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To celebrate Australia Day, I thought I’d list my Bucket List Top 5 Australian Trail Races:

= 5. Surf Coast Century
VIC | Spectacular coastal running. What’s not to like?

= 5. Two Bays Trail Run
VIC | Same state, coastal scenery. Sounds similar, but worth a run in its own right.

4. GNW100s
NSW | Lays claim to being Australia’s toughest trail ultra races.

3. Bogong to Hotham
VIC | I haven’t spent much time in the Victorian alpine region and this would be a great excuse for a holiday!

2. Six Foot Track
NSW | A super tough race in a great location.

1. TNF100 
NSW | I’m a little biased with this one as it’s my current goal race. Australia’s largest trail race, on some tough terrain.

There are plenty of excellent trail races not on this list (shameless plug: check out!), but these are the ones that I have my sights on in the next few years.

What’s on your trail running EVENT bucket list? (We’ll compile a list of non-race trail running locations another time!)

And, because it’s heading into Australia Day this weekend, here’s some Australian males fighting:

See you out there – Juddy



Daves Creek Circuit

Location: Binna Burra Section, Lamington National Park, Gold Coast QLD, Australia

View Binna Burra Section - Lamington National Park in a larger map

Run Type: Loop track with a short section of out-and-back | Singletrack, rainforest, hard-pack dirt, rocks, valley views, cliff views

Distance: 11.2km | Total Elevation Gain: 360m

Trail Map: To view at full size and/or print; click on the image to open the map, then right click and select 'save image as'. Open the map from the save location to view at full size.

Description: This route is a great example of what Gold Coast Hinterland trail running is all about. It combines rain- and dry-forest trail running with scenic cliff top views looking out over the Numinbah Valley. It’s picturesque and the trail quality is fantastic — more than worth the drive out there from the coastal areas.

Starting from the upper carpark near the Binna Burra campground and Lamington Tea House, make your way to the trail head adjacent to the toilet block. Follow the right-most trail onto the ‘Rainforest Track’, staying off the ‘Border Track’ for now. At your first track junction, continue straight on your current heading (don’t go left).  Ditto for the next track junction you come to — don’t take the ‘Tullawallal’ signed route.

Not far from the ‘Tullwallal’ track junction you come to another signposted track junction, at which you want to take the ‘Border Track’ heading south (this may also be signposted ‘Daves Creek Circuit’ and/or ‘Ships Stern Circuit’). This is the middle option at this junction, with the other two being the ‘Coomera Creek Circuit’ (right most option) and the ‘Border Track’ heading north (left most option).

Not too far from this track junction you come to yet another signposted junction where you want to follow the lower track (Daves Creek/Ships Stern), with the upper track (the right most option) being the Border Track heading off to O’Reilly’s (a lovely run, but it takes you about 19km the wrong way!). Following this trail you come to your last track junction on the ‘out’ section of this run where the Daves Creek and Ships Stern Circuits diverge — keep right.

On the Daves Creek section of the run there aren’t any choices to be made. There are short track offshoots in several locations and most often these are worth following for the views that await; none of these take you too far off the main track and are short out-and-backs only. Take the time to look out over the Numinbah Valley on your way round this section—spectacular!

Getting home isn’t too difficult. Following the trail you eventually meet the track junction off to the Ships Stern Circuit — keep left and don’t take it. A short way from here you come to another trail intersection; this time go right (left takes you back out on the Daves Creek Circuit). Continue running and ignore the Border Track heading back to O’Reilly’s — maintain your current heading. You soon come to the major 4-way track junction with the Coomera Creek Circuit; this time take the right most option (which will be the Border Track heading back to Binna Burra). From here, the rest is easy — follow the signs back to Binna Burra, ignoring the Rainforest Track detour when you come to it (which will be on your left).

Once back at your starting point you have a few options: pat yourself on the back and grab a coffee from the café, grab a coffee from the café and prepare to tackle another one of the numerous trails on offer, or skip the coffee and keep running! Whichever you choose, you’re in for a treat. Make the effort to get up to Binna Burra — you won’t be disappointed!

See you out there!



Woonoongoora Challenge

Location: Springbrook National Park, Gold Coast QLD, Australia

Run Type: Trail | singletrack, firetrail, stairs, rocky, steep climbing, forest, scenic, creek crossings

Distance: 9.6km return from Apple Tree Park to Chesters Rd; ~ 14km return to Numinbah Village

Total Elevation Gain: 550m (from Apple Tree Park to Chesters Rd return)

Trail Map: To view at full size and/or print; click on the image to open the map, then right click and select 'save image as'. Open the map from the save location to view at full size.

Description: A descent following more than 900 steps and steep singletrack down into the valley before a testing climb back up and out to Chesters Rd. This run forms a section of the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk, and for our Adventure we run it as an out-and-back, meaning that what starts out as a descent of countless steps, soon becomes a challenging climb back out! Directions are from Apple Tree Park heading towards Numinbah Village, although the run is just as achievable starting from the other end. 

Starting from Apple Tree park, head away from the road on the well defined trail. There are a few tracks branching off from the trail in the first 500m or so but you always want to stay on the main trail, which will be signposted with a "Great Walk" arrow. These arrows will be seen several times during your run, and if you're ever in doubt as to where to go simply keep an eye out for the arrow posts and you shouldn't have too many troubles. 

After the first flat 500m you will reach some well formed stairs leading down into the valley.

It's a steep descent from here (over 900 steps!) down to the Woonoongoora walkers camp. From the walkers camp you again follow the arrow signposts which take you further downhill along firetrails towards Waterfall Creek. You will cross Waterfall Creek twice in relatively quick succession before you skirt farmland and come out at a well maintained gravel firetrail heading up and out of the valley. Following this firetrail (and, again, following the arrow markers) you will eventually come out at the end of Chester's Rd.

If you head down Chesters Rd a short way you will quickly come to track step-through gates on both sides of the road (these gates give you access to the Waterfall Creek Circuit, a map of which can be found on one of our earlier posts here). These particular gates give access to the "Long Loop" shown on the Waterfall Creek map; alternatively you can continue down Chesters Rd until you come to another gate on your left, which is the gate to the "Short Loop" on the Waterfall Creek map. Either way, taking the left trails off Chesters Rd will take you down towards Numinbah Village, although the lower trail (the "Short Loop" gate from the Waterfall Creek map) is the "official" Great Walk track and is signposted as such.

For the GPS track link above we turned around on Chesters Rd and simply retraced our steps back to Apple Tree Park, including the 900 or so steps! For the keen, the run into Numinbah Village is nice and involves a fast descent, meaning you can add further climbing on the return journey of the out-and-back run.

The National Parks folks advise that all runners/walkers carry a Great Walks topographic map of the area, and this is wise advice. My additional advice is simply to watch out for the arrow signposts which are quite regular and usually obvious (assuming you are still on course!). If you follow the arrows and keep to the main trails you shouldn't run into too many problems.

This is a run that involves sustained climbing, but it's fun and covers some beautiful scenery if you lift your head long enough to take a look. It's also a great leg workout climbing the stairs and it sure beats using the stepper in a gym. Get outdoors and get dirty!

See you out there!