The two day hike along the Gheerulla Falls circuit will have you staring up in wonderment at the array of greenery and wildlife on display.
- Epics views over the valley from Thilba Thalba viewpoint
- Picnicking by Gheerulla Falls
- Trekking through luscious rainforest
The Gheerulla Falls circuit is a winding and undulating trail that follows ridgelines speckled with glorious views while a meandering valley of rainforest slowly lengthens high above your head.
You’ll find an abundance of flora sheltering you from above and the music of creeks and birds adds a soundtrack to the serene views through Mapleton National Park.
Just a short 40-minute drive from the Sunshine Coast, the Gheerulla Falls circuit is a quiet escape from the busy coastal beaches, where you’ll find tranquillity hidden in an escarpment of wet sclerophyll forests and rainforests – this needs to be on your list of hikes to have a crack at.
Pencil Creek road to Thilba Thalba Walkers Camp
An intermediate 8.6km trail started off day one, with a few glorious cliff edge viewpoints that drew our attention to the gumtree covered valley, ridgeline and extended views of Mount Cooroora in the distance.
We spotted rufous fantails, golden whistlers and lewis honeyeaters that nestled high amongst our heads and enjoyed the she-oaks and banksias that followed the edges of the trail.
Camping amongst blackbutt forest and scribbly gumtrees we sipped on a few quench thirsting cans of Carlton to celebrate the end of the first day.
We settled on top of a boulder to cook dinner which overlooked the candy-coloured sunset disappearing below the ridgeline.
We discussed our gear as frothing outdoor education teachers to be and got a little jittery over all the bird species we’d spotted over the day’s hike, as well as the magnificent views we glanced upon.
Thilba Thalba Walkers Camp to Pencil Creek Road (via Gheerulla Falls 100m off track)
Day two was a 10.9km hike beginning with a descent from the ridge top and winding around grass trees that followed down to the valley. It’s an undulating trail that crosses rivers and 4WD tracks and meanders underneath rainforest canopies and piccabeen palms.
We stopped at a campsite to fill up and boil water, took a long coffee break by a tranquil river crossing and spotted some more brown cuckoo doves, brown thornbill and grey fantail birds.
With the rainforest growing profusely high above our heads, rose gums occupying the blue sky vision and Gheerulla Falls growing nearer, we perched ourselves on a large rock overlooking a trickling falls.
The serenity was enough for us to sit quietly over lunch and absorb ourselves amongst the backdrop of wildlife sounds.
With very few people seen along the trail, a plentiful amount of wildlife and views to take in, as well as the contrast of wet sclerophyll forests to rainforests covering the valley floor, it’s a glorious two-day hike you must try.
- Enough water for 1 day/night (can fill up at campsites)
- Insect repellent
- Rubbish bags
- Sleeping bag
- Other essential equipment/gear for hiking
How To Get There
A 40-minute drive west of the Sunshine Coast, follow Nambour-Mapleton Road into Mapleton Town, turn off onto Delicia Road and park at entry/exit to Gheerulla Falls.
From there the world’s your oyster, hike clockwise (that’s what we did), or anti-clockwise for a challenging ascent.
- Bird spotting
Distance Covered / Time Taken / Elevation Gained
19.5km / 2 days / 410m