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 ane awe-inspiring two-tiered waterfall surrounded by the lush Gondwana Rainforest. Safe to say that Elabana Falls is not to be missed when visiting the Gold Coast hinterland.
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 on the hike down to Elabana Falls.
Also, at the bottom of this Elabana Falls 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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HOW TO GET TO ELABANA FALLS
Elabana Falls is located in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforests in Lamington National Park, South East Queensland.
From the main tourist hub on the Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, it’s approximately a 1.5-hour drive to reach Elabana Falls 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 Elabana Falls from here, the journey time is approximately 2-hours.
There is no public transport to access Lamington National Park so you will need to have your own vehicle to make the drive up to Elabana Falls.
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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.
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 Elabana Falls
Elabana Falls Lamington National Park
BEST TIME TO VISIT ELABANA FALLS
Elabana Falls is quite 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 Elabana 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 Elabana 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
Incredible Elabana Falls
Starting point for Elabana Falls
THE TRAILS TO ELABANA FALLS
There are two different trails to reach Elabana 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 Elabana Falls 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 your Elabana Falls adventure!
The trailhead to Elabana Falls
Signpost with hiking trail information
On the way to Elabana Falls Lamington National Park
Clearly marked signposts to Elabana Falls
WHAT TO EXPECT ON THE TRAIL TO ELABANA FALLS
I personally took the Box Forest Circuit Trail to reach Elabana falls 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 to Elabana Falls, the Main Border Track is a 4km round trip that takes approximately 2 hours to complete from start to finish.
The trail to Elabana Falls 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 to Elabana Falls 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 down to Elabana Falls 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 to Elabana Falls Lamington National Park.
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Elabana Falls Main Border Track
Singpost on the way down to Elabana Falls
Creek crossings on the Box Forest Circuit
PICNIC ROCK LAMINGTON NATIONAL PARK
Picnic Rock is located just 2 minutes’ before you reach Elabana 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 Elabana Falls 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 Falls I guarantee you will be in complete awe. This Lamington National Park waterfall boasts not just one, but two epic waterfalls.
Elaban Falls features and 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 Elabana 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 of Elabana Falls, 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 Elabana Falls and marveling at the lush green nature that surrounds this one-of-a-kind waterfall in Lamington National Park.
The beautiful Elabana Falls
Quick selfie at Elabana Falls
ELABANA FALLS MAP
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WHERE TO STAY IN LAMINGTON NATIONAL PARK
There are only a few places to stay near Elabana Falls in Lamington National Park which I have listed below 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 NEAR ELABANA FALLS, SEE MY COMPLETE GUIDE ON WHERE TO STAY ON THE GOLD COAST
BEST TIME TO VISIT GOLD COAST
The Gold Coast is one of the only places on the East Coast of Australia that sees glorious sunshine almost all year round.
If you want the best of the best conditions weatherwise, I recommend visiting between May and October (Autumn – Spring) which is most ideal for beach bumming, nature walks and water sports.
Summer on the Gold Coast is between December and February which sees hot temperatures and a lot of rainfall.
LONELY PLANET – AUSTRALIA
One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Australia Travel Guide!
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MORE AUSTRALIA TRAVEL GUIDES
- Gold Coast: 3 Day Gold Coast Itinerary
- Gold Coast: 11 Best Gold Coast Beaches
- Springbrook: Springbrook Waterfalls
- Currumbin: Currumbin Rock Pools
- Brisbane: Things To Do In Brisbane
- Byron Bay: Things To Do In Byron Bay
- Sydney: Things To Do In Sydney
- Melbourne: Things To Do In Melbourne
- Fraser Island: Fraser Island Day Trip
BEST GOLD COAST TOURS
AIRBNB GOLD COAST
Another option for accommodation in Gold Coast is to stay in an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals!
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WHAT TO PACK FOR GOLD COAST
Everyday Backpack: One of the best backpacks on the market! The Nomatic 20L Backpack is perfect for on the go adventures. Featuring multiple storage spaces for valuables, drink bottles, chargers, notebooks and more. This sleek backpack was designed for you.
Universal Power Adapter: Don’t leave home without one! I highly recommend getting this Universal Power Adapter so that you are able to charge all of your electronics when you’re on the road. Compatible in Asia, UK, Europe, Africa, USA, SA and Australia.
Hidden Money Belt: I never go on a trip without one! The best thing is they are always out of sight, hidden beneath your clothing. With RFID blocking, they are perfectly designed to keep your credit cards, cash and other valuables safe when you’re out adventuring!
Waterproof Phone Case: A waterproof phone case is a must-have item! This universal case will keep your phone safe from water damage, sand and scratches during your adventures. Suitable for all smartphone models.
Portable Charger: One of the best portable chargers on the market! The Anker Power Bank keeps your phone and accessories charged on those longer adventures. Featuring 2 USB charging ports, rechargeable battery, works with iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Oppo and Android.
Microfibre Travel Towel: To pack a towel or not to pack a towel? A standard bathroom towel can take up a lot of space in your travel bag. Get your hands on a quick-dry Microfibre Travel Towel which is perfect for the beach, backpacking, camping and general traveling.
Rain Jacket: A light-weight rain jacket is an absolute must when traveling! North Face waterproof rain jackets come in both men and women sizes, featuring a breathable mesh lining and adjustable hood that can be tucked away inside the collar.
Kindle: The best alternative for books! Kindle e-readers are perfect for long haul flights, reading on the beach or a quiet evening away from the bars. Kindle’s are waterproof with rechargeable batteries and adjustable light settings to suit indoor/outdoor conditions.
Packing Cubes: My favorite item in my backpack! Perfect for organizing your shirts, pants, jackets, socks, underwear and more. This 5 Set Packing Cubes makes packing easier and more efficient, adding extra space in your bag for your next trip.
Activated Charcoal Tablets: Want to avoid food poisoning? Most of us have been a victim of travelers diarrhea from eating street food. Organic Activated Charcoal Tablets are fast-acting and will rid your system of the bad bacteria that causes stomach upset.
MY CAMERA GEAR
Everyday Camera: The most affordable mirrorless camera on the market! I personally use the Sony A7ii Mirrorless Camera on all of my adventures. It’s compact, lightweight and super easy to use for all levels of photography. A 28-70mm Sony lens is also included.
Drone Camera: Take your photography to new heights! The DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone is at the top of the game when it comes to high-quality images and video, easy to control functions and traveler-friendly capabilities. I guarantee you won’t regret purchasing one.
GoPro Hero 8: One of the most popular cameras on the planet! I love using the GoPro Hero 8 for all of my underwater shots and fast-paced adventures. The GoPro Hero 8 captures the best moments with its wide range of functions that are very simple to use!
Camera Bag: My favorite camera bag I have ever owned! The Lowepro Protactic 450 AW II Camera Bag features a waterproof rain cover, drink bottle holder, padded compartments for cameras, drones, lenses, accessories and it also has a laptop pocket.
Selfie Stick: Everyone loves a good selfie, right!? The Sandmarc Metal Edition Selfie Stick is sleek, stylish and can extend to 1.2m. I find it much easier to take photos and videos with the GoPro when it is mounted to the Sandmarc Selfie Stick!
Camera Tripod: The Joby GorillaPod is suitable for all cameras. This tripod is easy to use and perfect for setting up a time-lapse video or even using it as a selfie stick. The legs are flexible so you can wrap it around a tree or a pole to get creative with your shot.
GoPro Dome: Have you ever wanted to capture those under/over water shots with the GoPro? This epic underwater GoPro dome housing is the best camera accessory to have to create the perfect 50/50 shot. I use mine every time I am in the ocean!
Memory Card: The best thing about SanDisk Extreme Pro is that it delivers maximum speed for images and videos. Having 64GB of storage means that you can store hundreds of files on this SD card for 2-3 days and not have to worry about running out of space.
External Hard Drive: As a photographer, my images and video files take up a lot of space on my MacBook so I use the WD Elements External Hard Drive to store everything. With 4TB worth of storage space, this is more than enough for 1 years worth of content.
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FINAL THOUGHTS OF ELABANA FALLS
I hope you have enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions at all about Elabana Falls Lamington National Park, please leave a comment below and I will reply as soon as I can!