Saphira’s hand-picked 11 of Queensland’s best multi-day hikes, spanning over 10 national parks – and they include a few gems that might not be on your radar yet.
With year-round hiking, diverse landscapes, and world-class walking tracks, Queensland has some epic multi-day hikes that need to be on your bucket list.
Note: Time frames may vary depending on fitness and weather. Hikes marked * indicate that they’re only suitable for advanced hikers who are fully self-sufficient, and have good navigation skills and off-track experience. Queensland can get bloody hot, so never skimp on water, and hike slowly in high temperatures, avoiding the middle of the day.
Multi-Day Hikes South East Queensland
1. Mt. Superbus, Lizard Point, and the Steamers*
Time Taken: 2 days
Length: ~ 15km
Highlights: Iconic and remote SEQ landmarks
Challenges: Hard and off-track
At some point as a Queensland hiker, you’ll want to bag the tallest peak in South East Queensland: Mt Superbus. Since there’s no view at the summit, tack it on to two other points nearby: the iconic Steamers lookout, and Lizard Point, with its expansive views of the Main Range and a spectacular remote area bush camp. Head two hours south-west from Brisbane and park at the end of Spring Creek Road to begin this epic weekender.
2. Stinson Track*
Time Taken: 2 days
Highlights: Historic and remote track
Challenges: Navigationally and physically difficult
This is a serious bush-bashing style track that follows in the footsteps of Bernard O’Reilly’s search for the survivors of the 1937 Stinson Crash. Located in Lamington National Park, it features the remains of the Stinson wreck and is best accompanied by a reading of Green Mountains by Bernard himself.
You can camp at the old rescue campsite near the plane wreck. This is a great hike for experienced explorers with an appreciation for history and a desire to challenge themselves.
3. Eastern Peaks Circuit
Time Taken: 2 days
Highlights: Unique and remote national park
Challenges: Unclear tracks in some sections and steep
If you want to get the full experience at Girraween National Park, you can do the lesser-known Eastern Peaks Circuit. Highlights include a butt-tonne of scrambling, seas of golden wattle, and rocks that look like giant marbles dropped from the heavens. On the menu are the imaginatively named Bald, Little Bald, South Bald, Middle Bald and West Bald rocks. Come in September to see why Girraween means ‘place of flowers’.
4. Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk
Time Taken: 2-3 days
Highlights: Wild Swimming
Challenges: Mostly flat track passing through towns
Just two hours north of Brisbane in the Blackall Range, the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk is best enjoyed in the summer wet season when the creeks and waterfalls are full. It’s home to the Jinibara people, which roughly means ‘the people of the lawyer vine’ (you’ve been warned).
There are three campsites on the walk and it passes through the quaint townships of Flaxton and Mapleton, making it beginner-friendly. The best views are from Thilba Thalba camp, and the rock pool above Kondalilla Falls is one of South East Queensland’s best spots for wild swimming.
5. Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk
Time Taken: 2-3 days
Highlights: Close to Brisbane with World Heritage Rainforests
Challenges: Great first multi-day with a few steep bits
Starting from O’Reilly’s Rainforest retreat, you’ll hike through volcanic landscapes to views of Wollumbin/Mt Warning all the way in NSW. It’s also the best hike for admiring Antarctic beech rainforests. You’ll get to check out Kurraragin/egg rock, an Aboriginally significant and distinctive rock feature on day two.
There are steeper sections towards the end, but you’ll be rewarded with a suspension bridge, the stunning Purling Brook Falls, and wild swimming at Warringa Pool. Start at the Border Track just two hours south of Brisbane.
6. Mt Donaldson Circuit*
Time Taken: 2-4 days
Highlights: Remote red gorges, waterholes, and wild camping
Challenges: Seriously off-track bushbash
If you want to get away from it all and experience true solitude, look no further than Sundown National Park, big sister to Girraween. At four hours drive, it’s possible for a weekend trip at a squeeze for the motivated Brissie explorer.
You’ll trace the Severn River to pass Permanent, Red Shelf (a real beauty), and Wallaby Rocks waterholes (pitch your tent here) before summiting Mt Donaldson for literally one of the best summit views in all of South East Queensland. The bushbash back will test your navigation skills, with a few sketchy traverses to avoid waterfalls. If this sounds too rough for you, just go back the way you came from the summit. One of Sundown’s perks is that you can purchase remote camping permits and camp wherever suits.
Make sure to leave no trace when remote camping.
7. Cooloola Great Walk
Time Taken: 5 days
Highlights: Coastal and longest multi-day hike in QLD
Difficulty: Long, flat, and sandy
The Cooloola Great Walk hike is the longest, official, continuous hike you can do in Queensland. It features amazing sand dunes, rainforests, misty eucalypt woodlands, and a heap of inland lakes! You’ll be traversing the 500,000 year old Cooloola sandmass, with great lookouts from Mt Seawah (technically a side trip) and Double Island Point.
While it’s pretty flat, the sand is its own challenge – and keep in mind that the four campsites are at least 15km and up to 30km apart, so you’ll need to be confident you can make the distance.
8. K’Gari Great Walk
Time Taken: 6-8 days
Highlights: Secluded experience of K’Gari’s wonders
Challenges: It’s a long walk, beware of dingoes
We encourage all explorers to use the name K’Gari, not Fraser, in respect for the wishes of the Butchulla people.
Formerly known as the Fraser Island Great Walk, you can spend a week on the world’s largest sand island and never know you’re at one of Australia’s most frequented spots. If you’re looking for an intimate way to experience K’Gari – which means paradise in Butchulla language – this is it. K’Gari. The walk passes Lake Mackenzie/Boorangoora, an absolute dream in crystal blue, and Lake Boomanji, dashing in tea tree red. You’ll also get to walk through the fantastical Valley of the Giants with its thousand-year-old satinay trees. Fittingly, you finish at Happy Valley.
9. Carnarvon Gorge Great Walk
Time Taken: 6-8 days
Highlights: Aboriginal rock art and remote hiking
Challenges: Hot and steep in sections
The Carnarvon Gorge Great Walk features the Aboriginal art of the Bidjara and Karingbal people, mossy gorges, and views of the tablelands (aka the ‘roof’ of QLD). Dreamtime stories tell how the rainbow serpent Mundagurra carved out the gorges.
The full walk offers great camping, proper Aussie bush, and lots of solitude – perfect for a group trip. There’s a huge drive-in campsite where you can base yourself and explore all the local sights. It’s a full nine-hour drive north west of Brisbane, or seven hours West of Bundaberg, so it’s well-suited to a uni break or annual leave.
10. Juwun Walk*
Time Taken: 4-6 days
Highlights: Wild camping and wildlife
Challenges: Remote with no official track, beware of crocs!
Previously known as the Wet Tropics Great Walk, the remote Juwun Walk passes through Girringun National Park, located between Townsville and Cairns. These are the traditional lands of the Warrgamay, Warungnu and Girramay, and boast an especially diverse natural environment.
For a tighter timeline, consider doubling up and going from Blanket Creek to the Big W, and/or Yamanie Creek to Yamanie Pickup Point. Beyond the first leg to Blank Creek, there are no designated campsites – camp anywhere along the gorge.
11. Thorsborne Trail
Time Taken: 4-7 days
Highlights: Pristine world-class track
Challenges: Hot and rocky
Located on Hinchinbrook Island, this hike is limited to 40 hikers at any given time. Loved for its pristine environment, you can marvel at turquoise waters, cloud-cloaked peaks, and ancient rainforests – a little slice of paradise that was first home to the Bandjin people.
There are a whopping seven campsites along the 32km trail, so you can take your time admiring the island’s beauty. Plan in advance to book the strictly limited camping and the ferry spots, departing from Cardwell or Lucinda. If you’re coming from Brisbane, you can catch a day-long train to Cardwell. From Cairns, it’s a 2.5 hour drive south.
Feature photo by @miranda_c_fittock