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Trail Guide

7 Must-Do Trail Runs on The Gold Coast


7 Must-Do Trail Runs on The Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is blessed with a myriad of trail running options within a short drive of the famous coastline. This vast array of choice means that it can sometimes be hard to decide on "where to go" if you're short on time, in town for only a brief while, or looking to impress that special someone.

Let Judd Adventures do the work for you and check out our list of the 7 must-do trail runs on the GC!



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!