This park is one of the oldest and most well known parks in Queensland. Lamington Park is mainly a plateau covered in thick rainforest (some would call it jungle). The two major access points have lodges and a set of very well built developed tracks has been built from these lodges and across the park. Most visitors follow the tracks and indeed, the tracks provide easy walking for overnight trips. There are restrictions on where you can camp and this is fair enough as you must camp away from the lodges and preferably off the tracks. For those who like exploring or tougher walks, this park offers some excellent off-track walks of all standards. For first time visitors it is not recommended to leave the track system as these off-track walks are usually much harder than expected.
There are a variety of walks available. For an easy 2 or 3 days the established track system on the north-east end provide excellent walks and is highly recommended to the first time visitor. Away from the graded tracks are some excellent walks which follow rough bush pads. The Stinson Wreck, Lost World, Point Lookout, Fountain Falls Running Creek Falls and Black Canyon are some of the better known routes suitable for experienced off-track walkers.
At present a new management plan for the park has been presented. This plan provides the potential to ban overnight bushwalking in some sections of the park. While it was supposed to be publically discussed it appears that the consultation process was not folowed. The Queensland Federation of Bushwalkers is currently disputing parts of this plan - see the thread running in the Bushwalking newsgroup or visit the Queensland's Federation site for more information.
Lamington National Park is located near the coast on the New South Wales/Queensland border. It is 90km south of the capital of the state, Brisbane and is close to the extensively developed, Gold Coast.
The park is accessed by following narrow sealed roads from the small town of Nerang. Regular daily bus services from Brisbane and Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast provide public transport to the eastern access, Binna Burra. Car parking is limited and at holiday periods, cars are parked for miles along the access roads - I suggest you do not come here then.
The 1:25,000 Lamington map shows all tracks and is excellent if walking the track system. If leaving the tracks then obtain the 1:25,000 topographical maps Beechmont and Tyalgum. Track notes are available from several sources. Bushwalking In Australia by John & Monica Chapman describes a 3 day walk around the formal track system. For walks on both the tracks and away from the tracks see Secrets of The Scenic Rim by Robert Rankin and also Bushpeople's Guide to Bushwalking in South-East Queensland.
Camping permits are required if staying overnight in Lamington National Park. Restrictions apply to total numbers allowed to camp at a time and also to camping locations in many areas. Camping is not allowed near the access points (the two lodges) and if walking on the maintained tracks, then only designated sites can be used. As this park is popular, it is recommended to book permits well ahead. One warning is no permits are issued for the really busy periods around Christmas and during school holidays as the rangers do not have the time (their quote - not mine). Permits cost A$3.50 per person per night.