Set deep in the Gold Coast Hinterland Green Mountains, the Picnic Rock area is surrounded by lush rainforest with water gushing down shiny rocks and falling into the deep mysterious emerald landscape below, leaving one lost in nature’s most pleasurable spell. It is more than just a rock, everywhere you look is draped in vines, ferns, huge thick tropical leaves set off by sparkling water drops, and running crystal clear water.
Picnic rock itself provides many naturally carved places to sit and ponder some of the best sights anywhere, over a delicious and well deserved picnic lunch.
The Green Mountains is a particularly spectacular section of Lamington National Park and the trail to Picnic Rock is well worth the trek. The trail starts from the pretty Border Track (next to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat), travelling about 1.7km before a sign guides the walker to branch off to another track from which it is approximately a 1.6km walk to reach Picnic Rock (3.3km one way walk in total). After branching off, the trail to the stunning Picnic Rock area is mostly downhill.
The track returns the same way making it close to 7km return to Picnic Rock and about 7.6 km return to Elabana Falls (a short detour from Picnic Rock). Of course, remember that what goes down, must come back up – allow extra time for the uphill trek back. The incline is more gentle than steep, but it is constant. Those of moderate fitness may find it a relatively easy enjoyable walk, while those of lesser fitness levels may find the trip back up the mountain a touch more challenging and may need to stop for more breaks. However, to just stand there and take in one’s surroundings for a minute or two every now and then, is bliss.
If there is any chance of rain on the day, or there has been rain the day before, be aware that shoes may get a little wet and muddy, and waterproof hiking books or good quality Gore-Tex walking shoes are best if possible.
The image above shows the turn off to Picnic Rock and Elabana Falls.
Location of Picnic Rock walking track
Located in Gold Coast Hinterland, Lamington National Park, Green Mountains section, Queensland Australia. Take the Lamington National Park Road via Canungra toward O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat. There is a public car park near the retreat. Start the walk from the Border Track Trail which has a huge Lamington National Park sign over the entrance and follow the signs to Picnic Rock.
For those that want to take the short detour to Elabana Falls from Picnic Rock, please be aware that the whole of Elabana Falls is only visible if you are willing and able to scramble over large rocks with a big drop off. Many people do this with assistance from fellow hikers, but many also turn back, especially if it is wet and slippery as they don’t want to risk injury. The walk to Picnic Rock and the Picnic Rock area (above) itself is the highlight in my personal opinion anyway, and you still get to see parts of the falls. I absolutely love it!
What is your favorite mountain walk that has a great spot for lunch?