The Canberra Photographic Society is planning an excursion to Binna Burra, in Lamington National Park in Queensland, for three full days and four nights, arriving Monday 24th July and leaving in the morning of Friday 28th July.
This is a rainforest destination with Gondwanaland flora, wildlife, creeks and waterfalls and some great vistas. There are lots of walks available ranging from short ones to long ones. Here’s a PDF map of the walks. Here’s a summary of the walks from the BinnaBurra Lodge site and here’s some more detailed information from Queensland National Parks. Binna Burra means “where the Antarctic Beech trees grow” in the local Aboriginal language and the Lodge opened in 1933.
Waterfall near Binna Burra, Infrared Colour Film, 10 Jan 1981.
The main reason for the timing is that rainfall is low at this period. It is also fairly cool, with mean temperatures ranging from 10°C to 23°C. This also means there are no ticks or leeches.
The excursion is for financial members of the Canberra Photographic Society only (and their spouses).
There is a variety of accommodation available.
- There are rooms in the lodge. Casuarina rooms can be double or twin share and have shared bathroom facilities. Acacia rooms can be queen, double or twin share and have ensuites and mountain or rainforest views.
- There are sky lodges which are 1, 2 or 3 room apartments with king beds or twin share. They are more modern and a better standard of accommodation and have impressive views.
- The Photographic Society of Queensland recently booked a stay at Binna Burra and particularly wanted to be able to take advantage of the evening view from the Sky Lodges.
- There is also the possibility of an extra person on a sofa bed in rooms and sky lodges.
- Then there is camping. You can have powered or unpowered sites or a Safari Tent for from 2 to 6 people which is provided with beds, vinyl floors, a fire pit and lighting but no power. You can also hire linen for the safari tent.
There is also the possibility of hiring a conference room for a few hours to have a showing and discussion of photographs.
Camping costs are straightforward. $28 per night for an unpowered site, $35 for powered and $105 for a safari tent, irrespective of the number of persons.
Room costs are more nebulous because we can book as a group and get a group discount and may all pay the same rate. When I can tell them how many will be turning up, they will offer us some options and rates. Ostensibly,
a Casuarina room with two persons and breakfast and dinner included costs $130 per person per night, an Acacia room with two persons $185 and a 3-room sky lodge with 6 people $147. It depends how many people we have and what we may receive as a group discount. See update below.
There are two main ways to get there. You can drive or you can fly.
- Ride sharing might be a possibility for the drive option though it’s too long to do in one hit – probably around 12 hours.
- Perhaps the most likely option is flying, to Brisbane or Gold Coast airports and Binna Burra Lodge will pick people up from those airports. Canberra to Brisbane direct takes 1 hr 40 to 50 each way and costs from $321 return. Canberra to Gold Coast takes 1 hr 30 to 40 each way if direct flights are available on that day and costs from $311 return.
- Binna Burra Lodge will pick people up from either airport for a cost per person each way of between $175 (1 person) and $44 (4 persons), $49 (5 persons) or $41 (6 persons).
- Going by train is a third option for pensioners, who can go free (though $10 for first class and maybe $100 for a sleeper). Perhaps combined with a rental car.
- The Lodge also picks people up from Nerang Station but the logistics of getting there from Canberra may be more trouble than it’s worth. (Perhaps they’ll pick up from Brisbane Station too).
So the cost per person probably works out to between $900 and $1,230 for rooms and flying, less whatever discount we get. (Of course, camping could be much cheaper).
In order to get the group discount, we need to have a group. So please indicate if you are interested. People can join later but may or may not get the group discount and the fewer who initially commit the less the discount will be. Also, group rooms may be together which may not be possible for people joining later.
To reserve a place you will need to record the following details in a comment below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org . Places are still available. See update below.
- Name (singles) or Names (couples)
- Definite commitment or expression of interest
- Preference and availability for dates, whether that affects commitment and whether you prefer to include weekend dates
- Whether you prefer a room or intend to be camping and any preferences you have in either respect.
Even if you send an email, please record your name(s) in a comment below. This will facilitate group discussions later on.
Update (28 March)
A group of us are going and most of us are staying in a four-bedroom house near the Binna Burra Lodge, Alcheringa. This appears to offer more spacious and better quality accommodation than the sky lodges and at better value.
Currently we still have space for up to an additional two singles or a couple. Cost will be $105 per person per night for one single or $200 for two singles or a couple.