Lamington National Park


Lamington National Park

Infobox_protected_area_of_Australia | name = Lamington National Park
iucn_category = II



caption =
locator_x = 269
locator_y = 126
nearest_town_or_city = Canungra
coordinates = coord|28|08|32|S|153|06|55|E|type:landmark_region:AU
area = 206 km²
established = July 1915
visitation_num =
visitation_year =
managing_authorities = Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service
official_site = [http://www.epa.qld.gov.au/projects/park/index.cgi?parkid=97 Lamington National Park]

Lamington is a national park in Queensland, Australia, lying on the Lamington Plateau. It is a part of the World Heritage site, Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves on the Queensland/New South Wales border. From Southport on the Gold Coast the park is 85 km to the southwest and Brisbane is 120 km north.

Geography

Part of the Scenic Rim, most of the park is situated 900 m above sea level only 30 km from the Pacific's ocean shores. The plateaus and cliffs in Lamington and Springbrook National Parks are the Northern and North Western remnants of the huge 20 million year old Wollumbin volcano, Mount Warning. Some of the mountains located in the park include Mount Toolona, Mount Cominan, Mount Roberts and Mount Bithongabel.

The Nerang River, Albert River and Coomera River all have their source in Lamington National Park.cite book |year=1980 |title=Seeing South-East Queensland |edition=2 |pages=53 |publisher=RACQ |isbn=0-909518-07-6 ]

History

For at least 6000 years, Aboriginal people lived in and visited these mountains.cite book |last=Lackner |first=Thomas |year=1989 |title=Discovering Binna Burra on Foot |publisher=Envirobook |isbn=0858810883 ] The vanished Wangerriburras and Nerangballum tribes claimed home to the plateau territory. Roughly 900 years ago the indigenous population began to decline.

Captain Patrick Logan and Allan Cunningham were the first European explorers in the area. The timber cutters soon followed, including the Lahey family who owned one of Queensland's largest timber mills at the time.cite book |title=Discover Australia's National Parks |last=Hema Maps |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |year=1997 |publisher=Random House Australia |location=Milsons Point, New South Wales |isbn=1975992472 |pages=182-183 ]

Robert Martin Collins campaigned heavily for the protection of the area from logging from the 1890s. Later it was another local, Romeo Lahey who recognised the value of preserving the forests. He campaigned to make it one of the first protected areas in Queensland.cite book |title=Heritage Trails of the Great South East |last=Queensland Environmental Protection Agency |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |year=2000 |publisher=State of Queensland |location= |isbn=0-7345-1008-X |pages=18 ] The O’Reilly family established a guesthouse near the park in 1926, now named O'Reilly's Rainforest Guest House, and founding members of the National Parks Association of Queensland built Binna Burra Lodge next to the park in the 1930s (Note: Accommodation/External Links).

The park was named after Lord Lamington, Governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1902.

Bernard O’Reilly became a hero when he rescued the survivors from a crashed Stinson plane from the remote Lamington wilderness. In typical Aussie Bushman Fashion he embarked on his rescue mission taking only onions to eat. Only a small portion of the original wreck remains today, 10 km south from from the Oreilly's guesthouse.

Natural heritage

in New South Wales.

Flora

The park’s beautiful rainforests include one of the largest upland subtropical rainforest remnants in the world and the most northern southern beech cool temperate rainforests in Australia. The roots of the oldest Antarctic beech trees are over 5000 years old. The park protects one of the country's largest remaining forests of hoop pine. [cite web |url=http://www.epa.qld.gov.au/parks_and_forests/find_a_park_or_forest/lamington_national_park/lamington_national_park__nature_culture_and_history/ |title=Lamington National Park: Nature, culture and history |accessdate=2008-03-10 |format= |work= ]

Many of Lamington's plants are found nowhere else on earth, such as O’Reilly's Pittosporum, the Lamington Peach Myrtle, and the Mt Merino Eyebright, Everlasting Daisy and Gaultheria which are subalpine relics from the last ice age. In 2006 it was realised that an old collection of the Eastern Underground Orchid ("Rhizanthella slateri") from Lamington was actually a separate species and has been described as the "Lamington Underground Orchid" ("Rhizanthella omissa"). This Orchid like the two other related species has no chlorophyll and depends entirely upon a symbiotic fungus for survival. It is also one of only four flowering plants on Earth to complete its life cycle entirely underground. Sadly one of Lamington's more than 100 fern species is now presumed extinct, Antrophyum austroqueenslandicum was known from only a single plant which has since died and no onther plants have been found.

Lamington is also home to a large number of threatened plant species such as the Ravine and Blotched "Sarchochilus" orchids.

Fauna

The area is an important refuge for the region. Lamington is home to an incredible variety of wildlife including rare and threatened animals such as the Coxen’s fig-parrot, Eastern Bristlebird, Albert's Lyrebird, Richmond Birdwing butterfly. The blue Lamington Crayfish is found only on the Lamington plateau in pools and streams above an altitude of 450 metres. [cite web |url=http://lamington.nrsm.uq.edu.au/Documents/Anim/yab.htm |title=Lamington Spiny Crayfish |accessdate=2008-03-10 |format= |work=Waterlife of Lamington National Park ] The vulnerable Large-eared Pied Bat is found in the park.

Waterfalls

The park contains numerous waterfalls such as Elabana Falls and Running Creek Falls in the south of the park which falls into a box canyon. Yarrbilgong Falls and Coomera Falls flow into Coomera Gorge.

Morans Falls is an attraction that is passed on the 6 km Morans Falls Track. Upper Ballanjui Falls, Lower Ballanjui Falls, Stairway Falls and Nagarigoon Falls are also located in the national park.

Bushwalking

The park is covered by a series of clearly marked walks that were constructed during the Great Depression. Some are short and others are steep and take up to seven hours to complete. The well maintained and signed Border Track, follows the border between New South Wales and Queensland along the top of the McPherson Range. This track links Binna Burra to the O'Reilly guesthouse at Green Mountains, a distance of some 21 kilometres which can be completed one way in a day or 7 to 8 hours.A number of other well marked and varied walks connect with this Border Track creating a network which can be easily negotiated by relatively inexperienced bushwalkers. These include the Box Forest Circuit (10.9 km or 4 hours return from O'Reilly's), Toolona Creek Circuit (17.4 km or 6 hours return), and the Albert River Circuit (20.6 km or 7 hours return to O'Reilly's) to name some of the best known. While the Border Track remains reasonably level for most of its length, many of the other tracks decend to lower altitudes of 750 metres or less and provide access to some of the incredible variety of flora, fauna and geography to be found in the park.

Another attraction is the Rainforest Canopy Walk, suspended 15 metres above the ground. This walk provides the opportunity to safely walk through the canopy of the forest.

For experienced walkers there are also numerous trails traversing the park. These trails do not have clear tracks; in many cases there are only occasional markers in the natural forest and it is inadvisable to use them without the company of an experienced bushwalker who knows the area.

The walk to the Stinson wreck is long and steep in places. Map reading and good navigation skills are a necessity and National Park Rangers should be notified before commencing. Camping overnight is not permitted without a permit.

There are a number of natural hazards such as leeches, snakes and stinging trees that bushwalkers should be aware of.

Accommodation

Lamington National Park is serviced by two equally renowned Guest Houses/Lodges, Binna Burra Mountain Lodge and O'Reilly's Rainforest Guest House.

See also

* Protected areas of Queensland (Australia)

References

External links

* [http://www.epa.qld.gov.au/projects/park/index.cgi?parkid=97 Official site]
* [http://www.binnaburralodge.com.au Binna Burra Mountain Lodge]
* [http://www.oreillys.com.au O'Reilly's Rainforest Guest House]
* [http://lamington.nrsm.uq.edu.au/HistoryMenu.htm History of the Lamington Plateau]
* [http://lamington.nrsm.uq.edu.au/MainMenu.html Green Mountains Natural History Association]
* [http://www.fudomouth.net/intertext/ap_ozchapter5.htm "Back-paths of the dark earth" - experiences studying ecology in Lamington National Park]


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