Hikes Worth Knowing About in Brisbane & Surrounds
Feel like hiking this weekend? Short of energy and inspiration? Sometimes our daily routines can get the better of us. If you want nothing more than a holiday, but don’t have the time or funds available, a weekend hiking trip (or even a day trip) can do wonders for your mental and physical health.
There is no shortage of gorgeous lookouts and walks near Brisbane. You can find paths in many of the local parks that will fit any fitness level or time constraint.
Whether you’re after a challenging path with little guidance, or a more established trail, we have one for you. These parks and trails often have campsites as well, so you can take a weekend trip to the mountains if you like.
Take a break from sitting in front of a screen this weekend and get out into nature with these 7 epic hikes!
Kondalilla Falls National Park
Kondalilla Falls National Park walking trails are perfect for explorers who want to get a taste of the Australian wilderness. You’re almost guaranteed to see a variety of species of birds, a platypus or two, and some wallabies hopping around the towering trees.
There are several short and long walking trails at the park. You can choose a duration and difficulty that fits your schedule and experience.
If you want to make a weekend out of your trip, try the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk.
This hike will take you 58km, and provides a few different spots where you can stop to set up camp for the night.
- 91km north of Brisbane, 4.7km, grade 3 track
- Recommended for people with some bushwalking experience
- Allow 2.5 hours
- Open 24 hours
- Wildlife: a range of bird species, reptiles & frogs
- Picnic areas & toilets
- Bunya pines, piccabeen palms & lush rainforest
Lamington National Park
Lamington National Park is another park that provides a plethora of walking trails. You’re sure to find one that fits your fitness level and desired duration once you visit their information area.
The trip to Lamington is an experience in itself. It sits less than two hours away from Brisbane, and the tail-end of your journey will have you winding through gorgeous roads carved into the mountains.
You can choose to visit the Green Mountain section for your hike or take a trip through time on the long Stinson Wreck Trail. This trail takes about ten hours to complete and will take you to the site of the tragic Stinson plane crash from 1937.
There are some campsites along this trail, so you don’t have to complete it in one day.
No matter which direction you take, you’re in for some stunning views and passing waterfalls along your travels.
- Made up of 2 sections: Green mountains & Binna Burra
- Forests, creeks & waterfalls
- Lovely views & lookouts
- Camping available in the Green Mountains section (200 metres from the information centre)
- Permit is required for camping, and you must book in advance
- Wide range of walks from quick strolls to longer, challenging hikes
- For more information on the various features & tracks within the park, click here.
The Glasshouse Mountains are remains of volcanic activity that occurred millions of years ago. They offer a great range of hikes, ideal for those seeking a true uphill hike over a relaxing walk. Out of the more popular mountains in this range, Mount Tibrogargan offers hikers more of a challenge.
Reaching the summit of Mt. Tibrogargan will take you about two or three hours, depending on your fitness level. It’s 364 meters to the top, and once you see the view, you’ll realise the hike was worth it.
If you think this mountain is a bit too much for you, there are always other options. Mt. Ngungun, for instance, will give you a similar sense of satisfaction without the uphill effort.
There are some stone steps to help less experienced hikers reach the top of Mt. Ngungun. If you enjoy finding your own footing, though, Mt. Tibrogargan is the peak for you.
To get there from Brisbane, follow the Bruce Highway north, turn off at the Glass House Mountains tourist drive exit and follow the signs towards the Glass Mountains.
Can’t get enough of the Glasshouse Mountains? Other routes you could try:
- Mount Beerwah: Just 1.5 hours’ drive outside of the Brisbane CBD, this track can get tricky as there is some scrambling involved, but if you’re up for the challenge you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view.
- Wild Horse Mountain Track: 1.4km return track. Steep hills and stunning sunset views.
- The Trachyte Circuit: 6km. Takes roughly 2 hours. Walkers will experience open woodland & views of Glasshouse Mountain peaks.
- Location: about 70km north of Brisbane (1 hour drive)
- Open forests, panoramic views & lookouts
- Abseiling and rock climbing opportunities
- Challenging summit routes
- Wildlife: koalas, goannas, grey kangaroos, gorgeous birds and echidnas
- No camping areas within the national park, however, there is a camping area nearby at Coochin Creek in the Beerburrum State Forest
- Click here for further information about various features and routes
Springbrook National Park
Springbrook National Park provides a variety of scenic hiking trails only 90 minutes or so outside of Brisbane. You can marvel at the waterfalls from either above or below, depending on how rigorous of a hike you want.
The trails are mostly established, so you don’t have to worry too much about tripping over roots and rocks on your walk.
Most of them are relatively easy, and you will discover marvellous views on the 4km trails like the Purlingbrook Falls Circuit and the Twin Falls Circuit. They both have cafes on the route, so you don’t have to worry about packing lunch.
If you’re looking for a longer, more difficult track, try the Warrie Circuit. This 17km trail will take you around five or six hours to complete.
- 90 minute drive from Brisbane
- Short & long walks
- Walk to the national bridge: 1.5km
- Warrie Circuit: 12km
- Waterfalls, ancient trees, lush rainforest & great views
- Home to glow worms and bats (National Bridge Circuit)
- Cafe stops on some routes (Purlingbrook Falls & Twin Falls circuits)
- Camping area available called the Settlement
Mount Barney National Park
Mount Barney National Park provides some of the most challenging collection of peaks on this list. There are several mountains to choose from at this park, with the most difficult being Mt. Barney itself.
There is a fair bit of scrambling on the journey up these mountains, so they aren’t the best for people who just want a relaxing walk. If you enjoy rugged hikes, however, Mt. Barney National Park has plenty for you.
Mt. Maroon is a shorter hike than Mt. Barney, and will only take you around four to six hours. Hiking up Mt. Barney will bring you closer to ten, so make sure you have everything you need for a full day on the mountain.
- Sub-tropical rainforest
- Varied vegetation, open hills, rare and unusual plant species
- Camping is available but can only be reached by foot
- Abundant wildlife
- The walks in this national park are longer, and consist of grade 4 and 5 difficulty levels
- Open 24 hours
- If you decide to camp, you will need to have a permit & fees apply
- For more information on the tracks available at Mount Barney National Park, click here.
Mt Coot-tha: The Honeyeater Track
The Honeyeater Track is one of a few trails you can try in the area. Close to home (if you’re in Brisbane), this one is located just 15 minutes from the CBD (if you’re driving). Mt Coot-tha is Brisbane’s largest natural area, boasting a variety of tracks, open Eucalyptus forest and a city backdrop.
This walk can be challenging at times, but it’s a fairly short one (about 1 hour at a steady pace) and you’ll be able to enjoy a cafe pitstop along the way.
To get there, follow Samuel Griffith drive, past the summit lookout, and you’ll find a paved parking area to the left.
- Close to Brisbane
- Costs/permits: None
- Wildlife: Birds, butterflies & water dragons
- Cafe stop to refuel
- Open eucalyptus forest & bushland
Mt Tamborine National Park
Tamborine National Park is located in the Gold Coast Hinterland, about 1 hour from Brisbane if you’re driving. Most of the walking tracks in the area are relatively short, so you don’t need to commit to hours of walking. However, you won’t compromise on an adventure!
You can try Curtis Falls (1.5km return) for a half-hour, moderate track, where you’ll enjoy a rainforest walk accompanied by a steep descent to a large pool.
Palm Grove Rainforest circuit is another option if you’re after an easier walk. It takes about 1 hour to complete (2.6km), car parking is available and you’ll get to see lush palm groves, rainforest, strangler figs and buttressed yellow carabeens.
You might also want to try:
- Cedar Creek Falls: Easy walk (900 metres return), features waterfalls, cascades & rock pools, picnic areas and toilets.
- Witches Falls Circuit: moderate walk, 3.1km return, allow 1 hour. Features a steep, but beautiful zig zag track through open forest; banksia trees, strangler figs, lagoons, palm groves & rainforest.
- Moderate and easy walks
- No camping permitted in the park, but you can camp in private grounds on Tamborine Mountain
- The park is only open during daylight hours
- Permits may be required for organised group trips or commercial activities
- Dense rainforest, towering eucalypt trees
- Swimming opportunity: Take the Joalah Lower Creek Circuit (2.4km) and jump straight into the creek for a refreshing cool-off
- Click here for more walks in the area.
No matter which peak you plan on reaching, the view will be spectacular. If you don’t mind a bit of rugged camping, the sight of a sunrise at the top of one of these mountains is one of the most beautiful scenes imaginable.