signs saying you can’t go on either track, but obviously just be super careful because there is no fencing at the top of the falls. Fatalities do happen on walks and so just be careful.
7. Morans Falls Clearing
After you’ve seen how the Morans Creek flows to the top of Morans Falls, continue along the main path and you’ll come to the second lookout which is called Morans Falls Clearing. It’s a big lookout area where you can continue to admire the great views.
8. Don’t go the wrong way back!
So I didn’t do as much research as I probably should have done so, but I heard there’s a shortcut for the Morans Falls track. When we reached the end of the path, we saw some steps which has a sign saying ‘private property’. I assumed this was the short cut – it’s not. Do not go up these stairs because we did and ended up walking another 1h15m which took us along to a whole other track.
You know, if there’s one thing I can say about Lamington National Park, it’s that you don’t want to get lost. Lamington National Park is massive so stay on the path at all times!
The shortcut however is located from O’Reillys Resort which is technically for the guests staying there.
9. Other Lamington National Park walking Guides
Looking for more Lamington National Park walks to consider? When we first came here, we had no idea which walk to do. After a lot of digging, we have done some of the most popular walks in Gold Coast now.
Box Forest Circuit
After you’ve done the Morans Falls track, check out the Box Forest Circuit. It’s a 4 hour walk but it is spectacular. The whole path is so incredible, it would be hard not to be in awe of it all.
The jurassic vibes certainly give it a nod to the Gondwana Rainforests and make you feel like you’ve entered a totally magical place. There are loads of waterfalls to see here, our particular standouts are the Box Falls and of course Elebana Falls which really is incredible.
Elebana Falls is super popular and you could technically cut out most of the Box Forest Circuit out and head straight for Elebana Falls which will take you 2 hours return.
Toolona Creek Circuit
I also highly recommend taking on the Toolona Creek Circuit which is another incredible walk but it is 7 hours long. The walk takes you right down into a gorge, across loads of mind-blowing waterfalls and up over to the ridge line into New South Wales.
You’ll then pass through the absolutely incredible Antarctic Beech Trees before heading back to O’Reillys. It really is one of the best walks in Queensland by a mile.
10. More things to do nearby
Looking for more things to do nearby? Check out our guides below!