Elabana Falls is one of the best and most popular waterfalls on the Gold Coast which can be reached via an easy to moderate, 4km return walking trail.
Located in the Green Mountains section of Lamington National Park, Elabana Falls features an awe-inspiring two-tiered waterfall surrounded by the lush Gondwana Rainforest.
In this guide, I have included useful information on how to get to Elabana Falls Lamington National Park, the best time to visit, and what to expect when you arrive.
Also, at the bottom of this blog post, you will find my recommendations on where to stay in Lamington National Park, a list of fun-fuelled Gold Coast tours, and links to more of my Gold Coast travel guides that you might like to check out!
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WHERE IS ELABANA FALLS?
Elabana Falls is located in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforest in Lamington National Park, Gold Coast.
From the main tourist hub on the Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, it’s approximately a 1.5-hour drive to reach Lamington National Park. From the southern end of the Gold Coast, Coolangatta, the journey time is around 1-hour and 40 minutes.
If you are based in Brisbane and wish to visit from here, the journey time is approximately 2 hours.
HOW TO GET HERE
There is no public transport to access Lamington National Park so you will need to have your own vehicle to visit.
The road leading out to Lamington National Park is unbelievably scenic with a few lookout points along the way that are clearly signposted and worthy of stopping at to take a quick photo.
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LAMINGTON NATIONAL PARK TOURS
Alternatively, you can book a tour to Lamington National Park departing from either Brisbane or Gold Coast which includes return transfers from your hotel, a tour of Lamington National Park and its waterfalls, breathtaking views on the O’Reilly’s Treetop Walk, and much more!
Exploring the falls
The main falls
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Elabana Falls is a popular tourist attraction and it can get quite busy on the weekends. If you can time your visit for a weekday, you will get to enjoy this beautiful waterfall with fewer people.
The best time to visit the falls, in my opinion, is between 9 am and 3 pm. Due to its location at the bottom of the valley, you’ll need around 2-4 hours (depending on which trail you take) to complete the hike down to the falls and back up again.
If you are planning to spend an entire day exploring Lamington National Park, I recommend pre-packing a lunch and plenty of drinking water before heading up the mountain. There is only one cafe which is O’Reilly’s Mountain Cafe, though their menu can be quite expensive if you’re on a tight budget.
RELATED ARTICLE → 3 DAY GOLD COAST ITINERARY
The trailhead to the falls
THE TRAILS TO THE FALLS
There are two different trails to reach the falls, one is the Box Forest Circuit Trail – 10.9km, 4 hours return, and the other trail is the Main Border Track – 4km, 2 hours return.
Both of these trails have the same starting point and the trailhead is located directly across the road from the main reception area at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat.
You will find more signposts along the way to which are clearly marked so you won’t have to worry about getting lost.
There is a large parking lot next to O’reilly’s Mountain Cafe with plenty of free car parking spaces available and the trailhead is clearly signposted.
There are also toilet amenities and picnic areas next to O’reilly’s Mountain Cafe which you can make use of before and after the hike!
Signpost with hiking trail information
On the way to the falls
Clearly marked signposts
WHAT TO EXPECT ON THE TRAIL
I personally took the Box Forest Circuit Trail to reach Elabana Waterfall and I highly recommend taking this route if you have the time. It took us around 4.5 hours from start to finish, including plenty of stops to take photos at multiple waterfalls which can be found along this trail.
If you are pressed for time and want to take the short and easy route, the Main Border Track is a 4km round trip that takes approximately 2 hours to complete from start to finish.
The trail is a combination of tar-sealed pathways, rock steps, and clearly marked dirt tracks, making it suitable for guests of all ages.
Each of the trails will lead you through the lush Gondwana Rainforest that makes up the Green Mountains section of Lamington National Park.
There are some fun obstacles on the way that you will encounter such as hanging vines, enormous Strangler Fig trees, flowing streams, and creek crossings, all of which add to the exciting adventure!
Also, don’t forget to pack some snacks and plenty of drinking water before heading off on your hike in Lamington National Park.
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Main Border Track
Singpost on the way down to falls
Creek crossings on the Box Forest Circuit
PICNIC ROCK LAMINGTON NATIONAL PARK
Picnic Rock is located just 2 minutes before you reach the falls on the Main Border Track.
The name speaks for itself, featuring a large flat rock perched right on top of a freshwater stream. I recommend stopping here before or after visiting as it’s an excellent spot to go for a swim and have a picnic.
Picnic Rock Lamington National Park
WHAT TO EXPECT AT ELABANA FALLS
When you first lay eyes on Elabana Waterfall I guarantee you will be in complete awe. This Lamington National Park waterfall boasts not just one, but two epic waterfalls.
The falls feature an upper waterfall that looks like a curtain threaded with satin silver and a lower cascade which consists of multiple streams of water flowing into a natural swimming hole.
First things first, is taking a dip in the natural pool to cool off after the hike down and you can even swim right up beneath the falls, dipping your head under for a free massage.
RELATED ARTICLE → MORANS FALLS
There are plenty of dry areas on the edges of the natural cascades at Elabana Falls where you can set down your belongings safely.
The discharge of water from the falls is not too powerful and it’s safe to stand directly beneath the flow of water. Not a bad spot for a fresh cold water shower if you ask me!
The swimming area beneath the falls is quite shallow on the edges so I wouldn’t recommend doing any rock jumping into the basin.
It’s also possible to explore and go swimming in the natural pool on the upper level, but take extra care and watch your step as it can be quite slippery when wet.
You could easily spend around 30 minutes here, swimming at the falls and marveling at the lush green nature that surrounds this one-of-a-kind waterfall in Lamington National Park.
Natural swimming hole
WHERE TO STAY IN LAMINGTON NATIONAL PARK
There are only a few places to stay in Lamington National Park to suit the needs of budget backpackers, luxury travelers, and everyone in between.
See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
LUXURY: O’REILLY’S RAINFOREST RETREAT
MID-RANGE: CANUNGRA HOTEL
BUDGET: THE CANUNGRA MOTEL
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY, SEE MY COMPLETE GUIDE ON WHERE TO STAY ON THE GOLD COAST
BEST GOLD COAST TOURS
MORE AUSTRALIA TRAVEL GUIDES
The east coast of Australia boasts awesome beaches, lakes, waterfalls, hikes, and many more fun-fuelled adventures waiting to be had.
This is what Australia is all about and what I aim to share with you in my destination guides.
Click on the links below to see more related posts:
- Hamilton Island: 10 Things To Do In Hamilton Island
- Agnes Water: 17 Things To Do In Agnes Water
- Yeppoon: 10 Best Beaches In Yeppoon
- Brisbane: Things To Do In Brisbane
- Gold Coast: 3 Day Gold Coast Itinerary
- Fraser Island: Fraser Island Day Trip
- Byron Bay: Things To Do In Byron Bay
- Crescent Head: 9 Things To Do In Crescent Head
- Forster: 7 Things To Do In Forster
- Port Macquarie: 7 Best Beaches In Port Macquarie
- Sydney: Things To Do In Sydney
- Kiama NSW: 3 Awesome Things To Do In Kiama
- Melbourne: Things To Do In Melbourne
LONELY PLANET AUSTRALIA
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