The Flinders-Goolman Conservation Estate offers up one of the closest mountain experiences to Brisbane. With a range of peaks located in close proximity, you can tag at least three peaks in just one day – and have plenty of time to enjoy the views along the way.
- Hike to the top of three mountains in one day
- Get views to Brisbane city and across the Scenic Rim
- Rock scrambling fun
You can hike up Mt Blaine, Mt Catherine, and Flinders Peak in any order but I opted to start with the easiest first and ramp up to the highest mountain to catch sunset on the way down.
From the car park, head left from the toilets and you’ll see a sign spruiking the Mt Blaine Hiking Trail. It leads up a steep undulating fire trail, offering up good views of Flinders Peak if you look behind you (perfect opportunity to take a breather!)
After about 10-15 minutes, you’ll spot a sign leading to Mt Catherine. Some people probably wouldn’t classify this as a mountain – it’s not even marked on some maps – but it does offer up a good view of Mt Blaine, the next mountain you’re going to climb.
After you’ve waded through a rough overgrown track fringed by long grass and tagged the rocky summit of Mt Catherine, get back on the fire trail and you’ll come to a junction. Head right and wind up to the summit of Mt Blaine.
It’s a steep, rocky but short climb up to the summit. For the fit, it’ll only take about 20 minutes up, passing up through a rock field. Tag the summit and enjoy the 360° views of the Scenic Rim.
Going down is just as hard as going up, in fact, it may even be slower as you negotiate the rolling stones of the rock field and try not to go into a slide.
Head back the way you came and return to the car park and follow the signs up to Flinders Peak.
This hike offers a steady incline towards the peak, and you’ll come to the rocky ridgeline about 45 minutes in.
This is always one of my favourite parts of this hike as you scramble and hop over boulders before making the push to the summit of the first peak.
After the ridgeline rock hop, a stretch of undulating terrain, and a short vertical scramble, you’ll reach the summit of the first high point. You get a great view of the mountains surrounding Flinders Peak here, and you can see the ridgeline you came up, as well as the higher second peak above you.
It’s then a short hike to the top of the second peak, which houses a helicopter pad and telecommunications shed. Unfortunately, that means it’s not quite the remote peak you might be hoping for. In front of the equipment you can find a small lookout area for a spectacular view of the surrounding area.
As the sun started to lower in the final stages of the afternoon, I decided to start my descent and ended up back at the start of the rocky ridgeline for a beautiful golden sunset.
By the light of my headlamp, I continued the rest of the way back in twilight and returned to my car in the dark after a rewarding afternoon.
- Snacks and at least 2 litres of water
- Warm jacket for the summit in cold and windy weather
- Hiking shoes
- Headlamp (if doing any of the peaks for sunset)
How To Get There
From Brisbane, take the Ipswich Motorway towards Ipswich following the M15 signs. Take the exit onto Ipswich-Boonah Road and continue along here until you see a sign on your left pointing to Flinders Plum Picnic Area. This takes you down Mt Flinders Road to the picnic area and the start of the track. The road turns to gravel a short way down but it’s suitable for 2WD vehicles.
The drive from Brisbane will take about an hour. If you’re going for sunset, it’s best to park before the gate and walk an additional 15 minutes to the trailhead as the gates get locked at night.
Intermediate. There are some steep, rugged sections on Mt Blaine and Flinders Peak and grippy footwear is recommended. The uphill sections are not overly technical – you might feel the burn and you’ll have to be comfortable with a level of rock scrambling. Care is needed on any cliff edges.
There’s a distinct footpad and sporadic Queensland National Parks signage along the way on all these mountains.
Once you get onto the ridge of Flinders Peak, follow the markers on the rocks as you’ll be rock scrambling along here and there’s not much of a path.
About 15km round trip from the car park / 5-7 hours / Mt Blaine – 406m/Flinders Peak – 677m