It’s the weekend and you’re torn between getting outdoors and catching up on some much-needed sleep. Don’t worry, if you live near Brisbane, Lisa Owen knows some hike-and-nap spots where you can do both!
The Hike-And-Nap Concept
It was on an adventure to Mt Barney’s Upper Portals that my hiking buddies and I came across the hike-and-nap concept. We’d started the morning with a hike to Mt May’s double peaks, and then continued on to the Upper Portals.
It was a beautiful, sunny day and the combination of the morning’s heat, a 10km hike and resting on smooth rock slabs, meant we were having a quick kip in the sun in no time.
This started a tradition where rock slabs ended up becoming our lunch and nap spots.
We’ve found the ideal ingredients for a hike and nap spot are:
- A sunny day
- A strenuous hike
- A wide, smooth and reasonably flat rock slab in the sun
- The place to yourself
Here are some of the best hike and nap spots I’ve found near Brisbane that tick all the boxes when the weather’s on point.
Upper Portals, Mt Barney National Park
The Upper Portals are surrounded by water-worn slabs of rock. It’s easy to find a sunny, quiet spot to rest your legs, take a bite to eat and get comfortable.
You can reach the Upper Portals from the Waterfall Creek Reserve carpark or the Cleared Ridge carpark (4WD accessible only) off Waterfall Creek Road, Maroon, about a 2-hour drive from Brisbane.
Lizard Point, Main Range National Park
This lookout takes a bit of effort to get to so you well and truly need a nap when you get there – but you’ll also be treated to an epic view.
Lizard Point is accessible by traversing the Mt Superbus bush camp and Mt Roberts. When you arrive, you’ll find a wide cleared rocky outcrop where you can stretch out and enjoy the views and catch up on some sleep.
Find out how to get to Lizard Point here.
Barney Waterfall, Mt Barney National Park
Behind Mt Barney’s Lower Portals, you’ll find the Mt Barney Waterfall slab. This was another nap spot we found by accident. We’d rock-hopped down the creek to Mt Barney Waterfall and attempted to climb Barney’s Short Leaning Ridge before a gusty wind picked up and we made a hasty retreat off the exposed ridgeline.
Not ones to waste a day in the outdoors, we took a break on the slabs above the waterfall cliff face (the waterfall was dry at the time), and many of us promptly started to snooze.
This slab slopes a little so if that freaks you out, head lower down to the creek line below the waterfall/cliff dropoff. There’s plenty more nap spots there.
You can reach the Mt Barney Waterfall slab from the Lower Portals carpark in the national park. Take the rugged track on your right just before you reach the Lower Portals, get behind the portals and drop down to the creek, then rock-hop upstream until you find your slab of choice.
Laidley Creek Falls Bush Camp Lookout, Main Range National Park
Another excellent viewpoint and nap spot in Main Range National Park is the Mt Castle lookout near the Laidley Creek Falls bush camp. You’ll find the lookout about 50m north of the bush camp clearing.
The lookout offers a rocky clearing where you can spread out your jacket and nap for a while in between checking out Mt Castle and the valley below.
The hike to the lookout takes about an hour from Sylvester’s Lookout in the Goomburra section of the national park. It’s about a 2.5-hour drive here from Brisbane (high clearance vehicles only due to one tricky causeway on the way in). You’ll need sound navigational skills to get to this epic nap spot.
More to do (between naps) near Brisbane…