This is one of those hikes where you begin at the top of the mountain, making you’re way down and then back up again. Unfortunately, not one where you get magnificent views, but you are greeted along the hike by two spectacular waterfalls and surrounded by thick lush rainforest.
The drive up the mountain was eerily beautiful, surrounded by fog and drizzling rain. The moss and deep green leaves standing out the most amongst the grey surrounds. On the way up the mountain you first pass an Alpaca farm, which seemed strange to have an alpaca farm on top of a mountain, but hey anything goes I suppose.
Driving another 20 minutes along the slightly smaller than normal road you come to a dead end. This dead end is where the beautiful O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat is located and the start of the Box Forest Circuit.
The hike starts across the road from O’Reilly’s on the Border Track and then a couple of km’s onwards it branches onto Box Forest Circuit. Just remember to go clockwise when you begin, so you leave the waterfalls as the treat toward the end of the hike.
I have to warn you not to do this hike when it is wet if you have any sort of problem or fear of leeches. I’m not too bothered by them. But it was a bit distracting to stop every couple of km’s to make sure there weren’t any leeches on us or to get them off us. They are also little buggers when taking photo’s! One was crawling up my tripod in search of some skin (& blood). I have to give them credit for trying so hard!
The first waterfall you come across is Picnic Rock. You have to deviate from the main track and go down a short cleared path to reach this waterfall. I recommend you do it though, as it is very impressive. Rounding the corner of this little path you suddenly get blown in the face with fresh water and the thunderous sound of water crashing down on the rocks.
The second waterfall you come across is Elabana Falls. Which is a big waterfall followed by a series of little falls flowing after one another. I love how the branches and leaves have grown out from the rocks, with water flowing through them.
After these amazing natural wonders it’s back to business, making the trek back up the mountain. Once we made it out of the dense forest and back on the road to our car. The sun was shining bright by now, and I thought how differently everything looks once the fog and rain cleared.
I do recommend starting early in the morning and allowing most of your day to do this hike, especially if coming from Brisbane. As the overall round trip and hike took between 6 to 7 hours.
To see more photos click here :)