Lamington National Park – Green Mountains – Mount Merino Track – 24 km (class 4)
Starting from Green Mountains (O’Reilly) this track follows Border Track to NSW border at Mount Bithongabel (1199 m), then pass Mount Toolona (1190 m) and Toolona lookout with the view over Limpinwood Natural Reserve (NSW).
Next is Wanungara Lookout at Mount Wanungara (1189 m) and Nyamulli Lookout.
Chakoonya lookout with view up to Gold Coast is about halfway along the Border Track between Binna Burra and Green Mountains (O’Reilly). A short sidetrack from Border Track leads to two lookouts; Beereenbano and close to Mount Merino (1148 m) Merino lookout, with views over the Tweed and Limpinwood valleys. The track passes through areas of forest damaged during a severe storm in 1983.
Link to ancient times
One of our remaining links with the ancient ancestors of Gondwana is the presence of those majestic Antarctic beech (Nothofagus moorei). During a wetter, cooler time in Australia, about 50 million years ago, forest of those trees were widespread across the continent and provided a habitat for animals, many of which have long since disappeared from our landscape.
About 38 to 45 million years ago, as Australia drifted north from Antarctica, our climate cooled and dried dramatically, forcing rainforest to retreat to isolated areas of high rainfall on the east coast.
The Tweed Caldera was one area where Antarctic beech took refuge.
The ring of massive gnarled trunks you see today has grown from a single tree. Over many decades, this tree has undergone a process of coppicing – the dying and regrowing of new stems. This ring of growth encircles the site where a single seed began life some 2000 years ago.