Report on the Lower Ballanjui Falls Track and Caves Track (descending section)
It couldn’t have been a more perfect day, as 9 walkers descended the graded path into the rainforest heading towards the Lower Ballanjui Falls. The track at the entrance was damp. Google reported 72 mm of rain at the Binna Burra section of Lamington National Park in the previous 16 days. Fresh new growth including pretty blue lobelias and Christmas Lillies in full bloom, greeted us along the route. Many different sized skinks scurried out of sight of walkers including one of the largest, the land mullet. A baby snake sunning itself on a rock, slid to safety in-between the cracks.
Three of the delights of this walk were to experience the lovely soft colours of the tree trunks of the brush box and flooded gums as a result of decortication; the sight of the large grove of picabeeen palms, looking fresh and healthy after recent rain. And the sight and sound of the abundant water supply of the Nixon Creek tumbling down the escarpment from the Upper to the Lower Ballanjui Falls – a distance of 150 metres.
By the time we ascended to the saddle at Binna Burra, the humidity was unpleasant and a decision was made to walk the descending section of the Caves track on another occasion.
A delightful day’s walk – many thanks to the participants.
The Lower Ballanjui Falls track (10.5km return) is varied and interesting and initially follows the edge of a clearing where fire damage, from the 2019 fires, to the trees and surrounding vegetation cannot be missed. The gentle descent comes out at Koolanbilba Lookout, where views of Egg Rock, Turtle Rock and Ships Stern are pleasing sights. Then, it is down, down, down past the Koolanbilba Cave, Picnic and King Kong Rocks. Onwards by picabeen palms, brush boxes, flooded gums and a large red cedar tree, until finally reaching Nixon Creek and the Lower Ballanjui Falls. If there has been recent rain, the falls will be spectacular. If not, the area is cool and pretty.
Upon returning to the entrance of the walk, there will be an opportunity to continue across the road to the trailhead of the Caves Circuit and follow the graded track down the hill. The track is named for the Talangai (White) and Kweebqni (Cooking) Caves and passes through open eucalyptus forest and rainforest. It meets the road just below the Information Centre and is 4.7km in length.
Bring: Hat, personal first aid kit, 2L water, wet weather gear, morning tea & lunch, walking stick.
This activity will be conducted in keeping with current Covid-19 Health Department guidelines regarding social distancing and good hygiene practices. Be aware that, if you are over 70 (over 50 for people of Indigenous background), and/or have co-morbidities, you are at greater risk of Covid-19.
If you are feeling unwell, please do not attend this activity.