Those boots are made for walking – the best trails to hike in and around Brisbane
Brisbane is a breeding ground for breathtaking natural delights, with winding bush tracks, crystal-clear waterfalls and sky-high mountain peaks scattered around the city. If you’re up for a spot of adventure, we’ve rounded up some of the best hikes around Brisbane so you can start exploring the great outdoors. Are you ready, boots? Start walking!
Mt Coot-tha Reserve offers a variety of walking tracks with the most popular being the iconic (and ‘gramable) Summit Track. Just a 15-minute drive from The City, this trail starts at the Mt Coot-tha lookout and traverses down to the JC Slaughter Falls picnic area. It sits amongst a beautiful eucalypt forest with crystal-clear creek beds and amazing views over the city from the summit. If you’re planning to make tracks here, we recommend timing your trip to catch the sunset – it’s arguably the best view in town. Psst … the 2.4-kilometre Spotted Gum Trail linking the Mt Coot-tha summit to the Botanic Gardens at its base is a great beginners hike, so be sure to check it out!
D’Aguilar National Park
Only a half-hour drive from Brisbane, D’Aguilar National Park has plenty to see – remote gorges, green eucalypt woodland and spectacular views of the Moreton Bay region. Whether you’re a beginner when it comes to hiking or more of a trained pro, there are a few different trails you can take, depending on your abilities and experience. We suggest the 1.9-kilometre Rainforest Circuit for first-time visitors – it’s a real treat.
Fancy a day of hiking with a side of rock-pool swimming? Then jump in the car and head about an hour northwest to hidden gem Northbrook Gorges. This idyllic location is situated in the back country of Brisbane Forest Park, in the Southern Section of D’Aguilar National Park. You’ll trek through the bush and rock hop along riverbeds, discovering dreamy rock pools along the way. Be sure to pack your swimmers and wear shoes you won’t mind getting wet – there are spots that require you to wade or swim through water. Those swimmers, however, will come in doubly handy when you reach the highlight of Northbrook Gorges – the second gorge boasts a large crystal-clear rock swimming pool and a short waterfall.
Springbrook National Park
Located around 100 km south of Brisbane, Springbrook National Park has plenty of awesome walks and hikes. With difficulty levels ranging from a class one (suitable for disabled patrons with assistance) through to a class four (moderate fitness with previous experience recommended), the park offers tracks and trails that boast a breathtaking background of ancient forests and flowing waterfalls – including the famous Natural Bridge.
This mighty mountain is not for the faint-hearted. Known for pushing fitness levels to new limits, Mount Tibrogargan can be found at the Glass House Mountains on the Sunshine Coast (less than a one-hour drive from Brisbane City). If you start on the Tibrogargan circuit walk with a plan to reach the summit, be sure you’re ready for some sore buns the next day. This trail goes up rather steeply until you get to the base of a cliff where you then must climb your way to the top. Eventually, you’ll find yourself at the 364-m ear-popping summit – with amazing views, we might add.
Another one for the more experienced hikers, the 2.6-km Mount Beerwah trail is another great hike to tackle if you’re looking to travel up the coast (it’s a breezy 90-minute drive from Brisbane). This summit is still pretty serious business – some rock scrambling experience is essential, so be sure to wear the proper attire. Don’t be disheartened, this hike is definitely worth the extra effort – sweeping views of the Sunshine Coast hinterland will greet your pretty peepers when you reach the top.
Lamington National Park
Lush forestry, ancient trees and incomparable views surround Lamington National Park, a natural wonder packed with a range of walks suitable for every type of hiker. Stretch your legs through the Rainforest circuit or Centenary track, or take your time traversing the Python Rock track. There are plenty more advanced trails that are accessible from both the Binna Burra section and Green Mountains section of the park, for the more dexterous amblers willing to take their time. You can rest your legs on the car trip home, which takes just over an hour and a half up the motorway.
Just over an hour’s trip from Brisbane is where you’ll discover Tamborine Mountain, a dreamy destination that’s well known for its incredible rainforest walks. Find your feet at the Sandy Creek Circuit or Witches Falls, or try to spot a platypus or two at the enchanting walk through Curtis Falls – wherever you choose, these picturesque hinterland trails are perfect for those looking to stroll a bit more slowly. Cooler temperatures, bountiful greenery and great lookouts promise any walkway on Mount Tambo is worth the drive.
Mount Barney National Park
A two-hour roadtrip from Brisbane is all it takes to get to Mount Barney National Park, a super-popular spot favoured by hiking enthusiasts. There are a number of walks around the base of Mount Barney that will guide you through the awe-inducing natural landscapes, as well as tracks leading to the sky-high summit. For the serious hikers, Mount Barney has some of the best remote bushwalking opportunities – just remember to check in with the Department of National Parks for tips and advice.
Springwood Conservation Park
Hidden in the middle of suburbia just a stone’s throw from Brisbane, is Springwood Conservation Park. This nature reserve features a fern-filled forest, a gorge, a stellar lookout and some very cute wildlife (hello sugar gliders!). The main walking track, the Gorge Discovery Circuit, is about 1 km around and includes 132 stairs infamously labelled by locals as “The Stairs of Death” – these bad boys are guaranteed to get your heart rate going.
Thankfully, lots of experience isn’t necessary when it comes to navigating the Booloumba Falls walk. Found in Conondale National Park (approximately 140 km from Brisbane City), this trek abounds with spectacular scenery. From the vast and varied landscape full of ancient rainforest, cascading waterfalls and Mother Nature’s best efforts – this trail makes for the perfect weekend adventure. Get moving!
This article was written in partnership with our friends at Brisbane City Council.
To find out more, head over to Brisbetter Days Out.