Highest Peak in South East QLD – Mount Superbus (QLD)

At 1,372 metres tall, Mount Superbus is taller than its Scenic Rim cousin Mount Barney, but far less visited – and much more remote.

If you’re up for tackling some epic inclines, have a nose for navigation, and don’t mind a bush bash leaving you with a few scratches at the end of the day, then hiking up Mount Superbus might be the challenge for you.


Highlights

  • Summit two peaks in one day including South East Queensland’s highest
  • Enjoy panoramic views from Lizard Point
  • Traverse beautiful rainforest

The Lowdown

On a sunny winter’s day, we decided to pay Mount Superbus a visit, and bag another Scenic Rim peak.

The hike up Mt Superbus is possible from Emu Creek Road or Head Road, near Killarney. Head Road is best for this route and you will start and end from the same point.

We chose the Head Road route (near Queen Mary Falls) to do a circuit extending from Mt Superbus to Mt Roberts and over to Lizard Point. Two peaks in one day – it was going to be a fun one!

Mount Superbus

We pulled on our hiking boots at 7.30am, glad it was a little warmer than expected and started down an access road near the Teviot Falls lookout. At the fork, we headed right, crossed an old wooden bridge, skirted around a rusty gate with the National Park sign standing guard, and proceeded into a bush bash.

Keep in mind that there are stinging plants (Gympie Gympie) on this track so brush up on your plant identification skills beforehand and stay alert during the hike.

You’ll end up on an old logging trail and then start on the bush bash and the ascent. The route is a footpad that is sporadically marked with coloured tape. Do not rely on these informal markers as they are easily lost, due to tree falls and the footpad. You need a topographic map and/or GPS for this hike and know how to use it.

It wasn’t long before we were heading up and it steadily got steeper (don’t do this in the wet folks!). I used roots to step up the slippery slope and named today leg day.

My tight calves were, as usual, causing me grief but I plodded along up the hill, one section scrambling up on all fours due to the incline. Climbing South East Queensland’s highest mountain was never going to be easy, even if you start at an elevation of around 800 metres!

Into the thick temperate rainforest we went, in hiker heaven with moss covered trees framing the footpad – and providing a much-appreciated wind break. It felt like we were in an enchanted forest.

After a sweaty uphill trudge, we reached a clearing, before making a final push up to the summit of Superbus. If you’re after views, Mt Superbus is not the place as there are very limited views out to one side but we were in our happy hiker place regardless.

Enjoy the moment of reaching South East Queensland’s highest peak, sign your name in the book in the geocache box and head back down to the clearing to continue onto 1,327m Mount Roberts.

Mount Roberts

We wound downhill following a footpad, and then it was some more uphill (yes my calves were crying by now!).

On the way, we found a few sneaky lookout points through the forested mountain slopes – including a view of The Steamers rock formations. We could clearly see the Stern, Mast and the Funnel. It was a brief stop because we felt close to hypothermia on that side of the mountain with the fierce wind.

Lisa Owen Mount Superbus Bush bash rainforest South-East QLD Scenic Rim

View of The Steamers

We fought our way through the terrain – via a lot of large Spear Lily plants. We felt like we were in a Honey, I Shrunk the Kids movie fighting our way through their huge leaves. You’ve been warned, those plants give you papercuts if you get hit with them the wrong way. I copped one right under my eye!

There are no views once again at the Mt Roberts summit. But don’t worry, the best is yet to come.

Lizard Point

About 20 minutes downhill from the Mt Roberts summit, you’ll come out at Lizard Point – a natural rocky lookout. On the way, you’ll pass through a remote bush camping area.

The views here are um, superb… with views out to Mt Barney, Moogerah Dam and parts of the magnificent Main Range.

On a clear day like we had, you can even just make out the Brisbane city skyline behind Flinders Peak.

Lizard Point is perfect for those Instagram worthy shots, a nap if the sun is shining, lunch and some chill time before the hike back. There was no icy wind on this side so we literally felt like lizards warming up under the sun.

The way back returns to the Mt Roberts summit and halfway down the peak, before heading downhill and returning back to the logging track. You’ll really need your navigational skills for this part to locate the route down. This route is marked with coloured tape and a footpad in places but is possible to miss and the footpad can be easily lost.


PLEASE REMEMBER:

  • You need a map and compass and you need to know how to use it
  • Bring a first aid kit and be aware of stinging plants
  • Don’t hike in the summer due to snakes galore
  • Don’t hike in the wet either

Activities

  • Hiking
  • Bush bashing
  • Picnic lunch
  • Napping in the sun
  • Practicing your navigation skills
  • Photography

Essential Gear

  • Grippy hiking shoes
  • Long pants/shirt for bush bashing
  • Jumper
  • Hat & sunscreen
  • Lunch and snacks

  • At least 3L of water
  • Camera
  • Torch and first aid kit just in case
  • Hiking buddies
  • Navigational skills & topographic map of the Mt Superbus area

How To Get There

This circuit starts and end near the Teviot Falls Lookout on Head Road. From Brisbane, take the Ipswich Motorway and exit on Ipswich-Boonah Road. Follow the signs to Boonah. Continue onto Boonah-Rathdowney Road and turn right onto Carney’s Creek Road. Turn right onto Head Road and follow this until you see the Teviot Falls lookout (informal pull off area) on your right.

Just after this there’s an access road on your right. Pack on the roadside without blocking the access road. Head down the access road, sticking right and locate the national park sign at the gate.

From here on in, you’ll need your navigational skills using a topographic map and/or GPS to get onto the logging trail and proceed up to Mt Superbus summit.

Skill Level

Expert. There’s no formal track up to the Mt Superbus summit so you’re relying on footpadding, coloured tape markers, and your own navigational skills. You’ll need to be fit, experienced and have well-honed navigational skills. Don’t think you can rely on the markers as they are sporadic in places and are on trees that could easily come down in high winds or bad weather. The footpad can be easily lost, and visual references are limited.

People have had to be rescued from Mt Superbus in the past due to getting lost or running out of daylight so you really need to know what you’re doing up there.

Don’t attempt this hike if wet weather is forecast or if there’s been heavy rain in the lead up. Parts of the trail are very steep and slippery.

Distance / Elevation

15km round trip. Mt Superbus is 1,372 metres and Mt Roberts is 1,327 metres. This route takes you up to the Mt Roberts summit twice.

Duration

Allow 8-10 hours due to the terrain and to accommodate any navigational errors. Start early and no later than 8am! Pack warm clothing and enough food to be prepared for worst cast scenarios.

 


More adventures in South-East Queensland…

LAMINGTON NATIONAL PARK – MICROADVENTURE COMBO (QLD)

ADVENTURE UP NEGLECTED MOUNTAIN (QLD)

A FIRST TIMER’S GUIDE TO MOUNT BARNEY (QLD)

SNEAKY SIDE TRIP TO THE SPRINGBROOK PINNACLE (QLD)

DOUBLE TROUBLE // MT. MAY AND UPPER PORTALS (QLD)