Want to go off track but only have time for a short outdoor fix? South East Queenslander Lisa has found the answer at the Bushrangers Caves of Mount Wagawn.
- Easily accessible off track hike
- Panoramic views out to Mt Warning
- Get your explorer on wandering the caves
The 960m Mt Wagawn straddles the Queensland/New South Wales border and sits on the edge of Lamington National Park. If you’re fast on your feet, you can get from car to cave in half an hour.
The Bushrangers Caves sits on the cliff line of Mt Wagawn and can be seen from the road, the track starts on the NSW side of the border up a mowed grass easement. When you run out of grass, you need to jump the barbed wire fence to a narrow track framed by long grass. Because of this, I only recommend this hike in the cooler months as I’m pretty sure this grass would be a breeding ground for snakes.
After bashing through the grass, you reach a rough track and you’ll have to negotiate some fallen trees to get up the hill. Just before you reach the caves, check out the view through a small viewpoint on your left providing a panoramic vista out to Mt Warning and the Numinbah Valley.
Before you know it, you’re at the caves. At the Queensland National Parks sign, you’ll need to jump the fence again and then bam, go exploring the caves. They extend for a couple of hundred metres and you’ll feel like a true explorer as you wind your way along them. Remember to watch out for Gympie Gympie stinging plants around this area.
Bush bashing experts with more time on their hands can negotiate the Gympie Gympie and tree root scramble and follow the sporadic pink tape markers up to the top of Mt Wagawn. This section is only for fit, experienced hikers with sound navigational skills.
An alternative route to Mt Wagawn starts from the Binna Burra Teahouse and follows the plateau starting along the Border Track. This route is longer but is a maintained track.
If you have more time and are after something a little more accessible with less risk of being attacked by plants and snakes, check out Pages Pinnacle, the Twin Falls Circuit or the Purling Brook Falls/Warringa Pools double at Springbrook National Park on your way home.
- Cave exploring
- At least 1L of water
- Long pants and shirt for bush bashing through long grass
- Insect repellent
- Sunscreen and hat
How To Get There
From Brisbane, you can get to the trailhead in 90 minutes. Take the Pacific Motorway to Exit 69. Get onto Nerang-Murwillumbah Road and follow this until you reach the cattle grid at the Queensland/New South Wales. Just before the grid, you’ll see a road leading up to your right. Drive up here until you reach a small parking area for about three cars in front of a sign saying Private Property and Walking Track on NSW side of border.
From the carpark, jump over the barbed wire fence and head right up the hill. When the grassy section runs out, jump over a barbed wire fence on your left and you’ll find a narrow track heading uphill. Follow the fence up the hill until you reach the caves.
Beginner to Intermediate. Easy and short hike, however you’ll need some basic navigational skills to follow a footpad. There are no markers. You’ll also need to be ok with walking through tall grass along a narrow footpad and jumping a barbed-wire fence.
Distance / Duration
About 3km return. Allow about 1.5-2 hours depending on how long you spend checking out the caves.
Only complete this hike in the cooler months as it’s a snakey paradise, so let’s leave them be when they’re out and about!