Ships Stern Circuit

4 h 30 min, 10 h 30 min to 2 days
2 h 30 min to 4 h

17 km
circuit

↑ 1386 m
↓ -1386 m

Moderate track
Starting from Binna Burra Road, Binna Burra, this walk takes you on a circuit in the lush rainforests and open eucalypt woodlands of Lamington National Park, visiting the summit of Ships Stern Mountain along with plenty of lookouts, waterfalls and caves spread throughout the trip. This track has almost everything you can get from a hike. Lovely waterfalls hidden in the dense rainforest, breathtaking views along the ridges of various mountains and the interesting wildlife inhabiting the area. Notice the change in vegetation as you explore different sections of the woodland. By coming early, you’ll have enough time to visit every landmark and not miss out on anything. Also, you can spend the night at the Nagarigoon Clearing Campsite near the same-titled waterfall and make this a multi-day trip. With undulating tracks that are well-signposted, this circuit deservedly makes into lots of ‘Top 10’ lists. The waterfalls are best experienced after some decent rainfall, but that also means an increased number of leeches. Remember to keep an eye out for snakes. Let us begin by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.
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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start At the intersection of Caves Circuit & Ship's Stern Circuit (-28.1966321,153.1871193)
Mode Car
DirectionsFrom Pacific Motorway, M1
  • Turn on to then drive for 490 m
  • Turn left onto Gilston Road and drive for another 1.7 km
  • At roundabout, take exit 3 onto McLaren Road and drive for another 670 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 2 onto McLaren Road and drive for another 530 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 2 onto McLaren Road and drive for another 820 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 2 onto McLaren Road and drive for another 185 m
  • Continue onto McLaren Road and drive for another 370 m
  • Keep right onto Beaudesert - Nerang Road, 90, 8 and drive for another 175 m
  • Continue onto Nerang - Murwillumbah Road, 97 and drive for another 2.9 km
  • Turn right onto Beechmont Road, 84 and drive for another 18.5 km
  • At roundabout, take exit 2 onto Binna Burra Road, 84 and drive for another 10.5 km
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From Binna Burra Road(210 metres north of Binna Burra Tea House), Lamington National Park, head towards the white-brown informational signpost next to the green directional signpost gently downhill along the grass path, moving directly away from the road. Follow the “Ships Stern Circuit” signage and follow the dirt track as it leads you deeper into the woodland. Cross the Bell Bird Creek after passing by the campsite to your right to continue along Ships Stern Circuit(clockwise). This is the encouraged direction of travel.....
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Caves Circuit & Ship's Stern Circuit Start heading along Ship's Stern Circuit (a walking track).
Find the sign at the start.
Continue straight, to head along Ship's Stern Circuit.
After another 135 m come to the "Binna Burra Mountain Lodge Campsite" (60 m on your right).
After another 60 m cross the ford.
After another 260 m (at the intersection of Ship's Stern Circuit & Bellbird Lookout) continue straight, to head along Ship's Stern Circuit.
Then pass the sign (9 m on your right).
After another 180 m cross the ford.
After another 65 m cross the ford.
After another 750 m pass the "Chiminya Falls" (50 m on your right).
After another 190 m pass the sign (7 m on your right).
Then pass the sign (25 m on your right).
Then come to the "Koolanbilba Lookout" (25 m on your right).
After another 5 m pass a seat (25 m on your right).
After another 10 m turn left, to head along Ship's Stern Circuit.
After another 440 m pass the "Chiminya Falls" (20 m on your left).
After another 155 m come to the "Koolanbilba Cave".
After another 220 m come to the "Yangahla Lookout" (30 m on your left).
Turn right, to head along Ship's Stern Circuit.
After another 8 m pass the sign (6 m on your left).
After another 190 m cross the ford.
After another 315 m cross the ford.
After another 175 m come to the "Wojigumai Cave".
After another 140 m cross the ford.
After another 65 m cross the ford.
After another 155 m (at the intersection of Ship's Stern Circuit & Lower Bellbird Circuit) continue straight, to head along Ship's Stern Circuit.
Then pass the sign (on your left).
After another 690 m cross the ford.
After another 135 m (at the intersection of Lower Ballunjui Falls Track & Ship's Stern Circuit) turn left, to head along Ship's Stern Circuit.
After another 40 m pass the sign.
After another 105 m cross the ford.
After another 560 m pass the "Mimigoginya Cave" (40 m on your right).
Then cross the ford.
After another 235 m cross the ford.
After another 800 m pass the "Goonoomoonee Cave" (105 m on your right).
After another 145 m cross the ford.
After another 325 m cross the ford.
After another 260 m cross the ford.
After another 225 m cross the ford.
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip taking you to Charraboomba Rock, which stands 397 metres above sea level. To start this optional side trip turn left here. On returning from this side trip veer right when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 125 m (at the intersection of Ship's Stern Circuit & Charraboomba Rock Trail) turn right, to head along Ship's Stern Circuit.
After another 9 m pass the sign (5 m on your left).
After another 125 m come to the viewpoint (20 m on your left).
After another 235 m cross the ford.
After another 480 m come to the "Moonjooroora Lookout" (110 m on your left).
After another 215 m cross the ford.
After another 480 m pass the "Jooyamoolya Cave" (on your right).
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to Kooloobano Point, where you can appreciate the amazing views over the norhtern parts of Lamington and Springbrook National. To start this optional side trip continue straight here. On returning from this side trip continue straight when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 95 m (at the intersection of Ship's Stern Circuit & Kooloobano Point Trail) turn sharp right, to head along Ship's Stern Circuit.
After another 430 m come to the "Milleribah Lookout".
After another 105 m come to the "Nyoongai Lookout".
After another 65 m pass the "Ships Stern" (65 m on your right).
After another 125 m come to the "Goorooburra Lookout".
After another 275 m veer left, to head along Ship's Stern Circuit.
After another 420 m come to the "Burrawong Lookout" (10 m on your left).
After another 125 m pass the sign (on your right).
Turn left, to head along Ship's Stern Circuit.
After another 2.4 km (at the intersection of Ship's Stern Circuit & Upper Ballunjui Falls Track) veer right, to head along Ship's Stern Circuit.
Keep left.
After another 8 m pass the sign (6 m on your left).
After another 50 m cross the ford.
After another 220 m cross the ford.
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip taking you to a viewpoint where you can see the Balanjui Cascades from above. To start this optional side trip continue straight here. On returning from this side trip continue straight when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 95 m continue straight, to head along Ship's Stern Circuit.
After another 25 m pass the sign.
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip taking you to Nagarigoon Falls, where you can view the lovely litte waterfall up close. To start this optional side trip veer right here. On returning from this side trip turn sharp right when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 230 m turn left, to head along Ship's Stern Circuit.
After another 105 m come to the "Nagarigoon Clearing" (20 m on your left).
Campsite managed byQld Parks & Wildlife.
After another 30 m (at the intersection of Daves Creek Circuit & Ship's Stern Circuit) turn right, to head along Daves Creek Circuit.
After another 40 m continue straight, to head along Daves Creek Circuit.
After another 10 m pass the sign (6 m on your right).
After another 25 m pass a seat (on your right).
After another 20 m cross the ford.
After another 185 m cross the ford.
After another 95 m cross the ford.
After another 760 m (at the intersection of Daves Creek Circuit & Border Track) continue straight, to head along Border Track.
After another 450 m pass a seat (on your left)., has no backrest.
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip taking you to Tullawallal Lookout via the Tullawallal Trail that circles around the said lookout to minimize steepness. Keep in mind that this side trip may add up and average of 20 minutes(out&back) to your trip. To start this optional side trip turn left here. On returning from this side trip turn right when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
At the intersection of Border Track & Coomera Circuit continue straight, to head along Border Track.
After another 450 m cross the ford.
After another 890 m (at the intersection of Border Track & Rainforest Circuit) continue straight, to head along Border Track.
After another 460 m (at the intersection of Border Track & Rainforest Circuit) continue straight.
After another 40 m pass the sign.
After another 35 m pass the toilet (15 m on your left).
After another 25 m come to the "Binna Burra Mountain Lodge Campsite" (65 m on your right).
Then pass the car park (10 m on your right).
Veer right, to head along Binna Burra Road.
After another 25 m pass the "Binna Burra Teahouse" (25 m on your right).

Mo-Fr 09:30-15:30
Sa 07:30-20:00
Su 07:30-16:00
After another 295 m come to the end.

An optional side trip taking you to Charraboomba Rock, which stands 397 metres above sea level.
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Ship's Stern Circuit & Charraboomba Rock Trail Start heading along Charraboomba Rock Trail (a walking track).
Continue another 310 m to find Charraboomba Rock at the end.
"Charraboomba Rock".
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 310 m to the main route.

An optional side trip to Kooloobano Point, where you can appreciate the amazing views over the norhtern parts of Lamington and Springbrook National.
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Ship's Stern Circuit & Kooloobano Point Trail Start heading along Kooloobano Point Trail (a walking track).
After 30 m pass the sign (5 m on your left).
Continue another 100 m to find Kooloobano Point at the end.
"Kooloobano Point".
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 130 m to the main route.

An optional side trip taking you to a viewpoint where you can see the Balanjui Cascades from above.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
Continue another 65 m to find Ballanjui Cascades (upper) at the end.
"Ballanjui Cascades (upper)".
About 45 m past the end is "Ballanjui Cascades".
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 65 m to the main route.

An optional side trip taking you to Nagarigoon Falls, where you can view the lovely litte waterfall up close.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start heading along Ship's Stern Circuit.
After another 40 m come to a ford.
About 10 m past the end is "Nagarigoon Falls".
The end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 40 m to the main route.

An optional side trip taking you to Tullawallal Lookout via the Tullawallal Trail that circles around the said lookout to minimize steepness. Keep in mind that this side trip may add up and average of 20 minutes(out&back) to your trip.
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Border Track & Tullawallal Circuit Start heading along Tullawallal Circuit (a walking track).
After another 40 m (at the intersection of Tullawallal Circuit & Tullawallal Trail) veer right, to head along Tullawallal Trail.
After another 730 m come to the end.
About 45 m past the end is "Tullawallal Lookout".
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 770 m to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Ships Stern Circuit


Grading
Class 3/6
Moderate track
Length 17 km
Time 4 h 30 min, 10 h 30 min to 2 days
Quality of track Formed track, with some branches and other obstacles (3/6)
Gradient Short steep hills (3/6)
Signage Clearly signposted (2/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
Experience Required Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)
Weather Storms may impact on navigation and safety (3/6)

Some facilities on route
Camp site: There are 2 on route, on average they are 5.7 km apart with the largest gap of 13.1 km.

Toilet: There is one 16.7 km from the start.

Seat: There are 3 on route, on average they are 4.2 km apart with the largest gap of 11.7 km.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Camp site
160 mBinna Burra Mountain Lodge Campsite
Camp site
13.2 kmNagarigoon Clearing
Toilet
16.7 km[toilet]
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